Hand Quilt Along:

IMG_4901I love it . . . but I’m really sick of working on it.

I’ve loved the doing . . . but I want it done.

And it isn’t done. I believe I have 5 or 6 more blocks to do after this one is finished.

Plus I have to figure out how to quilt the sashing, those red stripes that separate the blocks. 

My progress is slow because I’m sick of the process and there are so many other things that, right now, I need to do or want to do more than this.

But I tell myself that I am close to the end and I mustn’t walk way now.

This block isn’t fully quilted yet. I will do more, probably in the white points of the star, before the next time we report in. 

My quilting isn’t very exciting. I’ve said before that I don’t have the patience for using stencils to draw curvy, involved patterns to quilt over so I tend to: 

  1. stitch in the ditch (right up against the seams in the fabric)IMG_4899 (2)
  2. stitch a quarter inch away from seamsVersion 2
  3. use masking tape to make grids or otherwise straight linesIMG_4562

I didn’t get a lot done in recent weeks but what I did do is a result of being a part of the HQAL group. 

The deadline to write a post about the quilt haunts me, nags me, irritates me, but, ultimately, lights a fire under me. 

And for that, I’m haunted. Nagged. Irritated. 

And grateful. 


This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyLoriMargaretKerryEmmaTracyDebConnieSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, and Gretchen

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59 thoughts on “Hand Quilt Along:

  1. Your hand quilting always puts me in awe of your skills. Do you use tape for the 1/4″? Either way, I’m still impressed. But, I understand how after working on a project for so long, you are ready for it to be finished. Impressive project that is going to make someone very happy.

    • I do use 1/4 inch tape–it’s a wonderful invention! When I am actually sitting and quilting, I really do enjoy the process–but I am having trouble forcing myself to sit down and start!

  2. Your hand quilting is exquisite, so I can quite see that it’s time-consuming. I also totally get that you can both love something and want it to be over! How about two equally spaced straight lines in each sashing strip? It would be quick, but would also make a feature of the sashing without shouting too loudly.

    • Thanks, Kate! I think your idea for the sashing is the way to go–I did it once before on a sashed quilt and it was fine. And it’s easy because, working at least 1/4″ out from the seams, I don’t have to stitch through extra layers. Onward . . .

  3. I am full of admiration for your hand quilting skills and can totally understand you wanting to get it over with. Even if you only do some to be ready for the next hand quilt along post, you’ll get there in the end. The ScrapHappy posts serve the same purpose for me. Blogging is so useful isn’t it? It’s like have your own band of cheerleaders to encourage you.

  4. Oh dear. I understand about deadlines, but – seriously – wouldn’t you be better putting this aside, even for a good long time, to recover your good humour about this? Trudging through something you normally enjoy is never good.

    • I just don’t know, Margaret–believe me, I have considered putting this away. But the last time I did that, it was 17 YEARS before I went back it . . . and I had kind of forgotten where I was and what I was doing. It might be better just to finish now . . .

  5. I eagerly await postings about this specific quilt as it commemorates & celebrates the vital role women have played throughout history. How appropriate that March is Women’s History Month. Keep at it! You’ve got this!

  6. At your point in a project I set myself ridiculous little treats for finishing a certain amount. M&Ms work for me – possible six for each 6 inches quilted. If you do this, just be sure the chocolate melts in your mouth, not your hand. You could also calculate how long it will take to finish those 5 or 6 blocks and visualize the completed quilt by 2020 if you just quilt x number of inches each week. I know all this is self-deception, but it can create a feeling of accomplishment.

    • Wait . . . You use M&Ms as a treat? And here I thought they were a food group. 😀 I am skilled in the practice of self-deception–your ideas can probably work!

  7. You are getting so close Kerry! I would just stitch 1/4 inch out on the sashing, it fits with the simplicity of the two color design and allows the embroidery to pop. Time for a reward too, I am giving myself one with Stars Over Baltimore. I am going to buy myself a cupcake!

    • You’re the second person to suggest I use sweets as a reward–I use sweets as a food group! I think you’re right about the treatment for the sashing–I’ve done that on an earlier quilt and it is easy and doesn’t compete for attention.

  8. I feel this way about many of the blog posts I seem to spend hours twiddling with, sometimes only to realise the moment for posting them has come and gone. But when I do get one finished and published, there is real satisfaction; I imagine you find the same, Kerry. And hopefully the sense of completion when the quilt is finally complete will be all the more satisfying for the travials it has caused you. I, for one, can’t wait to see it!

  9. Oh how I understand! And kudos to you for keeping at it, irritation and all. Having a beautiful, hand stitched heirloom quilt in the end will be reward enough and having completed it you can be rightfully proud and proclaim “Never Again” as much as you like. The masking tape for stitching straight lines is a brilliant idea. I wish I’d known it back in the day when I was quilting, it may have made my products look ever so slightly less down homey and a little less wonky 🙂

    • As I’ve written, I learned to quilt in the low-tech days of quilting, and I’m really very glad I did. Everyone seems to have a roll of masking tape around . . . I knew that you all would rally and buoy me up, when I wrote this post!

  10. Your ;hand quilting is so lovely. I always get to a point (usually about 1/2 way) where I want to do anything but work on the same quilt – again. I make myself stitch about 2 hrs. each morning and eventually the progress is encouraging and I start enjoying it again.

    • Thanks, Robin! And I know you’re right–I have, in the past, put aside time every day to quilt, no excuses. And then I get excited to see progress and want to keep at it!

  11. I sometimes get to that point with a story – I started it with enthusiasm and inspiration but then just need to get to the end and get it done. Wishing you the motivation to get it done 🙂

  12. I understand completely. When I hit these kind of walls, I force myself to work on it every day, even if just for ten minutes. It adds up.

    And as you know, it’s gorgeous. 😉

  13. I reckon your feelings are and were by creative hands from the beginning of time… oh but your gonna love yourself when your finished!🤓

  14. Thank goodness for deadlines to keep us on schedule. If its any motivation at all, I can’t wait to see the finished work and your post about it. 😉

    • It’s true–the deadline (and peer pressure) is the only reason I’m doing anything at all on the quilt right now. One of the reasons is that all I want to do is weave, and quilting takes time away from weaving . . .

  15. Oh, poor you! When I have a job like this I am tempted to hide it somewhere and try to forget about it but I know my conscience would nag at me forever so I keep at it. I either give myself a certain amount of time to work or I aim to get to a certain point and then stop. I often keep going for longer because, as you have said earlier, once I’m doing the work it’s not as bad as thinking about doing it! I have recently done heaps and heaps of family mending. Oh, the tedium but what joy when it was done!

    • I have the quilt in that free-standing hoop in the living room–so I can’t forget about it. It looks at me, peevishly, and nags me. But, you’re right–it’s a matter of just sitting down and getting to it!

  16. I am the queen of “I’m bored and tired of this!” Maybe you could neatly fold it and find a really pretty box you could gently place it in with a kiss and say that you will see it again in a few months. I don’t know about you, but it works for me:)❤️❤️

  17. Press on! Your work is beautiful and we all love hearing from you! Isn’t it funny though how a certain project becomes a nagging affair? A teal sweater being knit for a customer is doing that for me at the moment. So, I must ‘press on’ as well. Happy warmer weather days to you, Kerry!

    • I imagine I will press on! Actually, I’m sort of yearning to drag the hoop out to the front deck, which faces south and is warm when the rest of the outside is still cold. I may be able to do that soon–quilting outside might give me the lift I need

  18. You are a determined woman and I know you will persist until finished. Remember that yo-yo project. You finished that so you can finish this too!

    • Funny–the last quote block I intend to do is the one that says, “nevertheless, she persisted!” And I do remember the yoyo project. I did love those yoyos, until I had to sew them all together . . . .

  19. Your hand quilting is EXQUISITE!! I do also understand the dragging to completion. Other things creep in to take precedence over what’s taking way more time than we want to give it. You are almost there. We are all so excited to see it finished too. 🙂 We will all cheer for you when you are done.

    • Thanks, Marlene–but know that I only show close-ups of the areas of hand quilting that look really good! You have all cheered me on, so enthusiastically, for so long! I need to finish, to justify your faith in me!

  20. Just gorgeous! I really enjoyed your short tutorial on your stitch in the ditch and quarter inch from seems, something I don’t do but think I will the next time. I never do or have done wavy lines ~ the tape is coming out. Excited to see the progress the next posting – cheering you on! ~ Sharon

  21. I am in awe whenever I see this quilt. I’ve had projects I wanted done as well, though none quite as big as this one. It will be done in good time and you will be glad and like it!

  22. “And for that, I’m haunted. Nagged. Irritated. ” Such refreshing honesty, Kerry. It’s hard when you are sick to death of something, yet just can’t toss it aside for good. You’ve come so far and it’s so beautiful. I hope you can find a way to soldier on.

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