Sunday, September 30, 2012

Learning A New Skill

It's funny that with all the hand work I do (EPP, needleturn applique etc) I have never really learnt how to hand piece, always choosing to piece on the sewing machine or by EPP. Meredithe from Pomegranate and Chintz has been encouraging me to give it a try, but I had never got around to it!! When my friend Deb (72 Derwents) was interested in doing a class with Judy Newman (a Very Fine House) to create her amazing Museum Medallion quilt hand piecing it together I jumped at the chance to learn this skill.

So Friday saw us trundling over to Treehouse Textiles (which was a fabulous place to sit and stitch all day with the rain falling outside and us all snug and warm inside!!). I took a truckload of fabrics with me so I had plenty of choice and got working on the centre star.


The outer petals are yet to be sewn on, and then this entire centre will be sewn to the text background. Honestly I do not know why I put hand piecing off for so long, I am now totally hooked (as I get with most elements of quilting, heehee!), and can see me using this method a lot in future (thanks for the encouragement Meredithe, I got there in the end!!) Yes it is slower and more time consuming, but somehow, that is the relaxing part of it, the therapy of stitching perhaps?!!

It was a fabulous day at the Treehouse, Emma and Sarah are the most wonderful hosts, always making sure we have enough coffee or tea and the food is incredible as always. It was great to 'hang out' with Judy too, she is a fantastic teacher and nothing was ever a bother for her. I have a long way to go to get my quilt finished...here is a pic of Emma, Judy and I with Judy's beautiful Museum Medallion Quilt...


It was also wonderful to meet a fellow blogger Susan (Patchwork and Play). One of the things I have most loved about my blog is that I meet such wonderful 'virtual' people, and sometimes I even get to meet them in 'real life'!!! I felt as though I already knew Susan, and it was so lovely to spend the day stitching with her.


So here is the back of my star, mmm my stitches will need to get a little smaller I think, but on the whole I'm happy.


My next shapes are chosen, cut out and ready to stitch, which I love to do at night with a favourite dvd running in the background.


So now I can also get a start on this hand pieced quilt of gorgeousness...


Do you have a favourite hand pieced project?

31 comments:

Salley said...

Always so much prettiness on your blog posts. ...your craftiness makes me smile! Good on you for trying new techniques.

Oops-Lah said...

I'm exactly like you. Never really learned how to hand piece, so I never did it. Until recently that is when I stared a quilt, completely hand pieced. It's not a complicated quilt (nothing like yours) but I'm enjoying it. The only thing I'm still struggling with is the marking if the seam allowance. Just don't like doing that. Your first block turned out fantastic, by the way.

Patchwork and Play said...

Your block is looking fabulous! I was sorry I wasn't able to get o photo of us both for my blog! Aren't you quick- the next round of fabrics all cut out! Look forward to seeing this quilt grow and blossom!

Lynne (Lily's Quilts) said...

Oh wow. This is just too beautiful!

Little Island Quilting said...

Beautiful block, each and every piece of fabric is perfect.

Marit said...

Your first block looks amazing, front and back! I would love to take more classes with a great teacher. You are an inspiration!

nicolette at dutchcomfort said...

The Camelot quilt was my first handpiecing project. I love to be able to use both techniques now, machine piecing and hand piecing.

Love your star and petal project.
It looks a lot like Mrs Vigor’s Medaillon quilt from Brigitte Giblin’s book.

pandchintz said...

Oh Cathy, I'm so happy for you!! Congratulations! You'll never look back. And your work is gorgeous - as per usual. Yay!! Another one converted! xx

Maree: said...

Nothing Nicer than to learn a new technique..Love Love your block your fabrics look Gorgeous and they go so well together..Lovely photo's Cathy..Glad you are making good use of your time off...
Cheers

heartsofhampshire said...

I love the block- dont think me stupid but by hand piecing do you mean literally sewing it all by hand? and if so what stich do you use? I always EPP , never attempted to sew by hand without template.
Heatherxx

Cardygirl said...

Looks fabulous you clever girl! I love hand piecing...so relaxing. Love the block!

*karendianne. said...

Wow! This is gonna be great. Congratulations you!!! I'm a mostly hand piecer myself and totally enjoy it. I love it when anyone jumps in. So many options!!!! Look forward to seeing your blocks and work come to life. So funnnn!

Kathie said...

OMG and I love that background fabric with the words, whose fabric is that????
ok have to admit to never making a quilt by hand, always wanted to , need to learn how.
I love, love,love this quilt , what a beautiful quilt
will have to look for the pattern.
thanks for sharing, what a fun day you had
Kathie

Miriam said...

Welcome to the other side Cathy!!! :)
Hand stitching is very relaxing.

Love your fabric choices!

So far my favourite hand pieced project is the Morrell Quilt.

Stephanie said...

I just like to admire the gorgeous hand work of others. I love it but don't do it for myself. Maybe one day...Looks like you had a terrific days spend with friends and fabric. It always equals fun.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe said...

beautiful block! I can't wait to get down your way to say hi! Love your hex mini quilt too! awesome!

West Michigan Quilter said...

You have such a wonderful way of putting fabrics together. I love your block.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

This is beautiful Cathy! I've only hand pieced hexies,, but this looks like something I need to try soon. Enjoy the rest of the process!

Annie said...

Good for you, Cathy! Learning something new is SO satisfying! Your block is a beauty!

Donna~~ said...

Heaven's you are so talented and quick--I am a complete fumble fingers when it comes to handpiecing, but you accomplished so much! (and it looks great too--love that Madrona background--a great choice!)

Chookyblue...... said...

what a great day......love the block.......I love meeting other bloggers.........all lovely people

OneLittleThread said...

Your block and fabric choice is beautiful. Can't wait to see the rest of the quilt

mieke said...

I love handstitching just as much as machinestitching! During the day, you can find me behind my machine, the evenings are filled with handstitching since I really don't like TV! Your block will be beautiful, Cathy, and enjoy your new addiction, although not to much because it can be hard on arms and shoulders to... x

bearpaw said...

I haven't done that sort of hand piecing for years, I'm not sure I have the patience anymore! How lovely to see a photo of Susan, I feel like I know her too!

Susie said...

The back looks as good as the front!! Its beautiful. I haven't learn't it yet and must get Judy to show me! She taught me how to make my first quilt and now I am hooked. Everytime I go to Amitie and she is there I come out with another pattern and fabric - arrgghh!!

Teresa said...

Your innitial block is so beautiful, both the front AND back (my back never looks so good whtn I hand piece...too impatient, I think...). I made a quilt some time ago with all scrappy bow tie blocks, all hand pieced. I always had a baggie with the pieces for 2-3 of them in my bag at all time so that I could take them out and work away from home. Hand stuff is so portable...makes it easier to go and sew with new...and old...friends.

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

Nyla said...

Your center block is so pretty! Which hand piecing method did you use? I have done a little hand piecing but don't feel good at it yet. Need to practice some more!

PatSloan said...

TOTALLY Swoon worthy... love the fabrics you used.. I want to raid your collection!

the running chicken quilting said...

I am nearly at the border stage of the Green tea and Sweet beans quilt! It has been a long and wonderful journey!! I have part machine stitched and part hand stitched mine and enjoyed every minute (well, most minutes!!!)

Nic said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of hand piecing. It's always great to find a new convert :)
The centre of your star looks great.wasitas flat as that before you ironed the seams in those directions? If yes, how do you piece it? I always do mine by sewing the pieces together into two half stars, then joining the two halves together. I still have some trouble getting a nice flat centre, but am getting better. You certainly did much better than me if this is your first try

Sonja♥ said...

When I think about all your amazing appliqué quilts (cfr Kim McLean) and you saying "I've never really learned hand piecing"... I cannot imagine how extraordinary your next quilts will be:)
But this one is already magnificent!!!
I'm impatient to see all the next ones;)