I have hand quilted many vintage and antique quilt tops. I have close to 300 old tops in my collection. I have looked at and worked on a lot of quilts. These old quilts can teach us much. Today I am working on hand quilting this top that I made.
I realize that my perspective has been influenced by all the old tops I work on. As I work at hand quilting this one I see that some of my seams aren’t meeting up perfectly. Click on the picture blow to enlarge it and you can see that some of the seams don’t line up perfectly…I circled them in yellow.
Perfectionists and quilt police might need to cover their ears now. It doesn’t bother me at all! It is not perfect and I am totally OK with that. All of the antique tops I have worked on have many imperfections and I don’t think it detracts from them at all.
Look at how uneven the borders are on this
They are irregular in width and quilt wavy the quilt is not square and I still think it looks great.
Quilt makers in the past didn’t have a million specialty rulers, rotary cutters, die cutters, computer programs, fancy machines, detailed patterns, and shelves full of quilting books. They had a basic machine (or just a needle and thread) and cardboard templates, scissors, and a pencil. They made beautiful quilts! Beautiful but NOT perfect. I am not saying that we should not try to be accurate, or that we shouldn’t use new technology, what I am saying is that sometimes it is a good idea to look at the big picture. The world isn’t going to end if all your points don’t match. The quilt police are not coming to your house to arrest you if one side of your quilt is 1/2′ longer than the other. If you ran out of fabric and had to piece 2 chunks together to make one it will not make it less beautiful.
Look at this antique top
I think it will make a great quilt, but it is not perfect…..look at the piecing
chopped of points and 2 fabrics joined to make one square, and it still works.
here is one I quilted a few years ago
if you look closer you can see the imperfections in the piecing
Each block was made by a different person and they are all different so none of them line up correctly. This does not make it a failed quilt….it makes it unique.
That is a pretty extreme example of points not matching and those I make aren’t that off, but it illustrates the point. If it isn’t perfect it is not a disaster.
So do your best and use all the techniques you have learned but if a point gets cut off or a seam doesn’t line up perfectly don’t lose sleep over it, our quilting past is full of imperfect quilts and they are no less beautiful or treasured because of it.