Thursday, January 23, 2014

Unwanted Advice

When is it ok to give another quilter advice? I'm really struggling with this.

Honestly, if you see something that I could be doing better or know of a technique that will take my quilting to the next level - for the love of all things good, TELL ME!

This leads me to a quandary, because I can only assume that not everyone feels this way. I know that stitching in the ditch, every single seam (ESS, known as EFS when I'm frustrated), before doing the free motion quilting makes a quilt not just better looking, but shockingly so. If I see someone not doing that and it shows, is it ok to let them know that there's a better way?

I didn't learn to hand-bind a quilt until a couple of years ago - 10 years after I started quilting. Crazy, right? Hand-binding looks a million times better than machine binding. And while I do use machine binding for some baby quilts that I know will be in and out of the washing machine a few hundred times, doing it hurts my heart a little. I wish I'd learned hand-binding the day I bound my first quilt. Is it ok to suggest that people learn how to do it?

I think what all this boils down to is a misconception that I used to have as well - that the quilt top is the only important part of a quilt. I used to think that when I finished a top, I was pretty much done... now I know that I am, at most, half-way through the process. A beautiful top cannot stand on its own - the rest of the construction is just as important.

When we post pictures of our latest creations online, we are usually fishing for compliments rather than opening ourselves to critique. But, I would like to say that I welcome any advice anyone has to offer... it doesn't even have to be surrounded by praise, like we have to do in our writing groups. :-) I may cry a little, but if it will help me - please tell me. If I'd have had people giving me specific and helpful advice 13 years ago, who knows how great my quilts would be by now?

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