Friday, 27 October 2006

Quilting for art or comfort

I was listening to a podcast of "Driven to Quilt" today and I became very much caught up in a self-discussion of one of the topics as it is one that I consider often - how much quilting is the right amount of quilting for a project and how does my personal opinion fit in to what is currently quilting PC?

"Nadine Ruggles from DreamWeaver's Quilts is your hostess for the fun and informative Driven to Quilt Podcast every other week. "
Driven to Quilt Podcast:

Anyway, I think that the great proliferation of LA quilters, at home quilting systems and the pressure to have your quilts machine quilted to within a half inch of their life has resulted in beautiful stitch work but very un-cozy quilts.

I really do admire how very prettily the quilting dances across a quilt, very perfectly swirling and careening across the patchwork (oh is there patchwork there?). It is amazingly intricate and often beautiful but for my personal satisfaction there is a disconnect between the quilt and the finished quilted item. (I know I addressed this in a previous blog but it still is on my mind).

I understand the zealous toppers and piecers wanting to have finished goods to show for their creative passionate efforts, and I understand that there is a whole industry that can be dedicated to anti-procrastination tied in with this creative passion, and that people rightfully express their artistic talents as well as earn a living to eat or buy fabric from using these wonderful quilting systems.

What makes me feel a little saddened is seeing beautiful quilts that are not cuddly-cozy (yes Nadine!) when I want my quilts to give a cuddly-cozy well-loved feeling to those who find themselves tucked in or under them. I want to wrap people not walls.

So, is there some degree of difference between art and functionality? Should there be such classifying or generalization about the finished pieces? Why do we choose to heavily quilt or lightly quilt - or did we make a choice?

I do not know that there are real answers but certainly the points are good fodder for discussion with, not only other quilters but also with our friends, family and art aficionados.

For me, it may take me a while to get them done, and there may be a fistful of unquilted space occasionally, but I really feel complete when I own the whole process. I machine quilt and I hand quilt. I have done art pieces with extremely tight stippling, and other quilts with hand quilting outlining the piecing of my blocks. Would they benefit from more quilting, maybe, maybe not; but these are my quilts.


  1. As a still newbie quilter, I have often wondered the same thing about machine quilting. I too want quilts that are soft and fluffy.

  2. Seems to be a big trend here in Australia to have quilts professionally quilted these days. The quilting all seems to have 'sameness' about it and is very flat and stiff. In my opinion if your going to make a quilt, you should make the whole thing not half of it. A bit like having children and sending them off to be raised by strangers.


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