Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sew Saturday, Sew New!

Sew Saturday had a theme this week, it was all about new.  New to you, that is.  Trying something new, learn something new and starting something new.  First up was a new gadget, so I decided to give the Twin Pointed Stab Stitch Quilting Needle a try, a gift from my sister a couple of years ago. 

When I first started hand quilting I tried the stab method with a regular quilting needle and a handheld hoop, but had a hard time keeping my stitches uniform.  The stab method is intended for tabletop or floor frame quilting, which I rarely do.  I prefer the handheld hoop. 

Anyway, out came my little floor frame and after poking my finger about six or seven times, I got the hang of the twin pointed needle and was pleased with my nice straight stitches and how small I was able to make them, but it did take more time than the rocking method.  Maybe with more practice it would be just as fast.

Next up was learning something new, so I decided to try Sashiko.  There again, I have had all the fixings to try it for a couple of years now.  Basically, if you can do the running stitch, you can do Sashiko

The thimble is interesting, as you place it on your middle finger (with flap pointing down) to protect the palm of your hand when you push the needle through.  It comes with a traditional needle (2 inches long) and a modern needle which is shorter and has a larger eye.  I didn't get very far, but sure did enjoy it. 

Then, on to a new quilting project, which I had a few things in mind, but decided to prep my next doll quilt.  From Kathleen Tracy's book, Prairie Children and Their Quilts, I selected, Friendship Star.  The book is designed for machine quilting, so I first had to change the measurements to adapt to templates and hand piecing.  I still have lots of prep work to do, but couldn't help myself and stopped to stitch a star.

Other things I worked on this week, Clamshells, Quilters' Compost and my Civil War Bride block and did the prep work for my Block Book.

Before Christmas Ellen sent me a copy of her Block Book pattern, which you can purchase at her web shop, along with many other wonderful patterns.  If you like to hand piece, then you are going to love this book, perfect for my Dear Jane blocks.  It is a great way to layout and store your prepared block pieces. 

Ellen has posted about the Block Book on her blog, so be sure to have a look at the pretty cover and the inside of the book.  I will show you my cover when I get it all stitched together, and then I will turn it into a wonderful book.

Until next time.....happy quilting!  



Anonymous said...

What a great way to spend your saturday! Thank you for sharing with us, I had never heard of the needle you were using, and am still puzzling how it works. May do some googling on that one.
Have a lovely week,

Merilyn said...

I haven't tried the stab method of quilting, I usually just stick to the rocking method, but I have done sashiko. I was taught by a Japanese lady, who said your stitches should look like nicely spaced little grains of rice sitting end to end. So that has been my yardstick!!!

Love your little hand pieced Friendship Star block. Looking forward to seeing your completed quilt!!!

Valentina said...

What a wonderful way to spend the day! " We don't know unless we try", right? I really love your Sashiko! Like you I have collected all the bits but have never actually tried it yet, thanks for the inspiration and encouragement. Your little star block is darling, Karen, and I think it would make a lovely little quilt! Enjoy! :)

Crispy said...

Very cool to be trying new things. It would seem to be very hard to get used to double pointed needles but very handy if you have lots of seams to go through.

I look forward to seeing your block book :0)


Funoldhag said...

Fun post about a fun day you had trying new things. I am wondering (and I suppose it has to be) if the eye of the stick and stab needle is in the middle? I love the look of Sashiko but have never tried it. So many wonderful things to try and to do. Have a great week, Karen!

Sue said...

I've never done the stab-stitch method. I like the rocking one personally. And I rock with the floor frame and the hand-held hoop:)

Karen said...

I wouldn't know where to begin with a twin pointed needle.

Cybele's patch said...

No lack of inspiration here. Sounds like you had a wonderful week end. The twin pointed needles sound interesting. I never heard of them before and can't imagine how they work. The sashiko stitches look perfect. So neat.

Renate said...

Sashiko sounds interesting. I never tried it.
Your Friendship Star ist lovely.

Ellen said...

I never saw this needle before. Please let us know if it works for you??
I love the fabrics you chose for your block book. I'm very curious to see the result!