curvylou

textiles · exploration · misadventure


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Blasting Away

handstitching (9)

That binding is DONE.

I’m moving on to the next step, hand-stiching a small portion of the quilt top, instead of machine sewing it.

When I was putting this together, choosing colors and fabrics and putting them up on my design wall, the thorough “newness” of it all nibbled away at my sense of what’s right in a textile. It was all brand new fabric, all matchy-matchy, nothing about it but the stitching would be made by me. And that bothered me.

I’m SO used to the things I make having an entirely hand-made character, because usually I’ve knit them, or spun them, or both, and they ARE entirely hand-fashioned. Since I wasn’t actually willing to hand-weave the fabric for a quilt—which sounds like both an exercise in insanity AND an intriguing challenge to me now that I’m thinking about it—I HAD to use commercial fabric.

This quilt needed a touch of whimsy, of purposeful disparity, and that’s when I started adding patches from Matt’s boxer shorts fabrics, a little yarn, thread, and fabric collage of my own, and one dark, dull, large, frayed, oddball piece. Additionally, I planned to leave a small swath unquilted by the machine, and instead to stitch that by hand. Emotionally those things gave this quilt a feeling of home for me, of belovedness and handmadeness that it lacked.

handstitching (6)At left is the large, dark, frayed piece, almost entirely stitched down now, by hand. Above it, all the way to the blue binding, is the swath still left to hand stitch.

handstitching (3)

I wish it was bigger. I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy the hand stitching.