Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The joy of quilting

I picked up this old thing to put some stitches in when I didn't have any applique ready to stitch and I'd forgotton how much I enjoy hand quilting on it. I think I might have got a bit bogged down thinking about how much left there was to do and how long it would take. Forget all that, I'm over it and not feeling the pressure any more. I gave myself a good talking to. It worked.

The hardest part is stitching the inside of the applique because none of the background  is cut away and I'm quilting with a cotton batting.
Do you worry about how your stitches look?
Do you compare yourself to other quilters?
Do you get the ruler out and measure how many stitches to the inch you do?

I don't because I lost my quilters competitive streak a while ago, I don't enter shows and I quilt how I quilt and that's good enough for me. I'm happy with what I do. That's not to say that I don't try to make improvements from time to time. I do try to take five minutes every so often to do some pretty stitching, just so I don't deteriorate.

I'm doing my version of echo quilting around the applique, it's quite meditative and exactness doesn't seem to distract from this since it'll be really crinkly after washing.
Oh and I'm being true to my word and getting in some machine quilting practice too. I love this one a lot and found it easy enough. I do believe I might be getting somewhere. I'm amazed at how much the practice is helping.
I wanted to take some photos of some quilting tools I've been trying out but it's been a grey wet day so it'll have to wait until next time.
In the meantime, you could go visit the Minnick and Simpson blog to check out a whole heap of hand quilting information with a series of really great blog posts.

Have you visited  Glorious Applique lately? There are some beautiful blocks being shown in different colour schemes. I've just stuck my latest progress report on there too.

52 comments:

Stephanie said...

If we don't craft for our own enjoyment then why do it? I love what I make, am inspired and encouraged by others. Your hand quilt is beautiful and the machine quilting practice--well it looks professional to me. Love it.

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Janet -- your quilting is just beautiful. Both hand and machine. Is the machine quilting the result of your recent class? I must have Kellie show me that pattern -- we worked on a different one and I like this one SO much more!

Oh, and here are my answers:
I do worry about my stitches. Not the size so much, but I do want them to be even. I don't compare myself to other quilters -- just to myself -- I want to improve over what I've done in the past (and sadly, I'm probably moving in the other direction with age.) And I don't measure the stitches 'cause I never understood how they counted anyway (just top, top and bottom, or what?) XOXO

Crispy said...

Your quilting is beautiful Janet, just like anything else you do :0)

I don't worry about what others think of my stitches, I'm in this hobby for the shear joy it gives me.

Crispy

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Love your quilting..both hand and machine. I never worry too much about my machine quilting, but I am more careful with hand quilting...which is why I like big stitch..it's more forgiving :o)

Alice said...

I did measure my stitches once (out of shere curiosity), but when I realised that they weren't anything exceptional I just shrugged my shoulders and threw away the ruler - the stitching is good enough for me.
I love your quilt and am looking forward to seeing it finished (no hurry though!)

Sandy said...

Your workmanship is beautiful! and I love the color scheme...I think this used to be your banner? Is there a picture somewhere of your entire quilt (or as you say, "this old thing"!!!!!) Sandy

Terry said...

I haven't hand quilted in about 20 years! But I used to really love it! Now it seems everything is about hurrying up and getting it done, not so much about the process. That's why I'm trying to learn how to machine quilt. Yours is beautiful by the way! :0)

Alice said...

...and I forgot to mention - your stitching is beautiful.

Have you tried stab stitching through the thicker parts - I stab stitch always.

Adele said...

Hi Janet

Love your blog and your applique and patchwork in general are divine.

Im relatively new to the world of patchwork if i worried about everything nothing would get done. I however cannot stand a crocked stitch in handquilting and i will pull it out till i get it right.

Adele xx

Sue said...

I really loved your post. I used to compare my quilting and stitching to others but gave that up a long time ago as well. It doesn't matter to me any longer. I just want to be able to enjoy the whole process...if it takes me a year to hand quilt something then sobeit. Quilting should be enjoyable and not a competition. I enjoy the fact that it teaches me patience:)

Your quilting is lovely and so is your machine quilting.

Always enjoy your posts!!

Lori said...

I am out of all hand work and will be picking up my dear jane quilt to start quilting again where ever I left off. I'm actually looking forward to it. The echo quilting you are doing looks fantastic as is your machine quilting!! Woo-Hoo! Gorgeous!

Meredith said...

I spent the money and the time to take a hand quilting class with a talented hand quilter. She told me that my quilting was as good as hers and to enter in shows. I went there hoping she would tell me how to improve. LOL. We are sometimes hardest on ourselves.

I have not entered in shows. I would do it to get feedback. I enjoy learning. I am so very grateful that there were no quilting blogs when I was a new quilter. I actually experimented and learned on my own. Barbara Chainey has a great quote on armchair quilters in one of her books. I do often tend to do minimal hand quilting on large appliqué pieces because I do not cut away the background either.

Your work is great and inspires me which is why I stop by. I like to see quilters create and try new things.

Ann Champion said...

Your quilting is beautiful..both hand and machine! I always have to stab stitch through appliques.
I don't count my stitches or compare to others, but I do try to make my stitch length even. I don't want the quilting to look like Morse code? Stitches that lay crooked bother me too, so if one falls that way I usually take it out. I know in the sea of stitches in a quilt, probably no one would notice..but I'd know it was there. ;) I find the hand quilting very meditative and relaxing.

Darlene said...

I think your handquilting is beautiful, Janet.

I do what I do purely for enjoyment. If I did it to compete then I think I would be a complete failure. I don't enter shows; nor do I have a desire to enter shows or any type of competitions.

I have a strong desire to handquilt but can't seem to get the hang of it. Sigh - yes I know practice, practice, practice but.... LOL

LeKaQuilt said...

Janet, your stichs is gorgeous - both the hand quilting and your machin quiltin.
I have to admit that I do use my ruler, sometimes to check out my stiches.....but only when I'm mighty satisfield with my self...lol...
It looks like you have baste your quilt by machine ? How to do that ??

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you wrote that you quilt for you, not for shows, but for the enjoyment. I don't hand quilt and just trying my hand at machine quilting - your's is beautiful.
Thanks for confirming how I feel about quilting.
cindy

Chartreuse Moose said...

Love seeing the double wedding ring quilt come back out...it's just a delight! Your quilting is fantastic..both hand/machine...never a reason to doubt. Happy stitching!

Betweens said...

you really have quite the following!! scrolling to the bottom to add that we all go through that stage of how much is left and put it down for a little rest. So glad that you are past that stage and starting your quilting again. It is gorgeous.
to your questions..
I never ever competed but have quilts put in so that I can show others what I CAN do I don't need a vote just want to show my quilt where everyone can see it...I know they are not going into my chest and/or in my bedroom LOL.
I hope that people do show their work I don't critisize but love to see what other quilters are making..what turns their heads..what drives them to make this particular pattern...that is why I love blogs for those of you that will not put in a show but will post pictures. I don't want to miss out on one quilt!!
your machine quilting is just as lovely wow!! another great accomplishment!!

Karen said...

Janet, I totally agree. If I'm happy with my work, then I'm happy. Your applique quilt looks so wonderful. And I would definitely say you are getting there with your machine quilting. Great post.

Frances Leate said...

Your quilting is lovely and I agree with your attitude towards it and not getting stressed about how many stitches to the inch. It is a buzz to enter a quilt into a big show but really is the extra work worth it? I like your machine quilting sample and it is inspiring me to sit down and just practice for a while to improve mine. Happy stitching!

Janet said...

I'm so happy to see you're working on your wedding ring quilt - its SO very beautiful. Your stitching looks marvelous!
I've been looking and looking at your machine quilting - I can't figure out where you start and how you keep it so evenly full without marking ... it looks wondeful!! In my wildest dreams I can quilt like that :0)
Like Crispy said - I quilt because I LOVE it! I only have put my quilts in non-juried shows. I hope with time and practice to improve.

Barbara said...

Great quilting on both fronts! I have never understood the "comparative competitive" thing with either hand or machine quilting. Just doing the best you can at the time and moving along must be better - mustn't it?

Merry Made Quilts said...

Did you love doing it? Do you love the end product? If it's yes and yes then the rest can jump in the lake!! I quilt how I quilt and I do it for my own enjoyment so how can you ask for more?!

frayedtahtheedge said...

I've done three hand-quilting workshops at Houston, but still quilt the way I was first shown years ago!! I've always sewn with tiny stitches, so my stitch count is generally good. I only take a stitch out if it is really bad. And lastly, I don't compare my quilting to anyone else's - I sew for the pleasure it gives me!
Your work is exquisite - I'm out of practice with machine quilting - I must make more effort!

Shirley said...

Just do your own thing and enjoy it. It all looks pretty good to me. We strive for that perfect stitch and are often severe with ourselves yet when we view an antique quilt with very rudimentary stitching we ooh and ahh over it and love it just the same. I shall look forward to seeing the finished quilt.
Shirley.

Notjustnat said...

Your hand quilting is beautiful Janet. I love seeing them and would very much like to reach in and touch the bumps the stitches make. Thanks for the link of Minnick and Simpson, it's a great blog I've added to my blog list -
Hugs
Nat

Julia said...

Janet.. your quilting is just beautiful. Both hand and machine.
Me too, I'm over worrying about being competitive and the hand quilting police judging my work..
I love my Dresden and Dolly hand quilted quilt..I did it for me, it takes up alot of time, but well worth it!
Julia ♥

Quilt Hollow said...

We all need to learn to quilt to make ourselves happy and not worry about what others think. This said, I've never entered my quilt into a show to be judged by the quilt police. BUT...recently did enter a Schnibble online for a contest...go figure! I have to learn not to care what others think as long as I am happy with my own work.

Sue-Anne said...

Hi Janet, I'm like you, I don't care what the quilting police think and even though I try to do my best, it doesn't matter if it isn't perfect. Anyway, once it is all finished and washed, you can't see that one stitch is slightly larger than the other.

Your machine quilting is fantastic!

Tina said...

I love this quilt and am happy to see you are working on it again.

Tina

Janet said...

Janet,
Beautiful as always. Glad to see you hand quilting. I do try my best to improve whenever/wherever I can. You are an inspiration.
Janet

Kathie said...

keep going on the hand quilting, I agree I quilt for myself I don't watch every needle full of stitches I try hard for them to be consistent thats all.
your machine quilting is looking wonderful
yes it is all about practice.
Kathie

belinda said...

Oh Janet...it has been months and months since I did any 'hand' quilting. I really miss it though. You answered my question about if anyone ever 'hand' quilts through their applique. Are there any 'rules' concerning that???
I guess the only competitor I have is 'myself'. I work hard to try and improve for 'myself' and not for others. I find I have to work really hard to not get caught up in having to have my stitches so perfect.....like you said...when it's rinsed and dryed...it gets all crinkle anyway and NO ONE can point out those bad stiches. I generally LOVE all and any types of handwork....it's so calming!
I am so glad you are working on this one again...looks great!!

Barb said...

Ooh, that's tough going through all the layers. Ouch.
I tried to take a more relaxed approach so that I can enjoy the process. I have won "best hand worksmanship" and it's a wonderful prize to win, but I'm more into enjoying the process now rather than striving for perfection.
With age, comes maturity, or whatever...I still do strive to keep mine the same lenght, but I even find that difficult depending on the area of the quilt, the fabrics, etc..
your machine quilting looks great!

Carrie P. said...

Your quilting is beautiful and I am like you if I am not entering a quilt in show I sure am not going to count my stitches. What is quilting for anyway? To hold the layers together so that is what we do.

Nedra said...

I don't hand quilt, so I am content to sit back and be in awe of those of you who do, and your beautiful work.

Terrie Sandelin said...

It took several years but I finally realized I don't have the patience for hand quilting -- but I sure do appreciate it when I see it. What a gorgeous quilt! And your machine quilting looks fabulous, too!!

http://quiltingal.xanga.com/ said...

You blog is so interesting. I like the way you hand quilt and machine quilt. I enjoy hand and machine quilting also.

Munaiba said...

Isn't this the quilt you used to have has a header? I've always loved this quilt. I'm glad you're back to it. It will be a stunner.

quilltr said...

Gosh, Janet. Is there anything you CAN'T do??!! Your hand quilting is wonderful, and your machine quilting blows me away. I don't think you should call it "practice" anymore. Me, I just make tops. :)

Kate said...

""This old thing"", as you refer to your gorgeous applique work is just beautiful. The colours are superb. I love it. And I'm so glad you just quilt and sew to ENJOY! That's the best recipe for a contended quilting heart!!
Keep up the good work. And keep showing us!!
Kate

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

Your hand quilting looks perfect to me! You definitely should enter quilt shows. Why not? Your quilts are gorgeous. Your machine quilting looks great too. I do my machine quilting on my domestic sewing machine. I have no interest in getting a long arm machine. The biggest I've quilted is a twin size and I don't know if I would want to tackle one any bigger than that. I need to learn some new designs for machine quilting soon.

julieQ said...

Your quilting is perfect...and I do not enter shows anymore either, but I love to go to shows and see the quilts there!

Kaaren said...

I love your "this old thing"! If only my "this old things" would look like yours I would think that I'd died and gone to quilter's heaven.

As long as I'm happy with what I've made and enjoyed the journey I feel that I'm the only person that I have to answer to and satisfy.

Your machine quilting is awesome, Janet. So, so pretty.

Rose Marie said...

Your hand quilting is gorgeous and I have so enjoyed seeing your progress on this quilt.

Your machine quilting .... way to go, girl! You are doing so well with it.

Cathy said...

This is stunning Janet, and I think your quilts would win in a show anyway! Love seeing your work always xo

Kim D. said...

Your quilting is so beautiful, both hand and machine. I love your roses, just outstanding all around. Thanks for sharing the other blogs, will have to go visit when I get a chance. Have a lovely weekend.

Tineke said...

Janet, who cares about the size of the quilting stitches on a beautiful quilt like yours? I don't!! Great work, this will be an awesum looking quilt!

Marieke said...

Great to hear you say this (read your words): I'm very new at this quilting business and I did worry, but thought: the quilt will do what it is meant for and the feeling of a quilted blanket (no matter how exact it is quilted) is just the best feel in the world!

Dolores said...

Do you worry about how your stitches look?
I used to worry a lot. I finally got it in my head that the person I was giving the quilt to would never see the odd stitch that I didn't think measured up. I sometimes still take stitches out if I am not happy with them - but not often.

Do you compare yourself to other quilters?
Never.

Do you get the ruler out and measure how many stitches to the inch you do?
No, never. What a waste of time.

Sonja said...

WaoW!!! Your machine appliqué is extra!!!

Ivory Spring said...

Your machine quilting is beautiful!