Take a moment to pause.

It’s hard for me to pause. I’m in a hurry to get things done and the faster the better. But, I slow down when I hand quilt. The news is that quilters are slowing down.


Quilting Daily says it’s because the quilting frenzy of tools and fabric and social media posts are stressing us out.

One of my Book Bee participants (where we’re exploring Savor Each Stitch: Studio Quilting with Mindful Design ) sent me the above post. In it, the author writes:

Mindful creating, or paying close attention to what you’re doing. how you are doing it, and the materials you’re using, can help you regain the “Zen” of your favorite pastime. Not to mention how much better your results will be.

The author cites Mark Lipinski’s Slow Stitching Movement as an example of this approach. When I explored his blog, it was overwhelming. I couldn’t decide where to go first, so I just quit looking. That’s a good place to start. Just stop looking!

And, for my exploration of the chapter in Savor Each Stich, “Contrast,” I’m hand quilting my quilt. (featured photo above)

I love hand quilting. Over the last year I’ve made more than 3 million stitches on my machine trying to improve my free motion quilting. It worked. I got a lot done, but it’s time to pause and take a break from that. I’m going to take my time and not stress about my “to do list.” I’m going to pause and savor each stitch.



10 thoughts on “Pause

  1. susan hilsenbeck says:

    Excellent advice and I love how ‘contrast’ is turning out. Very organic. Definitely not a look you can get on the machine no matter how much you practice.

    Its amazing how we come full circle. I started hand quilting 30 yrs ago but stopped because I didn’t have time. I like the modern-ish version with slightly or even much thicker threads and a strong emphasis on the texture and visual impact.


    • Wanda Dotson says:

      We come full circle: that’s a nice thought considering I’m making circles. I like the organic feel of hand quilting. It feels different than a machine quilted quilt. There are reasons to machine quilt and there are reasons to hand quilt. It’s nice having the choice.


  2. Julie Stocker says:

    Amen. I think as a blogger quilter the outside influences impact us even more than someone who is a serious hobby quilter. Deadlines stress me out, and then if I have to be creative to make it happen whether in a post or custom work. Tough stuff. I agree that slow stitching is theraputic. I try to have a project in a bag I can grab and take, but if not, a hexie kit is always packed.

    It DOES come down to choices! I agree. Sometimes we need to be smart enough to unplug and do some decompression sewing. Simple, unfettered block making gives our minds space to wander while we create. I see how quilting circles is the same.

    Lovely post, Wanda, and warranted.

    Julie @ Pink Doxies


    • Wanda Dotson says:

      Julie, you’re right. I became more stressed about finishing projects because of my blog, but my interaction with other quilt bloggers has been a wonderful source of inspiration and happiness. I found my “pause” through blogging. Perhaps striking a balance is what I’m seeking.


  3. Helen says:

    your hand quilting is lovely and interesting you use a thimble. I have never been able to master one but then I mostly see hexies . I like the intimacy and sociability of hand sewing


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