Dorothy Waite, Washington State, U.S.A.
First of all, welcome to quilters coming here for the Hand Quilting Blog Hop. Since returning to hand quilting, I've found a wonderful community out there. I think most of us hand quilters operate in a bit of a vacuum. We don't know anyone else who hand quilts and we feel all alone. It's nice to know there are other like minded quilters out there!
Returning to hand quilting has really brought me a new sense of contentment. For years I've coveted a newer, bigger, better machine, thinking that would make me a better machine quilter. But it would still take lots and lots of practice and I just don't enjoy it. The past few weeks of sitting and quietly hand quilting have really filled me with a sense of joy and accomplishment. To celebrate I am rewarding myself with some quality tools that are still only a fraction of what a new machine would cost.
The first is a Barnett quilting hoop. These are made by an artisan on the East Coast - a family business handed down from father to son. I had to wait patiently as he has a waiting list, but the wait is over - my hoop was delivered today!
The picture's not great, but I'd rather spend my time quilting today than fiddling with photos! I also treated myself to a cute little thread/thimble/scissors caddy to match:
I am so pleased by the quality of these. The workmanship is excellent and the hoop works like a dream. In case you can't tell from the photo, I got the 16" hoop with a sit on base and I had Harry finish them with a golden oak stain.
I also ordered a Roxanne thimble.
This one will be returned and exchanged because it is too small, but the people at Colonial Needle have been just wonderful to work with.
In other quilting news, I finished a quilt top begun in a class with Judy Irish. Judy is the exact opposite of me quilting-wise! She is a fantastic machine quilter, very contemporary and works in bright, bold colors. I am a very traditional hand quilter who loves working in pastels. When Judy came to speak to our quilting group, I had the pleasure of having her stay in my home. She did me the great favor of choosing my fabrics for the Lone Star quilt class she taught the next day. I certainly had my doubts when she started pulling fabrics out of my stash (which she said was "sedate"). However, I am more than thrilled with the finished product!
I will also say that Judy was so very gracious in her admiration of my hand quilting. It was so encouraging and really made me feel I was on the right path.
Never fear that knitting has been abandoned. I finally finished Fire Dance. This was a true marathon - at least 5,000 beads. I love, love, love it and it feels like heaven draped around my shoulders. I love the weight of it - with all those beads it's not going to slide off!
We've had a beautiful summer, but fall has begun dramatically. It's almost as if Mother Nature flipped a switch! I can't say that I mind. Sitting quietly and quilting or knitting while the wind blows and the rain patters against the window has got to be one of life's greatest pleasures.