I was in the process of quilting "Echo" this time last year.
Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on the responses in general! A lot of you participated, responded to other blog comments, and "liked" comments on Instagram, so you all seem to be as curious as I am about why people decide to quilt their own quilts.
About 80% of you who say you quilt on your own (this is 90+ comments on the blog and Instagram together) said one or both of the following:
1. The cost of longarming doesn't mesh with your budget (my main reason!).
2. You quilt because you want ownership of the whole quilt. You want to or love to make it from beginning to end.
Quilting can have an impact on design, if you make it so. This is a blurry accidental shot of Crown of Orchids - you can see that dense crown of white thread very clearly!
#2 - wow. SO MANY OF YOU said this! I lost count. Many nodded their heads in agreement to being in control of the whole product. Some of you mentioned the wonderful feeling of entering quilts into shows and winning an award or being recognized for your work and your work alone.
Some commented that the "handmade" and "imperfect" feel is much preferable to computerized quilting or pantograph (which I realize is just one of the longarming options, but I'm totally with you - see The Great Stitch Length Debate post). A few of you even mentioned that your family members preferred your quilts to be completely self-made.
The purpose of my wholecloth quilt experiment (final blog post forthcoming) was to write a phrase every day for 6 weeks... I never would have tried this if I didn't feel comfortable quilting on my domestic.
On Instagram, there was more of a varied response from those who don't quilt their own quilts. Many mentioned fear or anxiety about moving past straight lines and/or stippling. Other common responses were time constraints to finish projects (sending out quilts for longarming gives you more time to piece other quilts), space and/or energy restraints for larger quilts (I won't sugarcoat that process; it can be a bear), not enjoying the quilting process, and wanting that professional finish from a longarmer.
Oh, and finally, in both places, lots of you mentioned just loving quilting in general. I'm not saying you have to love it (you're totally welcome here either way!), but give it a chance... it might surprise you. :) And if not, that's okay, too. We all love different things about quilting. Now, who can I send my quilts that need binding??
Clearly, we all love this craft, and it's an emotional (and financial) investment either way. Thanks for giving me food for thought and for contributing to a valuable discussion!