Friendly Disagreement

Isn’t it funny how quilters are alike in so many ways but in some ways, we have such strong opinions and will not budge.  A few things that come to mind are:

  1. Cutting vs. tearing fabric
  2. Pre-washing or not
  3. Poly or cotton (or blends or wool or bamboo or whatever) batting
  4. Cotton or poly thread
  5. Quilt shop fabric or chain/discount store fabric

What other issues can you think of that quilters agree to disagree?



  1. 2

    Linda (Petey) Fritchen says

    Hand or machine quilting!
    Followed a lady at the fair looking at all the beautiful quilts. She said to her friend, “Now that’s a quilt…it’s hand quilted. All these others are just done by machine!”
    My question: Who has the time? Not me…I’m trying to find the time to perfect what I can do with my Mille!

  2. 5


    I agree with Linda. There seems to be a snarky, snobby attitude regarding hand quilting or machine. I love both and have seen amazing work from both sides of the argument and yet I heard a couple of women say similar things at the last show I went to. It’s the same atitude that made me not want to join a local guild. Not nice and not welcoming to new quilters which we should be encouraging.

  3. 6

    Cindy L. says

    What kind of thread to use. Everyone has their own opinion. Me, I use what I can afford and what suits the project I’m working on.

  4. 7

    pdudgeon says

    in my neck of the woods there are two arguements;
    art quilts vs traditional quilts
    love or hate batik fabrics.

  5. 9

    Kathy McC says

    In addition to the previous comments, and I agree with all of them there is the “A” word vs no applique.

  6. 10

    Vickie says

    To draw with a template and cut vs the fast way of strip cutting. I learned from an older lady down the road, and I have to admit when I drew the pieces and then cut, my piecing was more precise. But I do it the fast way too when I don’t have the time to sit and cut out every individual piece. She won’t do it any other way.

  7. 16


    Using kits or picking out your own fabric. To me picking the fabric is the most fun part but some people hate to do that.

  8. 18


    Pinning or not pinning during piecing…

    Art vs “traditional” quilts – I hear this one all the time in Paducah.. Many of the older quilters do not like all the Art quilts that are exhibited.

    Amazingly there is a lot of discussion on whether the Japanese quilters should be allowed to enter their quilts into the Paducah show. They say “It’s the American Quilters Society” and only Americans should be allowed to enter.

  9. 19

    Bessie H says

    Quilt shop quality or Wal-mart fabric. I say use what you can afford.I know all the arguments about why put all that work into so called inferior fabric but isn’t that saying some people aren’t allowed to quilt. My mother and grandmother used fabric from clothes we had outgrown, already half worn out, and some of those quilts are still around. The original purpose of quilts was to keep you warm and discount fabric will do that. Don’t get me wrong, I buy my share of designer fabric- probably more than my share, but don’t make someone feel inferior if they can’t afford to shop at the local quilt shop. Lots of people are lucky if they even have a Wal-mart that still has fabric.

  10. 21

    peggy says

    Wow! That’s a long list. And I have heard every one of those issues before and have an opinion each.

  11. 23


    I agree there are as many different techniques that are disputed as there are Quilters. Also to press or not to press as you go. I really does make a difference. Cotton vs cotton/Polyester fabrics is one that I still have to deal with. I personally don’t like to mix my fabrics in a quilt. Doing a Raffle quilt for our guild I wish I’d suggested NO Batiks. They have a different feel and are harder to sew through. I have become converted to the PINNING while I’m piecing my quilts and have not had to fix as many “twisted sisters”.

  12. 25


    Wow! We quilters are a very opinionated group. I say whatever works for you is what’s best. There are pros and cons to every single issue but the one issue that can’t be beat is to buy the very best quality fabric that you can afford. You get far better results than if you use Wal-mart fabric.

  13. 27


    Hrumpffff, regarding hand quilted or machine quilted. Does the person who insists on hand quilting actualy weave the fabric???? Isn’t THAT done on a machine? Funny!

    No one ever said machine quilting IS the same as hand quilting – just another technique.

  14. 28


    In my shop, I hear ‘machine’ vs ‘hand’ in a different way. I do both and enjoy both .. but many, many customers truly believe that ‘hand’ is a four letter word. 🙂

    There are really deep feelings on both sides of this gap — some folks think hand work is the only authentic quilt making method (definitely in the tiny minority in my part of the country) and other folks think that making quilts by hand (hand piecing, hand quilting, hand applique) is very outre and old-fashioned. 🙂

    I wish we quilters could set a higher standards for human behavior and just agree to do it all!!

    🙂 Linda

    • 28.1

      Lydia says

      Linda, I’m one of those who thinks of “hand” as a four-letter word. Even do bindings totally by machine, always have! However, it’s ONLY a four-letter word for ME. Those who enjoy hand work should by all means do it, and I have a real appreciation for quality hand work, just as I do for quality machine work. They’re different skill sets, is all. I just don’t enjoy hand sewing, so I don’t do it!

  15. 30


    How about steam or dry iron. I tell my beginning students that all the answers to these questions are correct – you just have to decide which one you like at the time.

  16. 31


    Follow the instructions VS.
    Change something in the instructions!

    I just CAN’T make a quilt the way it is in the pictures. But there are a lot of quilters who can’t make it any other way. I don’t really hear this discussed–I just notice that there are two, or three ways of “following” the instructions.

  17. 32


    Using a hoop or not while hand quilting.

    I am not consistent in using any of the suggested methods, i.e., pressing to the side or open, steam or no steam, all cotton thread/batting or blends, etc. I tend to just go my own way! Mostly I just want my quilts to please their owners and provide warmth and beauty. Art quilts generally do not appeal to me but there are many devotees.

    It seems quilters are as varied as the fabrics we have available!

  18. 33


    This has been an interesting thread – and every single item I’ve had to deal with in my own quilty life. I think what works best for each of us is the preferred method! That’s my story and I’m sticking with it! lol

  19. 34

    Robin says

    Now this has been interesting!! With all the varied opinions- it makes me wonder just who the “quilt police” are that tell you a particular way to do things!!

  20. 35

    Lydia says

    Here’s one that I’ve heard a lot that hasn’t been mentioned.
    Measuring and cutting border strips to length, or just slap on a strip, sew it and whack off the excess. Gee, I guess I don’t leave any doubt about where I fall on that one, do I? But it’s just how I think it MUST be done — on MY quilts. If you’re happy with sewing on a strip and trimming the excess on YOUR quilts, then by all means carry on. I’m not happy with the results I’ve gotten when I’ve done it that way, so I don’t. I think Melinda said it best — every answer is the right one, if it works for you and you’re happy with your results! And like in much of the rest of life, some people in the quilting world seem to have a tolerance deficit 😉

  21. 36


    What a fun discussion. I like to do what the fabric tell me to do–sometimes steam but most likely not, press to one side usually except in the case of many seams meeting in an intersection, and so on. But if it stops being fun for you, try another way. Remember you have to like it and you have to enjoy the process as well as the finished product. LOL, or at least try to enjoy.

  22. 37


    I work at a quilt shop, what I hear a lot of is Bernina versus anything that is not Bernina.

    I’m never used one, so I can’t tell you how they compare. I’ve just started saying it’s not comparing apples to apples to dispel the tension.

  23. 38


    Boy, you are a glutton for punishment aren’t you?? I don’t bother listening to people telling me the right way to do things. My feeling is that there is no single right way to do anything. I do what works best for me.

  24. 39


    I’m participating in a group project right now that’s having issues. We are an opinionated group that’s for sure! People are also fiercely protective of their work. Cliched, but there is no “I” in “Team” even in quilting……

  25. 41


    Time and stresses lately (like my STILL malfunctioning Janome machine) prevented me from keeping up on blogs and I’m just now seeing this….GREAT list by you and by others of quilting “issues” that generate a lot of discussion (sometimes NOT always friendly discussion, unfortunately). Good topic, Judy!!! (Just read your follow up post and that is how I discovered this one…told you I”m behind on things!!!)