One of the misconceptions I had when I first looked at quilting my hand applique by machine was that it would be sooooo much faster. I could quilt-in-a-day! How wonderful right? After spending such a long time creating the hand applique, I no longer had to wait almost as long to complete the hand quilting before seeing my quilt complete. It was the equivalent of taking the fast bullet train to my destination once I reached the city after riding my bike many miles uphill and against the wind to the train stop from the country. Who wouldn’t be thrilled?
You knew a “but” was coming didn’t you? This speedy “all over quick” option was fine for a utilitarian quilt, but it wasn’t the best solution for an intricate quilt. Why? Because an all over, as fast as you can, quilting did not do much to highlight and accentuate the design. Kind of like mixing water with milk. Not so good.
I realized that I needed to slow down even with machine quilting, consider the quilting design and how much, or little, I wanted it to work in my quilt’s final overall design. I no longer wanted the quilting to be an after thought to be done quickly for the sake of finishing, or given to someone else to finish with industrial precision stripping it of the soul of its maker–me.
As my skills improved, I found I took more and more time for the machine quilting bit and the results improved. I admit, the applique is my favorite part and the quilting comes second, but the end result of slowing down, planning and integrating a cohesive quilting design with the applique has paid off substantially in the personal pleasure I get from each quilt when it is finished. I may get restless to be finished and have to remind myself I will be happy in the end while I am quilting to prevent myself from throwing it all over for the sake of instant gratification, but I have no regrets when I finally see it finished and I am relieved I persevered over the temptation to just be done.
And my point is? That not all machine quilting can be done in a day or a week. I haven’t progressed much further than the last time I posted, but I am pleased. Just because I am using my sewing machine doesn’t mean I have to break all speed records! It is OK to slow down, take your time and do it right. Do it for YOU. It is time to return to Quality over Quantity don’t you think?
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