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Thread: Computerized Quilting - is it cheating?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Quilter Lois's Avatar
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    Several of my friends were talking about computerized quilting and how beautiful it is. One of them expressed her feeling that she thought it was cheating. I, myself, can see two sides to this opinion. What do you think?????
    The group thought there should be a separate category for it as well as hand quilting, and machine or long arm quilting.

  2. #2
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    If you are talking about categories in a quilt show, I do think there should be separate ones for different types of quilting. If I buy a design, download it, and let the machine stitch it for me (something I do on my embroidery machine now and then), it's not the same as someone who did a similar design free motion. It might be the same pattern, but in one case there is skill in stitching it properly and in the other there is none. I wouldn't call it "cheating" though!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wholeheart Mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuilteanna
    If you are talking about categories in a quilt show, I do think there should be separate ones for different types of quilting. If I buy a design, download it, and let the machine stitch it for me (something I do on my embroidery machine now and then), it's not the same as someone who did a similar design free motion. It might be the same pattern, but in one case there is skill in stitching it properly and in the other there is none. I wouldn't call it "cheating" though!
    I agree with you. I can see the art in selecting a design, but there is also an artistic element to stitching it yourself.

  4. #4
    Super Member AnnieH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuilteanna
    If you are talking about categories in a quilt show, I do think there should be separate ones for different types of quilting. If I buy a design, download it, and let the machine stitch it for me (something I do on my embroidery machine now and then), it's not the same as someone who did a similar design free motion. It might be the same pattern, but in one case there is skill in stitching it properly and in the other there is none. I wouldn't call it "cheating" though!
    Well said. (agree)

  5. #5
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    I agree totally. Different methods, different criteria for judging should be applied. Cheating? Well, no more than using an Accuquilt to cut your pieces or even a rotary cutter for that matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scowlkat
    I agree totally. Different methods, different criteria for judging should be applied. Cheating? Well, no more than using an Accuquilt to cut your pieces or even a rotary cutter for that matter.
    Amen. That's like saying it's cheating to use a machine to piece or quilt. Or cheating to use a car instead of a horse and buggy. It's just different (i.e. more modern) technology that gets you to the same point. Whether it is good or bad is a subjective opinion.

  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    cheating is so horribly (NEGATIVE)...i would not call it cheating, i would call it a different technique than free motion...why should some techniques be considered cheating? because it didn't take as long as the way you did it? because it's different than the way you were taught? because it seems like cutting corners?
    is there really a reason it's cheating?
    my grandmother would probably (if she were alive) consider a rotary cutter cheating...because it's easier than scissors...is it cheating to use technology as it advances? maybe we should all just be using treadle machines and hand quilting...that way we aren't 'cheating'...
    i do think their should be different catagories in shows so that the same techniques are judged together. i don't think a freemotion heirloom quilt should be judged with a quilt quilted with a statler stitcher; but it still takes time and skill to use those programs and have beautiful quilts, you have to program your design with careful measuring and planning in order to tell them machine where to put the design...it is n't as if you just load up the quilt sandwich,, push a button and walk away; it still takes planning, prep work and diligent attention.
    for me, it doesn't matter if you are calling panals cheating or computer programs cheating...cheating is a bad word!
    and what about machine embroidery? i have an embroidery unit for my machine, i also hand embroider...is using my machine cheating? i do not believe using your machines technological capabilities is cheating, i think that's what i bought it for.

  8. #8
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I don't think taking advantage of technology is cheating. But I do think there should be separate judging categories for different techniques used.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Cakes made with a mix should not be judged next to cakes made from scratch. Neither is cheating. Just two different ways to get to the same place.

  10. #10
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    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raggiemom
    I don't think taking advantage of technology is cheating. But I do think there should be separate judging categories for different techniques used.
    Absolutely - I think in the case of quilting specifically, there IS more artistic input in freehanding than in using a panto or computerised system - like doing a painting from a blank canvas as opposed to filling in a painting by numbers, for example.

  11. #11
    deema's Avatar
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    For categories in a show, I can see them being separated. But quilting in general? To say it is cheating is absurd as saying that using a panel is cheating or that a mini isn't a "real" quilt or that using a sewing machine to piece instead of hand piecing is cheating, or using a rotary cutter instead of scissors.

    If you look up the definition of "quilt" you'll find that it is two layers of fabric with batting in between, sewn together. How you sew it doesn't make it less of a quilt. Taking advantage of the technology offered in our current lives doesn't mean one is not a "real" quilter.

    I get my panties all in a wad when someone says something like this. HOW you do it does not make a quilt a quilt. As long as it's done and you enjoy the process, it is not cheating.

  12. #12
    Super Member Enchanted Quilter's Avatar
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    To me the word "cheating" is a four letter word. Just think if we didn't have different styles of sewing what would we talk about on here. How would we learn how would our minds grow can't do it on spinach alone. Its not cheating its using all your God given talents by LEARNING & PRACTICE,PRACTICE,PRACTICE !!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. #13
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    I don't think it's 'cheating' it's just another way of doing it.
    There are also quilters who think sewing patches on the machine instead of hand patching them, is cheating. I think it's simply the quilters choice.

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    I totally agree. Years ago when I started longarming, the computerized quilting was put in a separate category. Wish it still was. Not everyone can afford those expensive machines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuilteanna
    If you are talking about categories in a quilt show, I do think there should be separate ones for different types of quilting. If I buy a design, download it, and let the machine stitch it for me (something I do on my embroidery machine now and then), it's not the same as someone who did a similar design free motion. It might be the same pattern, but in one case there is skill in stitching it properly and in the other there is none. I wouldn't call it "cheating" though!

  15. #15
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say it is cheating it's just the modern age we live in.

  16. #16
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scowlkat
    I agree totally. Different methods, different criteria for judging should be applied. Cheating? Well, no more than using an Accuquilt to cut your pieces or even a rotary cutter for that matter.
    Ditto

  17. #17
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I just added a computerized system to my longarm and I will be watching this thread with interest.

    Here's where I see advantages to both my customers and to me.

    1) My turnaround on edge-to-edge quilts will be much quicker. While the machine doesn't quilt any faster with the computer, it can continue to quilt when I'm tired. I can take a break AND continue to watch the quilting getting done. I don't like having to tell people that I'm several months out on my backlog. I'm hoping to get to a 4-6 week turnaround.

    2) Instead of 30 panto choices (edge-to-edge) I now have hundreds to choose from. I recently had a baby quilt come in that had monkeys on it. I was able to do bananas as the quilting. It turned out really cute, and the customer was thrilled. There was lots of backtracking on the design which is not possible from the back of the machine.

    3. I can now have more intricate designs, some of which were not possible to do for my customers economically.

    4. For those quilts that are not absolutely perfect - and very few are - I can watch the quilt at the front of the machine instead of watching a laser dot on a piece of paper (the panto) as I quilt. I can catch flipped seams and help line seams up as the machine is running. If I ran out of thread before, I could quilt for a long time and not realize it. I now know instantly because I'm watching it. Same goes for unstitched seams - and yes, those do happen.

    5. I'm able to add new services. Instead of just edge-to-edge and several levels of custom, I now have a couple of mid-range options. I can do an edge-to-edge with a separate border and borders and blocks.

    6. My body will last a lot longer, keeping me in business for my customers longer. Quilting is very physical. I will get plenty of physical work doing custom level quilts, which have from some to no computer guided assistance. All stitch-in-the-ditch is still done by ruler and hand.

    I quilt for others so that I can work with designs and colors that I might not choose, or have enough life to be able to make myself. I want to be able to enjoy my customers quilts as I help to get them finished. By working from the front of the quilt, I get to do that.

    Cheating? I don't think so. It's definitely a different method and any judging should have it considered separately. But it's no different than hand embroidery vs machine embroidery and hand quilting vs machine quilting.

    Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE MY JOB!!!

  18. #18
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    It takes time and know how to set up a machine to do comp.quilting. It actually much more know how than freehand. I do it both ways and comp.quilting is harder on me. It has to be planned to the exact size of the quilt. Borders are separate and hard to do. I think each one has its pros and cons and it comes out even as far as human input is concerned. The most important is what it adds, or sometimes detracts from the quilt. Maybe we should separate those with "stitch regulators" from those of us who learn how to do it on out own.

  19. #19
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    Cheating - NO! It's simply using an available tool to complete a job. It is no more cheating than using a sewing machine to piece a quilt. And it is very similar to using a stylus attached to a machine and following a template to create a quilt design.

    As for quilts submitted for judging at a show, if the entire quilt is computerized, I could possibly see it being judged in a separate category. However, I believe most judged quilts containing computerized designs also contain freehand quilting elements. How would you then classify the quilt? Computerized or freehand?

    And here comes the hardest part..... How can you tell, if the designs were stitched out by a computer or freehand? They are both stitched by the same machine. Identifying hand versus machine stitches is much easier. They look totally different.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

  20. #20
    Senior Member cowpie2's Avatar
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    How can sewing be cheating? There are many different ways to make and quilt a quilt, each way is unique and acceptable.

  21. #21
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knlsmith
    Quote Originally Posted by scowlkat
    I agree totally. Different methods, different criteria for judging should be applied. Cheating? Well, no more than using an Accuquilt to cut your pieces or even a rotary cutter for that matter.
    Ditto
    Not cheating!!! If I had one I would use it! :thumbup: :thumbup:

  22. #22
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    This is an interesting thread. I think there should be a separate category in quilt shows for freehand quilting (no pantos/no computer). I just don't feel like I should be compared to a written pattern or a computer. Just my opinion.

  23. #23
    Super Member dmyers's Avatar
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    I don't think it's cheating. I think FMQ is a wonderful talent. But I also think using a computer with your LA is also a talant, there is as much work to line up the design and there are wonderful artists out there that are making lots of money sharing their designs for others that don't have the skill or the time to do custom work. I think it's a wonderful technology.

  24. #24
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    I wouldn't consider it cheating, but in a quilt show each method should have it's own catagory, because each method requires different skills.

  25. #25

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    I sure don't consider it cheating! I love computerized designs.

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