Some of you may follow my “technique of the week” and may find that it’s awfully simple. How to get a perfect 1/4″ seam? Really? But the building blocks of great work, even improv and modern quilting, are knowledge of how to make with good technique. I turned professional because, gosh darn it, I have high standards for my work and am always looking to make my things as good as I can make them, from patterns to piecing to quilting. I want to make things that will last for decades, not just a few years, because if I only wanted it to be around for a year or two, I’d save myself the time and the money and just go buy something at Ikea or WalMart.
As someone who considers herself a “modern” quilter, I’m going to say this right now, even though I may lose my eleven readers: striving for and making your best work matters. You’re leaving a legacy in your fabric. What do you want it to say about you? Furthermore, I have no wish to be dismissed out of hand because of guilt by association with others. This is not to say a quick project or simple quilt isn’t “worthy” (I mean, seriously, look at my previous post about my daughter’s quilt!) but I am always working to make it the best I can. Period. I have been wondering for a few years,now, what will modern quilting be when it grows up? Will it be one of those things that matures and gets better with age, or will it be one of those things forever stuck in the teenage years, trying desperately to hold on to the good ole days?
Ebony Love posted on this topic industry-wide over at her blog, and I highly recommend you read it. She writes much more clearly about this than I have.
On the other hand, I will say that one of the things that appeals to so many of the new sewists and quilters (and which perhaps is what encourages them to even *try*), though, is that they feel like they are allowed the freedom to make mistakes, which is important if you’re learning on your own. So many of us, me included, are self-taught and had no family to teach us. Would many of these people be brave enough to try things out if the quilt police told them there was no hope if they didn’t do it right? Not sure that’s the right way to put it. What I’m getting at is if there is so much pressure put on new and self-taught sewists to get it right, would they be likely to try it out? How many of them have you known who didn’t even want to start because they feel intimidated? I wonder where it works out.