4.29.2008

teeny, tiny stitches?

I think my reluctance to hand-quilt was due mainly to when I would tell people that I was hand-quilting and it seemed the first thing out of their mouth was, 'Ooh? How many stitches per inch?' Huh? I would then guiltily glance down at my work and see that 3 or 4 was not the answer they were looking for. Wow. This bar of standard seemed ridiculously high and I knew there was no way I was ever going to grasp it or even come close to--what?.....13, 15 or even 16 stitches per inch....so why bother.
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But then I looked closely at quilts from long ago. Just like the one pictured above. My great-great aunt hand-quilted this beauty and *gasp* she's not even close to 15 or 16 stitches per inch....and guess what? It does not detract from the value. In fact, it solidifies that I dearly love her work & her stitches are things of beauty and grace.

(having just finished the feather wreath in the middle of this project, I am just tickled how this cross-hatch is turning out. And I'm not kidding--running your fingertips along these stitches is the coolest feeling...)

In fact at the hand-quilting class that I recently took, many of us uttered the ol' well-how-many-stitches-do-I-need-to-be-stitching? to our instructor, Nadine and she chuckled as she replied:

'It doesn't matter how many stitches you have, as long as they are consistent."

I think I could have just kissed her.

So now I sit, with a smile because I know my stitches will not win any awards for being teeny and/or tiny, but Nadine was right----hand-stitching has been proven to lower one's blood pressure and the rhythmic, simple, stitching is truly stress-relieving & once again I debunk my self-doubt and just enjoy.......

11 comments:

Dandelion Quilts said...

They looks consistent to me! They look just great. Quite a pattern for a mere beginner... great work.

Jacquie said...

You go girl! I love hand quilting too. I just wish it went a bit faster for me. Yours looks wonderful!

Paula said...

I'm no expert, but the more you hand quilt, the better it looks. Congrats for accepting what is....keep practicing! It looks wonderful.

Takako said...

That's why I love hand quilting. Your stitches shows your personality and feeling when you stitch (at least mine does..) Keep consistency needs a little bit of practice, but hey, it is just fun doing it. Go hand quilter!!

Suzy Quilter said...

Beautiful! :o)

AJ said...

I admire you for handquilting. I do not have the time to devote to it. Hopefully I can learn in the future in the mean time I will cherish the hand quilted quilts that my great-grandmother made.

Knot Garden said...

I've read that it's not necessary that the stitches are tiny, as long as they are uniform. Your stitches look very tiny to me anyway! The important thing is that you enjoy it. I really like that double cross-hatch.

Mary Anne said...

YEAH!!! size DOESN'T matter !!!(well, as far as quilting stitches go, that is .... and that is MUSIC to my ears !!!)

..... your stitches look GREAT ....ENJOY!!!

Cara said...

Thanks Dawn for visiting and I am glad you thought the book was good! It is one of my 'must have' references now!
I think it your teacher is right and it is not about the amount of stitches per inch but about the consistency. Now they even have a technique called "big stitch quilting". Keep at it- your work is beautiful! can't wait to see some of your applique : ).

Cath said...

Hi Dawn! Thank you for this post... I thought I was the only one who worried about things like whether I could quilt "tiny enough." I think I will stop worrying, too. *smiling*

Cath

QuiltedSimple said...

That is fantastic looking hand quilting - I'm still no where near this good - mine don't go in straight lines yet - but it is relaxing. Good job!!

Kris