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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Should I?

By Marjorie Rich
Has anyone else spent a weekend bogged down by shoulds?  I had a project in mind Saturday, when I decided I should clean up my sewing area (since it's in the Living room and my family should be able to find a place to sit.)  Then I decided I should pre-wash and fold a bunch of fabric I'd purchased.  And I should wash that box of silk ties that I want to make a quilt from.   

Then I hit the ultimate should.  There was a quilting book I received from a friend for Christmas on hand quilting.  I really should read it.  It was my undoing.  I found out that I use the wrong thimbles, crappy batting, dangerous thread, worthless thread conditioner, and evil marking tools.  I was already in a should-y mood.  Maybe I took it too personally. 

Then I came to Celebrate Hand Quilting and my mood was much improved.  Audry's favorite batting is the one with the best price (a quilter to my own heart!).  There was also a discussion about stab stitching (also snubbed in the book).  Finally, I was inspired by a "should"...I really should write a quick post to thank my fellow hand-quilters for keeping it real, and giving me ideas and inspiration without making me feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.  Thanks.


  1. ignore those shoulda coulda wouldas and just enjoy quilting! I think batting is a personal choice also dictated by what's available locally and how can someone tell you not to stab stitch without seeing your quilt?

  2. A quilter has to do what a quilter has to do! I have read so many books that I was paralized-I found this blog and I am ready to go-I have my batting, the needles I like-John James and some YLI thread-I intend to stab stitch-that is how I did needlepoint years ago and while I hand piece with a running stitch, I am goign to try stab stitching. Wish me luck! Oh yeah and my batting is Dream Cotton-request.

  3. I found over the years that a hand quilter (or machine quilter) should use what works best for THEM. There are plenty of experts out here in quilt land that think they know the best method and tools but really what it comes down to 1- is to use what you are comfortable with and 2- what you can afford - 3- and the main rule that I have is: HAVE FUN and don't stress the small stuff!!

  4. Quilting is all about enjoyment. If you have to conform to other people's standards, I think you should give it up! Read and listen to others for inspiration and ideas. But do what you like and do what works for you. Have fun and life will be good! And your quilts will be loved! ~Jeanne

  5. Marjorie, I totally agree. Do what makes YOU HAPPY. This blog is an opportunity for quilters to share ideas, share what they are working on, and support each other. I think it's good to try different things from time to time, and when I hear several people recommend a product, I'll give it a try. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Like the Clover Black Gold needles. I bought some a week ago - and I'm not a fan! They are a little too short for me, and don't feel comfortable in my hand. So I'll return to what I was using before and try something else another time just to see how I like it. Thanks for posting!

    1. Sorry you didn't like the Black Gold needles. Maybe you need to change to the wrong thimble, crappy batting and dangerous thread in order to appreciate them. ;-)

  6. the only "should" is that you SHOULD do what works for you, what makes you happy, and what you love. we can learn and be inspired by the work of others but don't believe that there is only one way to do things!
    The beauty of the art of quilting is the individual!
    It takes a lot of colors to make a box of crayons....always be you own color

  7. I'm so glad you closed the book, and got on the computer, where all the quilters are happy, friendly folks, with "Go for it" and "Do what makes you happy" attitudes. How rude that an author would think their way is the ONLY way! Sheesh! I especially like this blog, because I've learned so much from the chatting about different batts, needles, etc. Thanks so much for all the info!

    Should-y mood gone! Yay! ;o)

  8. I'm been loving all the tips and recommendations on this blog! The important thing is to have fun and keep on quilting!

  9. Ah Marjorie, your post made me smile. I am a self taught quilter. Never taken a class. I learn most everything I know from reading blogs. I have only been quilting for a little over 5 years. I have done some very simple crosshatch machine quilting, but always come back to my first love, hand quilting. I say do whatever works for you. I have tried different products and ways of doing things when I read about them on a blog, but if they don't work for me, I go back to what does. Glad you decided to close the book and do your own thing.

  10. Hi Marjorie, in quilting you're so right, as in everything else in life.There is no truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It's your life, your quilt, your way of working. Should is most of the times You should. And when one finger of the hand points to you, at least three are pointing at the person self. So do what you like, and I appreciate your input so much! "The lines are only a suggestion"!

  11. Love your post,Marjorie! A friend of mine always says My Quilt My Rules! I think it is a good one to remember!

  12. I know how you feel about the paralyzing "shoulds." I should be working on a different quilt right now. I should change my sewing machine needle and my quilting needle more often. I should have perfect points and every seam should join up perfectly. And then, I look around and can't find my joy in what I'm doing. If my quilting isn't something I enjoy, I should just go clean the bathroom.


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