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Thread: Discovering that I LIKE "hand work"!!

  1. #1
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Discovering that I LIKE "hand work"!!

    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.

    Hand work.

    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.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  2. #2
    Senior Member bigdogmom's Avatar
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    I also love hand work.I enjoy piecing, red work and hand quilting while sitting in the family room with husband. I also love my machine and how quickly things can get done with that method. Saving for a long arm machine now so I can get more done before I die! So sorry to hear of your dogs passing. Our 12 year old yellow lab died the day after my birthday. Boy,was she a shedder,white hair! we now just have the chocolate lab,eh.o can make hand work difficult because he wants me to pet him every second I am sitting in my sewing chair.Got to love dogs! happy hand sewing!
    Celia

  3. #3
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    I am with you, I love piecing by machine but I also LOVE hand work, I have a hand piecing project to take with me when I am out and about and a needleturn applique project which stays at home as I need really good light to do that well. I completed 2 wallhangings by hand last year, it's amazing how much you can get done during the time you otherwise wouldn't be sewing.
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  4. #4
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I would just as soon do only hand work. Machines and I don't get along. And I love sitting in a comfy chair!

  5. #5
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    I have rediscovered embroidery with Red Work and I love it. It gives me a nice break away from the machine and I can sit, embroider and watch TV.

  6. #6
    Junior Member quiltingb1's Avatar
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    I too love doing handwork. Love the look of needleturn applique when finished and just enjoy sitting relaxing in the rocking chair on my front porch or in my comfy armchair watching TV while doing handwork. It's my favorite form of stress relief!!

  7. #7
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Yay! Welcome to the club, we'll send your jacket out - as soon as we're done hand-sewing it, lol! I mix it up by doing both hand and machine piecing, but I love to sit with my DH in the evenings and do hand work. He is so often gone on business....

    I'm so sorry on the loss of your doggies. We lost Zeus last month while we were attending my FIL's memorial service, he died while we were gone. Boy, that really knocked me off my feet. I never really considered myself a dog person, but that big goofy poop factory sure did worm his way into my heart, with his cold wet nose and thumpy tail first thing every morning. Jeez.

  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i too love hand work- when i want to (get er done) i go to the machine- but i always have some sort of hand project to work on too- it gives me (quality time) with hubby- if i spend all my time hiding away in the sewing room he wonders if i'm mad about something- in the evening after dinner i generally grab what ever project i feel like working on & go sit with him in the living room- watch tv, visit & sew- currently i'm spending lots of time on that English Paper Piecing Hexagon project i've been working on but i also have a Cathedral Windows in the works, an embroidered blocks project, a locker hook rug i'm almost done with, and 2 hand wool projects- (paper cut - hawian applique style) project- and a wool crazy quilt project- so i have lots to choose from- even though those hex's have been my main focus for the past month or so- it is relaxing, and i feel like i'm accomplishing something- and still there sharing/spending time with hubby.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  9. #9
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    I have always done my quilts by hand. None of them have ever seen a sewing machine. I take my on airplanes, dr. offices, hair salon, and anywhere else I can work on it. I have a rolling computer bag that goes everywhere. Plus I have my quilting frame set up in my family room so I can always be with the family when I'm working on it. They call the area behind the frame my fortress of sanity. LOL.
    Cajon Mama

  10. #10
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    For many years, I would say that if God wanted me to do handwork, the machine would never have been invented. Then, I tried needleturn applique as a take-along project. Was I ever hooked!! I am never without a hand project now. I sew on the subway to and from work, on trips, when I sit with DH in front of the TV, outside on nice days...I am now an applique afficianada.

  11. #11
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    I LOVE hand piecing and quilting. It's relaxing and I can pick it up or put it down even if I've only done 2 or 3 stitiches. Another thing-----you know how it seems that a dog can tell if a person is dog friendly or not and will react accordingly. Well, the same thing goes for sewing machines for me. When I get near one, the machine seems to sense that I'm not particuarly crazy about it. If I sit down to sew, these things seems to happen--the bobbin runs out of thread, the thread breaks, thread "bunches"up under the piece I'm sewing on. Well, you get the picture. So, I stay clear of all machines--especially sewing machines! So, my needle and thread just keep sewing away.

  12. #12
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    i love hand work as well. when i first tried needle turn applique, i used regular sewing thread and a typical sewing needle. i took a class where a smaller, thinner needle was handed out and we used silk thread... made all the difference in the world. now the hand work is a pleasure.
    KnitnNan

  13. #13
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knitnnan View Post
    i love hand work as well. when i first tried needle turn applique, i used regular sewing thread and a typical sewing needle. i took a class where a smaller, thinner needle was handed out and we used silk thread... made all the difference in the world. now the hand work is a pleasure.
    I have not tried silk thread yet, using my Aurifil 50wt (which is a lighter 50wt, but no where near silk). I did experiment with different length needles and I prefer the shortest needle I have (for the needle turn), but am stuck with a larger one for the wool yarn.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  14. #14
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    I almost always have 2 quilt tops going at the same time, one for the machine and one hand work. I am in my sewing room during the day, and in the evening Im in front of the TV in my chair doing hand work. I never could just "sit" and watch TV, my hands need to be busy doing something. Football season will be starting soon, so I will be doing lots of hand work. I love Football!

  15. #15
    Super Member janedee's Avatar
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    BRILLIANT another quilter converted to hand work can't beat it so relaxing - I actually did some sewing on the machine today - what a bore but now can sit and do the quilting by hand

  16. #16
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    I agree with you!! I must always prepare some handwork to do at night!! Here's a very good method for applique that really made an improvement in my work!

    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    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.

    Hand work.

    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.
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
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    Kitsie

  17. #17
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    I have not tried silk thread yet, using my Aurifil 50wt (which is a lighter 50wt, but no where near silk). I did experiment with different length needles and I prefer the shortest needle I have (for the needle turn), but am stuck with a larger one for the wool yarn.
    I, too, love to do all kinds of handwork (back in the day I did needlepoint, crewel work, embroidery & counted cross stitch). I like to do all my applique by hand (tho I'm not crazy about the turning under part). I find it super relaxing & I can do it while I do other things (like watch TV). I also really love doing the hand work on my bindings.
    (`v)
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    (.(. (..`..♥ rebecca

  18. #18
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackie Spencer View Post
    I almost always have 2 quilt tops going at the same time, one for the machine and one hand work. I am in my sewing room during the day, and in the evening Im in front of the TV in my chair doing hand work. I never could just "sit" and watch TV, my hands need to be busy doing something. Football season will be starting soon, so I will be doing lots of hand work. I love Football!
    Man, I hear that? My favorite thing to do in the whole wide world? Watch/listen to either a football game or a hockey match while I do any kind of sewing. Nirvana!!! Go, Broncos! Go, Red Wings! Woo hoo!
    (`v)
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    .
    .*).*)
    (.(. (..`..♥ rebecca

  19. #19
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I also love handwork. I have made a few of my earlier quilts all by hand. I still enjoy hand quilting. Plus I love counted cross stitch and doing needlepoint. I like it ALL.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  20. #20
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    I thought that I was the only one that named my dog Pig, well, Piggy. We had to put him down last month, he was 14-15 years old.
    As for the dog hair, I sit on my bed and sew my squares together and I have one long haired dog and I have to make sure that I don't let him lay on my quilt, even though I will wash it before I start putting it on the quilting table.
    I also am new to quilting and started it when my friend did as part of our Civil War Re-enacting. So everything has to be done by hand. I am making a king size quilt and my friend is doing a cot size like the soldiers had.
    Learning is a never ending process. Kimberly Moffitt Adams

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