I had an interesting conversation with a customer about this block....
It's a dresden plate block from about the 40's. I saw the marked lines as quilting lines.... she saw them as appliqué guide lines. How do you see them?
This only shows the vast differences in how people view things. Especially about the business of machine quilting. Some see it as just an interesting hobby while others see it as a workable business. So how do you see your machine quilting? Business or hobby?
It really doesn't matter how you see it.... the choice is yours to make. I see my machine quilting as a profession.... a career.... a workable business. A friend of mine sees her's as an income producing hobby. I work full time.... she works part time. Yet we both do the same thing.... machine quilt for others.
So.... if a machine quilter chooses to be a professional quilter.... who is to say they aren't? But... with the title of professional comes certain expectations. A professional should have enough knowledge and experience about the topic to give advice to the novice.
Just as I would expect a professional electrician or plumber or carpenter to know enough to give me advice.... I believe I have the knowledge and experience to give others. This is why I call myself a professional machine quilter. I spend many hours studying and learning about new piecing techniques as well as learning about stitching designs.
I'm in constant learning mode. I read magazines and books or search the internet, to learn more, so I'm more professional. I make quilts for charity just so I can figure out the problems of piecing a design which in turn gives me the knowledge to help my customers when they are confused about a technique.
I am not an expert.... yet. I won't consider myself an expert quilter until I win a ribbon from a major quilt show. Only an expert quilter has the knowledge and ability to win one of those ribbons. I believe with more learning and more concentration I will win a major show ribbon some day. Then I will be an expert quilter.
After I do become an expert my next goal will be to become a master quilter. How does one become a master quilter? By winning best of show at more than one major contest or by winning best of show more than once in one show or by winning the 100,000 quilt contest.
Some people become expert and master quilters very quickly while people like me take much longer. I believe in myself. I believe I have the ability to win a major show. So why don't I do it? Because of time. Time to create a winner is something I don't have. My time is used for making the quilts of my customers look great. Speaking of time.... I need to get into the studio.