One of my objections to some of the quilting establishment is that every single thing about a quilt is supposed to be “perfect”—meaning made to the specifications of the current quilt maven, whoever (s)he may be. I once signed up for a series of classes that lead through many quilting techniques to the ULTIMATE QUILTING ACHIEVEMENT: a quilt with many tiny pieces cut on the bias, all points perfectly matched!
Part way through the class I realized that, for me, learning to make everything more precise was not an enjoyable activity. I quilt for my own satisfaction, and my version of fun involves developing designs rather than copying somebody else’s design as precisely as possible. In fact, even when I buy a pattern, I rarely follow it exactly. My “variations” on these patterns are a (friendly) joke among my quilting buddies: “Mary can’t just make the pattern, she has to change something.”
My goal is to give each task the time and energy it deserves, no more and no less. For example, I think doing a quilt binding the traditional way, by hand, is a waste of time and energy in many cases. A machine-applied binding is more durable, faster, and at least as attractive. I even read one modern quilter’s opinion that a machine binding “adds an extra line of quilting on the back!” So much for the quilt maven’s worry that the machine stitching from the front shows on the back! I do occasionally apply a binding by hand, but there has to be a reason for it.
So what’s your opinion? Which quilting techniques/designs/details are worth the trouble and which should be modified? Leave me a comment!