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Thread: “It’s not real quilting”

  1. #1
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    “It’s not real quilting”

    Hello, all.

    My DH mentioned to his older brother recently that I started making quilts. BIL asked him if I made them by hand and he said no, that I use a sewing machine. Then BIL said, “If she uses a machine then she’s not really making quilts. That’s not real quilting”. Normally I’d laugh this off but these days I’m more sensitive and emotional and this really irked my nerves. Said BIL is now visiting this weekend and I really don’t want to have to punch him in the throat about my quilting (laughing but serious). Do you ever deal with people who are jerks about your crafts and hobbies? If so, how?
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-08-2018 at 03:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    When people say that to me I ask they if they wash clothes by hand or cook over and open fire. When they say no I say "So you actually cannot cook/wash laundry? It's not real if not done by hand."
    We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. ~ Winnie the Pooh ~

    1912 World's Rotary Treadle (White Company), 1942 Singer 66-16, 1952 Pfaff 130-6, 1954 Singer 15-91, 1956 Singer 201-2

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZquilter View Post
    When people say that to me I ask they if they wash clothes by hand or cook over and open fire. When they say no I say "So you actually cannot cook/wash laundry? It's not real if not done by hand."
    This had me over here cackling! LOL!!! Good comeback, definitely gonna use this if need be, thank you!

  4. #4
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    I always say that if our great great grandmothers had had sewing machines, they would have used them too. I also like your comeback.
    I have to admit I am in awe of some of the masterpieces that were turned out without all the "toys" we have, but quilting is like everything else, the technology advances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KwiltyKahy View Post
    I always say that if our great great grandmothers had had sewing machines, they would have used them too. I also like your comeback.
    I have to admit I am in awe of some of the masterpieces that were turned out without all the "toys" we have, but quilting is like everything else, the technology advances.
    I’m also in awe of those quilts. But I also appreciate how they quilted back then. It seems it was rarely a solitary thing. I have two grown daughters and neither of them is interested in handwork (though I made it my business to teach them the basics of sewing, knitting and crochet). It would be lovely if they’d sit down at the table with me and work on a quilt. I explained to DH that many hands make light work and today, for me to quilt something entirely by hand that’s large enough to go on a bed, by myself, would take a very long time. Not that I would not do it, I plan to one day... just not today because winter is coming😬

  6. #6
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    The first 'real' quilt show I ever attended was in Lancaster, PA in 1977. Though I had a sewer for lots of years I was just starting to quilt. I stood behind ladies looking at a quilt that had been quilted on a machine. They said, of course, that they shouldn't allow things like that in the show! Now, look at the marvelous things people do with quilting and art and the wonderful machines and tools available to us. Each of us has a place on that spectrum. I love my journey! I love the comeback above.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilterpurpledog View Post
    The first 'real' quilt show I ever attended was in Lancaster, PA in 1977. Though I had a sewer for lots of years I was just starting to quilt. I stood behind ladies looking at a quilt that had been quilted on a machine. They said, of course, that they shouldn't allow things like that in the show! Now, look at the marvelous things people do with quilting and art and the wonderful machines and tools available to us. Each of us has a place on that spectrum. I love my journey! I love the comeback above.
    Shouldn’t be allowed... interesting. I’ve never been to a quilt show before. Do they have separate showcases or galleries for quilts made entirely by hand? Or is there no need to make the distinction nowadays?

    Well stated, we definitely have a place on the spectrum! I love all aspects of this craft, all styles, all techniques... a fantastic journey, indeed.

  8. #8
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    Does your BIL have any hobbies? Woodworking-it’s not “real” if he uses power tools; hunting-it’s not “real” if he uses a gun rather than a bow & arrow; fishing- I guess he rows himself out there rather than ride in a boat with a motor; and so on. As said earlier, technology advances in all aspects of our lives!

  9. #9
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    go ahead and punch him in the throat.
    just make sure there are no witnesses!
    I Quilt, I Nap, I Quilt Some More ... Aaaaah, The Good Life!

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    my aunt does piecing and quilting on a turn of the century treadle Singer. my mom pieces by machine and quilts by hand. I like to piece and quilt by machine. it's all quilting. ignore this guy, he's just out to be rude and mean. and never ever use your time talent and money to make him a quilt, if he asks for one, tell him that Walmart has some nice fleece blankets.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austinite View Post
    my aunt does piecing and quilting on a turn of the century treadle Singer. my mom pieces by machine and quilts by hand. I like to piece and quilt by machine. it's all quilting. ignore this guy, he's just out to be rude and mean. and never ever use your time talent and money to make him a quilt, if he asks for one, tell him that Walmart has some nice fleece blankets.
    Or tell him to plant the cotton, pick it, card and spin it, etc. Then you would think about it!

  12. #12
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    I love some of the replies posted here--especially the hunting with bow and arrow, altho I know people who do that. I have an SIL who is the opposite. She understands the time and effort it takes to make a quilt and considers them 'too good to use', 'heirlooms to be kept for future generations'. I keep telling her I'd rather they were loved and used until they are tattered and worn. Then they are heirlooms.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  13. #13
    Super Member PamelaOry's Avatar
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    Pfft. I’d put all the quilts away during his visit and let him figure it out.
    “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
    ~Mahatma Ghandi

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    Ask him if he uses a microwave for cooking.

    there is a wonderful wholecloth quilt in the Smithsonian quilted entirely by machine. Dated somewhere in the mid 1850’s which happens to be when the sewing machine was invented. Tell him the true definition of a quilt recognized as such for 1000 of years is three layers attached together. Never has it been specified how they are attached. One could staple them together and it would be a quilt. On the other hand just smile and say “ thank you” and tell him you had intended giving him a quilt but since it is machine quilted and he said machine quilting is not a quilt, that now you don’t have a quilt to give him.

  15. #15
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    You guys are all very kind. If he had me that irked, I'd be making an excuse to prevent him from coming, until the day I could deal with his rudeness.
    Austinite is right---he is not quilt worthy, obviously, since he doesn't appreciate or remotely understand what you do. Never ​create something for him.

  16. #16
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    It’s usually very old men who say things like that... men who’s only knowledge of quilting is a childhood memory of their grandmas lowering down a frame from the ceiling and hand quilting on it.

    He sounds like an irritating know-it-all, so good luck with his visit.
    Last edited by sewbizgirl; 12-08-2018 at 06:14 AM.
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  17. #17
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I agree. He sounds like a know-it-all and I ignore people like that. Let him think what he wants.

  18. #18
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    (((MiniDoe))) I understand what it is like to be a fragile bubble...If you like him educate him, if not, smile him to death as one of my clients used to say. People don't remember what they said that hurt us so much.

  19. #19
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    It is very annoying when people down grade us that take our time to make quilts with love in every stitch but I just ignore those people and keep on quilting cause I love it. Guess your BIL won't be getting a quilt made by you!!!!

  20. #20
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    When I first started learning about quilting, I had to learn from books, as I didn't know anyone who quilted, and there were no quilt shops around back then. I remember reading that "real" quilts were quilted by hand.

    I was so excited when an older neighbor mentioned to me that there was a quilting class at the local senior center, and that I should go. She assured me I would be welcome, even though I was only in my early twenties at the time.

    I turned out to be less of a class, and more of a weekly gathering, where a group of about a dozen ladies, the youngest of which was in her 70s, came together and worked on their individual projects, offer support and encouragement. Very much like we do here on this board, now that I think of it.

    During the first "class", I remember being surprised that the ladies in the class either tied their quilts or quilted them by machine. I asked one of the ladies about it. She said to me, quite loudly , "We're Old! We don't have time to do it by hand!" Another lady piped in, "Anyone who doesn't think my quilts are real, isn't getting one of my imaginary quilts!." All of the other ladies started laughing and cheering in agreement.

    I am so grateful I took that "class." Not only did I learn a lot from those wonderful and talented ladies, I never had any qualms about machine quilting!
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-09-2018 at 05:38 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

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    Quote Originally Posted by SillySusan View Post
    Or tell him to plant the cotton, pick it, card and spin it, etc. Then you would think about it!
    love it!

  22. #22
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    Well I can say I have done it all. I pieced by hand, quilted by hand, machine pieced and quilted. I consider all of that quilting and love it all. I am in a hand quilting group that meets weekly. We are about 25 women and range in age from mid 40’s to our oldest member who will celebrate her 99th birthday soon. Go ahead and sock your BIL in the throat and while he is recovering read him all of these responses from real quilters.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  23. #23
    Super Member notmorecraft's Avatar
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    If I quilted a few hundred years ago I would have quilted by hand, I would also have baked with a wooden spoon, but hey things have moved on I use an electric mixer and an electric sewing machine. BTW we would also have traveled by horse and car, so I now I use planes and cars does that mean I don’t travel? What an idiot.

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    Thank you all for the replies. You all pegged him right, he is a know-it-all and as soon as my DH told me what he’d said, my first thought was that he’d never get a quilt from me. And yes, he is older (upper 60’s) and feels he is an authority on all things. Good news is he’s returning home right after the funeral we’re attending today. Hopefully I won’t have to encounter his jerk attitude about my quilting but if I do, I’ll be ready!

  25. #25
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    As soon as there were machines, people quite sensibly used them to quilt. That's what they were for, making seams. I don't do a lot of handwork, I don't applique either but I'm still a real quilter and my quilts are still "real". My machines are machine sewn, machine quilted, and designed to be machine washable.

    I started reading the Elm Creek Quilt series by Jennifer Chiaverini this past year. She talks about it some in book 4 (the last one I read), The Runaway Quilt where they are discussing/the story behind some pre-Civil War quilts (two of which were machine sewn).

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