Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
I've recently taken on a minor research project for my current guild and discovered to my amazement that machine quilting has been going on in the USA since sewing machines became readily and affordably available. Ladies have machine quilted since the 1800s. I find, though, that many quilters feel machine quilting is "cheating" and is not traditional. How do you folks come down on this issue?
I used to believe "real" quilting did not incorporate a sewing machine. Then one day, my oldest daughter said to me, "Mom, if those women who lived a hundred and fifty years ago had a sewing machine, don't you think they would use it to make their job easier?" I thought about that for a long time and decided she was right. How many of us get out a mixing bowl and "beat" up a cake - we use our electric mixers. It doesn't mean the cake is any less tasty (I'm a believer that mixing in a mixer for the proper time makes the best and lightest cakes), it means we are able to do more things. Look at what we are doing right now - communicating with folks we have never met and might never meet using an electronic device. It's not wrong to use the gifts given to us, it just gives us more time to make more quilts - or buy more stash!
I think there is plenty of room for both machine and hand quilting -- it depends on what you are working on! I've even done hand embroidery with perle cotton to quilt some projects! The sky's the limit. But, if you are doing something traditional, like an Amish-style quilt, I'd say it's time to break out the thimble!
Very interesting! I have 2 treadle machines. Neither one works right now. Need new belts and other work probably. I don't use a machine at all for my quilts, ( mostly because I am not good at using my machine and it causes me stress) but I would love to try piecing one on one of my treadles.
Don't kid yourself: Machine quilting "aint' all THAT easy" - There is a learning curve that is somewhat long. Using a domestic machine in free motion mode and achieving respectable results takes skill, artistry, and lots of practice. I still have a quilt on my frame for hand quilting but I enjoy the creativity that machine quilting permits. Am just kicking myself that I didn't get started on this skill years ago................Machine quilting is definitely not "cheating." Hand quilting is not a project for me - it is a "career" and takes me a long time to turn out a king-size quilt. Again, I love the creativity that machine quilting affords.
You're right about the skill and practice needed to machine quilt. Even stitching in the ditch isn't that easy. Fortunately there are several good books on learning how!
I think there is room for both hand and machine quilting. I think that you can achieve beautiful results with both methods. For those of us who are impatient machine quilting works better. I want to learn to machine quilt so that I can say that I did the whole quilt.
I do all hand piecing and quilting. I love doing it and I have several quilts that my great grandmother hand pieced and quilted. I feel like it brings me closer to a woman who I never got to meet. However, I have a lot of respect for those who can machine quilt. I really struggle with my machine. I have never done real well with machines. I think it is me, not my machine.
I personally don't hand quilt......yet! That is an art in itself! But..... I think it depends what you are working on and what you are comfortable with! With the machines of today, quilting has evolved into a modern art so to speak!!! When I have a large bed quilt.....it goes to one of my favorite long-armers!
I don't feel like machine quilting is cheating. Beautifully machine quilted pieces are art. I am more of a utility quilter, by the time I get the top pieced I just want to get it done. I do not enter my pieces into shows they are mostly made for myself and family and an occasional gift for a friend. Large bed sized quilts I usually have professionally quilted by a long arm quilter in my area. I do have a large quilting frame from when I used to do hand quilting , and have thought about getting it dusted off for my next quilt, but not having hand quilted for several years now, I am sorely out of practice. We'll see what this next piece turns out like, and if it calls for hand quilting then I will drag out the frame...