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Thread: Questions and hints

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    SW AL
    Okay, here's another question:
    What do you say to "Quilt Police" who ask questions like...
    "How come you made it so small?" or the people who seem to think it isn't a 'real' quilt unless it's all done by hand?

    There are some folks who apparently think all quilts have to be KING size and hang clear to the floor - NOT! :roll:
    I like to make 'blanket' size quilts for several reasons -
    a. they go faster :mrgreen:
    b. they can be piled on a bed as blankets and don't have to be the bedspread
    c. easier to handle
    d. easier to be used watching TV or whatever (or for the dog bed LOL)

    I've made quilts all by hand in the past - I can't do it anymore because of arthritis - and besides that, I have a GAZILLION quilts in my head and want to do most of them in my lifetime!! a machine is soooooooooo much faster!

    Hint: use rubberized gardening gloves (real cheap at wallyworld) for handling while stippling. I've tried the dotted ones and they don't work for me. I cut the tip of the first finger and thumb of right hand glove to make for easier thread snipping or taking pins out, etc.

    Hint: If you are using a newer sewing machine with measured thread, use a LONG stitch length for stippling to prevent broken needles.
    I tried stippling with my super-duper Singer XL1000 and promptly broke a pile of needles... which is one reason I'm using a 50 year old 301!

    Hint: don't move the quilt too fast when stippling - that causes those weird looking tension problems (I just today figured this out duh)

    And another question, how long does it take to get really good at machine quilting?? I have all kinds of plans for fancy stuff and wind up meandering anyway.... sigh

  2. #2
    Leslee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    How long does it take to get good at machine quilting? Uh-oh...the usual answer! It takes as long as it takes...practice, practice and more practice, I'm afraid. I've discovered that being fearless really helps, too. I make a lot of practice squares using the same backing, batt and fabric sandwich as the quilt I'm making, and I spray-tack these to avoid the distraction of pins and thread bastings. I've drawn or traced designs and practiced sewing over the lines. Sometimes the thought that you can go crazy on these toss-away pieces is just the freedom you need to relax and enjoy free motion quilting.

    Congratulations on conquering meandering and stippling, and thanks for the hints. Oh...and about those "Quilt Police"? Look 'em in the eye and tell 'em, "It's my quilt. You go make yours the way you want to!"

  3. #3
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    on the Texas Coast
    Leslee, that's just what I was going to suggest!

  4. #4
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    So. California
    Why is it so small? Because it's the right size.
    And when they comment about it not being a 'real quilt' unless it's hand-done? You could point out that quilters have been using sewing machines since they were invented, for piecing AND quilting! This isn't a NEW phenomena.

    And smile when you're saying it. They probably won't know how to react!! :mrgreen:

  5. #5
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Blog Entries
    the first machine-made quilts were status symbols because it showed the quilter was wealthy enough to afford the machine. they had genuine snob appeal. ain't it a hoot how perspectives change? :lol:

    considering how much more difficult it is to do precise piecing and complex quilting by machine than it is to do either by hand, i think those who look down their noses at machine work are a few needles short of a pack. :wink:

    Never explain why. When she asks such stupid questions, just look back down your own nose at her and say, "Daaaaahling ... someday ... when you, too, are a real quilter, you'll know why." then back away as though she smells bad. :lol: :lol: :lol:

  6. #6
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Blog Entries
    Oh Patrice...I love you and your attitude...me? I think I'd look at the quilt police as if they had 4 heads and say...now why would you care?? and of course...smile very sweetly!! :D :D

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    I would just answer their questions honestly and not assume any offense was intended. Maybe they just think your quilt is beautiful and wonder why you didn't make it bigger! So tell them - "I like to make this size!" or "I find this a very useful size!" or "I already have enough bed quilts" or whatever the truth is!

    Why do you use a machine? Because you like to! Why not?

  8. #8
    nel is offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Mt. Prospect, IL
    Why do people cook with a stove? Why do people mow their lawns with a gas mower?
    We're not cavemen anymore!!!

  9. #9
    Millie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Macomb, Michigan
    Why did you make it so small? Obviously this person has never heard of table runners, place mats, christmas skirts, etc, etc, etc. There is a world of beautiful small wall hangings out there. I am in the process of making my first lap size quilt, but I have made a number of small items for gifts and the recipients have been very happy with them. Some people just feel the need to be critical so they put others down so don't pay any attention to them.

    By the way Patrice, you crack me up. You also come up with some great ideas too. I just ordered that Singer 1/4" foot you spoke of and it looks like it will be a real help. Thanks a lot.

  10. #10
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Central FL
    At one point in my life, I made a (subsistance) living as a fiber artist. A friend's new love came with him to visit, and seeing fabric draped all over and work progressing, put me down with the phrase "All this is cute, But I (meaning herself) am a Fine artist".

    Since she has never put her works out for the public to see, and my opinion of them was "unoriginal cartoons", I will never know why her opinion of fine art differs so much from mine. Apparently, making money from art disqualified me.

    Critics will show up wherever there is art. That is why artists are not always appreciated in their lifetimes. If their view is so narrow, it may be that way in other areas, too. I give them a pretty wide berth.

  11. #11
    bj is offline
    Super Member bj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Ft. Worth, Texas
    I'm with Cathe. Just be honest. If they're trying to be mean, they won't know what to say. If they're not, they'll appreciate your honesty. I honestly don't get the "hand only" quilting snobbery. I think the finished art is the whole point, how you get there is up to the artist. I've been lucky, I guess, that no one has ever been mean to me about my quilts. I don't understand snobbery or mean-spirited criticism. But, judging from the many posts here from others, I know it is out there. Just don't stoop to their level.

  12. #12
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Granbury, Texas
    I think what PatriciaJ said was perferct. She just cracks me up all the time. As for the "Quilt Police" there is none and we all make the quilts the way we enjoy them. As for machine quilting I would love to try it. I am real scared to do it. I have a Singer Simplicy 1316 (I think), anyway I use it to piece, but don't have the darning nor the even feet. but manual states don't need them and that I can just take the feet off and try it that way. Just way too scare to try, but someday. Hand quilting does take a lot of time, but it is relaxing and I can do while watching TV, etc. If I do not learn or try machine quilting, I will never get all the quilts done that I want too, but oh well, life goes on.

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