As part of my ongoing effort to finish UFO’s, I have spent most of my sewing time this past week working on my little blue Lone Star. I’m determined to finish not only this quilt, but others I’ve started and put aside.
Of course, this raises the question – why do I have unfinished quilts? I could honestly say that I get busy with family, friends, house and job or that I’m drawn to all the great quilt projects being introduced (all true), but the reality is I’m out of practice. I feel like my quilting skills are rusty. As a result, I’m hesitant to add not-so-great quilting stitches to a nicely pieced or appliquéd top.
I used to be a little more confident about my quilting abilities, be they by hand or machine. However, the past year or so has found me with limited sewing time. I’ve been working on things like group projects, where I contributed blocks, but no quilting. A lot of what I’m personally working on involves long-term quilt projects. I am in the process of a Baltimore Album, Dear Jane and Love Entwined, among others. It will be some time before any of them are ready to be quilted!
That’s no excuse however, for not finishing any of the smaller pieces I’ve started. With that in mind, I set time aside this weekend and finally finished piecing my Lone Star top. Yay!
Now for the moment of truth. It needs to be quilted before I can call it finished. Time to get some expert assistance. I located my copy of Dierdra A. McElroy’s book, The Perfect Stitch – The Secrets of Fine Hand Quilting, made some coffee and sat down for a review.
I love this book. Everything is clearly explained, with lots of examples. I hope I can achieve stitches like hers some day. For now, though, I have to practice. So, with a cold steady rain outside, it was a perfect day for relaxing inside with some hand sewing. I made up a couple of practice quilt sandwiches, using the same fabric and batting as my blue Lone Star, and started quilting. The hardest part is getting started. It really is relaxing once you get in the groove. As expected, my stitches are a bit uneven and definitely smaller on the back. But considering I haven’t done any hand quilting in ages, it looks OK to me. Hopefully, my stitches will improve with time.
More practice tomorrow. I’m linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching – lots of great hand stitching going on!