7.6 Podcast Preview Rules and How to break them

August 6, 2010

We all hate the quilt police.

Image from flickr by ” Erica Marshall of muddyboots.org

When I started this quilting journey, I learned a ton of ‘rules’ that are usually set up to give you the best quilt you could get in the end.

There are many kinds of rules: ‘design rules, color rules, pressing rules, back stitch rules, applique rules, machine quilting rules, swapping rules, BOM rules’ etc..

Do you follow the rules, break the rules, worry about the rules? Do you encourage others with the quilting knowledge you have, and appear as the quilting police to someone else unintentionally?

What are you thoughts about rules?  Add your thoughts and be a part of the next podcast.

We are down to 3/4 of a computer now, so I can’t actually record anything until some needed parts arrive, but soon … soon.  In the meantime, I’ll be over at the big tent.


  1. I’m bad with rules, and to be honest I don’t know that many, I just kind of make it up as I go along. Because I learnt to patchwork/quilt at a young age I wasn’t interested in rules, I was interested in doing, an attitude that has stayed with me. While there are some rules that I adhere to (1/4″ seams and the like) there are others (like patterns) that I ashew completely. Quilting is, for me, a combination of releasing my creativity and relaxing with some non-mind-taxing activities. Adding rules to that would ruin both of those aims!

  2. I only strictly adhere to the rules when (1) it suits my fancy for the project and (2) if I am making the block for a swap or group project. When it comes to quilting and rules I usually follow the “rules are made to be broken” sentiment.

  3. I don’t like the quilt police, ever! If my points don’t meet up to the seam line or are cut off I determine if it’s alright for me. If my 4patches don’t meet in the middle I don’t unstitch it and start over because “someone” said it’s not good enough. I do try for accuracy but if I don’t get it I know it just takes practice. I think the “quilt police” discourages new quilters. I think there should be more encouragement for the process than the rules. A “quilt”, in the basic definition, is two layers of fabrics with a batting, or some type of stuffing layer, in between stitched together all over. It doesn’t have to have applique’, patchwork or anything else to be a quilt and some people forget about that. At the same time, directions are great for beginners but I think too many are written by type A personalities and think their way is the right way. The way we do many things in quilting is always changing and updating and evolving and I think it’s best to be open to possibilities than to be confined by rules. That is, of course, for quilting in general. I just started a BOM and I’m excited to see how it comes together and hopefully learn something new. But even that project isn’t as rigid as some with specific color requirements.

  4. I work in a quilt shop. I often tell customers (when they ask about “rules”) Rule #1 is “follow the Rules”. Rule #2 is…there are no rules. Also, there is the 3 foot rule…No one ever sees your quilt any closer than 3 feet. It’s on a bed, the back of the sofa or chair, on the wall so if that star point is not exact it won’t show. However I do know people who are so rule conscious they will take out and do over innumerable times. Frankly, I have better things to do with my time.

  5. Some really good thoughts here … My take on it is that if there are rules … they are actually just suggestions to be taken with a grain of salt. I’ll try things out and if it works, then it’s something I do, but it doesn’t ever really become a rule because I’m fickle and if something else comes by that works better … the first idea is then out! I’m a really new quilter so appreciate ideas, but I’m pretty choosy in acceptance … if I try something and it’s too hard or consuming, chances are I’m really going to look for something different. I do like accuracy, but I’m fairly reasonable. I DON’T like taking things apart after their built … it’s then like doing invasive surgery. Blah!~ I love that you are always thinking Darla – keep the questions coming!

    Our best,

    PS … sorry about your computer … that then explains lack of posting … still we’re looking forward!

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