The Joy of Hand Stitching

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					             Whippoorwill E-Comment
 Number 79                                                June, 2009

                                   An Electronic-Journal published for the AAPA

                     The Joy of Hand Stitching
                                       by Shannon Adams

            needle, straight pins, ruler, pencil,           and doing the actual quilt stitching with the
           thread, paper, an idea gleaned                   waxed thread and tiny needle is absolutely
           from a book, an architectural detail             NOT my favorite part of the process. So
on a building, scrolling the antique quilt                  much so that there are five quilts in the
page on eBay. Who knows what particular                     queue. Sigh. My right forefinger and thumb
combination of color and pattern sparks the                 ache just to imagine the months of work
beginning of a quilt? The right side of the                 ahead.
brain goes "wheeee!" and off I go, another                         The reward, though, comes at the end,
quilt.                                                      when the bias tape gets stitched on and I get
         I admit, the planning is the best part.            to look at the quilt in its newly finished
No, wait. the making of the templates and                   entirely, perched on a chair looking down at
cutting the pieces. No, no, it's the piecing                the result of the months of patient cutting,
and watching the top evolve as each block                   pinning, and stitching lying on the living
takes its place in the parade and the design,               room floor. When the smile spreads and the
once a fuzzy imagined whirl of color,                       thought comes, "it's just the way I saw it!"
becomes an object not only of beauty but of                 then it is worth it. Currently a blue and
utility and practicality.                                   white quilt in an old pattern called "Ocean
        I will also admit that basting the three            Wave" is in progress. Going to take awhile
layers together, marking the quilting lines                 to piece, as it has many many little triangles
                                                            that need patience to be accurately fitted to
                                                            keep the illusion of motion going. It's been
                                                            previewed by a friend who is familiar with
                                                            my quilts, and she claims it is the best one
                                                            ever. After it's finished, maybe it will
                                                            supplant the blue and yellow "Rose Dream,"
                                                            but that remains to be seen.

                                                            E-Whippoorwill Comment is the sometime journal
                                                            of J. Hill Hamon, a long time member of AAPA, who
                                                            lives in Kentucky

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