I love hand piecing. There’s something about pulling a needle and thread through cloth that soothes me. It’s the rare day that I don’t have to do a little stitching before going to bed. Most of the time, it’s during the couple of hours after supper when we watch tv.
Even after spending hours in my sewing room as I did yesterday, cutting and sewing at the machine, I still find it necessary to unwind by stitching a bit.
My current project is pictured here. Log cabin-style blocks that approximate 5” finished. Mostly in blues and whites. I was inspired by a blog entry by Jude Hill a few weeks ago when she was piecing some free form log cabins. I started my own and can’t stop. It’s so addictive. Part of the fun is using special fabrics. Many of these pieces came from clothing remnants, some from scraps of vintage linens. I selected some special fabrics to be the “heart” of the blocks, too. Some bits of embroidery, some pieces of a friend’s silk jacket, various old treasures lying about.
In theory, the blocks start with 1” squares and use 1” logs. But, if the chosen center element is larger, I just adjust as I go. I have some templates lying nearby and use them sometimes, but other times I just eyeball it and start stitching.
I’m using Jude’s technique of invisible basting the seam allowances open, too. It makes subsequent stitching so pleasant.
I have no plan. I’m just stitching for fun. Enjoying the process, letting the assembly evolve. I did scatter a few blocks on the design wall a few days ago, on top of a piece of silk I had dipped in the dye pot. Here’s how that looked.
Some years ago, I made this little wall hanging. (I wrote about this before, remembering that I sewed the binding on while visiting a B & B.) Here, I hand pieced tumbling blocks from assorted blue fabrics. Then I did use a template to have exactly the same sized blocks, and I used commercial fabric. I collected beloved blue fabrics, including the fossil fern (I love that fabric!) in the border.
Generally, commercial fabrics are not nearly so much fun to stitch as the softer, thinner, more loosely woven fabrics I’m using now. And the memories ….memories of the homespun jumper my mother made for me and I wore for years, the shirt Jim wore with his overalls, the threadbare linen jacket of mine, and the remnants I dyed indigo last summer make these pieces special to handle. Those memories don’t come off a bolt in a store.