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Cathy: Trading words for stitches

It all started here, which led me back to the fabric store, which led to obsession. From which I have only slightly recovered, as I continue to quilt approximately an hour or so per day. Some days I skip. Others net four or five hours of poking myself in the finger with a needle and going blind from close up examinations of threading the needle or trying to find where it came out the back so I can tie it off and thread the needle again.

I am enjoying it, meditatively, methodically producing something of use and pretty, too. Toots can’t wait to wrap it around herself, sleep with it over her in bed.  She woves her kiwt so vewy much.

Some photos of the process, which is nearly complete:

Stage one, in pieces:

Watch the dates, folks, most of these were taken during the 48 hour endurance obsession initial weekend. Pieced together by evening, sorry it’s blurry, so was I:

Next morning, the border is completed.  I wanted to try fancy cornering, but then I said it’s good I got this far:

Blood was shed from my cuticle! twice:

(Addendum: That is my grandmother’s thimble!)
Back panel sewn and turned right-side out:

Lost a day to finding a fabric loop and oh yea, paying attention to my family.
Quilting begun:

See? Not perfect, but getting the hang of it.

Weeks later, I am still quilting.
Mr. Cynic took this on Tuesday:

What may not be readily apparent is that most of the quilting is complete. I’m in the final blue panel now. I also now have a better understanding why at one point in my glasses clad young adulthood, a guy in a bar thought, What are you, some kinda librarian? was a good pickup line. It wasn’t, but I can see why he said it.

[Crossposted from Musings in Mayhem]
8 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is so very fun to see! I can imagine it would be so very therapeutic and I notice I have been having these same urges to try it. The colors of your quilt are so pretty. I am pretty sure this type of project will be in my future.

    September 21, 2010
  2. This is very inspiring. I’m most impressed that you are quilting by hand – the purist’s way. You make me want to do this myself. I have bins and bins of musty fabric – what a great winter project. I’m wondering what you put in between the layers. And…how did you map out where you are going to stitch – or is it free-stitch?

    My experience is that all these different creative activities fuel each other. The creative well we draw on never runs dry and the more one dips in, the greater is the supply.

    September 22, 2010
  3. thank you! i am happy it is inspiring to you both!

    i used an 80% cotton blend batting. i sketched a swirly design with a colored pencil and used a basic straight stitch, kind of. i’m no seamstress but both of my grand mothers were, so i don’t know the name of the looped back stitch i used. i’ll look it up and post the link when i find it.

    here is the finished product!

    http://musingsinmayhem.blogspot.com/2010/09/finito.html

    September 22, 2010
  4. handstitching: http://www.sewing.org/files/guidelines/22_140_hand_stitches.pdf

    i used a running, basting stitch, a back stitch and for closing the open end i used diagonal basting stitch.

    juliet, it would not have felt right to use a machine. i still feel funny about doing my writing on a computer rather than longhand, too. i think for me, anyway, the art of something is in the handcrafting. the process is so different for how i think and feel about what i am doing. i reach a deeper level of creativity when i stay true to the original form.

    September 22, 2010
  5. cath, i, too, love that you quilted this whole darned thing by hand! that is most incredible! i’ve never made a quilt but i’ve always wanted to try. i used to do tons of needlework and embrordery so i know most of the stitches (and i’ll just say for the record I DETEST FRENCH KNOTS!). this really turned out beautiful and will certainly become a family heirloom. did you remember to sign and date it in one of the corners?

    September 22, 2010
  6. thanks, kelly! and thanks for the reminder. i thought about the corner bit, but just wanted it on her bed so badly, i forgot to do it after that last stitch!

    September 22, 2010
  7. Cathy,
    I just noticed the two orbs in your photo of the quilt on the table. I’m big into orbs (Spirit quides or Angesl) at the moment. Do you have another explanation for these balls of light?

    September 23, 2010
  8. @ headingoutside, me, too, but these can be explained by the sun coming through the skylights.

    September 23, 2010

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