Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quilting Quilts

Edit: This post is not to criticise, it is only to spark discussions. I admire the longarm quilter that turns quilts in to works of art without a computer.

Good morning everyone...

I have been busy yesterday teaching two classes one on needleturn applique and the other hand quilting.
This made me think about quilting in general, how does everyone feel about quilting quilts?

I for one love finishing my own quilts, either on my domestic machine, or hand quilt, don't do many of mine on my longarm maybe because I enjoy quilting and try not to make it to difficult for me to manage even on my domestic machine.

I noticed in the last few years going to quilt shows that a very large number of quilts are now being quilted by a second person on a longarm, don't get me wrong I know we all only have so many hours in the day to get things done, but I think it is a shame that this is happening.
As I said I know the quilts that are custom quilted look amazing, but are they quilts to snuggle under, are they still soft or are they show pieces only?
To me making a quilt includes all steps, how do you feel about quilting?

Food for thought.

Christine

18 comments:

Suzan said...

I quilt all of my own quilts. I feel like if I don't quilt them, I'm not a quilter but a piecer instead. This is just a personal preference. I am not a snob about it and many of my closest quilting friends send their quilts out to a long arm service. I am also extremely cheap and I can't afford to have anyone else quilt for me!

Jamie Lee said...

I agree--I like to quilt my own. In fact, I'd rather my quilts look a little simple and utilitarian than showy and quilted out the wazoo.

Heather said...

I quilt all of my own quilts and even bought a longarm just to finish my quilts. I hand quilt too and somehow just feel the need to do every part of a quilt. I really admire the work of other machine quilters, usually much better than mine, but I am happy with my less than perfect work!

Cathy said...

I too love to do my own quilting. Lately I have been combining machine and handquilting on my quilts and love that effect. I too would rather save money on getting someone else to quilt it, but then I blow it all on fabric anyway!! It would be so much fun to do a class with you Christine. xo

Jessica said...

The quilts I have had quilted by a long-arm quilter have all been (except one) all over designs, which make them great for lots of use and very washable....when I quilt LARGE quilts on my domestic I end up with a sore back and shoulders that need to be fixed so it probably works out cheaper to have the quilts long armed.
It doesn't make me feel down on myself as a quilter because I get someone else to do it, I know I can do it if I have to and I do quilt my own small quilts.

Dora, the Quilter said...

Quilting is my favorite part--it's like the jewels that make a gown glorious.
Several years ago I was just amazed at how many quilts were being completed by members of one of my on-line groups. Then I realized they weren't finishing them; they were only piecing or appliqueing and sending them out to be quilted. I've quilted quilts left unfinished by grandmothers who have passed on and I often offer to quilt when other quiltmakers in our quilt ministry are stumped for how to quilt one of their quilts. I'm the one who quilts the quilt tops I make, however.

virtualquilter said...

By far the best part of making a quilt is the quilting part ... adding a third dimension to the fabric.
Judy B

Toni said...

Hi Christine, I love it when you pose these questions *grin*.

The quilting community is so divisive when it comes to this question. We all sit in our preferred corners calling each other names (quilters vs. piecers et al).

It's all so silly. Who are we to judge each other over what boils down to a personal preference. I am no less of a "quilt maker" if I send my quilts out to be quilted by another person.

I enjoy hand-quilting and love the soft finish it gives but I have no time to do it.

My domestic machine, as much as I love it, is not up to the task and neither are my neck/shoulders anymore.

I send my quilts out to be quilted because it saves me a lot of pain and gives me so much more time to do the fun part, the designing and piecing :o) It's still not an ideal situtation because I don't have complete control over the quilting.

The ideal, for me, would be to own a smallish longarm quilting machine and to have the ability to quilt my quilts the way I want them to be done. Thus giving me complete control :o))))

Catch up soon? toni xxx

Louise said...

I love quilts - those that are hand quilted have my greatest admiration. I work so I do most my quilting by machine - give all my quilts away. For the first time I am hand quilting and I am loving every minute learning. It is up to each of us to find what works best for us. Keep on quilting - each stitch shares kindness to another.

Lindi said...

I love doing them myself...it really feels like my work, then. However, sometimes, a longarm job is necessary, especially if it's a really special quilt, or rather large. I just don't have the strength or the quilting skill for those. :)

Susan said...

I am a happy hand quilter. I just love the finish of hand quilting - and all the thoughts, feelings and time that go into it. Yes it can be slow work, but most of my sewing is for pleasure, not a deadline. I think everyone is entitled to choose whichever method suits them (but hubby thinks machine quilting is cheating!)

Bree said...

I think the point you have hit upon is why our craft is called "Patchwork" and "Quilting" they are two different beasts. I know when I make a quilt, the quilting part is usually my least favourite part. I find it stressful on the body and the mind. But at the same time once the whole quilt is done I feel immense satisfaction. I think if I was going to use someone else to quilt for me it would be if it was a seriously big quilt (bigger than single bed) or if I wanted something quite fancy. I find some of the quilting that you see at shows very very fancy, almost overdone. If it was all the one person's work I think I'd find it more impressive than someone who makes a quilt and then has someone else do all the fancy quilting for them.

Leah said...

I recently purchased a longarm machine, and hope to start a business quilting. I do think there is a place for those that longarm quilt for others. If I didn't have a longarm quilt, then I would have many UFOs or I'd quit quilting - I have a number of basted quilts with the quilting started because I dislike quilting on my own machine. I even borrowed my moms to try a machine with a longer throat space and still don't like using the domestic machine.

I love using the longarm machine, and love not needing to baste my quilt. I dislike using my sewing machine for quilting for anything larger than a placemat. It bothers my back and hands. I find its slow and I'm limited by trying to fit the quilt into the small space.

As with the differences on a domestic machine, with straightline quilting, or free motion quilting, there are also many different options of quilting styles on the longarm. Edge to edge designs using a predesigned pattern, straight line quilting, free-hand work or computer controlled. There is a place for all. A longarm quilter can just as easily do simple and utilitarian quilting or something showy and detailed - like feathers or tiny stippling. I think there is a place for all types of quilting... The handquilters, those that do straightline quilting on their domestic machine, those that do free motion quilting on their domestic machine and those using a longarm with either edge-to-edge designs, handguided custom work or computer controlled quilting. And it isn't any less of a quilt if its hand-tied.

Maree: said...

I Love the Look of Professional Quilting and wish I could master it on my domestic but me too like Toni have shoulder problems so I tend to just do straight lines of late even though I don't class myself as a Good Quilter...
I still call myself a beginner when it comes to quilting...my projects vary now and my time on the machine to quilt is quite long...I personally feel that I should quilt them myself as it is the process from start to finish
Great Question.
cheers

Barbara said...

I prefer to quilt my own, and if I can, I do. But I don't have a long arm, and there is no way I can do a large quilt on my domestic sewing machine. I work with the quilter choosing thread and design. I'm not averse to partnering up with a good quilter to produce a quilt that will bring joy to someone else...or to me.

Lori said...

I hand quilt, machine quilt on my home machine and send them out sometimes too. None of my quilts are for show, but all for use.

Cardygirl said...

A great discussion! I love the look of hand quilting...but I choose to get many of my "everyday" quilts machine quilted...do not have the time or motivation to do them all. Special quilts are lovely with hand quilting. Interestingly I love to hand piece...how do people feel about hand piecing as opposed to machine pieced?

Karen said...

Interesting thoughts by all those leaving a comment. I used to hand quilt every quilt I made. A machine quilted piece was not widely acceptable. Less likely to win in a quilt show. Now machine quilting has become an art of its own. I sometimes hand quilt, sometimes machine quilt (which I am not very good at) or have someone edge to edge quilting done. I especially like the edge to edge feather design. I think it is whatever you prefer and how much time is available. I do like that in many of the quilt shows now, if someone else does the quilting, the quilt has to be entered in a group category. In other words, made by two or more people.