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My Quilt Gallery Project

Quilting is my favorite hobby — besides blogging and crafting blogs. I’m a traditionalist of sorts (though I wouldn’t want to match skills with quilters of old) in that I make my quilts entirely by hand.

I have nothing against sewing machines, I think they’re great for making and altering clothes or larger projects. But quilting is special to me. I enjoy the feel of fabric in my hands, the way everything comes together slowly. I like the process of making a quilt. I also like the portability and frugality of hand-quilting. I can do it anywhere and because I make quilts more slowly, I don’t spend as much on them.

Recently I was chatting with a group of quilters online and someone asked how many quilts I’d made. Over a dozen, over two dozen, I was sure…but I couldn’t put a finger on the number. In fact, I realized that I barely had any photos of my work. Most of the quilts had been given away and I’d made them in the days before I had my little digital camera. So I started a personal project, tracking down and documenting my quilts. (not all the pictures are great, because I don’t have anywhere here with good lighting)

I’ve been using Flickr to share the quilts online. Here are a few:

So far this has been an immensely rewarding experience and I recommend it to other crafters–document your work as you go along, or try to start now. It doesn’t matter if you can’t get it all, or if you’re starting late. Just putting together a place where you can see it all at once gives you an idea of how much you’ve accomplished.

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine May 23, 2009 at 9:20 am

I really like the stained glass quilt especially!

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C May 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm

These look gorgeous- are you planning to sell them also….

mapgirl May 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Your quilts are awesome. Did you ever keep a journal of your work? I have a journal of yarns, projects, etc. It’s incomplete and gets lost in boxes at times, but it goes all the way back to college. (10+ yrs)

I totally agree that documenting your work is important, even for a hobby. It makes repeatability so much easier or guide experimentation for the next version of the same project.


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mbhunter May 24, 2009 at 1:56 am

I like the All Hallows Variation. The two-color stars and pinwheels are neat.

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Divorced Lifestyle May 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I take pictures of all my knitting projects. I guess I should actually organize those photos into an album of some kind.

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Funny about Money May 24, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Oh, my goodness! These are gorgeous! I love the American Dream. You really are a woman of many talents.

My great grandmother used to make patchwork quilts. She had a couple of big bags of fabric saved from all the clothes the women in the family had worn out–she would cut them up into squares and save them, and then when enough squares accrued would make a quilt. She also pieced them together exclusively by hand. They looked sort of like the Rectangle Scrap Quilt, except she always used plain squares.

I made one for M’hijito when he lived in San Francisco out of some fabric I’d used for some chair seats while he was little. It turned out surprisingly well, considering that I had no tools other than a needle & thread and didn’t have the faintest idea what I was doing. Certainly didn’t look as wonderful as any of these, though!

Funny about Money’s last blog post: How to raise the hair on your head

Karen May 24, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Wow! I envy your work! Though I’ve been quilting for what seems like forever, I’ve never actually finished one. 🙁 I’ve pieced together many quilt tops, and my mom (who taught me to quilt) quilted one of them for me, but I’ve never completed a project myself start to finish.

Part of the problem is that I don’t enjoy machine quilting as much as my mom does, so I was never motivated to finish quilting them. I recently started hand quilting, and I love it so much more for all the same reasons you do. I find that machine quilting isolates me. The machine is so loud, and I have to sit at a table, so I can’t just relax on the couch next to my husband and work on my quilt.

I’m nearly finished with my first hand-quilted quilt, and I have a feeling I’ll be finishing more projects now that I’ve stopped trying to make myself love the machine. Thanks for sharing your work! I’m inspired to get going and finish mine!

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Frugal Urbanite May 26, 2009 at 10:34 am

Oh, they’re gorgeous. I’ve always wanted to start quilting, but never managed to make the time to do it.

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Debbie May 26, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Beautiful work! I haven’t quilted, but have done plenty of knitting and weaving. I can appreciate the time and efforts.

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MrsMicah's Mom May 27, 2009 at 9:55 am

I’ll try to remember to have your dad photograph the beautiful quilt that’s on the sofa downstairs. I’ve been to your Flicker site. The quilts are wonderful, but I remember lots more than are there.

thisisbeth May 30, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Your quilts are beautiful! I admire your hard work in hand-piecing them.

I piece quilts by machine, but I definitely prefer to hand-applique and hand-quilt! (I’m going to have to give hand-piecing a try!) I’ve machined quilted one quilt, and some wall-hangings, but that was just to get them done. I’ve never finished a quilt (except the machine-quilted ones), but I have a lot tops done. I need to set aside more time for hand-quilting–my first quilt is a queen-sized one that I fully intend to finish this year. It’s only been about eight years, so what’s the rush? 😛

Carol June 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm

My late sister was an awesome quilter (ALWAYS by hand) and your post brought back some nice memories. She liked to make theme quilts like Disney or Black Americana. She’d find images, then stencil them onto the fabric and work her magic. She also was a big collector and avid Ebayer. I have one of her creations which I love. I’ll try to get a photo of it. We don’t have good light here either. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work and for the memories…

Carol’s last blog post: Mindfulness Saves Money

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