On Hand Stitching


Simply put, I love it. I like the slowness and the perfect imperfectness of it. Hand stitching requires time. Glorious time to sit in the quiet (or not so quiet) with a thimble, a needle, and a cup of coffee. I hand sew all of my quilt bindings and it is my favorite part of the quilt making process. It’s like I’m imbibing the quilt with my story. It sounds a little silly that way but it’s true. I like to think that whoever gets the quilt will think about me sewing it and wonder what I was thinking about when I was making it.

There is also the old time-y appeal, that practically forever women have been sitting around stitching things with their hands, making things. I like that.

When I hand stitch things I one of the thimbles in the photo above. I didn’t used to use a thimble, I would put up with the pain of sore fingers. Then one day I said this is ridiculous and started looking for a thimble. All I could find in the stores were cheap and plastic and an unusually bright shade of yellow. This was not acceptable. I kept thinking of my moms thimble and its heavy bronzy-gold metal. It is defiantly not yellow plastic. I mentioned this problem to my mom who promptly put in the mail this Altoid tin with these two beautiful thimbles. They belonged to my Great-Grandmother Mabel Emily and they are perfect. So now when I sit and hand stitch I think about all the things this thimble has already made and what Mabel Emily was thinking about when she made them. And that’s about right. The joy of hand stitching.


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