A Slight Change of Heart

Even though I have always shyed away from the idea of hand quilting, I have recently had a change of heart, here is why:

At the Alamo Heritage Quilt Guild Meeting on Thursday last week, I “checked out” the book Round Robin by Jennifer Chiavarini. This is one of the books in the Elm Creek Quilts series.  (One of the perks of the quilt guild membership is that they have a TON of books that specifically relate to quilting and they have ALL the books in this series. I have had minor trouble getting these books from my regular library who also has funky hours.)  Well, I started right in reading this book and needless to say, my quilting work has fallen behind a little because I just want to read the entire book!  But that is beside the point. My change of heart occurred when I started thinking about hand quilting vs machine quilting.  Here’s the thing, I don’t have TIME to hand quilt, or at least I don’t think I do. I think most people really do have time, they just have to make time.  So, I always shyed away from hand quilting because of the time factor. Well, the other thing that happened at the quilt guild meeting was that we had a speaker who was a certified quilt appraiser and restoration specialist.  I brought my Grandmother’s flower garden quilt top which I had acquired at an estate sale to show her (read the post, here).    I showed it to her and she asked me what I wanted to do with it. I said I wanted to clean it and then finish it. Well, considering that is it hand pieced and as she pointed out, the women back then were not very concerned with an accurate 1/4 ” seam allowance, she said I should quilt it BEFORE I clean it! There were a few places where I could do some spot cleaning, but otherwise, it would be best to quilt the entire top, bind it and then hand wash it to get the dirt out.  That would protect those hand pieced seams on the back.  Well, then I came to a stunning realization, there is no way in the world I would machine quilt this top.  It wouldn’t be true to the quilt and I would be terribly afraid of damaging it even worse. SO, that means, I have to hand quilt it!!  OK, so that is part of my change of heart. Along with that, in Round Robin they discuss hand quilting, around a frame with a bunch of women.  One of the characters talks about how quilting is a social activity, it is how women came together and the fact that today, with the Internet and telephones, people do not have as much face to face time as they once did.  That got me thinking that I would like to learn to hand quilt from my mother in law so that we can pass this tradition on to my children and we can all use this as our family time.  Another of Jennifer Chiavarini’s books is the childhood story of one of the main characters, Sylvia, and she grew up watching her mom hand piece and hand quilt a quilt for her father.  By watching her mother, she wanted to learn to sew and quilt and that stayed with her for her entire life.  I know that things never go as planned with children and sometimes the harder you try to encourage one thing, the more they resist, but I hope that if my children grow up watching my mother in law, my mom and me all quilting and sewing, it will instill in them a desire to do so as well.   I always believe that things happen for a reason and the idea of hand quilting has been popping up a lot lately.  I will definately learn to machine quilt as well but I think that hand quilting can be a very satisfying experience. Think of the practicality of machine quilting, it will last longer and can be machine washed, perfect for a quilt that will be used and loved. I am still debating about the GFG (Grandmother’s Flower Garden) top and whether or not I will use it for anything. Perhaps I can put it on the bed in my future nursery (if I ever have a bed in there). It is the perfect color for that room. YELLOW!  OK, I am in love with that idea now. I think it would be perfect on a white, wrought iron day bed in my sunny, yellow children’s room! Hopefully someday I’ll have children in there too! (Hehe)  Guess I had better get ready to quilt that top! Well, that’s all my rambling for today. Oh yes, as far as the drawing goes, I will include anyone who commented from over the weekend, which I believe brings the grand total to…four or five.  It was nice to hear from everyone though.   Thanks for reading my quilty ramblings and I hope you will visit again soon. Until next time.

Happy Stitches to You,

Anna

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January 14, 2008. Tags: , , , , , . Quilting, sewing.

4 Comments

  1. Lauri replied:

    Anna-I would LOVE to hand quilt that quilt with you! I have never machine quilted a quilt; I always hand quilt because I think it just gives it that nice, cozy look I love about quilts. And I never thought about quilting the old ones first then washing…makes sense, though. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually take on the project of my mother’s quilt top, given to her by her Grandmother.

  2. Leisa replied:

    Anna, I think that is a wonderful idea. I have a friend that at her chuch has ladies that enjoy hand quilting and would be happy to do this with me. I would love to hear their stories and learn something along the way.
    Go for it and Enjoy!
    Leisa

  3. Jean-o replied:

    Don’t you just love those books!!! I have a bunch of them, but there are still some I don’t have and then again, some I haven’t gotten to read yet! Our library is pretty good, but they are usually checked out so you have to get onto the list! Some I have read a couple of times! Yes, they really help get it into your skin to quilt don’t they!
    I would suggest to you that if your going to learn to hand quilt that it would be sooo good to learn from your mom in law… just think if you get a quilt put onto frames…. lots of talking time! If there is anything you don’t know about your hubby! That would be the time to learn it! Lots of time around a frame quilting together is really fun! I learned this from the gals I go to Church with. Thanks for the msg. Yep, I’ll take the x-stitch stuff if you still want to get rid of it. I need to learn! Oh, and I owe you still for postage from the x-change! Tell you what, when/if you send the x-stitch stuff. I will re-emburse you for the postage for it all. No reason you should have to pay all that. I would be happy to pay you for the x-stitch stuff too? Let me know. Jean

  4. Jean-o replied:

    Ooops, me again. I just remembered something! Yellow is great! You will find that it’s just so nice and warm, we sure have. Throughout our entire house.

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