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Hand Quilting

Quilting has been in my family for generations, on both sides.  There were lots of quilts in the closet as we were growing up.  I remember a Sunbonnet Sue, and some log cabins and string quilts, all made by both of my parents' grandmothers or mothers, or great aunts.  Of course they were all made of scraps.  

My mom's mom (my grandmother that I occasionally blog about) would sometimes have a quilt frame up (two by four boards and clamps-nothing fancy), and whoever came over to visit would sit around it with her and quilt. So when I made my first quilt, a zig-zag quilt out of scraps from old clothes that I had saved, it went up in the frame at my grandma's house.  In her family room.  I didn't know how to hand quilt, so my mom and grandma did most of the quilting on it.  You can def. tell, if you look closely, which part I practiced on. :) (ironically, I still chop the points off of triangles)



That's it, I loved it.  I loved the piecing and the feeling of completing a project.  I made and handquilted a couple of baby quilts for friends after that, and then when my hub and I were dating, he agreed to go to a big quilt fair with me.  He picked out a kit that he wanted me to make.  It was meant to be a wall hanging, a bear.  The piecing of it was so much fun.. complicated and like a jigsaw puzzle but I loved it.  When it was done, I added some block panels to it that he has also picked out, and some borders and applique, that I made up on the fly, to make it big enough for him to use, and it wasn't until we were married that I hand-quilted it, all by myself! Clamped to 1 by 2 pine boards in our living room.

Its full story is here.



Then for a while, my life was consumed with making baby things, bibs, blankets, burp cloths, etc.  Until my son was two.  And I upgraded from the pine boards (that had long since warped) and clamps to the EZ-Grace 3 frame.  So WORTH it if you hand quilt! Then the sock monkey quilt came along.  

Its story is here.  He loved driving his hot wheels on the borders while I was quilting, and putting his animals up at the top of the frame to "watch mommy kilt".  This quilt will always have the best memories attached to its making. :)





After that came the "I Spy".  Which also has lots of special memories, b/c I hand quilted lots of different things in the white background.  My favorite things being his traced hands and feet.  He was three. You can find its story here.


That was a couple of years ago now, and after that I started quilting the Goodwill Club of 1949 quilt, and it's still in the frame.  Every now and then I dust it off, and look at it, but I'm ashamed to say how long it's been in the frame.  Hand quilting requires lots of patience and I haven't been feeling it for a while.  I've been having more fun sewing and piecing and practicing machine quilting.  It's so much faster, almost instant gratification compared to hand quilting.  But I will get back to it eventually, when the hand quilting mood strikes me.  It's about half done.  If you're interested, you can read about it here.


I will always be thankful for times spent with my grandmother and mom and other family members around a quilting frame.  Talking, laughing, etc.  There's nothing like it.  :)

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