Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I learned it on the internet....

Here's something to ponder today.

I spend some time almost everyday reading other people's quilting blogs. After our guild meeting this past weekend, I got to thinking. There is a definite trend towards people learning all about quilting on the internet.  Do people who learn via the internet consider themselves self taught? Anyways - that's not important. What is important is that I've noticed a couple of trends. I'm not mentioning any blogs and I'm NOT indicating that these trends are good or bad. This is totally an observation, NOT an opinion.

1. There are a lot of quilt a longs. What this means is that the blogger will design a quilt and then offer free instructions and tutorial (or not) on how to make the quilt. There is usually a schedule or regular posting like once a week. At the end, everyone gets to post the picture of their finished quilt and there are usually prizes. Some people drop everything and work on the blog quilt.

2. There are a lot of blog hops. This can take many formats, but here's an example. Once a week, a blogger will post a free block/row pattern on their blog with links and a schedule for the rest of the posts. There's usually a theme - sometimes the release of a new fabric collection or a new book. Again - there are prizes. (The following is an opinion - I hate when the only post for ages on the blog is because of the blog hop!)

OK - I guess that's really two major trends. As I go through these blog posts a couple of things come to mind. And this is MY opinion - it's not right - it's not wrong.  It's just my observations based on 20 years of quilting - TWENTY - well almost twenty.

Just because someone wrote about it on the internet, doesn't make it true, right or even the best way to do something. I've mentioned this before about a couple of techniques that I've seen. But the one that just about kills me is pressing seams open!  ACK!  It drives me absolutely crazy when people press the seams open. Not that there is a right or a wrong way to do this, but pressing seams open takes FOREVER. It is so much faster and easier to press seams to one side. They nest together for matching seams, no tucks or puckers on the front, the blocks looks amazing.

I see that I'm going to have to make a tutorial on pressing seams!

So when the generation before me saw people starting to MACHINE QUILT their quilts, they nearly had a heart attack.  How can you call that a quilt when you didn't hand quilt it????   Now my generation is saying "how can you call that a quilt when your techniques are off?    Yep - just goes to show you that quilting is evolving.  

Bottom line - I'm going to suck it up.  I have my ways of doing things. I will teach those ideas and tips to anyone who will listen.  But I'm NOT going to jump in (well almost never) and tell someone how they can do their work better unless it's in a class.  We traditional quilters (and I'm not all that traditional), should be thrilled that the younger generations are quilting!   If they are happy with the wonky looks of their quilts - then we should be happy.  The quilts are finished and being used. That's more than I can say for my boxes and boxes of quilt tops!

Despite the abundance of FREE stuff on the internet, I'm happy to see that a fair number of quilters do make their own stuff up.  That's the beauty of quilting.

On that note - I'm out of here.


I think Lexi has something to say today.  That dog is always up to no good!!!!


  1. I have only been sewing for a couple of years now. I started out machine embroidering and making my dogs t-shirts, using the knowledge that I acquired decades ago in Home Ec. I then progressed to making bags/purses, learning from the internet. They don't always turn out perfect but they are only for me and close friends. Last year I started to follow some quilting blogs to see what it was all about. At the beginning of this year I saw someone on Facebook post about learning to quilt my making the blocks from the Tula Pink 100 Modern Blocks book and thought I could do that too. I purchased the book and some Tula fabric (and got hooked on designer fabrics) as started making the blocks. A few weeks after that I learned about the Splendid Sampler and signed up. I now follow several blogs, I have followed along on some of those QALs, you spoke of, saving the patterns/designs for when I have more skills. I am learning a lot. I now know that I cannot do appliqué very well, I cannot do hand embroidery at all (even I am embarrassed at the outcomes) so I skip those techniques. I discovered that I Love FPP and have actually completed a couple of mini-quilt wall hangings. Each item that I tackle gives me more confidence and I can see my skills improve. When I tackle a new item or skill I watch the videos, read through the patterns before I start.
    I love reading blogs and get especially excited about the ones that are written by Canadians. I have been inspired by them all. I have decided that I need to get additional knowledge and have it on my calendar to attend the local MQG meeting next week.
    I love getting your blog every day and was on the edge of my seat following you on your cycling holiday. I had a TKR 4 years ago and I still have trouble walking, so it amazes me that you got back on your bike and did that tour.!

    1. Brenda - I love your story! Yes - I think the QALs and other information on the internet is great. I just think that some of it should be taken with a grain of salt! Yes while I love applique, it's very time consuming. That's where a class may just help you. Sometimes I find the internet doesn't provide the tiny tips to help each person figure things out. Thanks for sharing and thanks for following the blog!!!! Elaine

  2. I totally press my seams based on what I'm trying to do. If I need things to line up, I'll press to one side and nest my seams. If I want the top to lay really flat, I'll press open. These days I do a lot of improv and with those curves, I tend to just go to one side. It's subtle, but I like to play with what I do with my seams as a design choice. :)

    1. Anne - I hear you about those seams. However I'm a big stickler for pressing. Currently working on Gravity where I found a great way to press the seams so they nest together (in those hexagons), but one or two need to be opened just because. As long as you find something that works for you! Thanks for sharing and following the blog! Elaine