The term “quilt police” is something that has really come to the fore these last few months.

This is a hardy bunch of souls that know everything about quilting. They have done it all and more. Every conceivable pattern, design, block, quilt, fashion item, and much, much more. They have read every book, seen every video, YouTube programme, and even read the whole quilting section in the library!


They are also VERY happy to tell everyone who is in earshot that they are brilliant at everything.

The only thing is that these “Quilt Police” do not show you their own work.

That can be ok because many time served quilters will spot these a mile off. They will act like Ronnie Biggs and will “do a runner” to Brazil or the Andes. The unfortunate ones that do not recognise these Quilt Police are generally newbies to the quilting world. These new quilters are all stary-eyed, enthusiastic, and eager to learn. These new quilters are eager to show their work and ask so-called experts for an opinion. A general response is to be destroyed on the spot with nasty comments or snide remarks.

It happened to me recently. Someone came into my shop and decided to pull apart, LITERALLY the binding on an 18-year-old quilt. I do own up to the fact that I did the binding in 4 strips. This was not in one continuous strip as we all do now. Pride was immense as this was the 1st quilt I had done.

The plan was to make a tea cosy, yes, a traditional tabletop tea cosy. Eventually, it ended up as a 4 ft square dog blanket for my red setter called Tink’s. (RIP).  The backing of the quilt top was with a sheet off the bed. The edges of the sheet were simply turned over and stitched as the binding. There was no wadding in between the two layers either. Compared to the work I produce now, it is attrocious but at the time I was immensely happy. Learning to use a rotary cutter, fabric and a sewing machine for the first time without it going wrong.

A lot of new quilters come into my shop and the first sentences out of their mouths are often:

I have only just started, I don’t like the mistakes, I’ve done this but I’m stuck etc, etc. When you look at this level of work it is phenomenally good, but they think it should be better because “they are only a beginner or a newbie quilter.

I always encourage people and let them know how good they are, and I use Tink’s blanket that I have on display in my shop to show new quilters that everyone starts at the beginning and gets better one project at a time.

Not so for the quilt police. They are superb international standard quilters who know everything…. Especially the one in my shop who stopped sewing 35 years ago and now wants to rekindle her love of sewing…