Hand quilting is alive and well all around the world! Join with fellow hand quilters to share techniques, tips,
and the BEAUTIFUL quilts being made by others who share your passion for quilting... by HAND!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Hand work basket

      I’ve just completed the hand-sewing basket for my quilt guild’s silent auction. I started with the idea to make a hen pincushion and needle case (I purchased the pattern which was designed by Janet Locey). It was suggested that it should be part of a larger group of items, so I decided to put together some items for hand work.
     The hen is the star of the group. She is sewn by hand, with some hand quilting accents and stuffed with fiberfill and sand. The smaller hen needle case has a felt square for needles under her wing.

   In addition to the hen pincushion and needle case, I made a small chick pincushion (for traveling) and a thimble egg. I first made these thimble eggs when I was young and gave them as Christmas gifts to my grandmother and aunts. It is just three cardboard inserts covered in fabric (I sewed half the egg, turned it right side out and then blind stitched the other side: the three sections are put together with small blanket stitches). I made the small pincushion, because I often travel with handwork and knew the hen would be too big.
   To the basket I added small scissors, a variety pack of needles, hand quilting thread and three fat quarters.

   I have to admit I may be trying to make a subtle point by using a hand sewing theme.  I just joined the guild a few months ago, and I am finding the predominance of machine work a little daunting. I am sure there must be a few hand quilters in the group but I haven’t met them. And it’s clear from the stacks of finished quilts at show and tell that I have chosen a somewhat slower path.
  Joining any established group is difficult and quilt guilds are no different.  When you are a newcomer, it seems like everyone knows each other. The first time I thought about joining the guild, I went to one meeting and felt uncomfortable enough that I didn’t go back. This time, I promised myself to give it two years and to try to get involved. Luckily, I ran into some one I know casually and she and her friends have been very welcoming. I also thought the best way to get to know people is to get involved, so I’ve volunteered to help at the show and have made the “prize” for the silent auction.
   I guess it is hard to please everyone in a guild, and I don’t envy the people who plan the programs and activities. I was a little disappointed when a group “mixing” activity was vetoed by some group members and when another presentation was a sales pitch for fancy and expensive rulers. But I am only one (new) member. I know that there are a lot of great people in the guild and I just hope I get to know some of them.
  By the way, do any of your guilds have special ways to welcome newcomers or to help everyone meet new people?



  1. the local guild that I tried out was not a good fit for me, I didn't care for it in the least, they were not welcoming to newcomers in the least and after 2 years of trying to fit in being the only hand quilter I gave up - all of the programs were aimed only at machine work - hand work was greeted with exclaims of "it takes too long" "I could never do that" there are no other guilds in my area to try out and I'm not driving over an hour to get to the next nearest one.

  2. What a lovely silent auction item.. Hope it fetches a nice amount.. it is very versatile and cute for sure! I belong to Celebrate Handquilting fb group and call that my guild as my local guild has no hand quilters really and all their projects are geared toward projects... quilting is on your own time ... not as a quilting party should be to me.. so I quilt and chat on fb at times when I need feedback or want to show something off! Again.. lovely job on your basket of goodies! Kathi

  3. I tried two guilds ...and after two years, I still felt like an outsider. The one was just too huge and I could never make any connections. The other was a smaller group and I had such high hopes for it ... but it was very cliquish. I remember sitting at a table, near the end of my second year, unable to engage anyone at my table in any mind of conversation. I just found a third group ... I was invited to try them out by a casual friend, so she and her other friends were welcoming, and I found out that a few of my fellow bus riders to Paducah are also members ... Hoping that between those two groups, I'll be able to make a connection with someone, enough to feel like I'm fitting in.

  4. I found your post very interesting. As a hand piecer, hand appliquér, and hand quilter, I find myself pretty much the individual locally. I'm lucky to have jumped into hand appliqué in the mid 90's and formed a group of like minded. We are still together and some of the ladies hand quilt. Only 2 others hand piece. Our big local guilds are mostly machine work quilters. I have little in common so I quit going but belonged for many years and met some nice people.

  5. PS: Your handwork basket is precious.

  6. Thank you for this very interesting article. I have felt the same way once in the past. Now we just have sewing weekends and my house ever once in a while with a small group of women and we have a blast every single time.
    You pincushion is just adorable, love it. Thank you for sharing.

  7. what a lovely make for the silent auction, your thimble holder I have made several times in Xmas fabric and they sell well as tree decorations with ribbon attached. I go to 2 MQGs, one is very new so we are all new together, they are just very young compared to me, could be grandmother to a lot of the girls, the other the ladies are more mature and have made me welcome, I take hand sewing with me as I go on buses and a machine is not easy to take. Have found quilters groups much more friendly than embroidery ones and everyone is eager to share their talents and not at all secretive.

  8. I really love your hand-sewing basket! Very cute hens! I joined our local guild about a year and a half ago. I am not very involved, I do help where I can.

  9. Maravillosa cesta!!!!
    ¿por que nos gustan tanto las gallinas en la costura?

  10. This post is very timely! I'm making up a similar zippered small bag for hand stitching projects to give to one of my new friends who has been intrigued with my "Always Portable" style of quilting. I'm currently just getting started on a quilt as you go by hand log cabin. I'm going to post a tutorial on it at my blog this summer. Sounds like we all have tried the guild experience, found some nice folks and then some others who are not welcoming. But here we are group!

  11. A great article and I love what you have put together. The chickens are marvelous. I don't belong to a guild for the same reason. Maybe it's because hand quilters are content and enjoy the peace of being with ourselves. LOL

  12. I love your article and your basket-very cute and I hope it gets a good price for the guild. Like many people who have already written, I call the FB Hand Quilting Group, my guild and read this BLOG and others all the time. I tried to fit into the local guild and it didn't work-I stayed for about four years and left. I refuse to change the way I piece and quilt-all by hand-the original slow cloth movement.
    Thanks again!


We love to read your comments. Please make sure you have your email enabled so we can write you back! All comments must have approval before they appear on this site.