Thank you for the positive comments about my Japanese quilt project. I have been collecting indigo prints and Japanese-style fabrics in reds, cream and white for years, but never really knew what to do with them. Once I decided which way to go, hand piecing was my first choice.
The meditative process of stitching by hand soothes me. It is important because it slows me down and provides plenty of time for my mind to wander. Sometimes I get my best ideas while hand piecing. The stitching gets into a rhythm and I don't really need to concentrate on it, so other thoughts can form. I guess that's because I first learnt to patchwork by hand and it has stuck with me.
Of course, this means it takes a VERY long time to finish anything!