Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hand Work

 When I travel on long trips I usually like to take along something to keep my hands busy. A car ride to Colorado in July and a plane ride to California in August found me starting something new
As a rule, hand applique is not my go-to kind of quilt project. But, I've fallen in love with a couple of fun leafy quilts lately so decided to make that my hand project for the next weeks...months....years...whatever!
 Admittedly, I haven't made much progress yet...only 8 little blocks so far, but I like where this is headed and have enjoyed the needle turn applique.
 The gold eye applique needles that I started out using have eyes so small that sometimes it takes me 5 minutes just to get one threaded. How excited I was to find some with a little larger eye while out shopping yesterday!
 The needles are made in Hiroshima, Japan, by the Tulip Company. Isn't the packaging darling! I first saw these a few weeks ago when, like me, Kelly fell for the cute packaging!
 The needles themselves come in a tiny corked jar with instructions to wipe them down after use and store them in the jar to maintain good performance. Since I need all the help I can get with preforming hand applique, I plan to follow their rules!
 I used a new Tulip needle this morning to applique down one leaf. Threading was definitely easier and the needle slid through the fabric so smoothly. They were worth the extra cost, I think. If you live in the Kansas City area, and are wondering, the needles were purchased at a new quilt shop, called The Quilted Sunflower, in the small town of Spring Hill, Kansas. The shop had some great fabrics, as well, including the new American Made solids.
 In other news, I've started putting together my X and + blocks. Here's a hint of where I'm headed with that project. I'm supposed to have it finished and ready to post about on the last Friday in September. Yikes!
 While in California, I took over 500 photos....lots to edit and go through. It was such an enjoyable vacation...part of the time at the ocean and part in the redwoods.  
 Nothing like God's "hand work" to put life and my problems into perspective!


  1. Oh, look at your + and x blocks! I was trying to work out a diagonal arrangement but it was doing my head in! Those applique blocks look fabulous! And the needles- what a treat! I think I might need to search for those online?! Then plan a hand stitching project!

  2. I love your leaves! Glad you like the recommendation of the needles, I bought some as a gift for a friend and hope she likes them too.
    Your quilt is gorgeous and of course I love all those scraps!

  3. Love the quilts. I was just reading about the needles on piece o cake blog and had just placed my order for them. Becky's review was very similar to your experience. We go to the redwood park at least once a year. My favorite place is staying at our cabin in the mountains surrounded by all the majestic trees not the redwoods but still I marvel at God's creation.

  4. Those leaves are right up my alley, I've been on a bright leaf kick lately. Your x's quilt is going to be wonderful!!

  5. Your applique blocks are beautiful. I think I would like to get some of those needles! Glad you had a good time in our state. There are so many different things to see here.

  6. I do lots of handwork but have yet to find some just right needles. I'll look out for those in my travels!
    Leaf or orange peels are on my 'one day' list. They always look lovely, as I am sure yours will.

  7. It's neat to see that you're hand appliquéing! I believe that's a first since I've known you. And how do you manage to look at all those clashing prints, pair them up, and make them look smashing?! Interesting about those needles, and the new quilt shop you found. Love that picture of you! You look very adventurous. But 500 pictures? Girl, you're a glutton for vacation photo organizing. Though, it's easy and fun if you use iMovie. You must give it a try.

  8. I love working back and forth between all the different ways to put fabric together, and like you, enjoy some handwork here and there. Great advice on the needles.

    And to think you were in my state (did you see me waving at you?) Glad you have a fun time. Don't worry--we think 500 pictures is "just getting started." We regularly come home with way more than that. Have fun remembering your trip!


  9. Amen Sister! I love needle turn applique! My favorite needles for needle turn are Richard Hemming Milliner needles. I would love to try the Tulip needles though....the packaging is precious!

  10. Love your leaves. I don't have the patience or desire to hand sew but do like the look.