When it is warm like this it can be harder to find time to get behind the sewing machine. It seems like days are spent doing yard work or sitting by the pool or at the beach, and evenings are spent beside the fire or enjoying the warm weather on the patio. That being said the need to sew is still there.
Hand work is a great alternative. Most projects are small, or if they are larger in size are done in small sections at a time, making it easy to take with you.
I have not done much hand work but do hope to improve my skills, Esther does beautiful hand work, and often has multiple projects on the go. I am just going to list a few different ideas tonight, and maybe go into more detail on them over the next few weeks.
English Paper Piecing is a great hand work project that is easy to take on the go with you. Hexies are probably one of the most popular, and I won't go into much detail on it, however it can feel as if you are making a whole pile of them without a final goal in mind. Some ideas for final projects can include, little pouches, journal covers, pillow covers or if you are ambitious a full quilt.
If hexies are not your thing there are also some fun patterns to follow as well. We really love the patterns by Violet Craft. I am currently working on the Lion, and when I say currently, I mean I started it on a trip to Mexico a year and a half ago and haven't pulled it out since. Esther has made up a couple of her patterns.
Something I have never yet delved into is hand applique, but Esther has done a lot of it, so she provided me with some pictures of her projects and favorite tools.
She is working on the Vintage Housewife Quilt by Lori Holt and her blocks are looking phenomenal. Lori Holt has lots of project ideas for Hand Applique on her blog here, and we sell her shape sets in the shop.
Esther likes to prep all the blocks, and than take the block with her to the beach or on a visit and do all the stitching. It keeps her hands occupied, but she can still focus on what is all happening around her.
In addition to her Vintage Housewife Quilt, she is working on a house quilt that is also done by hand applique. We will be offering this as a block of the month later on this year.
Another popular project idea in the hand work theme is stitchery, or hand embroidery. Carrie recently made a quilt for our Grandpa that had his farm animals and wedding date hand embroidered on it. She had the blocks all prepped and just worked on them wherever the family was hanging out in the evening, or when she was babysitting. Esther too has made countless quilts and projects that have hand embroidery worked in.
All of us agree that it is essential to have the proper tools, and to keep them together in a handy little tin or pouch that make it quick and easy to grab when ever we leave the house.
Aurifil thread or floss, sewline glue pen, little snips, a pack of needles, wonder clips can all be found in our little kits, as well as some project specific items like a pencil for marking off where we are in a pattern, appliquick tool sets for making nicely shaped applique pieces, and a bias tape maker for applique stems.
Do you do any hand work, or have you been planning to start?