I want to talk today about the actual quilting that is done on our quilts. My discussion on this is not meant to be offensive to any quilters out there; they are just observations and food for thought. I have great respect for all hand quilters and machine quilters. I like and appreciate both hand and/or machine quilting and think they are both beautiful.
What I want to talk about in particular is this--Are we getting too critical/picky about the quilting itself? The reason this has been on my mind is I have observed in the past year some very serious "discussions" ( at least, that's what I'll call it) on what I will loosely refer to as the "quality" of someone's stitching. I have observed that it seems to be in the minds of people that the quilting on quilts must be perfect, whether it was machine done or hand done! When did we raise the bar so high that only perfection is acceptable? That every stitch, hand or machine must be perfectly even? That's there no room for for anything but? I just don't agree with this, it really troubles me that we have taken our human limitations out the picture. I have observed quilter's gathered around a newly machine or hand quilted quilt literally picking it apart!
"oh, look there, those stitches aren't quite the same size! She's a machine quilter, it should be perfect! because I paid her to do it! I won't be taking my work back there!" Says who, I want to know! Using a quilting machine takes a lot of time and patience to master, but it is still just a machine being run by a human operator! Even with all the technology available on quilting machines, which I might add not all machine quilters use (and that's fine), you shouldn't expect perfection!!
"Oh my, her hand quilting is not blankety blank so many stitches per inch and look there...she left a gap in that spot...it should have quilting there too!" REALLY??!!! I say kudos to her for hand quilting it period! If you look at the centuries of hand quilted quilts we have around, the quilting is not perfect but it is lovely and enhancing to the quilts.
Are we becoming SNOBS when it comes to the stitching?
Now, to just step to the side for moment, I am NOT talking about the rare times when there is a really true issue with the quilting quality....missed and skipped stitches, thread bunches on the back, severe puckering, etc.
I'm talking about when the quilting seen from 3 feet away looks just fine. I mean, once that quilt is on the bed, do these quilter's really spend their time examining all the stitching? Isn't the overall appearance the key? Do these people realize what kind of pressure they are putting on the people who they have do the quilting for them? Don't they see that they are taking the joy out of their quilt? And the enjoyment of others who may be standing by looking at their quilt?
What do you think? Me, I am just happy my quilts are quilted and now I can finally use them. I try to do my very best when quilting my quilts but I know I'm only human and therefore, my quilting will not be perfection. My hands and my machine are bound by my human limitations. I am happy with "the best I can do". I am happy with the best my machine quilter can do when I send her a quilt. What are you happy with? Happy quilting:)