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Hand quilting is alive and well all around the world! Join with fellow hand quilters to share techniques, tips,
and the BEAUTIFUL quilts being made by others who share your passion for quilting... by HAND!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

We Love ALL Quilters!

Once upon a time, before I turned twenty, I made a couple quilts.  They were baby quilts filled with love, painstakingly sewn with little skill but many good intentions.  I knew how to use a sewing machine just enough to sew a straight line.  My mother made sure of that by drawing lines on paper and having me sew on the paper lines until I got it right.  The few baby quilts were given to friends for their new babies, and I was so pleased to give a gift that came from the heart – and my hands. 

When we were expecting our second son, I had a desire to learn how to make a REAL quilt, however I didn’t know anyone who quilted.  I looked at a few magazines and saw some patterns I liked.  I fell in love with the color “moss green” yet I wanted a scrappy quilt.  The Flying Geese pattern intrigued me, so I set out to visit the local fabric store and purchase some “scraps.”  I made a crude pattern, and began stitching the triangles.  Lots of moss green solid fabric held the quilt together.  I say LOTS because I got a great deal on a whole bolt of moss green (I still have some!) and used it on the front and back of my son Loren’s quilt.

Loren.babyThis is not a very good photo of the quilt.  The colors have faded because I didn’t know enough to keep it out of the light.  You can see the fading in lines, and for a long time, it was always folded the same way (which is not recommended).  Many of the colors used to be vibrant, and the moss green is far from what it used to be. 

Loren baby2The photo above is a close up of the quilt. (You should be able to click on the photo and enlarge it.) You can see that I didn’t know enough to make my triangles have three sharp points!  The actual quilting is not bad for a new quilter, and I’m pretty proud of that fact, but the piecing… well, it stinks.  I didn’t know.  And I didn’t have anybody around to tell me differently.  And that is the whole point of this article. 

Experienced quilters know the names of dozens (hundreds?) of famous quilt celebrities.  We can use their names in conversation, much as you would names of well-known movie actors.  Brad Pitt.  Sylvester Stallone.  Jimmy Stewart. Marilyn Monroe. Bette Davis.  And on and on.  Other experienced quilters will know who we are talking about, and will understand the quilt celebrity’s specialty areas. 

But what about NEW quilters?  They long to know enough to get them started on the right path.  They want to know what needles to use, how to choose a good beginning pattern, how to make their own templates, what thread is best, and whether they need a thimble or not.  They are often reluctant to ask questions for fear they will be laughed at.  But their questions are IMPORTANT! 

We have all read about quilting bees from the 1800’s.  Ladies sat around a large frame that held a quilt, with sometimes 8 or 10 quilters stitching at a time.  They learned from each other.  Children played underneath the frame when they were young, and gained knowledge of what quilting was all about.  Quilters SHARED information. It was how you learned. 

quiltingbee

I recently had a conversation with a quilter who told me, “there are a lot of learners and newbies; I feel my stuff is a bit too high-power for a lot of these folks.”  That remark set my teeth on edge.

You should know that this blog was designed for YOU.  For ALL QUILTERS.  For anyone with a desire to learn how to hand quilt.  For the brand new beginner who has never even tried on a thimble.  For the quilter who has no idea how to begin, what fabrics to use for quilting, and how much to purchase.  For the quilter who has never seen anyone quilt in person, yet wants to learn how. 

This blog was designed for the quilter who has a few quilts under his or her belt, wants to keep learning more, and is interested in helping other quilters along the way. 

This blog was designed for the advanced quilter – because you are NEVER TOO ADVANCED TO KNOW EVERYTHING!  An advanced quilter has a great deal of knowledge and experience that all quilters will benefit from. 

If you know an advanced quilter who is too good to share their knowledge with you,  that is not a person that you want teaching you anyway.  Walk away fast and don’t look  back.

Should you ever have a question about hand quilting, you are free to ask it on this blog or on our Facebook page (which, as I write this post, is approaching 2000 members!). 

Please know that every quilter makes a first quilt.  And, like mine shown above, it will NOT be perfect.  But it WILL be loved. 

And the loving is the best part of quilting. 

Welcome to our blog, no matter who you are.  We love that you stopped by.

lovequilting

28 comments:

  1. Love this! I love working with experienced quilters because I learn so much and am so inspired by their work. I love working with new quilters because their enthusiasm is so contagious and their questions force me to think about quilting from a different perspective. I learn as much from my students as they learn from me.

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  2. Thank you Caron. I do not like it when I am asked what skill level I am in quilt making. I always want to ask which part of the process. There are some areas where I am advanced, other areas where I am a mere novice. We all need to learn from each other.

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  3. Love this post! So happy to be a part of this blog... you are AWESOME Caron! I love your philosophy too! Kathi

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  4. Well said! My teeth get set on edge from snobby quilters, too, both professional and non-professional. Fortunately, most of us are pretty darn nice and love to share how WE do things, saying that it may not be the best way for everyone, but what works for us personally.

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  5. I appreciated your words. We never know so much that we cannot learn something from someone--even brand new quilters have something to teach a more seasoned quilter.

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  6. Brilliant, well said! I couldn't agree more, I was taught by some very generous quilters and love to teach others. I also love showing my first quilt, it has every mistake you can think of! I blogged about it here if you want to see how bad it is!!
    http://emilyscupboard.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/hand-quilting-then-and-now.html

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  7. What a beautifully written piece! I am an experienced quilter, but a novice hand quilter, and I enjoy being inspired here.
    Jeanne

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  8. Amen! First quilts are special, even though they often don't come out the way the quilter intended. I think that when we stop sharing and learning, we aren't much good to anyone, even ourselves. Love that EVERYONE is welcome to share here!

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  9. I say a big YES - thats the way! We need new quilters to give the future quilts. :-)
    Bea

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  10. This is a great blog, thanks for posting as I just found this today. I am fairly new so this should definitely help.

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  11. I've been quilting for 30+ years, but I'm far from advanced, in small part because I'm self taught with no one around to teach me the things a quilter with 30 years of experience under his/her belt should have learned. That's why I LOVE this blog and your Facebook page ... that's why I love sharing my experiences with anyone who asks (and even sometimes to those who don't ask) ... I don't want others to have to take 30 years to learn the things they should be able to learn in 5-10 years (or less).

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  12. Wonderful post. Share knowledge without judgement. Let ourselves be learners without judgement. Love this blog.

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  13. What a great article, we were all new to quilting at one stage. Some people haven't the means or ability to go to classes or buy a lot of tools so if anyone wants me to help out, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

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  14. Thank you Caron! What a nicely written post.

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  15. Thank you all for your understanding and generosity. Keep helping others learn how to quilt. And if you are new to quilting, ask as many questions as you want. Here, on the Facebook group, at your local quilt store, and anywhere you can!

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  16. Wow! What a nice, positive way to begin a new year . . . of quilting! Take care, Byrd

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  17. Well said! I don't care too much for the "quilt police" either. Your flying geese baby quilt is so charming!!!! I LOVE imperfect quilts because they have character. :)

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  18. Gosh, I thought all quilters wanted to teach others. It's what keeps the industry moving forward.

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  19. What an absolutely delightful post. Warm, sharing and inviting. Thank you so much. I have just gone over to facebook to join you there as well. :)

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  20. Yes, we were all beginners once! Fortunately I bumbled along without feeling intimidated by maestros.. few books/magazines...and no family or neighbours to help or hinder...today's newbie might feel swamped by all the professionals "out there"... the internet is helping those quilters for free, to improve their skills and ...well....thankgoodness!

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  21. What a great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Our love of fabric and pattern should draw us together.

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  22. Oh I so agree, we never know enough and what I love about quilting there is always something new to learn.

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  23. Thank you so very much for your blog and starting the FB page! I've been quilting for over 35 years, am a teacher, judge, appraiser and former quilt shop owner and have learned so very much from the questions asked and ensuing discussions. Quilters are some of the most caring and sharing people I have ever met. Great post to start out the new year!!

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  24. Thanks for being so welcoming Caron! Nobody starts out as an expert.:)

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  25. Your comments are bang on. Thank you. Learning is a life long experience. We never know what little tidbit we can pass on to, or glean from, others. With welcoming attitudes the sharing and patience of those of us who refer to ourselves as quilters will encourage those who want to be a quilter. Happy stitching.

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  26. Sounds like a wonderful mission statement!

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