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Thread: Hand Quilting Funny Story

  1. #1
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    I have a young person (he's 5) who comes to visit me every now and then, the son of one of my employees. Evan. He's such a character, and his grandma does machine embroidery for a living. She does all of our company shirts, hats, etc.

    He was looking at my quilting frame yesterday, and said, "what is this???"

    I explained that it was a quilting frame, that I was making a quilt for my son, blah, blah.

    He said, "How are you sewing it? I mean, where is the machine???"

    I held up my needle and thread. His eyes got BIG! He said, "Isn't that, like, the OLD FASHIONED WAY??? Why would you want to do it like THAT?"

    Bad part is, I couldn't think of an answer. Cause I like it, and really find it relaxing? Because if no one keeps up the old skills, pretty soon no one will know how to do it? Because my Mama did it?

    He just looked at me like I was some sort of lunatic, and left.

  2. #2
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    Ah yes, the generation gap. Or the total comprehension gap. When I did my avatar quilt for my grandpa, after he died and I got it back, I lent it to a quilt show in his home town. Before I sent it I had it appraised, and was blown away when the appraisal was in the thousands of dollars. Well!!! When I told my colleagues at work, one of the younger girls said, "It would have been a lot easier and cheaper just to buy him a quilt. Why go to all that trouble and expense?" There just isn't an answer they will understand.

  3. #3
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    My grandkids kind of look at me like that sometimes too -- they just don't know what needle and thread are for, unless it's attached to the sewing machine :lol: :lol:

  4. #4
    Senior Member quiltingbee12's Avatar
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    LOL!!

  5. #5
    k3n
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    Hey Momtomom - because if there's a power cut, YOUR 'sewing machine' still works! And it's completely portable! And it doesn't annoy anyone else if you do it watching TV! LOL!

  6. #6
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaigai
    Ah yes, the generation gap. Or the total comprehension gap. When I did my avatar quilt for my grandpa, after he died and I got it back, I lent it to a quilt show in his home town. Before I sent it I had it appraised, and was blown away when the appraisal was in the thousands of dollars. Well!!! When I told my colleagues at work, one of the younger girls said, "It would have been a lot easier and cheaper just to buy him a quilt. Why go to all that trouble and expense?" There just isn't an answer they will understand.
    Exactly. How can I explain that when I sit down to hand quilt, the house is quiet, the others have all gone to bed, and I can feel my grandmother's and great-grandmother's blood running through my veins? How can I explain that calming feeling that floods over me, that slows the world down to a pace that I can really enjoy?

    Of course you can buy a quilt. Of course you could make it faster on the machine. But the PROCESS, the sitting and watching a thing being created under your fingers with only a scrap of fabric, a needle and a thread, and your imagination, cannot be equaled. Some will always find it slow and frustrating. But I find it ties me to my ancestral heritage in ways that no other effort does.

  7. #7
    k3n
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    Beautifully put Momtomom! You're absolutely spot on - it's that link with previous generations and the art of creating something with your own two hands that makes hand sewing so special! It's the 'thread' that binds us to our fore-mothers!

  8. #8
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    motomom, I know just how you feel, it isn't always about the result, it's about the journey. I would rather be sitting at my frame quilting, than anything else I can think of.
    I told my grandson, that it is the same feeling he gets when he goes fishing, you could buy fish an lot easier and faster and cheaper, but it's the journey he enjoys! Most of the time he throws the fish back and yet he can't wait to go fishing again! LOL He said awe , I get it , you do it because you enjoy it! LOL I said yes, son, that's why.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    The satifaction of making something by hand cannot be understood by some people both old and young... more often the feeling of accomplishment comes from a good day of shopping for ready-mades :? We also have a generation now, that checks out the box checkers come in, looking for the electrical plug :shock: :roll:

  10. #10
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    The satifaction of making something by hand cannot be understood by some people both old and young... more often the feeling of accomplishment comes from a good day of shopping for ready-mades :? We also have a generation now, that checks out the box checkers come in, looking for the electrical plug :shock: :roll:
    When we were in England recently, we rented a holiday cottage and the first day, Lily came into the kitchen with her dirty cup. 'where's the dishwasher?' she asked (she's well trained, even aged 4 LOL!) There isn't one, said I. Her face fell 'then how do we wash the dishes?' DUH! :oops: :lol:

  11. #11
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    When we were in England recently, we rented a holiday cottage and the first day, Lily came into the kitchen with her dirty cup. 'where's the dishwasher?' she asked (she's well trained, even aged 4 LOL!) There isn't one, said I. Her face fell 'then how do we wash the dishes?' DUH! :oops: :lol:
    We recently had a young friend "house-sit" our home while we were out of town. He did the dishes for me, bless his heart, but we don't have a dishwasher. When I picked up the dishes he had "washed," I was disappointed to feel a film of grease on each one. I had to rewash the whole bunch.

    Since he is now living on his own, in a little apartment with no dishwasher, I sat him down and taught him how to properly wash dishes. It was a little embarrassing for him to realize that he didn't know how, but I didn't want him to make himself sick eating off of dirty dishes!!! He had grown up with a dishwasher, and didn't have a clue that his dishes weren't clean enough to stay healthy.

  12. #12
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Most people don't understand the need to quilt. Thanks goodness for this site. We understand each other.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninnie
    motomom, I know just how you feel, it isn't always about the result, it's about the journey. I would rather be sitting at my frame quilting, than anything else I can think of.
    I told my grandson, that it is the same feeling he gets when he goes fishing, you could buy fish an lot easier and faster and cheaper, but it's the journey he enjoys! Most of the time he throws the fish back and yet he can't wait to go fishing again! LOL He said awe , I get it , you do it because you enjoy it! LOL I said yes, son, that's why.
    that about sums it up[b]

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    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    Motomom there are a lot of adults who don't know how to and care to wash dishes properly. I am glad you taught that young guy how to do it.

  15. #15
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I admire you hand quilters. I dont have that kind of patience, too many quilts I want to make.
    I dont even hand embroidery anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darlene
    Motomom there are a lot of adults who don't know how to and care to wash dishes properly. I am glad you taught that young guy how to do it.
    You mean, you're supposed to wash dishes? I just rinse and reuse. :lol:

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mytwopals
    Quote Originally Posted by Darlene
    Motomom there are a lot of adults who don't know how to and care to wash dishes properly. I am glad you taught that young guy how to do it.
    You mean, you're supposed to wash dishes? I just rinse and reuse. :lol:
    if you have a dog, he could lick it nice and clean

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Quote Originally Posted by mytwopals
    Quote Originally Posted by Darlene
    Motomom there are a lot of adults who don't know how to and care to wash dishes properly. I am glad you taught that young guy how to do it.
    You mean, you're supposed to wash dishes? I just rinse and reuse. :lol:
    if you have a dog, he could lick it nice and clean
    I let the dog lick them, before I rinse them off. It's sort of a treat for her. :lol:

  19. #19
    MCH
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    Am in total agreement about the "connections" with those who have gone before us, all wrapped up in a simple needle and thread.

    Earlier this year, my Mother passed away. She was in St. Louis in a skilled care facility and I'm in California. My brother, bless him, held the phone to Mother's ear while I said "Good-bye" to her the day before she passed away. She was unable to speak, but I could her changes in her breathing as I mentioned various times and people. My brother told me she knew exactly who was speaking with her and what I was saying. She even managed a grin or two.

    As I was speaking with her, I reminded of the story of Moses when Moses was instructed to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses protested that he wasn't qualified. The question put to Moses was, "What's that in your hand?" In Moses' hand was his shepherd's stick. It was with that simple stick that Moses was able to lead people, and accomplish things he could never had anticipated.

    It's the same with a needle and thread.

    Using that story, I was able to thank my Mother for passing on the skill to me of using a needle and thread, a skill taught to her by her Mother and Grandmother. I knew both my Grandmother and Great-Grandmother. A needle and thread was never far from them.

    As I said to my Mom, it may have been a simple tool, but knowing how to use that simple tool and a sewing machine is what enabled me to make clothes for myself when I was in college and a young married, clothes for my sons, items for my home, and gifts for family and friends. That legacy she passed to me, is just "part of me", now.

    About 4 years ago for Christmas I gave her a beautiful flannel quilt I had made. The piecing was done by machine, but the binding was hand-stitched. I find great "therapy" in hand-stitching a binding.

    Mother was so proud of that quilt. "Madolyn made that for me."

    Yes, I can use a sewing maching with the best of 'em. But, sitting quietly with the fabric, the needle, and the thread, is almost like having those women sitting with me. I can hear them talking. I can hear them encouraging the young girl trying to improve her skills and their praise when I completed a project.

    I sewed the clothes on the machine, but 99% of the hems were stitched by hand. You could hardly see the stitches on the "right" side.

    Before I said that last "I love you and it's OK to go now, Mother," I thanked her for putting that needle and thread in my hand.

    Afterwards, my brother told me Mother smiled and nodded slightly. Within 24 hours she passed peacefully away.

    I will always be grateful to my Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother for showing me how to use a needle and thread to exploit and enjoy my talent. It has been their gift to me.

    I will also be grateful to my sister-in-law for making sure, at my request, a new needle and thread were tucked into the jacket that was on my Mother at her funeral and remained there when they closed the casket.

    Never, ever underestimate the power and comfort a simple needle and thread can provide.

  20. #20
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    MCH -- your words moved me. I'm so sorry that you lost your mom but glad that you got to say "good bye".

    About those hand done hems -- I can remember my mom making me take it out and redoing until it was done to HER satisfaction. I lost my mom when I was 32 and feel that I lost a lot of knowledge, not only of quilting, but about life in general!

    Thanks for the reminder that we should always remember the ones who taught us our special skills!

  21. #21
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    MCH, I have tears in my eyes! I didn't get to say good-bye to my Mom who taught me to sew.

    I admire hand-quilters and have vowed to do one by hand someday!! Out of the mouths of babes - Evan is so cute to say that. The old fashioned way........

  22. #22
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    My Mom sewed all my clothes, but only quilted Cathedral Windows quilts for others in the family after I showed her how to do them. (I didn't get one because I knew how to do it myself!) I hand quilt, but use my machine for piecing. I LOVE doing things the Old-fashioned way! :lol:

  23. #23
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    He was very smart for five, but inexperienced. Maybe he went home and told his mom, and just maybe, she told him the reason she does it her way, is bc time is short. He needs to know there is more than one way.
    I guess, thanks to you, he does! :wink:

  24. #24
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    MCH, that is a wonderful story about your Mom. My Mom was also a wonderful seamstress...she made all my clothes..no hand-me-downs for me, I was the oldest girl in the family :D I can't tell you the number of times that I walked in after school on Fri. afternoon and said...by the way Mom...can you make me a dress for a dance tomorrow night?...Somehow she always pulled through. I lost her 11 yrs. ago..I didn't get to say goodbye and she never knew that I learned to quilt or sew. She did know about other crafty things though. I would really have loved to make her a quilt though.

  25. #25
    k3n
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    MCH - I was so moved by your story and I love the allegory with Moses and the Israelites. x

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