(I had started to write this as just a comment to all the responses that I got to yesterday’s post, but I started to ramble so much that I thought I needed a new entry for it.)
Power to my fellow handquilters! I honestly figured that people would just told me to pull out my machine and give up my handwork completly. And it’s not like I’m even considering giving up my handwork–I love it too much to give up–it’s just that I guess that I look around at other quilters and the quanity of work they’re doing. I feel like if I start any more projects, it’ll be years before I have any of them finished. It took me over a year to make “Wedding Spectaularrr” from beginning to end, and to me, that feels like an eternity. Sometimes I just wish I could churn out more projects (that are still up to my quality standards) more quickly and effeciently. I also think I listen to people who have no idea what goes into making a quilt too much, and hear “Why put so much work into it, when you could just finish it up in a few days with a machine.” I have to go back to what I really feel though, and say that hand quilting is a true art form. No one would scoff at the work an artest does to make a painting; why should I stand for someone to tell me to take all the art out of what I do? I just think a lot of times people can’t appreciate all the work that goes into a quilt because they have no idea what actually goes into making one.
So in conclusion: I’m not giving up hand piecing and quilting, but I may try to do more piecing work from time to time on the machine. I’m still not convinced on machine quilting though–to me it looks far better (and gets that great wrinkle look) when quilted by hand. It is also nice to know that I’m not complely in the minority in quilting; although I don’t have too many people my age (I’ll be 24 in April, for those who wanted to know) quilting in my area, the Internet (as always) has shown me there are others like me out there. Oooh, I love the Internet! : )

11 Thoughts on “Machine Quilting and Me, Part Two

  1. I once was introduced to an acquaintances’ mother who was a self proclaimed quilter. “I hear you quilt” she said. ” do you tYe your quilts or just bind the edges”. I looked at her for a minute and then said, “actually I quilt them, that is my favorite part”. She looked at me thoughtfully and then said loudly but slowly, “I UNDERSTAND, BUT DO YOU TYE THEM OR BIND THE EDGES?” So you know, older doesn’t necessarily mean, they know how to quilt. Uh yeah. And April is my favorite months! I’ll be thirty! YIKES!

  2. I’d like to invite you to my yahoo email group “Hipquilts” http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hipquilts/
    It’s geared at younger quilters (20’s) but of course anyone is welcome!

  3. PS (a day later) It’s true that hand quilting takes longer, and projects can take up to a few years. But I think that is what makes them so special. I’ve only given quilts to people I know appreciate them, because it such a huge undertaking, and it is so much easier to go to the Bon and buy a crappy expensive looking cookie jar on sale. but where is the heart in that? By the Way, have you seen my UFO LIst?

  4. More power to you for sticking to your principles!! I don’t know a lot of people who would have the patience or the fortitude to carry through with hand quilting, but it truly means hand crafted, and if that is your forte, then stay with it! I’ve done bits of handquilting over the years and used it because it *does* give a certain look.
    Time is precious but if you love what you’re doing, then quality of work over rules quantity of work done.

  5. This is my first visit to your wonderful site. It is wonderful to meet a fellow under 30 quilter! I applaud your dedication to handquilting (I don’t have the patience), you have to create in the way that’s right for you!

  6. Just discovered your blog — I’ve been getting obsessed with handpiecing, too (see the dahlia on my blog). Machine pieced rotary cut quilts have their place, but I am enjoying the look of handpiecing (and handquilting, assuming I get that far!)

  7. Came across your site today – nice to know that there are other 20-something quilters out there!
    I agree that hand-quilting is the way to go. But I also do a lot of machine quiting too, for the most part because it’s the easiest way to turn projects around quickly.
    If I’m doing a quilt for sentimental reasons, or a very special project for someone, hand quilting is my preference. But, when I’ve got a more than a few clients on the go, machine quilting is often the way to go because you can turn them around in a reasonable timeframe, without sacrificing too much in terms of quality.
    And you can do some really cool things by machine that just aren’t as feasible by hand, unless you have oodles of time.
    For me, the “art” of quilting is not just in the quilting itself, but the overall design. I’ve always felt that it’s not about the tools (hands, machines) that get you to your ends, it’s about the finished product and the emotional reaction you’re trying to invoke in the recipients.
    My two cents.

  8. I’ve really appreciated all of the comments given by everyone about this. In my projects, I do feel that strong attachment to the handquilting (mainly because I still feel awkward in front of my sewing machine) but I don’t feel like it always has to be my only way of finnishing a project. I agree with Robyn too–the emotional result of the finished piece is the most important, and I don’t think that machine quilters are any less proud of the work they did than I am when I finish my quilts. It’s just that in my work, handquilting will probably always be my preferred method, beacause of the joy I get out of doing it.

  9. msjanquilts on January 29, 2005 at 12:53 pm said:

    I’m a fifty-something quilter who started out in my early 20’s hand piecing and quilting. I’m so jazzed to see that there is a coalition of young quilters out there. You’d not know it looking at my guild >!
    Like me, you girls are very lucky to have found your passion at such a young age. You have so many happy quilty years ahead of you.
    Keep on quilting,

  10. I just found your blog, and I have to say hooray for another hand quilter! I’m 36, started quilting about 10 years ago. I don’t do much hand-piecing anymore, but I almost exclusively hand-quilt, because I find it much easier. Like you, I get majorly stressed over machine quilting!

  11. Kathie on March 2, 2005 at 7:46 pm said:

    I consider myself a young quilter and I’m 40! I usually machine piece and hand quilt. Lately for quilts that will get a lot of use by college bound nieces and nephews I have sent them off for machine quilting. I find that I am never totally pleased with how they turn out. First of all, they aren’t all “mine” anymore and I agree tha hand quilting really makes a quilt wonderful.
    Enjoy and take your time…you’ve got years ahead of you. I still have many, many projects unfinished and even more in my mind not even started yet.

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