Adventures in Hand Sewing

During my quest to find a non-sewing machine related project, I ventured into the world of hand piecing. I rifled through my stack of books for just the right project. I came across the Amuse-Bouche pillow in 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks by Katy Jones. While I love the bright and fun colors that she uses throughout her book (it’s one of the things that sucked me in, in fact!), I decided to do a much more neutral palette. I used a combination of Neutral Love II and Golden Age. Golden Age has some of my absolute favorite prints! And Neutral Love II contains fabrics that coordinate really well with Golden Age (and many others as well).

I used these fabrics from Golden Age:

And these fabrics from Neutral Love II:

Being a beginner quilter to start, I was a little curious how my adventure into hand piecing was going to turn out. After my first block was finished, I realized how much pointier my points were and just how straight and well-lined up my pieces could be.

I was hooked. Aside from paper piecing, I’ve never had such well-met points. Yes, it does take longer. No, I’m not giving up on machine piecing (it’s still my favorite). However, I do love that I found an alternative solution to machine piecing. Now I have just the thing for long car rides, Friday night Netflix binges, power outages (okay, I’m reaching)… you get the idea!

Back to the fabric. I just can’t stop looking at those browns, golds, tans, buttery yellows, creams… ooh they’re so pretty together! I LOVE the coal confetti print. It’s so versatile as it blends really well with the browns in other fabrics, but helps the adjacent colors really POP.

A few months ago I had purchased the Black Gold needles from Clover. This was the perfect project to really test them out. They quickly became my new favorite needle. They have just the right amount of flexibility, but are also super sharp. They glide right through the fabric and allowed me to keep moving right along without getting stuck and having to yank my needle through.

Thankfully, someone leant me their sewing machine to use until I’m able to get mine fixed or replace it. It ended up being good timing too! While I hand pieced all of the blocks and the pillow top, I was able to use the machine to assemble the back flaps and sew the binding on to the front.

I also dabbled a bit with some hand quilting. I kept the thread super close to the color of the fabric, so if I messed up it was concealed. I know it’s not super visible in the photo, but I don’t think I did too terribly bad for my first time. I do really like the look of hand quilting as well and hope to try more in the future!


  1. Jenni - February 21, 2014

    I love love love this! You did such a great job! I think my first hand pieced project, my points STILL didn’t match up, ha ha! You must have more patience than I:)

  2. Debbie Rogowski - February 22, 2014

    I checked out the needles because I had purchased some St James gold and even though they lasted longer they were harder to push through the fabric. I’m using betweens for quilting (and batting with scrim because of the greater distance allowable in quilting) So I checked out these needles but the largest CT sells is 9 for clover and 10 for STJames (I see these are gold’ng glide) I finally got myself down to an 8 so I need to work into the 9-10. OMG the 10s are tiny.

  3. Ann - February 24, 2014

    Terrific job Katrina! I am glad you are enjoying hand-piecing. It is so portable and fun. Love your colors too!

  4. Anita - February 25, 2014

    Pretty soon you are going to have to stop calling yourself a beginner.

  5. Teri - February 26, 2014

    Amazing job!