Why Appliqué? Why hand work?
Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 9:55PM
Webmaster of JTQuilt in Applique

The rocking of the needle has always added a rhythm to my life. It is my rocking chair.

When I have something that I need to ponder and simmer in the back of my mind, hand quilting or red work type embroidery, where the same stitch is repeated, lets me think about the problem without really thinking. The best for this is whole cloth quilting. Just follow the pre-printed lines with the same stitch and rock away your troubled thoughts.


With appliqué or hand piecing, my corners always meet and my points are never cut off.


If you can draw it (or trace it) you can reproduce it in appliqué.


I can sew for two minutes or two hours any place without any set ups. I like to get several blocks and projects cut and ready and then pick up what ever suits my mood. Some can be carried with me to meetings or waiting rooms; some need me sitting in my favorite chair and light; some are mindless and some require creative thought and extra tools. None require me to be away from the family room. In the few minutes I am waiting for dinner to cook or want to relax before bed, I can get a couple of leaves done and soon, the whole block is completed.


There is almost no math or cutting patches the wrong size. Less fabric is needed for the patches so you can buy 10 fat quarters of green to choose from instead buying yards of few fabrics and still not have the amount you need. With all those pieces to choose from, you will be more creative and open to varying your palette.


The tools are simple and easily carried along in case there is time to sew.


Everyone is impressed with your skill and the time that it takes when you know that you only had to perfect a couple of stitches and have found ways to make it look like more work than it is. Good machine quilting takes a lot of practice and is very hard to ‘undo’.


How can a person sit and watch TV without keeping their hands busy? There are no calories in needle work.


You get to hold and feel the fabric while you are working with it. In the winter you can cover up with a quilt at the same time you are quilting it.


I don’t understand people who don’t enjoy hand work. I find the simplicity and rhythm of it freeing.


When I make a pattern that was done by women generations ago I can feel a connection knowing that we still have the same reasons for making that special quilt as a gift, to mark a life’s milestone, or just to express creative self.


Article originally appeared on Innovative Quilt Patterns by JTQuilt (http://www.jtquilt.com/).
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