Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
I agree with rogue. I'm sure there will always be hand quilters. Odd as it may sound I think art quilts may actually help promote hand quilting. It seems to me more people are once again incorporating hand techniques into the smaller art and wall quilts... more doable than a bed size hand quilted piece.
As an "oldster" who's been hand quilting since 1967 and a longarm machine quilter of 14 years and a collector of antique quilts some of which have been machine pieced and quilted, I can't help but chime in.
Yes, there's a difference between hand quilting and machine quilting. I was a die-hard wholecloth hand quilter and I pretty much turned my nose up at machine quilted quilts until I saw a machine quilted wholecloth quilt that didn't look like a "mattress pad" as I knew it would.
I don't believe either skill will disappear. Sure, we don't grow the cotton or cut our precious pieces of fabric with scissors and cardboard templates. We don't piece our tops with foot-powered sewing machines or hand-quilt our county fair prize-winning quilts by candle-light at night after the chores are done and the kids are in bed.
My opinion of quilters who used those new computerized machines wasn't too high until I saw what skilled quilters could do with them! Once again, I had to change my way of thinking! The world has changed: fabric can be purchased by a few clicks on a keyboard, rotary cutters, plastic templates, computerized sewing machines can be on our doorstep the next day. Quilters can click a switch on the wall and quilt by hand or machine after the kids (if we choose to have them) are tucked into bed!
I've learned from experience that it's easy to stay stuck in one way of thinking about how to quilt quilts. And while I don't know what will happen next in our world I don't think quilters are going to stop quilting by hand.
National Star Hand Quilted
National Star Machine Quilted
ps: I'm sorry my text is so large and I don't know how to fix it. I quilt, I don't compute!
Wilma, Nicely said and beautiful work!
I do completely understand where you're coming from, but as a fairly new quilter with arthritic hands, if I had to hand quilt it would take me forever and really wouldn't be much fun. I've only made a few quilts that I quilted myself on my machine, and they weren't prize winners for sure...but they made me and the recipients happy. :) Recently, after joining a quilt guild, I've pieced some beautiful tops and I've sent out a couple of these to a long-armer for quilting. They are amazing...but SO expensive. I decided that if I don't practice and learn to perfect my own machine quilting skills I won't have many finished quilts.
I have only been to one large quilt show, but there were categories so that machine quilted and hand quilted items were judged separately...and I must say, those who hand quilt these amazing projects have my complete admiration. The time and talent it takes to hand quilt (and for some even hand-piece) such intricate works of art is nothing short of amazing. On the flip side, the same goes to those who produce gorgeous machine work...bottom line, quilting is an art and is beautiful no matter how its done.
Hi rogue quilter, When Linda said the machines cost hundreds of dollars, I think she is mistaken. Those quilting machines cost tens of thousands of dollars. My girlfriend bought one from a local longarm quilter's family after the longarmer had passed away. She paid ten thousand dollars for the machine. She opened a small shop and found very quickly that many people were bringing her their quilts, but they weren't paying the bills. She finally had to quit and close up shop. Like all longarmers, she charged per square inch. She put her machine in a Denver newspaper and overnight a woman offered her thirty thousand dollars for it. It is a machine that is computerized and will do edge to edge pantographs or can disengage for custom work. The last quilt I had done by a longarmer a few months ago was only in a simple computerized all-over pattern and it cost me nearly two hundred dollars for a double. Stuff like that is causing people like me to quit quilting or to turn to the new Big Stitch style. I just bought a book online by Billie Lauder called "Quilting in the Big Stitch Style" and I feel completely LIBERATED!!! This book is fabulous and she shows you how to make your own templates from several full sized patterns in her book. You use those templates as patterns to keep your big stitches straight. It's sort of like Sashiko, but she says it is a combination of Sashiko and the Depression era stitch. I'm working on a quilt top right now and I am definitely going to use this style. Can't wait.
hi victoria...i was trying to be funny.
sometimes i don't achieve that goal :(
and i am sorry to hear that you and your friend have had such negative quilting experiences. i did a few commission quilts years ago, after i had done commission knitting for a while. i was very lucky in those years that i was always paid, & in one case, paid more than the agreed to price. for your friend...i can't think of any way to avoid the situation that she found herself in. and i am truely sorry that she had to close and sell. when hubs first started pushing me to look for a long arm machine...there were very few long armers...and the machines weren't computerized. it is now almost an oversaturated market. sad. but there are some outstanding long arm quilters out there that do beautiful work for moderate prices. i think if i were you i would try one more time. but i would do some research. check different websites, check their work, ask for references...
i am not familiar w big stitch style, i am very familiar w sashiko and have a couple books. i am not a do it quick and finish it quilter. i don't care how long it takes to finish ...by hand or by machine. i enjoy every step of the quilt making/creating process. even hand finishing the binding :)).
hi again, Rogue,
Thanks for your comeback. Sorry, I guess I didn't recognize your humor. Will try harder next time. You're right about the longarm machines being in an oversaturated market. The quilting craze has just gone bonkers and doesn't look like it will stop anytime soon. A gal who was working at the quilt shop locally got a job as a fabric sales person for a Seattle company. She calls on shops all over Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. She is very busy. Happy 4th of July!