I've always avoided hand-work like the plague if I could help it. I hand sewed the back of my binding, but that was it. Everything else was done by machine. I would listen to you folks talk about how relaxing it was to do your applique, binding, hand quilting - in the living room with the family with the TV on. I could never do that because I had too many large long haired dogs vying for the spot next to me on the sofa and I don't like getting dog hair on my quilting stuff.
Well ... unfortunately we lost two of our dogs fairly recently and I now only have one. We also completely redecorated the family room complete with hard wood floor and new furniture. The remaining dog (named Pig) has not even attempted to come up on the new sofa and I'm going to keep it that way!
The quilt I'm working on now I decided on doing applique. I was originally planning on raw edge, but decided to add some needle turn to it and for the first time I'm finishing my raw edge with decorative wool yarn blanket stitch.
I've been sewing like a mad woman! I can sit and sew and watch the olympics all at the same time, and I just came in from the garden where I was sitting in my favorite bench in the shade sewing - it's one of the first NICE day's we've had in soooo long that I didn't want it to go to waste.
I was SOOOOO wrong. I am LOVING "hand work"!!!
PS: As for the quality of my hand work, it's evident that I'm a neophyte - but I can see and feel that I'm improving. The needle turn is the biggest challenge especially since I'm not using any stabilizer at all. I just cut the shape, trim the edges for turns, and start sewing.