Hands or Head?



I’m always making that choice when I have a few minutes’ time.  Do I want to plug in the sewing machine and do a little more on the quilt in progress?  Or shall I dive back into my writing world?

Sometimes the writing is more appealing, or more pressing.  Sometimes the choice is based on my desire to finish a project and move on.

Choosing hands:


The quilt above is an example of the latter choice.  My husband and I worked together on the top of the quilt.  Then it sat around until made time to finish it.  It’s not my best work.  The inner panel depicts Boys’ Day in Japan.  I don’t know anyone with a baby boy right now, so the quilt is tucked away in my craft closet.


Some quilts that I’ve pieced, such as this one above, are too big for me to top quilt on my machine.  I sent this one to a friend’s friend, who has a massive, long arm machine like the one below.

long arm quilter

These machines can cost as much as $20,000.  They are computerized and, as far as I understand, use templates and laser technology to regulate stitching and accurately make a pattern.

Putting a quilt “sandwich” together at home can be a long and tricky task.  It’s important to line up the front and back correctly, with the batting in between, and enough extra fabric on the edges so everything can be cut back evenly.

Quilters use many different methods to put together a quilt sandwich.  Some spray the pieces with adhesive.  Some baste the parts together.  I use curved safety pins to hold everything steady.  The long arm machine has clamps to hold the sandwich.

Here’s the “sea glass” quilt I made stretched out on a long arm machine.


I’m almost finished stitching on the binding.  Most of my quilts are given away to friends, but I’m keeping this one for the guest bed, where I can enjoy the colors myself.

3 thoughts on “Hands or Head?

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