Sunday, September 28, 2014

Slow Stiching Centers

I set a goal of finishing this block by the end of the month.  So why not join the other slow stitchers this Sunday and add the centers to the remaining six flowers.  This is what the pattern says each finished flower should look like.  I think mine turned out quite well considering the size of each flower is a little over 2 inches across.



As I have worked on this quilt, I have learned to let go of perfection and have embraced the hand stitched loveliness that I adore in hand quilted antique quilts.  I am not saying that I don't try to do my best, but with hand work you always get a bit of unevenness and wonkiness. But it is exactly what I love about needle turn applique.


When I made my daughter's birthday quilt I really realized how I love that look. Her quilt was made totally by machine.   When I first spread it out, I was a bit disappointed! It could have been made by anyone with a machine or purchased at a big box store.  It lacked that signature that tells me I made this quilt. 

I know that newbie hand quilters especially are very hard on themselves. But I suggest you study some hand quilted antique quilts or visit a quilt show and take note of the details. Those wonky or slightly uneven stitches that we see up close are the very thing that tells us that someone took the time to put in all those stitches. When I see hand quilted quilts at a flea market or antique store those stitches never look wonky or imperfect. They do look hand made and it makes me wonder about that person.   It makes that quilt special and I like to think very unique.  So I am going to add my unique flower centers today and enjoy every stitch!

34 comments:

  1. Your flower block is progressing quite nicely. I know it has been a lot of work.

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    1. Thanks Karen. It is quite intense. But, I am enjoying each flower as they get completed.

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  2. Wow! So many layers! You will be ready to hand quilt these lovelies before you know it. Loved your post about perfection. The expectation of perfection has stopped many a beginner in their journey toward becoming full-pledged quilters. But, finished is better than perfection. Right?

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    1. You are so right! I know I will always be able to look back on this journey with a big smile.

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  3. Lovely. Antique and vintage quilts not perfect, but have character and charm. Your highly detailed applique flowers are looking great.

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  4. Yes, I think your flowers turned out well too! It is a beautiful block. And, I totally agree with your perspective on hand made!

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  5. I agree and you put it so well! Anything hand made is going to be unique as it will never be a 'carbon copy' of anything else. That is what makes it special. I can't believe those flowers are so tiny! I love them more and more each week.

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    1. I just finished the block! Feels good to move on to the last one!

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  6. Well said ! Your work is uniquely yours and you should enjoy the process, not worry about each stitch.

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    1. I am sure there are many that get a lot of joy from machine work, but for me I love making stitches with my needle and thread.

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  7. I love your hand work. Those flowers are so beautiful. I love looking at the wonky stitches in old quilts. Perfection is over-rated in quilts. It is the time, thought and love the quilter puts into each quilt that matters the most.

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    1. I hope that hand work can survive and be appreciated in the future.

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  8. Very wise thought Carla - thanks so much for sharing them! I love your floral block and I think it looks perfect!!! Needleturn is a definite challenge and you've done it very well :)

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    1. Thanks Teresa! I love the process and definitely love the look!

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  9. Exactly! it is easy to get stressed about things not being perfect, the best quilts I think are those with quirky details like chopped off points!

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    1. I agree, the quirky quilts always noticed! It is such a good feeling to just enjoy the stitching!

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  10. That is absolutely beautiful! It is great that you love the handmade look too!

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    1. I have always loved antique quilts! I am so glad that I took the time and effort to learn needleturn applique, such an addicting process. I thoroughly have enjoyed the journey!

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  11. So well said. While I always try my best, I've learned to let go of unrealistic expectations ... the only purpose those unrealistic expectations serve is to threaten to steal the joy of hand quilting/hand stitching.

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  12. We have too many unrealistic expectations in life, it causes so much stress, I stitch to get away from that! Happy Stitching!

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  13. There is something special about the character in a hand stitched piece. Thanks for an inspiring post. Very nice work!

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  14. Such a wonderful block, I love it! I enjoyed reading your post and agree with you about the hand stitches.

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  15. Yes, we are very hard on ourselves and when we don't reach perfection, we give up. I keep saying to myself " I can't get better without practice." Just have fun and do one's best. Love your flowers.

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  16. I am never attached to a quilt that I have done completely by machine - normally I can care less about it after I have machine quilted it - a pity but it's the truth - it lacks something to me even if others like it. I love your applique - you are right - we try to do it so there are no "mistakes" in it but yet we can't really have perfection can we -

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  17. Your wreath is AMAZING!!! Almost wants to make me try appliqué...almost.

    I actually LOVE imperfections in a quilt or any handwork. Even the Navajo weavers always made a small "mistake" in their rugs because no one could be perfect except the creator.
    Debbie
    ===^..^===

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  18. A very inspiring post to read Carla... thanks for the reminder!
    Your stitching looks amazing by the way!!

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  19. Aside from the fact that this block is gorgeous as is, I love the play of light and shadows across it in your photos :)

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    1. I liked it too! My photos are nothing like your gorgeous photos. But I do love going out and taking close up photos in my garden. I come in and am amazed, we miss so much when we don't take the time to check out the details.

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