Hand quilters, that is!
Hand quilters have been at it for a very long time. The art of hand quilting goes back hundreds of years. In 1850, there were no long arm quilters to take your finished quilt top and turn it into a quilt. It was you. And you. And you. If you wanted your family to stay warm on cold winter nights, you made quilts for your family. And you learned how to stitch them by hand. Back then, you probably quilted out of necessity, unless you were wealthy, of course. Then you had someone else make your family quilts, and you did fancy needlework on your own because you had time on your hands to do so.
Hand quilters now stitch because they find it relaxing. It gives them peace. it provides an outlet for creativity, and, well, to put it simply, they quilt because they FEEL like it! There is nothing wrong with hand quilting… yet the world seems to think hand quilting is dead and gone. Quilt shop owners rarely carry supplies for hand quilters because hand quilters take longer to finish projects. Long arm quilting is big business, and thousands of independent long arm businesses have sprouted up around the United States and all around the world. They finish the tops others make, and the process of commerce goes on. There is nothing at all wrong with long arm quilting… but it’s not for everyone. It is a PART of quilting. Just one part.
Hand quilters are tired of being told they are a dying breed. We have been alive and stitching, but now we are alive and KICKING! The Celebrate Hand Quilting Facebook Group is now made up of over 4,400 members. AWESOME! We are growing by leaps and bounds, so much so that it is time that we had our own official domain. This morning I purchased the domain name www.CelebrateHandQuilting.com for this blog and for the hand quilting community. NOTE: If you have this blog currently bookmarked or included in your blog reader, please make note of the new URL. On Saturday, April 19th this blog will move over the www.CelebrateHandQuilting.com. New features will gradually be added to the site, so please stay tuned!
How can you help spread the love of hand quilting?
Are you wondering how you can help?
Here is a list to get you started:
- Wherever you can, use the words “I am a hand quilter” or “hand quilters rule” or Celebrate Hand Quilting! This can be added into your email signature quite easily…( Caron Mosey, Hand Quilter).
- If you read blogs online, take a little more time and reply to what you read. That lets the writer know that you are reading their blog, and gives you a chance to include “Your Name, hand quilter”
- If you have a blog, write about hand quilting. If you have no idea what a blog is, or if you want to be a blogger but don’t know what to do to start, let me know. I can help get you started. Be sure to put a link to the Celebrate Hand Quilting blog and to our Facebook group on your own blog!
- When you visit quilt shops, be sure and drop the words “hand quilter” and “hand quilting” a lot. Walk in the door and ask the first employee you see where their hand quilting supplies are. “Where are your templates for hand quilting designs?” Or, “ Where are your good thimbles for hand quilting?” Or, “I’m a hand quilter. Where is your hand quilting thread?”
- Enter your quilts in shows and contests. Yes, I know, some of you are scared to death to do that. Start small and enter something in your state fair or local shows. You can rest assured that your quilt is better than the quilts of people who might have never picked up a needle!!!
- Yes, put your best quilt in a contest. Start locally and enter it into a juried show. You want a few judges to see your work!!! That way, they will provide you feedback. (Make sure ahead of time that they will do this… some shows will, some won’t.) Judges responses are subjective, though. Know that going in. Do NOT be too critical of your work if they don’t like something. I had one judge at Show A hate my quilt and pick it apart, and another judge at Show B love it and give it a blue ribbon! When you show your quilts, let people know on your blog, on Facebook, etc. Tell your friends! Invite them to the show!
The map below shows where our Facebook hand quilters are located. You can see we are working our way around the world. We’re not yet ready for world domination, but it is possible, soon…
By Caron Mosey, hand quilter