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You Don't Have to Win a Prize to be a Quilter! posted: 1/20/2003
by Malia Webb Printable Page
Category: Quilting Method: Hand
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Hand Quilting, what was once a waning art with the advantages of machine quilting business springing up to manage the numerous tops hanging in the spare room closet, has had a renewed interest. Couple that with the continued expense of hiring someone to machine quilt your work, and after two or three years, calculate how many high-dollar sewing machines you could have purchased!

There's always the need for machine quilting, yet you desire, to be a Quilter, and not just a Piecer, so you begin with needle and thread and find out you're still a Piecer. So what now? How to people get those tiny stitches? And what about this technique over that technique... it's all too confusing. When you check with the elder family members, you find out grandma didn't have this confusion or trouble.

First of all, Grandma didn't have the selection of batting, fabric, needles, thimbles, and quilting frames/hoops to select from. Grandma used an old blanket, flannel, or "wadding" in her quilts. Then when you get real close to one of her quilts, the stitching isn't that perfect, in fact, it's down right awful most of the time.

You ask yourself, "So why are we getting all worked up over getting 12 stitches to the inch anyway?" Because "The Guild" wants you to show your quilt at show time (and you don't want to be embarrassed by your stitches).

Phooey. No one should apologize for the hand-quilted stitches they put into a quilt. Everyone has to start somewhere! Even with an experienced quilter, just because some stitches are a little bigger than others, and the line just not right, you are better than a Piecer because you tried. As a Quilter, you try to do the best you can, and as a Piecer, you may be failing to try.

To all you "Piecers" out there, take a class, read a book! If you can't get the little stitches, that's okay. Who said you have to have prize-winning stitches to be a Quilter! Bring Hand Quilting to Guild, good or bad.

2003 Malia Webb

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