Quilting Technology

Antique Ford Model T

Image by All Things Michigan via Flickr

I love rainy days, don’t you? Of course after a day of weeding and mulching I may be just a little relieved to know I won’t be doing more yard work today! But we’re so close to being done… I’d just as soon get-r-done!

Technology is advancing so quickly and things become obsolete sometimes even before they hit the market. Sometimes I worry that technology will slowly change things so much that I won’t recognize them or be able to function because I’m not knowledgeable about it.

I’ve been tempted to add the computer assist to my Tin Lizzie. But somehow that just seems like cheating to me. Don’t get me wrong here. Those of you that can design computer programs to guide the longarm are talented. It’s just that it wouldn’t be my art form. Let’s see if I can say this in a way that doesn’t insult anyone. If the computer guided my Timmy to stitch a programmed design and I just hit the start button in my opinion, that would make me a machine operator not a quilter.

I know I could definitely use a computer to quilt some of my quilts for me, like the quick  get-r-done quilts that are for utility. For some reason I still think it’s cheating. Ya know, the more I think about it though it makes me wonder what they thought when quilters started using machines to do the quilting. There are still some amazing hand quilters out there that put the machines to shame. Did they think the same way about longarm quilting machines that I do about computers?

Where is the line drawn? I’m starting to think each new development will become another avenue to develop into an art form.  The advances keep coming and the quilts that are coming out of them are nothing short of amazing. So all in all it is a really good thing!



Filed under postaday2011, quilt

7 responses to “Quilting Technology

  1. Julie,

    I am a hand quilter, but if I ever get a long arm machine with computer assist, I will learn to draw my designs into the computer so that whe I press the button the machine will quilt my design. (Wonder if I would be able to use EQ?)

    Judy B


  2. I have mixed feelings about this as I can see where you are coming from feeling like a machine operator. However, if you actually create your own quilting design then I would say you have done the most important part. As you have a longarm then it is just another tool to help you to complete the designs that you create. I would say that you only become a machine operator when you simply program the machine to produce someone else’s design. Your creative process, and the tools that aid, you started way back when you first started that quilt, maybe you used EQ, you sewed by machine, you used a rotary cutter – as technology moves one we need to learn to embrace it and take from it what we need for our own purposes but not just use it for its own sake. However good the advances it still takes a talented person to create something wonderful with them.


    • I think the concept of having to learn one more new technology in order to put my twist on it is what has me dragging my feet. I would be tempted to use someone else s designs and that would make me the operator!


  3. Hmmm. Valid points I can identify with but your last paragraph speaks volumes. I would venture to say that many of us who do not keep up with all of the latest advancements for whatever reason (money, pride, other) sometimes feel that we are downgraded every time a new stage of technology is introduced. Is a person who designs and sews a quilt top but gets someone to quilt it together a quilter? Must we draw a line? I like to think that we (quilters, designers, sew-ers…) are all CREATORS in a good sense. Some of us create out of necessity, some for love of others, and some for love of art, etc. I am a quilter, but I was an artist, crafter, and sew-er before I was a quilter. Now I use all of those talents together to create. Good post!


    • Thanks, all the new technology has my mind going in circles sometimes. I think it’s overwhelming for me when I look at the whole picture .. I need to just keep taking one step at a time.. and see where I end up!


  4. I should have lived an another era, I’m just old fashioned and enjoy the process of hand quilting, it’s soothing and rewarding. And the last quilt that I designed myself has excited the artist in me, that hasn’t been there in a long time. Thanks again Julie for getting me back in my groove!!


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