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Quilting Show "Perfection"

Quilting Show "Perfection"

Old 07-28-2020, 09:55 AM
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I had taken a hiatus from quilting for about a year and a half, so I thought that I'd watch a couple of quilt shows to get me back into the spirit and brush up on my skills. Now, I'll admit, before I get started here, I have learned a ton of stuff from quilting shows. I literally learned everything about quilting either from shows, or online, or here, at the QB. Mostly here at the QB.

All that being said, I had to question the validity of some of these shows. I mean really, are you that perfect of a quilter? Do I really need all of those expensive things that you use on your show? I watched one show this morning where she was sandwiching a quilt and another one where she was putting together a nine-patch; both are every day tasks to a quilter. In her TV quilting world, there were no loose threads, no 2 1/2" squares with any fraying what so ever, ( Are you that good of a cutter that you cut exactly with the grain?) every piece was pressed perfectly with her very, very expensive iron, (which looks like it weighs a ton,) everything was cut with extreme precision with her most expensive rotary cutter. At one point, she apologized for being so cramped and that she she usually did all of this type of work on a huge ping-pong table set up in her quilting room at home. Geesh...that must be a big sewing room! When she sat down to sew, she did everything on her super expensive sewing machine, (I'm guessing $4k to $5k, at least.) Of course, it was sewn with perfection, first time, after she tapped a couple of buttons and let the machine do all of the work.

After awhile, I started feeling a bit insecure about my skills, my sewing space and my simple, old Singer. Do I really, really need a room to house a ping-pong table? I can't even afford a ping-pong table, much less an addition to my house. And what about all those strings that I try to wipe off of my sweats after every quilting session? She doesn't have those. Am I too sloppy? Is my thrift store iron an embarrassment? Gosh, I'd better not let anyone see it. Will my seams ever look that good, my blocks that square? I'd better start buying a higher quality fabric. Hers looks amazing!

And then...she proceeded to tell us all about how easy free-motion quilting was.



She set a very, small quilt sandwich on her fancy machine, put on an unusual quilting foot which looked like it came from Tiffany's and proceeded to do some stippling. Guess what...yup, it looked awful...and it was done in contrasting thread so it really, really looked awful...just like mine does!

Look, I'm not knocking people who invest in these nice sewing machines, or people who have big sewing rooms, or commendable sewing skills. If that's you, you go girl/guy! I'm just saying that these TV shows can be so misleading and we all have to remember that they are paid to promote these products, that they have a staff to get all of these blocks and HSTs ready beforehand and that there are out-takes. Still, once in awhile, they do give you a good tip that you can add to your repertoire of quilting skills. Lastly, you are probably a better quilter than they would like you to believe.

OK...I'm getting off of my soapbox now.

~ C

Last edited by tropit; 07-28-2020 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:48 AM
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Most demos or tutorials are about selling a product. I enjoy watching them to learn something new and then find a way to achieve the same result with what I already have. I appreciate the time and energy that they put into making a slick presentation and hope they do well. Everyone has their strengths and public speaking is not one of mine.
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:55 AM
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After I read about all the "tricks" that can be used to make something look better in pictures (like using glue instead of milk with cereal) I never worry about how "perfect" something looks in a picture or video.


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Old 07-28-2020, 11:35 AM
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That's why I like Jenny Doan's videos. Her points may be cut off, her seams may not match but she sure has fun and a passion for sewing and it it shows. Precision piecing is for those that think that is the goal of making a quilt. They are really boring quilters to be around. The more quilts I make with mistakes the better quilter I become. I don't fret over it or even think about it. I make quilts.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:13 PM
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If I am making a show quilt expecting to win thousands of $$ I would go for perfection. Never going to happen in my lifetime. I quilt for the pleasure of it. So I have frayed edges and my points are sometimes cut off. I try to put my best work into my creations and will settle for whatever that may be. Whoever gets my works of art are quite happy with them. I don’t want to stress over perfection being ruined by someone that is using and abusing the quilt as it should be, with love
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:17 PM
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i don't watch "teachers" whose own work is sloppy.
they are not qualified and waste my time.

i have seen only one video in which the demonstrator stopped because she made a mistake.
she showed it close up.
she explained how it went wrong.
she showed how to fix it.
she is a teacher. we need more like her.

i agree that it would be refreshing to see tutorials (whether written or on video) in which the demonstrator used a basic machine and basic tools. it would also be nice to hear them admit how many times they practiced the technique being demonstrated before they became proficient.

i almost fell over laughing about the stippling demonstration. everything looks easier if you're only working on a place mat using a wide throat machine. i want to see them struggle with a queen size quilt and a 6" throat. then i'll trust their "expertise."
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:41 PM
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I've got a ping pong table. I use it for ping pong. And for laying out quilt tops that are too big for my design wall...until someone wants to play ping pong.

I also like the teachers who have normal stuff and make the occasional oops, point it out and tell you how they decide whether to fix it or not and how to go about it.

If someone is doing a video and halfway through they pull out a special ruler it just irks me. If I need a special tool for something, tell me at the beginning so I can find some other video to waste my time on because I can guarantee I don't have your special ruler and 99% of the time won't be buying it.

I'd prefer to watch real people make real quilts rather than overly-produced video of perfection any day.

Watson

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Old 07-28-2020, 12:49 PM
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It would be helpful if it was labeled "infomercial" at the outset.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Watson View Post
I've got a ping pong table. I use it for ping pong. And for laying out quilt tops that are too big for my design wall...until someone wants to play ping pong.

I also like the teachers who have normal stuff and make the occasional oops, point it out and tell you how they decide whether to fix it or not and how to go about it.

If someone is doing a video and halfway through they pull out a special ruler it just irks me. If I need a special tool for something, tell me at the beginning so I can find some other video to waste my time on because I can guarantee I don't have your special ruler and 99% of the time won't be buying it.

I'd prefer to watch real people make real quilts rather than overly-produced video of perfection any day.

Watson
Oh, Watson...I never intended to offend anyone that owns a ping-pong table. My apologies. I'm just a little envious of anyone that has that much room to use one in their sewing room, on top of all the other expensive stuff she's using in the video. My point was that these videos are just not even close to reality. I mean, they don't even have lint!

~ C
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Old 07-28-2020, 03:25 PM
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When I first joined the local quilt guilds....I soon got intimidated by all the fancy quilts and quilting shown. I soon noticed it was the same small handful of quilters showing off their quilting skills. I didn't even want to try and use my long arm cuz I could not match the perfection being shown. Well after I few years of reminding myself why I got my basic long-arm....so I could finish my quilts without having to bring it to someone and paying them at least $100 a quilt and often 2-3 times that for a simple over-all design, and not to have wait in line for my quilt to get done often for months,, and not to have to maneuver my quilt under my domestic machine......I finally decided that the simple quilting I did free motion was plenty "good enough" to get the quilt completed and on somebody's bed or couch to keep them warm....lesson learned....I have gotten sucked in to the gadget frenzy at times and some of those things sit unused....but there are few things....like my purple thang....I do use a lot. I am questioning a bit that last fancy machine I bought as I really like just piecing the best...but who knows....some day, I may bet a yen to do some embroidery...and then I am all set.
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