|Me stitching in my studio watching the Mentalist...again|
Okay, let's face it. I'm not one for following trends. I'm the type that decides what is good for me and mine and then goes in that direction. I do, however, keep track of trends, just because it's good to stay informed. I recently got Timna Tarr's latest newsletter and it mentioned that handwork is becoming more of a trend on the national scene. That I can see. You hear of handwork everywhere these days. First English paper piecing made a resurgence with the Millefiori Quilts and Grandma Garden quilts leading the way. The Daily Stitching Groups online have gotten quilters from all over stitching a little every day. Plus every where you look you'll see quilters trying Big Stitch hand quilting. On top of that, Sarah Fielke's Homeward Bound (the BOM designed for the Quilt Show) is bringing hand applique back in a big way. I've read so many times on the BOM forum that there is a whole group of quilters that this is their first attempt at hand applique. (For that matter there is an article on needle turned applique in the current issue of American Quilter).
Personally, I think it was inevitable. Normally trends are cylindrical right? Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry broke the quilt world into machine quilting by winning Best in Show at Paducah for Corona 2: Solar Eclipse. back in 1989 (Click on that link to see how she designed it - wow super fascinating) It just went from there. The internet really helped with youtube videos showing everyone how much they could push their domestic machines. THEN came the advent of long-arm quilting which gave quilters an easy way to get all those quilt tops finally quilted. BUT thirty years later, there is still a segment of quilters that love the slow methodical feeling of handwork. It's cheap, it's portable, and it's soothing. Plus there is a whole generation of quilters who haven't tried it. So now it's back.
This brings me back to the point that apparently I am officially "In". Who knew? I do want to mention that when I started quilting in 1992, it was basically mandatory that you learn hand skills including hand quilting and applique. But I really loved it since I came from a cross-stitching background.
This month my work has been all dominated by handwork, so much so that my hand ached after a 10 hr day of it.
I finished up my foray into appliqueing circles by completing this month's section of the Homeward Bound Quilt. I want to say that none of the circles came perfectly circular but all the stitches were definitely invisible. That 100-wt Invisafil thread is The Bomb! I do think that if I ever do more applique circles, I will invest in the Applipops 'cause I want my circles to be perfectly circular.
One thing Sarah clued me in on was how handy a sandpaper board is for tracing on fabric. I did save the $20 and had Paul make me one with fine grit sandpaper. It really does smooth out your lines when you are writing on fabric!
You can see how my circle templates came in handy...again. If you don't have a set of drafting circle templates ... BUY some! I can't tell you how many times I used them over the years for all sorts of things.
Plus I'm still quilting on my Rain Rain quilt. I have switched to a Size 5 crewel needle and it works fine. Not only is it MUCH EASIER to thread but it's much stronger than the size 8 or 9. I also pulled out some of my #12 pearl cotton to get a bigger color range. I love the added line the quilting adds. Normally with hand quilting, it's all about adding texture. But with Pearl cotton, it actually adds an element of line that wasn't there before. If you haven't tried big-stitch quilting, try it!! Haven't you heard? It's in! (grin)
|see, the pearl cotton makes it look like it's raining!|
The News of the Dayagain. It was so much fun last year, that once I really started thinking about it there wasn't anything else I'd rather do.
You can read all about how much fun we had last year ... here . It was so much fun two of my classmates are joining me to repeat the class. If you haven't heard, Timna has a new book out on her very approachable technique of creating a mosaic pictorial quilt.
If you are looking for a fun way to spend a week, please consider joining us in the class. It runs July 17-21st of this year. Also, there is affordable housing offered by the school OR hotel rooms are close by that are pretty inexpensive too. Indiana as a whole is an affordable friendly place to visit. I mean, gosh, this is what I made last year....
So is anybody else getting back to handwork?