Early days of machine quilting
I thought I would show you what I’m doing with the quilt on the machine. I finished the feathers in the solid blocks. To give a little perspective I put a dime in the center. These are 8 inch blocks with freehand feathers.
I marked the circles with a plastic template and wash out marker before doing the feathers. I really don’t like marking a top with anything. It always worries me that the marks won’t come out. I tested this quilt before marking the whole top. The marks came out nicely with a little water.
I still have the lines in the rings to do on the other blocks. Then I’ll start working on the pieced blocks. That’s what I’ll be working on today. I didn’t mark the lines in this ring, just freehanded them. I’ll try marking one ring to see if I get the lines a little more evenely spaced. If it doesn’t help to mark those then I’ll just keep freehanding.
I’ve got several of these 40 to 60 hour quilts waiting for time on the machine. Is it any wonder I get stressed out about being behind on my work? A friend tried to convince me to get one of the Statler Stitchers for my machine. She said I could finish a quilt like this in one afternoon. It’s very tempting but I can’t see myself going into debt several thousand dollars the way the economy is going.
Yesterday, I got to thinking about the automated machines that are being bought today. There was a time…. only a few years ago…. sometime in the late 80’s or early 90’s….. when no respectible machine quilter would even consider using an automated machine. We were waging a campaign just to get machine quilting accepted among toppers.
The most common phrase we heard was….. “I don’t want my quilt to have mattress pad quilting and looking like it came from a factory.” What they were referring to was the large open pantographs much like those used on mattresses. That was all the designs we had back then.
So, the machine quiters started making the designs more freehand and imitating the hand quilting designs. The ones who came up with new techniques taught other machine quilters. The pantograph designs improved and a very nice look could be achieved. Finally we were holding our own in the quilt world. Toppers everywhere started flooding the machine quilters with work.
Now days it seems that more and more toppers are buying automated machines to do their own quilts at home. The toppers are using the very thing they were against only a few years ago. More and more machine quilters are upgrading their machines to automated. New machine owners are opting for the automated.
Am I worried about the newer automated machines? Not at all. I’m sure the hand quilters may have contemplated the quilting machines taking work from them….. back in the day….. yet there is still plenty of work around for hand quilters today. My work is a bit old fashioned and not quite as accurate….. but my customers know that. The people who bring me tops to quilt know it will take more time to complete and won’t be as accurate…. but they are still loyal.
THANK YOU TO ALL MY CUSTOMERS!!!
I swear…. I did put spaces between my paragraphs! Blogger keeps taking them out when I publish the post. If it’s hard to read I appologize. I did my best and blogger says no way.