Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my Birthday, so I decided to give myself a present. Lately I've developed a fascination with hand sewing. Coming from a background in garment construction, the concept of hand sewing was foreign to me. Yes, there are times and places (though few and far between) where hand sewing is necessary but I would never think of hand sewing an entire garment. So when I started quilting, the thought of making an entire quilt by hand seemed daunting and impossible. I greatly admired anyone who had the time, patience and skills to do so but I never thought I could be one of those people. That's not to say I don't like to work by hand. I love to cross stitch and I find hand stitching therapeutic but I never thought my stitches could be small or consistent enough to effectively quilt by hand.


Thanks to the wonderful world of the Modern Quilt Guild, Flickr, Swaps, Virtual Bees and Blogs I've really expanded my skills over the past couple years and with that I've gained more confidence. I've always been one to take on a challenge. I hate to run, but I decided I wanted to run a marathon so I set my mind to it and made the impossible possible. Three years ago I completed my first marathon and loved it. So I'm adding another thing to my bucket list. Call it my marathon quilt. I've decided I want to made an entire quilt by hand. And I'm really excited about this one.


So, I gave myself a birthday gift. I bought a set of English Paper Piecing templates and I'm finally cutting into my coveted City Weekend stash to make myself a Double Wedding Ring Quilt. I've always wanted to make a Double Wedding Ring, and I've been looking for the right excuse to cut into one of my favorite lines so I think this is the perfect project. I'm still in the planning stages. I have an idea that's a little out of the box for this one but I'm not sure if it will work. I'm going to try and get some sketches up before I start cutting. I'm also a little nervous because the templates for the arcs are smaller than I anticipated but I think it will be okay because most of the prints in this line have very small repeats, save a few. I wanted the pieces of the arcs to be a little bigger, but what can you do. It should be okay, right? What do you think?


I'm putting it in my head that this quilt will take me at least two years. I don't want any pressure on the timeline. It will be one of those things I can just work on intermittently when we're sitting on the couch, or I'm having a sewing date with Liberty and Ramona. Wish me luck. This one has me fired up!


  1. Take your time and you will enjoy it...when I first started making quilts, that is how I did it.
    Now; selling them, it just takes too long to finish. It is a relaxing way to work; really.

  2. Happy Birthday!
    I look forward to seeing how you get on!!

  3. Happy birthday, and have a great time with it :o)

  4. There must be something in the air. I was thinking this morning on my drive back from dropping kids at school that it might be fun to try and hand piece a block. When I first started quilting I read all the novels by Jennifer Chiaverini and the lady who does the teaching in the first book has her student use templates and do hand piecing. Since then I have thought, every so often, about giving it a try. Sometime soon I will. Probably not a whole quilt though.

    I admire you for challenging yourself and for not being afraid to do a long term, slow and steady type of project. Woohoo for you!

  5. Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May your day be as fabulous as you are!

  6. Great idea! I made a small hand appliqued and hand quilted wall piece, but never a whole bed quilt. Sounds like fun!

  7. Happy birthday !!!

    I decided to make hexies last night, maybe for a quilt so I'll be enjoying a little bit of hand work too :)

    And I think it's a good thing that you don't want any pressure, it's going to make the whole process more enjoyable !

  8. Happy Birthday! I made a wall quilt all by hand once, but never a bed quilt. Sounds like fun!