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Thread: Bias Against Hand-Quilters?

  1. #1
    KrazyQuilter's Avatar
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    Are there any hand-piecers/quilters out there who feel biased against in quilt stores? I was in a quilt store up north last month and mentioned that I don't use a machine, that I do everything by hand, and the owner says "Well, you are going to have to get over that!" And not with a smile and a wink, either. I look at the quilt shops near me and all their classes use a sewing machine. Strip piecing does not seem hand-quilter friendly to me and so many patterns are strip-pieced. I like doing the work by hand. I don't want to use a machine. I like being able to sit on the couch with my husband and sew instead of sitting in front of a machine in another room, by myself. Do any of you have problems at stores like I do? Just a vent. A little frustrated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member adyldrop's Avatar
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    Well all I can to this is you have my complete respect and I am in awe because my handstitching leaves something to be desired. I think most people nowadays are all about speed and sometimes forget the pleasure of doing the process slowly to savor it and have it done by hand. I say what ever floats your boat is great and you sure as heck won't find that icky bias in these here parts I am sure!

  3. #3
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    I bow to hand piecers and quilters! Everything you make looks beautiful. I am green with envy of your hand sewing skills. Keep sewing, girl! You know it looks gorgeous!

  4. #4
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    I don't hand quilt because I simply don't have the patience nessicary for it and probably most of my projects I have in mind are so huge that they'd take 20 years if I did them without a machine. lol. That doesn't mean I have anything against those who go for hand quilting. I think I appreciate a quilt that was hand done a little bit more because I think it takes a certain level of skill and patience for it. If you want to hand quilt, by all means go for it. If you can make a beautiful quilt, then how you got there shouldn't matter.

  5. #5
    Super Member purplemem's Avatar
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    Yes, I am a hand-piecer and quilter also. I have noticed there are no classes for hand-ers either. I haven't been dissed like you were, but I do lament the lack of learning opportunities.

    I do all my quilting by hand, and almost all my piecing. I do attach long borders by machine, but my machine sewing is awful. I don't enjoy it at all, but it is faster on those long borders.

    I take my piecing everywhere I go. I manage to finish pieces here and there and I love to watch tv while sewing.

    You Go Girl!

  6. #6

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    It's a shame you were treated that way. I do a lot of hand quilting and have only received positive comments. I admire you for hand-piecing. I don't have the patience for it. :D

  7. #7
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    Think of it this way.... when the power goes out from the latest natural disaster, who will still have something to do? It will be you!! You are prepared no matter what the situation! :) :) When the quilt shop owner is fussing about not being able to finish her project, you'll be humming along on yours. Life is good :) :) :)

  8. #8

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    It never ceases to amaze me how insensitive and boneheaded people are. The owner of your local quilt shop has never heard the saying "the customer is always right".

    I have nothing but admiration for someone who can hand piece and quilt. How wonderful it would be to have the ability to work on a quilt in the car or waiting for an appointment.

    Hopefully there is another quilt shop you can support that is nearby.

  9. #9
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Sorry about your experience. I remember many years back when I first dabbled in quilting---we're talking 30+ years ago--if you even THOUGHT about machine quilting you weren't considered a true quilter. Machine piecing was accepted but machine quilting was pretty much quilt heresy. I'd say the pendulum has swung too far the other direction. Why does it have to be one or the other. A famous quote applies here: "Can't we just all get along?"

    Just keep doing what you're doing and ignore the rude comments. My hat is off to you.

  10. #10
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    I'm impressed. My hand sewing isn't good enough. I'm jealous and they probably are too.

  11. #11
    Super Member gcathie's Avatar
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    I too am impressed with hand quilters...they do such wonderful work and it is a dieing art.....I want to do other things don't have enough time to hand sew.....Our quilting Guild has a lot of hand quilters...that's where you need to go.....they are the best with advice....I think your trip was bad...they just wanted to sell you a machine ...ha ha.....

  12. #12
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    More power to you for still being able to hand quilt - I can't - my hands immediately begin to cramp... it's all I can do to get the binding hand stitched around a quilt.

    That said, maybe that quilt shop owner has seen 'hand-made' quilts like some of the ones I've seen...

    there's a place here that sells hand crafts - some absolutely fantastic work and then there are the 'hand made' quilts - I'd be embarrassed to have my name on some of them. the stitches are HUGE - they look more like basting - the kind of thing you'd say, 'that will fall apart the first time it's washed'

    do you recall seeing any of the hand quilted quilts at walmart? the huge big sitches probably done by very young children? that sort of thing

    if you've seen any of the Gees Bend quilts they are very very crudely made - like maybe a 5 year old just learning - don't yell at me about it unless you've actually seen one of them - I know I wouldn't spend thousands of $$$ on one of them

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is, there are different degrees of effort and talent in anything to do with quilting, just as every person is different so is their talent...

    Apparently this woman hasn't seen your work and jumped to some rude conclusions....

    I think hand work is gorgeous if done well - if not, it's just shoddy, just as machine work...
    For decades any woman who did her quilting 'by machine' was really put down - it still goes on, people sniff when they see that you 'quilted it by machine'..... so the prejudice goes both ways - heavily weighted against the machine quilters in my experience.

    that woman's opinion of your 'way of doing things' is totally not important - do your own thing, enjoy it for what it is - your way of expressing yourself...
    and then show off some of your creations here!!

  13. #13
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I'm one of those weird "half breeds" I do both...I usually have more than 1 project going on at a time and I ALWAYS have something going on to do with my hands in front of the tv. I can spend some time with the machine during the day, but would MUCH rather spend time with DH at night and I usually always am sewing, knitting or something or another. It is very relaxing to me. Its funny that sometimes, my hand pieced projects get done quicker than my machine projects! You GO GIRL and do it anyway YOU want...to heck with that store owner...you don't HAVE to shop there :wink:

  14. #14
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    KQ.............don't worry about it and if possible frequent another quilt shop if need be. Just think........you can more than likely get more for your crafts simply because they are hand-stitched! I love hand quilting and have not mastered machine quilting myself yet.......

    Linda D.

  15. #15
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    I'm a hand-Quilter too. And I find That I have to addaped most of my patterns. I also get why don't you do it on the machine? But if the ele. goes out Oh it's a different story.

  16. #16
    DJ
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    Super Member DJ's Avatar
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    I'm really disappointed to hear that you felt shunned at a quilt shop.

    I have been machine piecing and quilting (small projects) and have done some hand quilting on larger projects. I would enjoy doing the hand piecing, but have not been able to find a class. I guess I should do more research into books and/or internet resources for instructions/tips, etc.

  17. #17
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    The quilt shops figure you will not take their classes or buy their machines or have as quick a turn over...... next time remind them to smile when they make a comment like that

  18. #18
    Super Member Harmony's Avatar
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    It's a big ol' world, and there's room for everyone! We all know how we feel about the quilt police! You have the ability to do something that very few people can do, and that's fantastic! Just keep on doing it as long as it give you pleasure!

  19. #19
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    KrazyQuilter--I hand pieced and hand quilted my first quilt over 25 years ago. I then decided that quilting was not for me! I admire you so much for your talent, time and patience. I returned to quilting 9 years ago, but now my motto is more like-"so many quilts, so little time". Arthritis keeps me from doing as much handwork as I would like to do, so I stick to the sewing machine and send a lot of my tops out to be quilted by someone else.

    I am so sorry that shop owner was so thoughtless. She did not realize what a turn-off her selfish comment was-she could lose a lot of customers with attitude like that. Please try not to lump everyone in the same basket with her, there are a lot of people who share, or at least admire, your hand quilting preference.

  20. #20
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I combine hand and machine stitching...I have the feeling that the person who said that to you also sold high-markup frames and quilting machines and got a commission. She cannot rely on you to be buying shiney new stuff and filling her pockets, and wants to sway you.

    Do whatever makes you happy. I am the first to admit my hand stitching is better than my machine quilting. I do not have space to sprawl and work on anything large. Does that mean I wouldn't LOVE a longarm setup and the space tp use it? Of course not!!!

  21. #21
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    Here is the link to Jinny Beyer who has become very well known for her hand piecing.

    http://www.jinnybeyer.com/quilttips/tip21.cfm


  22. #22
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    Some quilt shop owners seem to forget who their customers are! If you're buying fabric, what difference does it make how you're sewing? Personally, I take my hat off to all of you who hand piece & quilt!! My hands just don't work well enough to do that. :D
    My first quilt class - which I still attend 15 years later :wink: - is an adult education class, and the new students are still started out with hand sewing & quilting only. After they've been quilting for a while, it's their choice what project to do. So now, we have hand quilters & machines all working together! What a concept, huh? :wink: :lol:

  23. #23
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    I am also a hand quilter, although I do some piecing by machine. I agree with you that it is nicer to sit with everyone working on your quilter, rather than to be off on your own. Another way hand quilter is nice, is that it's portable. I substitute teach and always have quilting projects with me.

    Janie

  24. #24
    KrazyQuilter's Avatar
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    Thanks all!

  25. #25
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I think it is WONDERFUL that you do it all by hand. Be proud that you have the talent. I can only put my tops together with a machine because I lack that special talent.

    SMILE and hold your head up.

    Anne

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