The Hatbox Quilt: homage to hand-sewing

I’m taking it slowly.

You know what it is? I don’t want this quilt to finish, I’ve loved the process so much. But all good things must come to an end, so I’m taking my time but gradually getting it done. Which means the sashing on the back panels will be stitched down by hand. Sorry if this stretches out the anticipated finish a bit, but I wanted to stay in the vintage-y, soft, contemplative spirit of the thing. I grant you, I wasn’t in that groove quite enough to do all the blanket stitching by hand (in which case you’d still be watching me assemble block 5, probably), but let’s take it slowly and pleasurably.

I’m also not going to hand-stitch the internal seams that attach the front sashing. That would be slightly deranged; going through all those layers of fabric and batting with hand-stitching? I don’t think so, not to mention the fact that it would be much less durable. But that final folded edge on the back? Yes, perfect for hand stitching with nearly invisible results, since I even have thread exactly the right colour 🙂

So, the blocks are all trimmed out, the sashing strips for front and back are all cut. I’ve got the first corner joined.

Let’s keep it moving. But slowly….

63 thoughts on “The Hatbox Quilt: homage to hand-sewing

  1. Definitely a labour of love 🥰

  2. kathyreeves says:

    ENJOY every stitch, Kate!

  3. knitnkwilt says:

    There is something to be said for enjoying the process. I am reminded of my knitting friend, who commented when someone was commiserating with her for having to rip out a significant amount. Her reply, “I’m sure I’ll enjoy knitting it just as much this time as last.” As for me, I need to learn to enjoy every step of the process so that there are fewer that stall the end result.

    • katechiconi says:

      There are parts of the process I’ll never find enjoyable, but I think they’d be common to most people: estimating fabric needs, preparing fabric, cutting fabric… For me, the fun starts once the sewing starts 🙂

  4. tialys says:

    I much prefer the look of those sashing strips when they are hand stitched down and can’t be seen from the front. You’re nearly there so no point spoiling the ship……

    • katechiconi says:

      I tend to put the visible seam at the back, and do very, very close stitching in the ditch so it doesn’t show on the front, but I agree, it does look prettier hand stitched. Trouble is, the seam isn’t quite as durable. Still, I’ll be treating this one very respectfully, so hopefully that won’t matter.

  5. I love hand sewing (and knitting, crochet, embroidery). When I have a problem to solve that is not yielding I can keep my hands and conscious brain busy whilst my sub-conscious works on the solution in peace! Weeding or ironing work too – anything fairly repetitious and gentle. It works much better than meditation for me. I also do such things when I am tired and all my brain just needs a rest – which happens earlier and earlier in the day as I age!

  6. cazinatutu says:

    Loving the look of this. Wish I could anything half as good. What will happen to the quilt once it’s finished.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s no special talent, just lots of practice. I’ll be keeping this one for myself; I’ve been collecting the fabrics for it for 6 years and it’s been 3 years in the making!

  7. KerryCan says:

    I can totally relate to what you’re feeling–there is something so special about working slowly and contemplatively on a beloved project. I think that’s why I started the second quilt with the fusion squares–I missed the process! The hand-stitched sashing says “love” to me.

    • katechiconi says:

      I think if I could crochet nicely I’d be working on something like your fusion quilt with more of my scraps. Maybe one day I’ll learn… I can quite see why you love working on it.

      • KerryCan says:

        My crocheting skill is very, very, very basic–I know slip stitch, single crochet, and double crochet. Truly, that’s it. Some fusion quilts have really fancy crochet but I can’t do that, or be bothered to learn. Maybe someday you’ll try a square or two, just to see . . . .

      • katechiconi says:

        I can crochet a square face cloth. I don’t know the terms: hook in, pull through, then pull through both loops. Is that single crochet? I’m quite fast, so perhaps I should learn something a bit fancier…

  8. craftycreeky says:

    I find it relaxing hand-stitching binding or sashing down, it’s a zone-out sort of activity 🙂

  9. Dayphoto says:

    I have enjoyed this quilt so much. So much I’m trying to make a quilt of my own…although, not as detailed as yours.

  10. Steph says:

    Sounds so relaxing!

    • katechiconi says:

      Soothing… when a black pointy nose isn’t poking me and requesting a treat or demanding a zoomie around the back yard. It’s coming along well; by the end of the day I should have the top third assembled.

  11. magpiesue says:

    Hey, it’s *your* quilt and you can make it however *you* want! This is going to be a treasure, no doubt about it.

  12. I’m excited already but I understand not wanting to finish it. Enjoy every stitch. It’s just beautiful.

  13. claire93 says:

    choice of that lovely blue for the sashing is going to give this quilt a very soft vintage look

    • katechiconi says:

      That’s exactly what I’m hoping for. It really is a beautiful colour, and being a shot cotton, it changes a little according to the light. I’m currently debating binding it in the same colour or using a much darker blue. Right now the lighter colour is winning…

  14. rutigt says:

    I always sew the sashing on the back by hand. I think it looks much better that way!

  15. […] of medallion quilts, Kerry Sanger for the irresistible fusion quilt, Joanna Mack for art quilting, Kate Chiconi for the quilt-as-you-go technique, and Doreen for gorgeous free-motion quilting.  The beauty of […]

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