So I originally had an entirely different post to share with you all - one involving a new quilt and everything! - but that will have to wait until my next post because I want to share something else with y'all right now. There have been a few things within the quilting/sewing/crafting/blogging world over the past few months that I've been thinking about but wasn't sharing because I didn't want to be too controversial or stray away from the normal format of this here little blog. But a recent post from Rachel has changed that for the moment so I'm opening up a little. I only just heard about Rachel's post today and the controversy that erupted in (and because of some of) the comments left because I haven't been keeping up on my blogs as much lately (more on that in a bit); in a nutshell (in case you want to stay with me for a bit before heading on over to Rachel's to read), Rachel outlined a few confessions about some fabric lines she didn't like, mentioned that she wasn't so keen on Denyse Schmidt's Single Girl pattern, and was generally just being open and truthful about a few things. She also invited others to leave their own "confessions" in the comments and I guess that is where things started to get a bit nasty - I totally love the idea of people leaving confessions there but some people (in my humble opinion) went a bit far and didn't seem to realize that there really are people behind those lines/patterns/blogs.
In this vein I have a couple of things I want to say, "confessions" of my own if you will, if y'all will bear with me. But, just so that this post is not completely devoid of pictures (and maybe to perk up your interest a bit for my new quilt), here's a little sneaky peeky of the quilt for my next post!
Okay, so here goes...
I absolutely despise it when people say "not your grandma's such and such" in the crafting world; I think this is one of the most disrespectful things that you can say when it comes to creativity and craft and frankly it's a whole lotta bull too! There are a couple of businesses that use it in a tongue-in-cheek way but I still think it's pretty rude and ridiculous. My Grandma was the one who taught me to use a sewing machine in the first place, and although the clothes and things that she made may not be my style (although they have also been back in style at different points over the years) I would never put down her talent, hard work, creativity, or love of creating things with such a demeaning and snippity remark. Every creative idea that is going around today has been build upon the things that our grandmothers, and their grandmothers before them, have made and, in many cases, the skills that we have learned from them (or other "older" people in our lives). You may use different fabrics, use different (shall we say more risque?) motifs, be subversive, or just wonk things up in funky, fun ways but that does not mean that you invented "X" craft, nor does it give you the right to be snobby, persnickety, or sometimes just downright mean-spirited in regards to their handwork.
In the same vein, this whole "modern vs. traditional" quilting thing has really raised my hackles. I'm sorry but I didn't realize that we as quilters had sanctioned a group of people to be the quilt police! As president of a modern quilt guild I have a lot to say on this subject (but I will spare you all of the my thoughts and the curse words that go along with them here) and the fact of the matter is that there are members of my guild who make things that might not be considered "modern" by other members of the community, or use fabrics that are "old lady" (again, I hate that one too), or batiks, or whatever but heck(!) I'm not going to tell them that they're not modern enough for us and kick them out of the guild! If they think what they are doing is modern than they can go right ahead and keep on doing it and I will cheer for them and admire their amazing work along with everyone else. I really don't get the whole modern vs. traditional thing, same as with the above ranting about putting down the grandmas, it's all built on the same foundation and we can all learn so much from each other. Personally I have had some bad experiences with some of the more traditional quilters who thought that I didn't belong in the quilt world (I talked a bit about this in this post), but I'm not about to start bad mouthing their talent and achievements.
And dang if this whole "modern vs. traditional" thing hasn't sparked even more issues related to the "dumbing down" of quilting. Many of you have probably heard all about this already, and just so that you all know I have actually spoken with the lady who wrote the original post and I don't think she meant to hurt anyone's feelings nor do I think that a lot of the negative stuff that has been said about her is true - from my point of view the title was VERY unfortunate, but I think that some of what she said really did have merit and much of it was blown out of proportion by others *ahem*. I do however find that some of the comments made in regards to this topic were unjust and again just mean. Yes, some patterns that you can buy are fairly simple but if someone wants to sell them and someone else is willing to buy them then more power to them. Some people don't have the time or the desire to figure out the math or requirements themselves, others are beginners and feel more comfortable using a pattern that is written for them in easy to follow steps, some see a quilt and want to make it exactly the same with the same fabric, and even more just want to quilt and not worry about anything else. Are these reasons wrong? Heck no! Are the people who buy simple patterns less of a quilter? Again, I say heck no! I don't think this is dumbing down quilting at all, and I don't think the people who like simple, geometric patterns (which as you've noticed I prefer myself) should not be considered less than.
Okay, so those were the big three! I get ranty when I'm all tizzied and hopped up on coffee, don't I?! Here are a few smaller ones:
I have not been keeping up with my blog reading as much lately. I have been super-busy with finishing my Masters, working, and getting some designing in (guys, I have so much I want to share with you but am not allowed - and gosh some of it I can't even share for another year, eeeep!) and really, I kinda feel terrible about it. I feel really bad when I do eventually see a post where someone made something that was truly amazing but it's weeks later and I never commented (especially when it's my friends that do the excellent making). I not only feel like a bad friend, but I also feel like I'm not supporting my community and those who have supported me.
I share many things about my personal life on this here blog (many have mentioned to me that liked following along with me as I went through graduate school and rooted for me the whole way), but I don't always mention the really bad things. On occasion I mention something that's not so bright and sunny, but I don't want my blog to be a space of negativity (although I think some of you may be shaking your heads at me now after my giant rant above) and I don't want people to think I'm being fake because of this. Sure, life is not all sunshine and rainbows and my life is far from perfect (and I never try to make you guys think that it is - you know unreasonable expectations and all that) but I want you guys to come here and like being here with me.
I take pride in the work that I do and the things that I create for others and it really does hurt when they don't seem to appreciate them. I have decided that from now on unless people have shown genuine gratitude and/or interest in the things that I have made them, than I am just not doing it anymore. This may seem selfish to some but we all know that crafting is time consuming and not cheap, so if someone would be happier with a store bought gift than so be it.
I am a comment-whore (that is probably the first time in Miss Print history that the "w" word has shown up here...sorry folks, I guess I just went a bit beyond my usual G-rating)... I really do love it when I get comments from you guys...like, really really LOVE it! I obviously don't make things to get comments from you guys, but man does it ever feel good when someone tells me that they love something I made. And no, this is not me asking you guys to comment more, I'm just laying it all out there.
Seriously, this post just got super-long and I feel bad for making y'all read it so I'll just end it there. I know that some of you might not have agreed with some (or all) of the things that I have said and that I'm probably going to get some flack over this, but I don't mind that at all. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me since I finally got up the courage to share some of my thoughts with you guys.