Wednesday, April 6, 2011


This is the next step in the quilt. Last you saw it, it was laid out on pieces on the floor. In the above picture it's been pieced and is waiting to be basted. Since this picture was taken, the quilt has been basted and stenciled in preparation for quilting. At this very second it's sitting in my little quilt hoop, where it is in the process of being hand-quilted.

The problem: I don't know anything about hand quilting. I've hand quilted a very small wall hanging before, but I was just winging it. Now, for some reason, I feel like I should now learn how to hand quilt properly. I am becoming a respectable quilter in my old age, giving thought to to the rules, conceding they might prove useful.

I'm in a bit of bind (quilty pun), however, because I've given up buying books for Lent. I have a book habit that I feed pretty regularly, though I'm good about buying used and trying to find a book in the library before I lay down cold hard cash. Nonetheless, I suspect if I kept records, I'd find that I averaged a book a week.

Oh, but there are so many books I find myself needing! Right now! Like The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer and The Pastor: A Memoir by Eugene Peterson and Free Some Day: The African American Families of Monticello.

And right at this very second I need Hand Quilting with Alex Anderson. I really, really need it.

I could get it on Sunday, because Sunday is your "free day" in Lent, when you are welcome to indulge yourself. I don't know why this is the case, but it is. The problem here? I don't buy things on Sunday. That's my Sabbath practice, with the occasional exception of going to the grocery store. Otherwise, no shopping.

Would it be cheating to ask the Man to buy me Hand Quilting with Alex Anderson?


I suppose this is the point of Lent: to give something up and then to want it back really badly and be forced to ask yourself, What is it that you really need? You know what you want, but what do you need?

I know the answer is God, but I feel like the answer is Hand Quilting with Alex Anderson.

Jesus wept.


wayside wanderer said...

Ohhhhhh........I love your quilt top! The colors are perfect.

Could you You Tube the hand quilting details? I do that for knitting stuff I don't know or for stitches my brain once knew but forgot.

If I had the book I would gladly send it your way, but alas, that is one book I don't own.

GretchenJoanna said...

Ah, nailed it.

Pom Pom said...

I have a book buying habit, too. Your quilt is gorgeous!

Tracy said...

Your quilt is stunning. Exquisite.

I felt just like you about learning to hand quilt. And then I learnt that you learn by doing. It's just a running stitch ~ make it even. That's about it, really. As for technique, every quilter does it differently.

Does not buying books preclude you from library borrowing? Or internet searches? Ahhh, the challenges of Lent. It's not something I've ever been exposed to in practice, but I like the idea of it. Even though I'd probably, like you, set myself a challenge that seems to become impossible!

Tracy said...

I just did a quick google search. All those quilters with 'how to' videos 'rock' their needle. I don't. I do each stitch one at a time. All the way through the top, and then all the way through from the bottom. I have one hand on top and one hand underneath.

Ali said...

Ha! You really made me laugh. Just get on and stitch it - there are as many different hand quilting methods as people stitching them.

I share your wanty feelings for books, though. I feel your pain.

debbie bailey said...

Apparently, you are weeping too. Why don't you get directions online? That way you won't cheat and you'll be able to finish your quilt, too. If that doesn't work, let me know and I'll give you my mama's phone number. She could talk you through it. It's looking good!

Angela said...

That is so so lovely! I am sure you will get round your Lenten Sabbath dilemma somehow.
blessings x

Gumbo Lily said...

I love your humor and your honesty, Frances. Beautiful quilt top. I think the motto "Just do it" works fine for hand quilting. I think one gets better as she goes along, don't you?


Jaye said...

Thank you for linking to my blog! I appreciate it.

The dB family said...

Ohh, I love this post!! I agree with GretchenJoanna, you nailed it. You quilt is so beautiful. I'm sure you will master the hand quilting. I have one I need to machine quilt, but I am still afraid to do it.