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Slow Stitching

I blame all the quick deadline frenzied sewing for Christmas. Or maybe I just need the quiet and calm right now. But either way, I've barely touched my sewing machine this year. I think it misses me. I've been obsessed with hand work instead. First was Anna's sweater.

Before it was even done, I started obsessively hand quilting.

This quilt top has been finished since late July probably. It's been basted since November. But, all of a sudden- quilting it by hand seemed the most important thing in the world.

I invariably get all excited at the beginning of a hand quilting project. I start thinking things like, "I should hand quilt everything from now on!" Well, two weeks later or so and I still have some of that excitement. I'm not still thinking I should hand quilt everything. That's crazy talk. But, I should definitely hand quilt more. I enjoy doing it. I love the look of big stitch handquilting. And I love how much more drape and softness a hand quilted quilt has.

I actually finished all the hand quilting last night. I'd be all sad if I didn't have hand-stitching the binding to look forward to and a brand new project to get all excited about.

When I saw the Starburst quilt in Sarah Fielke's new book, I immediately fell head over heels in love. And even though I was in the middle of two big projects, I had to start it immediately.  And even though the original is machine pieced and the pattern has perfectly lovely machine piecing directions, I decided to do mine by English Paper Piecing. Mostly, I was scared of all those bias edges and point matching. But also, I'm in no rush. I enjoy EPP. And, it's way more precise than I could ever be machine sewing it.

I'm 3/4 of the way through the first three rows and loving it! I'm going to keep it in quarters to hopefully make it easier to handle as those rows get longer and longer.

I'm trying out glue basting for the first time with this and I'm not sold on the idea. Yes, it's quicker. But quickness is so not an issue when it comes to this quilt. I'm going to be hand stitching it for years. Does saving a little time basting really matter when I hated how sticky it made everything (mostly my fingers), it seems like it made the units harder to sew together, and it just makes removing the papers take longer? Any glue basting experts out there have any advice for me before I give up and go back to thread basting?

Also, I'm undecided where I'm headed next color-wise. My first inclination was to go spectrum. But, I don't know. Are rainbow quilts overdone? Would that be taking the easy way out instead of putting some effort into a different color progression? Any thoughts? Either way, I better decide soon. It's almost time to start cutting out and basting the next few rows.


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