Friday, June 18, 2010

Hand Piecing

Here's the other hand piecing project I worked on while I was recovering from foot surgery. It's called Bride's Pride, and I got it from the June 1978 issue of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. This issue was published back in the Precambrian Period which means that the templates were printed without seam allowances. Yes, boys and girls, I traced them onto translucent template plastic and carefully inked the match points with a fine-tipped Sharpie marker. Then I traced around each template on the wrong side of my fabric with a pencil, added a 1/4 inch seam allowance, cut out each patch with scissors, and stitched them together by hand.

Why, you may ask, would any quilter-- here in the technological vastness of the future -- go to so much trouble? Personally, I always thought I'd be one of those "life is too short for hand piecing" kinda gals until I discovered this little secret: piecing curves is far easier by hand than by machine. Hand piecing is also portable and can be easily done in bed (or other locations where a sewing machine would be inconvenient). And there is something inherently satisfying about making things "from scratch."

But if I'm going to invest the time to piece by hand, the project has got to have some sort of "wow" factor such as curves. That's why once these blocks are finished, I'm thinking of joining them by machine. (Straight seams -- ho, hum.) But I'll definitely do the quilting by hand. And when it's finished this quilt will go on my bed. (That's why I'm leaving out the hearts that are supposed to be appliqued in the white space where four adjoining blocks meet. No bridal motifs for this widow's bed!)

By the way, making templates is my least favorite part of the process. I recommend the nice metal templates made by Ardco. I wish they'd had this particular pattern.


Quilter Kathy said...

Very cool block! Enjoy the hand piecing! i find it very relaxing once you have everything organized.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...