Continuing to work through the discussion guide about “Why Quilts Matter“, today I want to focus on:
Is there a balance when it comes to technology and quilting? Can you have too much technology in the quilt making process?
What a juicy topic! My absolute first thought when I saw this question is that my online blogging community MUST love technology in the quilt making process – we blog about our quilts and use technology to share them, right? But that thought and assumption and confidence quickly went away. Just focusing on thinking about quilting and blogging, there is a balance for each of us, and I know that for me the balance of blogging, posting on Instagram, Facebook, etc. etc. etc., seems to shift and change almost daily. Can there be too much technology? Yes – so much that I don’t have time for quilting!
Where can technology show up in the actual process of quilting? I guess it depends on your view of technology, but here are some thoughts:
- Hand sewing versus a sewing machine
- Improv versus design
- Design by hand versus design via computer
- Hand quilting versus machine quilting
- Machine quilting with or without a stitch regulator
- Machine quilting free motion or via a pantograph
- Hand binding or machine binding
I see us all making these choices (and more) at each step of the quilt making process. For me, each decision is unique for a quilt. Sometimes I follow a pattern, sometimes I make my own. Whether I choose to use a computer or not to make a pattern depends on whether or not I anticipate making the pattern to sell. I do not tend to hand sew or hand quilt, but I do love to finish my binding by hand. I will machine bind on occasion for time or cost reasons. I choose how to machine quilt based on a quilt’s size and the quilting pattern desired.
Perhaps a better way to phrase the question is: Are you influenced in how you view a quilt based on how much technology was used in the quilt making process?
To me, a quilt is a quilt is a quilt. If it has a top, a back, batting (or perhaps not?), some king of binding, and a method to hold it all together, it is a quilt. I am especially fond of quilts that get to be used and snuggled, but I can also appreciate wall hangings, art, and other special quilts that hold meaning.
Does this question resonate differently with you? Where do you fall on the technology balance in your own quilt making?