Hand Sewing Q&A with Deborah Boschert

21 May 2012

I often look at someone's art and wonder who inspired them to quilt, embroider, and stitch. Did they start by hand sewing or go straight to the machine?

Deborah Boschert
Today I'd like to give you some insight into Deborah Boschert. Deborah describes herself as an art quilter, coffee drinker, crossword puzzle lover, wife, and mom. That tells you a lot about her already! In her art, she combines unexpected materials like worn-out denims with bits of brocade and heavy free-motion quilting. In her small art quilts, she often incorporates symbols for growth, identity, balance, and exploration.

Recently on Quilting Daily, Deborah offered her hand embroidery tips for contemporary fabric collage. Today, I'm sharing a little Q&A with Deborah on hand stitching that originally appeared in In Stitches Vol. 2.

Whose needlecraft (hand or machine) do you particularly admire/with whom would you like to take a stitch class? 

My great grandmother, Mabel, did wonderful needlework: cross stitch, weaving, needlepoint, and so many other amazing things with fiber. There didn't seem to be a technique she hadn't mastered. I suspect she could have taught me so much about techniques and materials, but also about living a creative life. I treasure the pieces of her art that have been passed down to me including a cross stitch sampler she made to celebrate my birth, macramé place mats, and a woven handbag.

"Plentiful" fabric collage with hand stitching
by Deborah Boschert.
What is your favorite type of stitching?

I really like combining free-motion quilting with hand embroidery motifs. Sometimes it's challenging to find the right balance between the two. (Should I hand stitch over machine stitching? Or the other way around? And which should I do first?) When done effectively, I think they complement each other quite well.

What is your must-have stitching tool or supply? 

My friend made me a little tool box out of a metal gift card tin. There is a square of felt that keeps beads from rolling away if I'm embellishing. It also holds a few strands of floss and a tiny pair of scissors. Plus, there is a magnet in the lid that holds pins and needles. It's so compact and handy!

Deborah demonstrates her fabric collage and hand sewing techniques in her new Quilting Arts WorkshopTM video, Contemporary Fabric Collage: Design, Stitch, and Finish, available now.

P.S. What's your must-have stitching tool or supply? Reveal it in the comments section below.



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Comments

on 22 May 2012 11:14 AM

There are a lot of "must-haves" but life as a sewing enthusiast has been a lot more pleasant since I put an OTT bulb in my swingarm/task lamp. My eyes say "ahhhh".

k15quilter wrote
on 22 May 2012 1:07 PM

Since I use a needle threader (Clover) handsewing is so much more fun.

on 22 May 2012 1:47 PM

THIS IS ABOUT TO BE MY FAVE!  

"My friend made me a little tool box out of a metal gift card tin. There is a square of felt that keeps beads from rolling away if I'm embellishing. It also holds a few strands of floss and a tiny pair of scissors. Plus, there is a magnet in the lid that holds pins and needles. It's so compact and handy!"

I've been trying to think how to keep a small supply of beads truly handy when I try to hand sew on the couch and also how to improve my quick-access needle system (strips of fabric dangling above my work area).

I read this and realized the tool box solves both problems AND everything I need to make one is within two steps of my computer! The various needle sizes and types are a LOT easier to identify on the magnet strips and I am delighted to throw my raggy strips of fabric away.

I think I'll go a whole extra ten minutes on this and make a good fit of a hemmed bit of off white organic cotton flannel (perfect sized scrap all handy) before gluing it in. I think my stick of UHU should do fine.

on 24 May 2012 5:23 PM

one of my favorite tools is a window gel cling to hold onto my beads as I attach them for embellishments. with a vvide variety of colors for contrast, it makes small beads easier to see.

sewsofab wrote
on 15 Jun 2013 2:20 PM

I'd like to share my top three so far.  I love, love my angled tweezers for guiding fabric as I sew, pulling that top thread through from the needle threader and picking out stitching.  I also have a great little bag I found at Winners that zips almost flat open with a centre section and two zippered side pockets.  It's great to bring hand sewing down from my studio so I can work in front of the TV.  Keeps everything together instead of juggling all the parts and pieces I need.  Lastly, back in front of the TV, my neighbour gave me an oversized TV table that has height adjustment and the legs slide in under my comfy chair.  The tray has a lip so beads, pins & needles don't roll off.  Can't tell you how many times I've been on my knees searching for escaped items.  I'm a happy quilter!

NanaFab