Thursday, October 1, 2009


I've run into a problem. It's not a problem, really. It's more like a choice has to be made. So I'm asking all of you lovely people what you think before I choose.

I've been working on planning and putting together quilt tops, and I am confdent that the oh-so-sweet and very-much-anticipated Buttercup will have a completed and ready-to-be-quilted butterfly quilt top within the next week (maybe 10 days). One of my quilting friends owns a long-arm quilting machine and will let me use it to machine-quilt Buttercup's blanket. She's very complimentary about my progress with the quilt piecing and really everyone is just so nice and encouraging about it and anxious to see it finished. It does look SO cute. But machine quilting?
I don't know. Something inside me says "NO, NO, NO! It HAS to be hand-quilted!"

What is that all about? And why is my inner voice shouting?

So here is the question: If you received a quilt that was handmade but had been machine quilted, what would you think about it? Would you consider it less than handmade? Would you value it less than if someone had given hours and days and blood, sweat, and tears to hand-quilt it?

I don't know what my problem is. I don't consider it cheating or stingy that I use a sewing machine instead of a needle and thread to hand-sew all the fabric pieces together into the pattern. What is it about hand-quilting vs. machine-quilting that has me so conflicted?
Am I a complete nutcase?

Don't answer that. Just tell me what you think about a handmade quilt that has been machine quilted. Can it ever be a valued and loved family heirloom? Or is it just another blanket that may as well have been bought at Wal-mart?


  1. hand quilting all the way. Makes it more personal and therefore more valuable to the person receiving it.

  2. It honestly wouldn't matter to me. I would totally consider it handmade if it were machine quilted... I mean, aren't your hands guiding the machine in some way? Aren't you piecing each little butterfly wing together? In fact, if you have access to a machine that would do it faster, then why would anyone EVER hand quilt? That's just me. I like to be practical sometimes.

  3. Go for the machine. If I had a quilting machine, I'd be making quilts all the time. The piecing is the real "quilt making".

    She's going to know how much you love her in any event. By using a machine, you will soon be able to make her "theme" quilts of her favorite things--you'll know what they are when she tells you!!

    The piecing is the real art. Hand quilting is OK--especially if you don't have a machine to do it. Boy would I love that!

  4. I love my quilts from family, and wouldn't know the difference, without being told. I think maybe hand quilt this one, since it is for your first grandbaby, and then machine quilt the others. The first for each grandbaby so it is special, then machine quilted. They will love them just the same.

  5. It's the creativity and the love you put into the quilt that makes it a special and personal, just for you gift that she'll treasure. Not the method.

    (Of course, I was always banned from my mom's quilting frame because of my big stitches so what do I know?)

  6. "It's the creativity and the love you put into the quilt that makes it a special and personal, just for you gift that she'll treasure. Not the method"

    My thoughts exactly!!