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