Long-time visitors know that this space is more of a journal of my process than a parade of perfect finishes that seemingly magically appear on the scene. This means that my posts tend to jump from project to project and craft to craft in the same way that I follow whims in real life. It does make for a disjointed read, I guess, but that’s how I flow.

In the past week since finishing that blanket, I’ve been a bit more of a wanderer than usual. I started some sketches of my idea for putting together the Give a F*ck quilt; I returned to two old blanket projects to see if one would spark some interest (they didn’t really); I made a simple (60″ square) quilt top to test a friend’s upcoming pattern; I spun a bit of yarn; and I did quite a bit of soul-searching.

I finally admitted to myself that I have been wanting to do a long-term, hand-pieced, and slightly intricate quilt for a while. Now, I’ve done a little English paper-piecing back in the hexagon craze, but I’ve never made a full-sized traditional patchwork by hand. There is something romantic about this idea and I’ve ruminated on it for about six years. Back in 2005 when I first started making quilts, I spent a great deal of time studying Jinny Beyer’s Quiltmaking by Hand, but I opted for using the machine because I was more interested in making things quickly back then.

about to cut

Now is the time to indulge, it seems. Also inspired by my friend Serena’s latest series of posts on handsewing, impulsively one night last week I grabbed my short stack of Carolina Chambrays and tried out the x and + tutorial.

Everything is right about this: It’s a nicely written tutorial that guides you through each step. It’s a block with just the right number of pieces to hold my attention without feeling impossible. If cut beforehand, I can finish handsewing one block in one hour. Oh, and the fabric is like a dream: I love to touch it and I have enough colors to feel free to combine and recombine throughout the top.

working by hand

Now, these fabrics are hard to come by because the line is discontinued, but I’ve managed to stock up by picking up bits and pieces here and there around online. I can only hope I’ve gathered enough for the 64 blocks I plan to make. If not, then I’ll be okay with using some similar shot cottons in the mix. But I do love the rich, dark colors and their iridescent shimmer and I don’t want to add colors that take away from that.

I have no plans for this week other than a more stressful than usual week at RealJob and more handsewing here and there.

Here’s hoping you have a great week!