Sunday, June 29, 2014

Slow Stitching

Another glorious Sunday, and again the temps will be in the nineties with humidity so high we are likely to have an afternoon shower.  But, I have plenty of stitching to keep me busy inside.  This week I started hand quilting my pumpkin seed quilt.  I challenged myself to learn to use a new tool underneath the quilt. I have gone from using the aunt becky to using TJ's spoon.  They both work on the same premise, but one fits over your finger and one is held in your hand. I have tried switching several times and would go back to using the aunt becky, but she was getting quite worn so when I started this quilt my challenge to myself was to only use the spoon.  It has taken me all week to finally adjust, but I feel I am over the hump.
aunt becky



TJ's spoon
Making progress on pumpkin seed!


Today, I need to focus on my applique project so that doesn't lag.  The current block has over fifty leaves to applique. Some of them are quite small and this block will end up looking quite delicate compared to the other blocks in this quilt.  It reminds me why I love making quilts.  There is always something new to learn, the journey is always interesting yet relaxing.





I will be joining Kathy over at her blog to see what other slow stitchers are creating.  She is having a give away for some turtle fabric.  Isn't that such a cute idea turtle fabric for slow stitchers! So if you are slow stitching today come on over and join us and link up your project.

41 comments:

  1. Heat and humidity here too now. Yesterday I babysat the twin girls and of course they kept wanting to be outside and I was melting, ha ha : )

    Pretty stitching! I can't use a thimble under the quilt...can't get the hang of it. Seems I have to stab myself and feel the needle / not sure if it would be the same with a tool like that or not! :)

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    1. Yes with this method you do feel the needle, it is a big learning curve. Mind over matter which is easier said than done.

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  2. let us know how the spoon works out for you, I always have to feel the needle coming through so I know it is all the way through - of course that stabs my finger but I can't seem to do it any other way - do you hear the needle click on the spoon or the Aunt Becky so you know it is through or what - also to push it back up I have had trouble when trying to use anything on my finger.

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    1. Karen, yes you feel the needle when it hits the metal and then the needle slides up to make the stitch at the very top. I learned this method cause I was dealing with carpel tunnel and there is less movement in the hands with it. I also love that the underneath stitches are better when I use this method over the rocking method. The eye of the needle has to be held very close to the quilt top and when you pull back the needle automatically goes thru the layers and when you push the spoon towards the needle it glides up and when you reach the top you form the stitch. It works for me, but I think everyone needs to find what works for them.

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  3. Aunt Becky's thimble is very interesting. I quilt with my nails. Yes, I said nails. They are a mess after a half hour session of quilting. I do have to learn another trick ! Happy stitching.

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    1. Jenny Beyer uses the spoon and says she met a lady once that was quilting up a storm and she ask her how she could quilt so long? She pulled her hand from underneath the quilt and she had taped a quarter on her thumb. I say all ways are acceptable as long as you get the end result that you want. You could probably learn this method pretty easily and save your nails. I think Jenny said on her website it took her half a quilt before she got comfortable with it. LOL

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  4. those both look interesting. I haven't heard of either before. I poke my underneath finger so much that it develops a hard spot after a couple of days lol. Not a great solution but it works. What pattern is the applique block from? that really looks interesting.

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    1. It is from Baltimore Garden! I guess I don't like pain, but I know many who don't mind building up a callus. That is the great thing about quilting so many different ways to accomplish the end result.

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  5. These are some great hand quilting tidbits. I plan to hand quilt soon with a small hand applique project I have going right now. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Cindy there are online videos on how to use these tools if you are interested. Applique is so much fun and the best kind of quilt to hand quilt if you ask me.

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  6. The appliqué block looks amazing.

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    1. Thanks Sophie! I only have five blocks to finish and of course then the borders. That should keep me busy for another summer.

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  7. I love your line that "the journey is always interesting yet relaxing"...so true!
    It was interesting to read about your thimbles. I have the Aunt Becky but couldn't figure it out :)
    I need to come over and watch you quilt! LOL
    Thanks for linking up to Slow Stitching!

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    1. Wouldn't that be fun. I must say it took me a long time to get comfortable with it.

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  8. The applique block looks amazing!!! I can't wait to see your 'journey' on it! Happy Slow Stitching.

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    1. Thanks Debra Each leaf is progress today. Just added a few more to stitch tonight. Looks like my Monday will be figuring the best way to do the 1/8 inch bias stems. Wish me luck!

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  9. You are a braver woman than I am. I have more hand appliqué quilts started than finished. Probably the same with the hand quilted ones. One I've been working on since late 90s or so. Or should I say not working on!

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    1. I have found success when I committed myself to fifteen minutes of slow stitching everyday and before long it became a habit. A fellow quilter I know just finished an applique quilt that was 22 years in the making. It is absolutely stunning, I am so glad she kept at it.

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  10. Wow - your quilting stitches are amazingly small :) Great work! And I can't wait to see all your leaves sewn down - that will be a lovely block! I'm the same way about quilting - it's always a challenge, no matter how much I learn!

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    1. I love the challenge of learning new things or getting enough skill to do something new! Thanks for your kind words

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  11. So many leaves! It will take a while, but what an effect the finished block will have.

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    1. Yes those leaves will take awhile and the block is kind of boring with green leaves scattered around but it is an amazing transformation when the stems and flowers are added. Then it all becomes worth the effort.

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  12. Great stitching on the pumpkin seed quilt. That is quite an ambitious applique block. I look forward to seeing it finished.

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    1. Thanks for the nice comments I used to think the same thing when I saw beautiful appliqued quilts but it all about remembering it is one stitch at a time.

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  13. Years ago, I was given a bag of quilting items and it had one of those things like the Aunt Becky's tool only it didn't have any logo on it. I could not figure out what it was for and gave it to someone else who finally came up with the info of what it was for. When I hand quilt, I use a demitasse spoon in my underneath hand.

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    1. I had an older friend who told me as a child the children in her family all learned to quilt using a spoon underneath. When I think of antique quilts I always assumed the maker quilted them, but who knows it could have been a family effort. I can see where demitasse spoon would work, great idea.

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  14. I have heard of the Aunt Becky tool for quilting but have not tried it. The spoon is completely new to me I am going to have to get one to try. Your quilting looks lovely! So many leaves! But it looks like a beautiful applique pattern. I will enjoy watching your progress!

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    1. Thanks Rebecca! Yes, Baltimore Garden is gorgeous! It is a one in a life time quilt for me. I will probably have 4-5 years worth of time invested in it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. That appliqué block is going to be gorgeous!

    We have a heat advisory for tomorrow, so I'm planning on spending all day inside.

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    1. It has been very warm and oh so humid here. I plan on doing the same thing!

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  16. Wow! Such amazing stitches and wonderful tiny leaves you are working on. Thanks for sharing the tips- I have only heard of one but will do a little research on them and maybe give them a try.

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    1. There are online videos for both products. I do need to warn you there is a real learning curve but well worth it in my opinion since there are no more sore fingers.

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  17. A few months ago, I seriously considered Aunt Becky's. I have been using colonial finger pads. Are your stitches more even with the spoon?

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    1. Yes, When I learned to use the aunt becky I was amazed at how much better my stitching looked. The spoon works very much the same way, I can make smaller stitches with it. The needle seems to slide better on the spoon. Both of them are used to create tension needed to make consistent stitches.

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  18. Not sure I get how the spoon works, but I'm glad you are making progress ; )

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  19. Add me to the list of folks who are happy to hear more information about these quilting tools! I have always just used my fingers underneath but am beginning to feel masochistic . . .

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    1. There are You tube videos on both of these tools. Jinny Beyer also has a article on her site about the spoon. It really is pain free quilting. The learning curve is large, however.

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  20. Visiting from Slow Sunday Stitching which I just discovered. Your pumpkin seed quilting is stunning. And like any of us who love handwork, you are so right in describing the journey.

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    1. So glad that you found this group, hope you will join us each Sunday and share what you are show stitching. I love seeing the diversity of projects that are shared each week on SSS.

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  21. Your pumpkin seed quilting is stunning! You make a good point about a huge learning curve when it comes to the various quilting tools. A friend of mine made me one of the little spoons and I have yet to master it. She quilts up and down, stitch by stitch rather than the rocking style. Her quilting is exquisite. Meanwhile, I struggle on and seem to have a permanently split thumbnail.

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