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Thread: Is a quilt that's machine pieced/quilted any less hand-made?

  1. #1
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    There’s some people (none on here that I know of) who firmly believe that quilts that were sewn on a sewing machine are somehow inferior because they weren’t made entirely by hand. I believe they are wrong. So the actual stitches were made by a machine. However everything else was done by hand.

    *The pattern was selected by a human quilter who thought it looked pretty. I doubt a machine would have good taste in patterns.
    *A quilter either went into a quilt shop or searched online and chose what looked best before buying it. A machine didn’t decide what looked best.
    *If the quilter pre-washed…well, maybe that wasn’t all hand done either, but somebody had to put the fabrics in the washer, dump in the detergent, and put it in the dryer or hang it up on the clothesline. If it bled horribly she set the dye herself with Retayne and 140 degree water.
    *A quilter takes a rotary cutter or scissors---in hand---and cuts the pieces out. If an AccuCut was used she still had to hand pick out the correct die(s) and feed the fabric through.
    *If templates are used a quilter has to trace them onto fabric if they cant be cut with a rotary cutter. Heck, sometimes the templates were hand drawn by the quilter herself.
    *A machine didn’t pin the pieces or blocks together. A quilter might have prick marks to prove it.
    *She also might have burn marks to prove she pressed the seams to the dark side herself.
    *I don’t think anybody makes a machine that automatically sandwiches the top, batting, and backing together and bastes or pins the layers together. Though I bet such a machine would make things easier for quilters who have sandwiched quilts on the kitchen floor or even on the bedroom wall!
    *The actual stitches weren’t done by hand, but a quilter still had to pick out the thread, wind a bobbin, thread the machine, and feed the fabric through while making sure the stitches were even, the tension was just right, and the seams were ¼” wide.

    So is a quilt that was pieced/quilted on a machine any less hand-made?

  2. #2
    Senior Member VickyS's Avatar
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    IMHO, NO, but you can't get some of my friends to agree. We just agree to disagree.

  3. #3
    Power Poster debcavan's Avatar
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    There are purists. I'm not one of them. A non factory made anything is hand made to me. It was made using my hands and a tool, my machine. I have just used a tool that is different than the purists. After all, they also used a tool, a needle.

    I am a longarmer. One lady in a strange compliment, told me she didn't like machine quilting but mine looked beautiful.

    To me, we should use the medium we enjoy. I admire great handquilting but I wouldn't enjoy doing it. Give me a machine and there is joy in my heart.

  4. #4
    MelodyWB's Avatar
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    I sincerely admire hand quilters work and am respectable about it..but I know how much work I put into one of mine from graph paper to binding..it's handmade to me..lol..I teach classes at a LQS every once in awhile and did one on the history of quilts..I firmly believe if my Great Grandmother had my machines.. she'd used them !!

  5. #5
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    Nope. I can't see well enuf to do by hand! They are beautiful both ways tho! To each their own as they say!!

  6. #6
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelodyWB
    .I firmly believe if my Great Grandmother had my machines.. she'd used them !!
    I agree. I think it's a "no brainer". :)

  7. #7
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    I suppose if one were "really" into "made from scratch" quilting -

    - one should grow one's own cotton
    - spin the thread
    -weave the threads into cloth

    - maybe build a spinning wheel and loom in here someplace

    - forge a needle

    - create a scissors

    - spin some thread for sewing

    - totally avoid any man-made fibers for batting/wadding

    Guess one could go on and on from here.


    Maybe the term should/could be "custom made" or "one of a kind made" ???

  8. #8
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Our church raffle quilt had hand embroderied blocks with print blocks all done in the snowball pattern. It was pieced by machine. (our ladies did all that) and then BEAUTIFULLY quilted by a long arm artist. More than one person told me how pretty it was.

    When we had the drawing, one of the guys in the audience made the remark that a hand made quilt was always more valuable than a machine made quilt.

    I was terribly tempered to tell him the quality of the work determined the value, not the method.

    I may tell him yet! @@

  9. #9
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    I suppose if one were "really" into "made from scratch" quilting -

    - one should grow one's own cotton
    - spin the thread
    -weave the threads into cloth

    - maybe build a spinning wheel and loom in here someplace

    - forge a needle

    - create a scissors

    - spin some thread for sewing

    - totally avoid any man-made fibers for batting/wadding

    Guess one could go on and on from here.


    Maybe the term should/could be "custom made" or "one of a kind made" ???
    I'll go for the "custom made"!

    Besides the whittling of the oak to make the spinning wheel is going to get some of us down Where's Martha Stewart when we need her?

    Oh, one more question? Can hubby cut the oak tree for me?
    With the buck saw he made in high school shop class?

  10. #10
    Junior Member myfrenchawakening's Avatar
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    Quilters do what they can at the time they are doing them! regardless of technique, we thread needles and sew for the same purpose- to enhance our lives and the lives of those around us. Who are we to judge another's work? I've seen both techniques done wonderfully across the world. We sew with love. Isn't that all that matters? Have a good day all, Therese

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