Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Once again I am completely dumbfounded and mystified by the words and thoughts of (of all people) hand quilters.

Yes, that's right. I said "HAND QUILTERS."  Not all of them, but there are too many harpies in that crew.

Mind you, I have absolutely nothing against those lovely people who can (and do) piece and quilt their works of wonderfulness all by hand - from the first stitch to the last.  NOTHING, do you get my meaning?  Am I coming through loud and clear?

I could even be tempted to admit I am envious of their time and gumption to piece by hand, but it isn't envy I feel, really.  There is a strong sense of admiration in my emotions I suppose, if it truly needed to be named...this feeling that I'm feeling.  In fact, it could almost border on respect if it weren't for the absolute superiority complex of a number of hand quilters I have come to read and know lately.

I cannot tell you on how many occasions someone has made a simple comment in a particular hand quilting Fb group - this comment having absolutely nothing to do with dissing FMQ, whatsoever - which was then completely blown out of proportion and dragged to the wrong side of the tracks by a small faction of simpleminded snobs, who then proceeded to make disparaging remarks regarding "machine quilters" for absolutely no reason.  These conversations are generally begun innocently enough, with nary a word against one quilting faction or another, when B A M !  Those nefarious aforementioned malcontents crawl out of the woodwork to slam FMQ with gay abandon, and without any provocation they hurl the same sad, nasty comments over and over.

Thankfully, today there was one kind soul who stood up and made some absolutely kind and (given the company of her brethren) generous remarks towards free motion quilters, and I could do nothing more than thank her profusely.  She could have been stoned - or excommunicated from the Fb group - had the Nasty Nellies had their way.

My point (because I feel my blood boiling just thinking of all the ways I wanted to respond but didn't)....my point today is this:

How can a lifetime of pursuing a pastime, of learning a craft and honing your skills with beautiful objects and soft materials, of relative pacifistic ways, be so filled with dislike - hate/loathing/just plain mean-spiritedness (you choose) - and have no room for new techniques or styles?

I am dumbfounded by those folks who can't be more open and accepting of other creative talents and bents.
And anyway, if there's one sort of quilting that doesn't belong, it's those appliqueing FUSERS.  There is no room for gluing pieces down to accomplish what should be rightfully done with a needle and thread.  If you want to applique, then learn how to do it the RIGHT way!  "Art quilts" my ass.  Raw edge quilts - pleh! Ptooh!

Great [pant, pant].
Well...I almost feel better.



Caron at Michigan Quilts said...

Being a devoted hand quilter and founder of the FB group Celebrate Hand Quilting, I sincerely hope it was not a member of our group. While I am most comfortable hand quilting, I appreciate GOOD machine quilting. Both approaches to quilting have something to offer. Both look good when the quilter is experienced and well-trained by a good teacher. Both quilting methods can look hideous when the stitcher does NOT have good training. I am totally with you on fusing. When teaching applique, my directions to students before the class is that "no fusible materials will be allowed through the door."

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Tis a shame when we all just cannot get along.

If we use our needles and thread to quilt together a top, batting and backing, then we are quilters - no matter what kind of needle we're talking about (attached to a machine or to our hand ). I might be willing to draw the line at those who quilt by check (its not their needle and thread quilting that quilt), but that's as far as I can possibly go. Otherwise, we're all quilters ... no other art draws such a distinction or looks down on those who use a different medium in quite the same way that quilters do. I'm a hand quilter, I've always been a hand quilter, and the good Lord willing, I'll always be a hand quilter ... but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate a well done machine quilted quilt.

Mavis Reynolds said...

I'm a relatively new member of that FB group. I recently posted a picture of a quilt that I wanted to hand quilt, just because...

I haven't hand quilted very much but I love the slow, contemplative process. I am mostly a machine quilter.

I'm replying because I'm so glad you posted about the negative nellies on that group. I was about to post a sequel post saying that I 'caved' on the hand quilting because it was going to be too difficult a process. I think I chose the wrong batting (being the novice that I am), and after quilting one block I knew I had made a mistake. It was like pulling a needle through concrete. Maybe I didn't do enough research on the type of batting. I used Warm & Natural. I've since read that people seem to like the poly batting better for hand quilting. Anyway, after seeing what you went through, there's no way I'm posting my "I decided to machine quilt this piece". Don't need any negative comments.

Shudder the thought that I chose to meander my Orca Bay quilt. But I did. And it was the right choice for me. But for now, I'll keep it to myself.

Thanks for posting. I'm now following your blog. Mine is dayspringquilter.blogspot.com. Nice to meet you!


Beth said...

Hey there, Mavis!
You're welcome...LOL - and it's nice to meet you, too.

Thank you for your comment and for following my blog (wow!), it's great to hear from a machine-quilting, hand-stitching-curious kindred spirit. I have begun appliqueing only very recently, and/but besides crazy quilting by hand, that's it. Although - - I do have a few small wall hangings I began hand quilting years ago that've never been finished. One of these days.

I do fantasize about being more of a purist, though, so I do turn and stitch my bindings by hand. ; ) I wonder if that would count in my favor.

I'd love to have you join my group on Fb called "FMQ on Domestics" - where your Orca FMQ would be most welcome - that is, if you ever find the time to look through one more group.

Regarding the batting conundrum:
As far as I can tell from reading the CHQ comments, as lovely and warm and old-fashioned a finish W&N may give once quilted, it seems to be a bear to hand quilt. Most folks are saying wool or silk are the preferred, with the poly (and poly/cotton blend - heavily favoring the 80/20 blend) are a strong second favorite - if you can't afford the silk and wool, that is. When I crazy quilt, I have found the bamboo batting is a nice, friendly weight and thickness, but not hard to needle. Sometimes I end up changing my needle to something longer and smaller gauge, and it makes a huge difference. Just a thought.

I will be checking into your blog after I switch some laundry from washer to dryer, and then begin that dance again, but thanks for the invite. I look forward to many years of happy reading and kibitzing, and I hope I can return the favor from time-to-time.

Yours in quilting,