Stormy Sunday

Sunday was a miserable day. Grey, wet and wild. The highest tides in 20 years.  Today’s no different with it’s near horizontal hail stones lashing the skin if you dare to go out. I was agitated yesterday, feeling guilty that I didn’t have the motivation to brave the weather and go for a run or a long walk to the coast. But once I’d let go of the guilt and settled down with some hand quilting I felt like I was stitching things back in place.

I turned on the laptop and put on a film quietly in the background (I’m one those weirdos that doesn’t have a tv!).  It was a silly film, Gambit (the remake), great acting, predictable, stereo-typed characters and plot – perfect to stitch to when you need a little bit of concentration for the work in hand!

Quilting the borders with Anchor Perle Cotton, © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Quilted circles in Anchor perle cotton thread

By the end of the film I’d stitched the last circle on my August Rain quilt. Then it dawned on me: I’d finished the quilting.  Excited, I took out the basting stitches and gave it a press to square it up. I was pretty surprised to find it was already fairly square and just needed some minor trimming. I don’t know, but I wonder if it kept its shape better because I’d zigzag stitched around the patchwork before I made the quilt sandwich. What’s your experience, is this something you usually do? If this is the result, it’s something I’d definitely do again, because it saved so much time and stress.

Because I’d finished it up earlier than expected I decided to get on with the binding. I’d chosen a Phillip Jacobs fabric, Petunias (which is the same as the fabric I used on the back in a lighter colour way), and worked out I needed to make 6m. I used this quick method to make it, cut on the bias.

Binding for a hand quilted patchwork quilt © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Blue Binding

Late in the evening I decided to do a different kind of slow stitching and put Mary (my hand cranked Singer) to a proper test.  Until now, I’ve used her for a few small things, but wanted to find out how easy it would be to work with her on a larger project.  It was a wonderful experience. The sound of the machine’s wheels turning was soothing and I enjoyed stopping every 6 inches or so to feed the next bit of binding under the foot. It gave me the opportunity to make sure everything was lined up properly, because I don’t bother to use pins when I’m binding.

Sewing binding on with a hand cranked vintage Singer sewing machine, © Stephanie Boon, 2015, www.DawnChorusStudio.com

A different kind of slow stitching

I had to laugh though – every now and then I caught myself pressing an invisible peddle with my foot! If you fancy slowing down your stitching, but aren’t quite ready to have a go at hand piecing or quilting, giving a hand cranked vintage machine a go will take you to whole different world.  Forget your state of the art computerised affair and step back into the world of careful, considered sewing, enjoy the sounds and the slow stitching in the moment.

Linking up with the lovely Kathy and friends for Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy’s Quilts. I’ll be back Wednesday with some work in progress.

PS Have you seen the latest Dawn Chorus Studio newsletter?  This week there are great links to appliqué inspiration, some colourful quilts and interesting articles from around the web for you.

Dawn Chorus Studio newsletter. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Until Wednesday, happy stitching!

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8 replies
  1. Vivian
    Vivian says:

    I love how you put it: hand quilting as a means to “stitch things back into place”. The perfect metaphor for being in and sewing on a stormy day. Did you use the hand crank machine to sew the binding onto just the back (for later hand finishing) or did you also machine stitch it down on the front?

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Hi Vivian, thanks for coming over 🙂 I plan to hand finish the binding, I love the process and I can’t understand why some people want to get it over and done with by machine! I think it’s that last bit of hand stitched love that goes into it that makes it special for me – not sure when I got so sentimental though!!! (Old age?!?!)

  2. pbarretthill
    pbarretthill says:

    Very cool! I enjoy your sentiment about braving the winter weather to go for a walk, but staying inside and snuggling up with a quilt project is much preferred. I love your choice of binding! Lol, I know what you mean about pressing your “pedal” even when there isn’t one. Last week my bernina 820 was in the shop, so I got out the little machine which requires manual placing the foot in sewing position. It took at least a half hour for that to sink in! Anyhoo, happy sewing, no matter the mode!

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thank you – the binding fabric is a wonderful design when you leave it on a big scale, but I liked the colour for this project so went with it anyway! Love your Bernina story – it’s a bit like driving in the passenger seat isn’t it?!!!

  3. Ann
    Ann says:

    Congratulations on reaching the binding stage. I love your label. I usually just machine stitch my name and date on the quilt but need to try your method. Certainly prettier.
    I used my grandmother’s cabinet Singer for year that had a knee lever on the side to run the machine. It was quite an issue when I switched to Bernina. Kept trying to run the machine and only got the presser foot to lift.

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      It’s good to get to this stage Ann, at last! Can you imagine us all over the world sitting there arguing with our sewing machines because they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do, haha!! I’m soooo glad it’s not just me 😉


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