Friday, June 24, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

I'm saying TGIF wholeheartedly this week. It's been a long week and it's not quite over yet . The antidote to getting through one more day of work  is to think about something that makes me happy and that must mean it's time for Favourite Things Friday.




I bet my Mum is laughing her head off right now because despite her best efforts in my formative years this isn't something I would have classed as a favourite until quite recently.  It's like it was  hardwired into me during kidhood and finally came out all these years later.

I have always done my quilt binding by machine, basically because I'm lazy and by the time I get to that point I'm itching to move on to the next project. About 10 months ago someone (I think it was Elizabeth ) convinced me to try hand binding this quilt. I wasn't convinced but I gave it a go.


I hated how slow it was but I loved the results and so, almost every quilt I've made since then has had the binding done by hand. As far as I was concerned hand binding was a necessary evil. Sure -it made the binding look better but was it really worth the time and effort?

Something has happened to me over the last few months.



I've come to appreciate the art of hand sewing. There's something quite relaxing about the time it takes and how you can let your thoughts wander all over the place while you're doing it.


And while I don't think I'll ever be a genius at it ...


There's something about just sitting , slowly, peacefully stitching that makes me feel like a proper sewing person.

Emboldened by my binding successes I've moved  onto different sewing pastures.


And then onto to something different again ...


And while the end result isn't perfect there 's something about talking a needle and thread and your hands and making something pretty that just speaks to me.

Now when I look at something like this - I don't see hours of slow, boring sewing.


I see an opportunity to create something with my hands and my heart. And it makes me feel closer to the generations of accomplished woman who came before me and used their hands in the same way. So I'm just going to puddle along , doing hand sewing whether I'm fabulous at it or not and enjoying the ride.

Feel free to link up and let us know about your favourite thing this week.


31 comments:

Brenda said...

I too enjoy hand stitching the binding down. I love switching it up after doing so much on the machine. Also - it's a good excuse to sit around and watch tv...

Marg said...

So pleased you are finally enjoying hand stitching. It is a very pleasant way to spend the evening, and it's portable too. Love your cupcakes, very cute indeed, I'm looking forward to seeing what you are doing with them.

circle retreat quilter said...

There is something wonderful about sewing the binding. I am impatient also and sit in bed in the winter and have the quilt on the bed. My hubby has declared when are the pins going to be out. ahh 6 months later. oops..

Kate said...

Great favorite! Enjoy your puddling along. I like hand stitching. It's one of the things I learned from my Grandmother. She used to do hand quilting, but I never learned that to my great sorrow.

Baa-Me Kniits said...

I agree the hand stitched binding really finishes off the quilt. Great that you are branching out to more variations on the stitching theme :-)
Today is the last day before the kids have school holidays so I won't join in FTF this week as I am about to go back to bed and watch a video all snuggled up with a hottie and the cat :-)

Kris said...

Oh! So glad the looooong week is an Australia wide thing. I woke up this morning glad that the week is over and then as I got up and started doing I realised that I was prematurely grateful. One. More. Day. Your favourite thing today is mine also. Might join in with the ftf myself. Gotta go blog!

Mistea said...

Lovely favourite - I find hand stitching things allows me to enjoy the process too.
Loving those cupcakes.

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Wonderful favourite, especially the part about being connected to the generations before you. ☺ I love that cupcake! It's adorable. Whatcha gonna do with it? Curious sewers want to know. Happy TGIF! Hope its fabulously fast and the weekend here before you know it. ☺

Michelle Ridgway said...

I adore all forms of handstitching and like you Shay love the connection with the stitchers of the past. I am a very strange person I love handsewing the binding down.I enjoying looking at the quilting on the quilt and I feel a sense of achievement and peace as I stitch. I think your stitching is lovely and isn't the purpose of it all to enjoy the process and applaud our efforts. I don't subscribe to the stitching or quilting police...you're the only one you have to please.
Blessings Michelle

Michelle said...

As you already know, I'm a big fan of hand-sewing ~ binding, piecing, and quilting. You stated the reasons why beautifully.

Way to go on learning a new method.

Kris said...

I did it Shay! Hope you are having a great day!

Love Of Quilts said...

I have the same feeling when I am handsewing getting lost in thoughts. Trish

melissa said...

Theres nothing better than curling up on the couch with a bit of hand stitching, i love it. Especially this time of year!

Ann Marie said...

Oh I can't wait till Friday gets here either.........I don't have to go back to work for 16 days after that! Woo Hoo!!!

take the cake said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to hand sew, along with knitting and anything I can do by hand, it disconects my brain from reality and makes me feel at peace with the world. Unless of course I make a mistake and then have to undo something but even then there is the satisfaction of doing it again Ahh I just love hand sewing.

Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

Hi Shay

I'm with you on the binding, until recently I had always hand stitched my binding down. I was making a quick quilt with sherpa fleece on the back. I decided it looked too much like hard work to hand stitch it down so I did the machine finish thing. I didn't like it. I give a lot of quilts away so sitting stitching the binding down is my chance to enjoy and say "goodbye" to my quilt. If I haven't found a name for my quilt I often have a name pop into my mind as I stitch.
Keep on stitching
Linda
Taupo New Zealand

Amanda said...

Basically this week has been a bit crap so I am glad it is over. I hate hand stitching binding but I wouldn't do it any other way mind you, I am anal like that. But any other type of hand sewing has me in except cross stitch can't come at that, don't like the tiny whiny graphs to follow.

AnnieO said...

Working with a needle and thread is very relaxing for me too--I'm so glad you tried it and liked it! Creating from your very own stitch length and getting into a rhythm is very soul satisfying, I think :) Plus, it is so portable!

Kirsten's Cooking said...

I love your cupcakes even more now that we got a close-up picture! For trying something new, you're remarkably talented at it.

That's why I love using recipes that my grandmother made - way to continue the tradition of your mother and generations past!

Enjoy your weekend - hope you get to relax and get your crafty on :)

quiltygal said...

I love doing the binding ...love hand sewing too which is quite funny from someone who won't hand sew up a hem !!...looking forward to seeing you tomorrow :)

thea said...

I love your hand stitchery .. I have yet to branch out, but your projects are starting a bit of an urge .. I do my bindings by hand and love the way it looks ..

Nice FTF!

Katie said...

I also like to machine bind.

P. said...

Love your stitchery. It's so cool that you've found an affinity for hand stitching that makes you feel centered and connected. I must confess I'm usually in a hurry to get it done and the thought that hand stitching the binding is going to take sooooooo long usually wins out. This is a nice reminder to slow down and enjoy the process of needle and thread.

Cynthia L. said...

I love handwork! I, too, think it is very relaxing. It is nice to look at somehting your hands, not a machine, finished. Your Redwork is really pretty - can't wait to see what you do with it!

Kristie said...

My goodness, you create a frenzy of comments whenever you post!

Hand stitching has also become a favorite of mine, especially in winter months, curled up inside watching tv. I think that is the appeal for knitting, as well. Kind of nice to do something the "old fashioned" way. But being as impatient as I am, I will never eliminate machine quilting entirely! Yah, just too lazy....

73mw said...

Beautifully said Shay - machine sewing is great (I love it too) but I also love the different pace and completely different feeling of hand sewing. I do love your stitcheries!

Helsie said...

Whenever I was home from school sick as a child I would have some sort of sewing to keep me occupied ( before TV in the days when you stayed in bed if you were sick !)and I have always enjoyed it. It just needs a bit of organisation that's all.
cheers
Helen

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

I know what you mean. Maybe it is built into our genes or something.

Alisa said...

I have been moving more to embroidery as my chosen way to spend time. Although, knitting does still call to me. Love your FTF. So glad you found the joy in hand sewing.

Elizabeth said...

Yep, it was me who convinced you to give it a try. And your hand work is beautiful!

Great FTF!

xo -E

Vesuviusmama said...

This is definitely up there in my favorite Mrs. P posts EVER! I enjoy hand sewing as well, and when people look at me funny when I say I'm a hand quilted, that's OK; I know why I'm doing it.