(Ok, I'm not really a witch, but I probably would have been burned at the stake in 17th century Salem.
I am a big fan of midwifery, pirates, and eating a peck of dirt before you die.)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

not for me


So I've been toying with the idea of machine binding quilts. Y'know, to get the Product out there Quicker.

On the one hand, it makes SO much sense:  fast, simple, strong, easy (if you are good at topstitching, which not everybody is, but I happen to be, prolly cuz I am maniacally precise).

On the other hand, it makes your quilt look like it came from Pottery Barn.

I'm sorry, that wasn't fair. The Pottery Barn is Lovely.  (Do you know what they pay their "quilters"? I'm afraid I don't...)

I learned how to quilt by hand.  Totally by hand.  My first (and probably second,  and third,) quilts were entirely stitched by hand.  Hand pieced (because that is how I learned), and hand quilted.  It taught me what I wanted to learn from quilting:  How To Be Patient.  That's the shorthand I dubbed it almost 20 years ago, but now I'm realizing that keeping your hand (literally, Your Hand, that Thing on the end of your arm) in your craft is crucial.

The moment that artists (of any kind) remove the muscle (of any kind) from their work, is the moment that it is (probably) Not Art.

Please Believe Me!    I love Tools! and shortcuts, and innovations resulting in quicker results.  But I've decided that I will make a customer wait another two days (or so) while I sew the binding onto your custom quilt by hand.   I need that (time-consuming, yes) interaction with my creation for You.  Forgive me, but even the incitement of quicker payment can not pull me away from what is my Joy.

And just to show you all how good I am at this machine binding stuff, here's proof.

   This is not an Ego thing.  I know I can finish those quilts easy and fine, but I'd rather not lose the only honest interface I have with y'all.  I'd rather do this:
So that is my Art vs. The Other 1%  thang.  
Please:  Use your Hands.  For Anything. 
It is worth the dirt under your fingernails.



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  2. When I read this post all I can say is, "God, I love you Alewife." Truly. This is the word.

  3. You're preachin' to the choir here.....I love the hand stitching on of the binding but if others want to machine stitch I love that they can do it, me I can't make it look that good. "Variety is the Spice of Life".

  4. I read your post. You have done great work. It is so unique and creative. Beautiful colouring on this images. keep up the good work!

  5. I read your post it is such a nice post for beautiful quilts. I like this quilts colors, design and also fabric.

  6. I really like this post because it has beautiful quilt. I love this design, Pattern, color. I such a appreciate your work.