So, I wanted to talk about a project I’ve decided to start this year. I’ve decided to hand stitch a quilt top.
Perhaps it’s because I am a knitter first and have come to sewing second, but there is something about hand pieced sewing work that appeals to me a lot more than machine-sewn, especially when it comes to quilts. The process, after all, is very similar. Hand sewing a quilt is something one has to work on stitch by stitch, over time, and trust that if one is patient and keeps at it, one will eventually have a finished thing.
I had plans of starting a hand pieced project around this time last year. I picked out a block pattern, and had an idea that I would make one of that block every so often from scraps, when I felt like it. This has not worked out very well at all. I found the sameness of the blocks dull after a short while, and didn’t want to work on the same thing more than three or four times.
Because I’ve tried this before, I wanted to really think about how to make this a sustainable project that I’d keep up with, even when I’m busy with work and other life things, or when I’m more interested in working on something else.
One big difference is the quilt pattern itself.
I’m using this book, which in its entirety is one quilt pattern. It’s based on letters collected from issues of Farmer’s Wife Magazine, which apparently used to exist in the United States between 1890-something and 1930-something. Each block is paired with a letter published in the magazine, and I will admit that I am fully, unabashedly charmed by the fact that this is a book filled with letters from tiny children who won their very own ponies.
But practically speaking, I also really like some of the blocks in this quilt. The project is a sampler, meant to be hand-pieced, and all 90 blocks are a full queen-sized quilt top.
My goal is not to finish all 90 blocks, but to get through one every week in 2013. I’ve done the first two weeks of the year already, and the time commitment is a lot less than it sounds – I find I’m still able to work on other projects in between blocks.
I’m also trying to keep the goal manageable. Even if I only make it through 2013 and don’t continue this project until the quilt is “done,” I’ll have 53 blocks, which is more than enough for a smaller throw-sized quilt.
This is my first one of the year, finished on the third of the month.