It's been a long time coming, but my "Baltimore Bouquets" quilt, ( from a pattern by Mimi Dietrich), is finally complete. Every stitch is hand crafted; from the applique and embroidery, to the piecing and quilting. The 9 blocks were appliqued and embroidered between the years of 1999 and 2000. Set aside for the next 4 years, I again picked it up in the year 2004, when I completed the border applique and much of the quilting. Thus it had been stored until January of this year, when I again "unearthed" it and made a determined effort to complete it before years end. The last stitch was made this past week. Hurray!
The intricate applique required in a traditional applique pattern, such as the Baltimore Bouquet, deserves to be treated in the traditional manner from time to time. There is great satisfaction in completing a piece entirely by hand. Although much of my current work is done entirely or partially on the sewing machine, hand work is still my first love. Hand work cannot be measured in the time spent to make it, but rather in the satisfaction and joy that each stitch brings. Computers and sewing machines have brought exciting possibilities to today's quilter, but our long standing heritage of hand work should not be forgotten and lost for todays new generation of textile artisans.
The techniques are needle turn applique and hand quilting. It is accented with embroidery: satin stitch, french knots, stem stitch and beading.
It has been given dimension by ruching, pleating, gathering and padding.