Sewing Thousands of Squares and Learning a Lesson in Slowing Down

I’m delighted to be a guest blogger for Here is my post about the Nelson Quilt, silent film inspiration and not rushing to finish.

The Slow Stitching Movement


A Slow Stitching Journey of 3,200 Paper-Pieced Squares Commemorate a British War Hero,  Helps Define Research, and the Consequences of Rushing to Finish

by Lucie Dutton

As a hand quilter by preference, it is inevitable that I sew slowly. One of my quilts can take over a year to complete if it is particularly complex. The thrills of the quick make and the speedy finish are not for me. I have mountains of fabric I cannot possibly get through, unfinished quilts come in and out of favour, my sewing machines lie idle. And that is the way I like it. The Slow Stitching Movement is, therefore, a movement for me!

It is just as well that I don’t mind being particularly quick to finish quilts. Just under a year ago, I started on my most ambitious project to date – a quilted representation of the British Naval hero Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson…

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5 thoughts on “Sewing Thousands of Squares and Learning a Lesson in Slowing Down

      • I’ve watched and admired your progress on Instagram, Lucie, but it’s wonderful to have your entire narrative here. What sound advice about not setting artificial goals and targets! I will try to follow this and temper my determination to finish my own languishing slow sewing project this year – though my pieces are much, much bigger, so I think I might just do it. But I realise that the process is what’s important – and, in my case, carving out a tiny portion of each day to stitch is really what it’s all about. Thanks again. 🙂

      • I think that the minute one starts to not enjoy a project it is time to rethink. Yesterday I took the huge decision not to quilt Nelson – the quilting I had done so far just wasn’t working and the texture was all wrong. And I was dreading carrying on. As soon as I changed the approach I felt so much better! So go with your instincts and enjoy what you sew. Good luck with the hexagons – I am really loving seeing them on Instagram.

  1. Loved the article, I found the combination of history, film and sewing intriguing. I’m sure you will take your time with the quilting!

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