Most quilters classify quilting as a fabric art not a hobby. But other arts have a very decided difference between student tools and professional tools. Students are not encouraged to invest in the cost of professional tools until their skill levels are in the professional level. However, quilters frequently encourage beginning quilters to buy the best tools they can afford. With the possible exception of the rotary cutter and the new cutting mats, the price of the other tools does not make the skill level of a beginner better. Why do you think we, out of almost all the arts, advise on spending for the expensive tools? Many of us downgrade fabric from various sources, etc. never saying save the $15/yd for the entry into the international quilt contest. We don't say that a $300 or less sewing machine is fine for almost all quilts; we subtly brag about our top of the line machine without saying what top of the line quilt or book we've produced using that superior tool. I think it is because we aren't serious artists, we're addicted hobbyists. I've seen artists show paintings and say that now they think they are good enough to start buying professional grade linen canvas and professional grade oils. Some never use professional brushes, preferring to throw away brushes more frequently. We never see a quilter show a quilt and say, do you think this is good enough that now I can spend twice as much on my fabric and batting? Do you think we should?