Here is today's finished quilt. Another silk quilt. The fabrics are starting to deteriorate. I had problems with the fabric splitting when I stitched in some areas. I'll have to repair those areas before the customer can pick her quilts up.
Because of the age of the fabric and the problems I might face; I didn't think custom quilting would work. I did a simple Baptist fan design to keep any problems to a minimum.
I was asked what I charged for the heavy quilting on the star quilt. Actually, I'm not getting paid for the heirloom work. The customer had only agreed to pay .025 per square inch for custom quilting. I did the heavy quilting because I wanted to do it. I was frustrated and needed an outlet.
Also, the quilt top seemed to be asking me to do more than just custom. I sometimes do more quilting than I get paid for simply because the top needs more.
I wanted to prove I was capable of producing heirloom quilting. The customer gets a bargain and I got to work out my frustrations by concentrating on tiny stitches. I would love to have more people ask for heirloom work..... and get paid .05 psi or .06 psi for it.... but it's not something I believe will ever happen. I wouldn't want to squint at tiny stitches everyday either. A good balance between pantos, custom, and heirloom would be nice. Pantos for quick income, custom for creativity, and heirloom for occasional artistic freedom.
Why was I frustrated? Because of several comments I heard at the fair. People were commenting on the "quality" of the quilting. I heard that pantographs and simple custom quilting was "not quality" quilting. I kept wondering to myself.... who's idea of quality? The comments were not about consistant stitches or good designs..... only about pantos and custom work on quilts. Naturally; as a machine quilter, I wanted to jump to our defense but I couldn't start preaching to everyone at the fair. So, I worked out my frustrations on the star quilt.
Professional machine quiters are limited to what the customer is willing to pay us for our work. If a customer only wants pantograph because it's the lowest cost then we do our best to make the panto work look really good. Who is the judge of whether lower cost quilting is "quality" or not? If a machine quilter does a good job and the customer is happy; why is it not considered "quality"? I guess you can tell I'm still somewhat frustrated about the comments I heard.
I could sit here type-talking in defense of machine quilters all day but that won't do much good. There are always going to be people who have opinions about what is "quality" and what is not. I have to accept that one person's comment is not what everyone believes. A comment is only an opinion and not a rule.
My appoligies to those who are waiting for an answer to an email. I have several emails to answer but I haven't the time for staying on the computer this morning. As always, work comes before computer time. I'll read and answer as soon as I can.