No bad quilts

How many of you piece quilts, and how many of you actually quilt them?  Not that it really matters, each is its own art form and, we all take pride in our accomplishments.  Back in the days (long, long ago) when I pieced quilts and either quilted them by hand or tried to push them through the small throat of my Bernina, I remember being just so happy when I’d finished a top.  I knew I’d done the best I could which, in the beginning, was often not all that great.  When I started to quilt the quilt, all I wanted was for it to be finished, so I could stand back, look at it, and say, yes!  I made that.

Often, in longarm discussion forums, you will see comments from quilters complaining about the quality of the piecing they have gotten from this or that customer.  Yes, at times I have been guilty of this too, but in most cases, I realize that my piecers have done their best and just want the quilt they worked so hard on, to be quilted and finished, so they can cuddle with it and love it or hang it on their wall.  Yes, I do some show quilts, but mostly, the quilts I do for customers are to be used.  So . . . what is the point in fussing and getting upset if the quilt isn’t perfectly flat and square?  Pretty much, there is no point.  Lately, I have gotten a bunch of old, and even antique quilts to do.  I have informed my clients that their quilt might have more value as just a top, as my quilting it would make it a present-day quilt, and it would no longer have much historical value.  Generally, they just want Great Aunt Sue’s quilt quilted so they can use it.  So, on I go.  Some of these quilts are stained, discolored, hand-pieced, wonky, lumpy, and definitely not square.  But you know, they can end up being quite lovely.  I think of the maker, sitting by the light of a candle or gas lamp, working on these quilts by hand, and I have to say I’m very impressed.  I really enjoy working on them.

I’ve mastered, pretty much, the art of starch and steam.  This is one of the quilts I finished recently.

Butterflies ripple


A bit ripply and yes, that’s starch flakes, but it does brush off.

Butterflies more ripple


Wonky blocks

Butterflies friendly borders


Overly friendly borders

Butterflied bottom


Especially the bottom.  BUT . . .

It can come out right:

Butterflies done


Butterflies done2


Butterflies detail


And, of course, the back.  I really like this quilt.

Butterflies back


10 thoughts on “No bad quilts

  1. Wow! I am so impressed. You created such an amazingly lovely quilt. I know I would not have seen the vision you saw when you began. Those first photos are sort of scary—at least to me. The quilt reminds me of the art deco period (which is one of my favorite eras). I would love to make a similar one some day. Thanx for sharing!

  2. Linda the quilt turned out beautiful! Love the scappy piecing too. I feel much along the lines you were talking. Old quilts done and appreciated are a good thing.

  3. Oh. Thank you for saying that. I’ve tried really hard to piece as best I can but when I go back and see my earlier efforts I kind of groan. Its nice to know that someone like you would give your respect to my efforts.

    • Kathleen – we all start somewhere, and I don’t know too many people who made a masterpiece on their first try. I was self taught for the longest time, then I took a class from Marsha McCloskey, watched millions of episodes of Simply Quilts when it was still on, and, after I got my longarm, began to take more and more classes. Another really helpful resource is Sally Collins’ Precision Piecing book and video.

  4. Great job, Linda, it looks wonderful! That starch trick really is amazing, isn’t it? I just used it this week myself. What pattern did you use, it’s very pretty? Andi

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