April 3, 2017: A lot of hand stitching!; Orchids in Thailand

Greetings!  8 days from now I have my orthopedic follow up visit and will find out if I can stop wearing the brace on my right leg.   The brace not only prevents me from driving, but also prevents me from using my sewing machine except on a very limited basis for a few minutes at a time.  So for 2 months I have focused on hand stitching and am really enjoying it.  I hadn’t meant to spend this part of the year on my yearly “Trio of Doll Quilts” but after fussy cutting and hand stitching several hexagons for doll quilt #1, I have continued for the entire trio.  I recently put the border on the first one, mitering the corners.  Here it is (click on pics for enlargements/closeups):

Then I started experimenting with making half hexagons for an “inner city” pattern I’ve always admired for the second doll quilt and here is what I have sewn together so far:

I’m finding the stitching of these hexagons to be very easy and relaxing!  So, since my last post, I decided to continue using EPP for this year’s third doll quilt.  It will be an Amish style “trip around the world” pattern.  I am using EPP to put the one inch squares together.  I know some will consider this crazy, i.e. using this method instead of just a simple running stitch to put squares together, but I am liking it and liking the result so far.  Here is the center:

This is 5 inches square – the center, before borders, will be 13 inches square.  Of course, I will hand quilt all 3 doll quilts when the tops are complete.

And speaking of hand quilting, I have completed 11 1/2 of 56 1/2 Baptist fans on “Stardust.”

I have never really kept track of how much time it takes me to make a quilt, but just for fun I decided to time how long it takes me to hand quilt one of these fans.  I mark each fan separately as I go and load about 14 needles of thread for each fan.  Including the time for that, it takes just over 3 hours per fan.   That means  I’ll spend approximately 160 hours just for the fans, not counting the borders.  And, of course, that doesn’t include piecing all the stars and appliquéing the borders and sewing all the pieces together!  All of that would add hundreds more hours to the total!  Any quilt like this one, especially when hand quilted, is truly a labor of love.  The appraised value will probably never reflect the value of all those hours spent!!

I do love the hand stitching and do a lot of thinking during that time, or I listen to music and relax.  I plan projects and make designs in my head.  I think about life in general and how best to live it.  I pay attention to my “inside life.”  Here is a quote from Jeanette Winterson that I saw on Judy Martin’s blog recently that I really like:

“Life has an inside as well as an outside.  Consumer culture directs all resources and attention to life on the outside.  What happens to the inner life?  Art is never a luxury because it stimulates and responds to the inner life.  We are badly out of balance.  I don’t think of art/creativity as a substitute for anything else.  I see it as a powerful expression of our humanity – and on the side of humanity under threat.  If we say art is a luxury, we might as well say that being human is a luxury.”

I’ll end this post today with several pictures of orchids I took when we visited an orchid farm in Thailand.  These are gorgeous!!!  Please click on the pics to enlarge them so you can really enjoy the beauty of the flowers:

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,   Gladi

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4 thoughts on “April 3, 2017: A lot of hand stitching!; Orchids in Thailand

  1. Wendy C. Reed

    So happy to hear that you are having fun with the doll quilt trio. They will all be wonderful. I especially like the hexagons. I rarely record the actual time spent on making my quilts. I did it once and it shocked me so that I decided never to do it again. I do record what I am working on each day in a diary on my sewing room table. It is fun to go back through the old calendars and see what I was working on way back when. I LOVE Judy Martin’s quote. There is indeed no substitute for how art feeds the soul. I think it is twofold with hand quilting it soothes the eyes and the hands. My grandfather used to say that wood warms you twice, once when you chop it and once when you burn it. That is the way I feel about hand quilting!

    Reply
    1. gladiporsche Post author

      Thanks, Wendy. I don’t believe it will become a habit for me to count my hours quilting as it is time well spent and I’m not concerned, but sometimes it’s fun just to get an idea. I like the idea of the daily diary and may consider doing something like that. I like your grandfather’s saying!!! Also – I just saw the pics from the AQS show on your blog – thanks so much for sharing. Wish I could have gone! Looks like the first quilt show I’ll make it to this year is Vermont. Maybe I’ll see you there! Gladi

      Reply
  2. Paul McKenna

    Trusting all goes well with your orthopaedic follow up, Gladi! Some fine and fascinating work going on with your quilting (as always). We assume that Al is well immersed in trip planning for September and we are just a little bit jealous…Cheers, Paul

    Reply
  3. Lee

    Gladi: so intrigued by Baptist free motion quilting, I’m bringing the idea to the attention of my fellow minister (Baptist) in town here. Do let us know on your next blog (or otherwise) how the check up goes on the 11th.

    Reply

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