I keep a 5 year diary and now that I am in the second year of it I love to see what I did on that day a year ago. In fact, probably everyone around me knows this because I frequently am saying “hey, guess what? It was a year ago that we…” Well, thanks to the diary I recently read the entry that said I began to hand quilt my scrappy prism quilt. A. Year. Ago. After I did those first center rays I put it away and that was that. Reading that it’s been sitting for a whole year was the kick in the butt I needed to pick it up again.
As I sat with the quilt on my lap and needle in hand I started to think about what gave me trouble with it and what was holding me up. And I came to some realizations-quilting is just a running stitch. So just relax and stitch like you’re doing an embroidered running stitch. Also, I thought about my mom’s hand-quilted quilts. Did I ever think they looked terrible because they weren’t stitched with teeny tiny Colonial woman stitches? No, I did not. Did I think they looked boring for not being densely quilted? No, I did not. I liked how they looked and they stayed together (which is the twofold purpose of quilting.) I also, gasp!, did away with my hoop. After a year of being folded up those layers of top, bottom, and batting are not moving anywhere. I’m stitching on the outer edge of the quilt and it was just easier to manipulate. Embracing those concepts and letting go of what I thought I needed to be doing allowed me to just stitch away. And I think the results are great. Here is the finished first section
My stitches are not miniscule, but neither are they giant basting stitches. And I’m pleased that the diagonal lines are creating the look I’d envisioned.
I was a little worried that my marking pen might be difficult to remove after a year, but it turns out it had been fading a lot and was very easy to remove with a dab of damp cloth. I drew on the grid for the next section and have finished half of that.
I think I will tie the scrappy blocks with matching embroidery floss so that you don’t really see it, but it has the needed stability.
You know, with the trends in quilting now and all that long-arm machine quilting, and devotion to fancy threads and what not, you can feel like you’re not “doing it right”. I am using an old spool of Coates hand quilting thread (which is pretty stiff), a regular quilting in-between needle, and no hoop. I can’t “pop the knot through” like my Mom does, so I’m doing a messy little made-up technique for securing the end that I ultimately think will not be noticeable at all, so who cares if it’s the right method? My pattern is not intricate, just a grid. But I’m loving this and it will be good enough. And also, it will actually get done! And I will enjoy the process a lot more, and shouldn’t that be a big part of a hobby? Yes, yes it should. 🙂