Hooked on Needles

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hand Pieced Celtic Quilt

Does anyone actually hand piece or hand quilt their quilts anymore? Seems that the 'hand' part of this type of handwork is more and more giving way to the instant gratification of machine pieced, even machine appliquéd, and then machine quilted quilts. Please don't get me wrong though. I am the first one in line when it comes to zipping my strips with my rotary cutter and straight edge, zipping them through my sewing machine, and then, as I mentioned recently, my first experience with dropping it off at the longarm quilter to be machine quilted. I am a huge fan of this sort of instant gratification! But I can see the pleasure and the sense of accomplishment one would receive from a long term project of carefully hand piecing and hand quilting an item too. Just don't ask me to do it myself!

Today I'd like to show you a piece that my own sister has been working on for quite some time. You've met her here before. She's the oldest in our family of 8, my sister the Sister as my husband likes to call her, and the recipient of the Black Tote Bag, the Black Crocheted Wrap, the Black and White Pin Cushion Bag, the Little White Crocheted Rosary Case with Blue Beads, all of which you have seen here before. But if you want to see them again, just click on the colored words and you'll be linked right over to see those items.

Hand Pieced Celtic QuiltThis is the centerpiece of the quilt, a huge Celtic cross with Celtic designs quilted in the center and on the four ends. This design is a heart with intertwining circles on each side. Can you see it?

Hand Pieced Celtic QuiltHere you can see more of the quilt and where she is working right now. Also in the picture is her handy little pin cushion bag that she just loves using for this project. The cross is appliquéd onto the green background fabric, and then she is quilting the designs on it using green thread.

Hand Pieced Celtic QuiltThe side and bottom panels of this quilt are in the double Irish chain design, and you may notice that she fussy cut each of the little squares with the roses in them before hand stitching them together with the white and green fabrics. Also notice that the small squares are not much bigger than the top of her spools of thread, and each perfectly pieced!

Hand Pieced Celtic QuiltThe little pink strips outlining the center of the quilt are also on the edges. There is just a touch of pink in the little roses running down the middle of the Irish chain. These colors and fabrics are a little dated, but remember she has been working on this for a really long time!

Hand Pieced Celtic QuiltAnd here you can see at the bottom of the cross she is working the Celtic design using a double row of stitching to give a little more weight and detail to the lower part of this piece.

If I am still sharing my handwork with you here at Hooked On Needles when she finally finishes this quilt, you can be sure that I will show you the finished piece! But keep in mind, we are both getting old, so she better hurry up!

Another of my sisters is also quite a talented quilter and has recently finished one that she also hand pieced and hand quilted. I am hoping that she will send me pictures of it soon so I can share it with you.

Do you get inspired by seeing what other people are working on? I certainly do!

Happy Stitching!

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  • Thanks for sharing very, very beautiful! I must admit though, I have had plenty of time to think things through, and I'm with you, Girlfriend!
    Hugs - Lurline♥

    By Blogger Lurline, At April 10, 2010 at 10:36 PM  

  • Wow - what an udnertaking to hand quilt that! It's beautiful and will be just stunning when it is complete.

    By Blogger Adrienne, At April 11, 2010 at 6:57 AM  

  • Your sister's quilt is stunning. I love Celtic style quilts but aren't keen on the bias method to get the knot designs etc. I love the idea of quilting these designs instead. Something to store in the memory bank. It will make a beautiful family heirloom.

    By Blogger Julie, At April 11, 2010 at 7:38 AM  

  • Beautiful! Some people find hand work so enjoyable and relaxing.

    By Blogger Abby and Stephanie, At April 11, 2010 at 8:28 AM  

  • That's quite a project! The quilting is amazing!

    I have to admit that I like to work by machine (although I don't do that very quickly-too many interuptions). But it's nice to always have some handwork to take along, or to meditate with in the evenings.

    By Blogger Karen M, At April 11, 2010 at 8:52 AM  

  • Beautiful quilting Mary Grace! That is going to be a lovely quilt when you are done! Very nice! 8-)

    By Blogger Myra, At April 11, 2010 at 10:18 AM  

  • Beautiful and impressive! I am in awe. :)

    By Blogger Hills N Valleys, At April 11, 2010 at 10:24 AM  

  • Stunning, I only hand quilt, I try to machine but it never seems to work out. I love to lap quilt, the quilt all warm and soft, a good movie and I am all set. That is why I do not get as many done in a year as I would like, but, oh well, it is the fun. I also love to hand piece, I made an eye spy quilt like that, hand pieced and hand quilted, very fun!

    By Blogger Jane's Fabrics and Quilts, At April 11, 2010 at 10:57 AM  

  • Gorgeous work! I'm afraid I just don't have the patience to do all that handwork. I really admire those that lovingly stitch by hand!

    By Blogger Rumi, At April 11, 2010 at 7:03 PM  

  • That is a true work of art and I do hope we get to see the finished product!

    By Blogger Pat, At April 11, 2010 at 7:51 PM  

  • I've only made 2 quilts, both Grandma's flower garden, both hand pieced/hand quilted. The only machine work that went into them was sewing down the binding on one side, & hand stitching it down on the back.

    I enjoyed the hand work a lot.

    I'm currently working on what will be a duvet cover that will look quilted. I started to do it all by hand, as i did before, but then decided to go the easy way & use the machine for the piecing.

    I'm turning under the rough edges & stitching them down by hand. When i finish, it will be a top that already appears to have the quilting done. I'll then use a sheet or something for the back side of the duvet cover. But it is slow going, & i've been on a knitting kick for a while. I'd like to get back to this before long.

    It is going to be beautiful, it is off white & saphire/indigo blue. :) (I think when i started it, about a year ago, is when i found your site.)

    By Blogger Kathryn, At April 11, 2010 at 8:00 PM  

  • my Mother used to hand quilt all her quilts and she could make 6 or more a year. All of her hand stitching was perfectly spaced, something she learned from her grandmother. She did do machine piecing, I think there was just two in her quilt closet that were hand pieced.
    Me I am all machine work, I want things done as soon as possible.
    But most of my quilts are charity quilts.

    By Blogger Nanbon44, At April 11, 2010 at 9:32 PM  

  • Your sister's quilt is a master piece! Love her celtic quilting and the fussy cut blocks are lovely. I usually hand quilt, but I have to admit hand piecing is a challenge!I'm amazed by a hand pieced quilt--so much work.
    I am forever being inspired by what other's do. It opens your eyes to so many different techniques. I just wish I had more time to even try to replicate some of the marvelous things I have seen. Sharonj.

    By Blogger sharon, At April 11, 2010 at 10:38 PM  

  • I know that Crispy does all her work by hand....I have too much nervous energy anymore that it makes it hard to sit down and just quilt....

    By Blogger Barb, At April 12, 2010 at 8:21 AM  

  • I love the fact that I'm sure that Sister has many prayers interwoven in that quilt. I've seen her work and it's absolutely beautiful. Your blessed to be part of such a beautiful family.

    By Blogger gail, At April 13, 2010 at 8:47 AM  

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