I rarely write blogs that are not “quilty.” I like showing pictures about the quilts I’m creating. I like to talk about my quilts and my techniques and new gadgets that I find. I like to espouse about my wonderful quilting friends and how much they mean to me and how much I learn from them. I’ve spend half a year encouraging everyone to Quilt Fearlessly.
However, at this date, I find myself befuddled by the quilting world.
I was in the field of education for many years, and let me honestly tell you that while that field is full of wonderful individuals that truly love children and want them to learn, it is controlled by politics and politicians who have never sat behind a school desk. These policies, politics, and in many cases parents, caused me to flee that field long before I was ready to.
I want to think my hobby and passion – quilting – is immune to these same overtures. And up until the last couple of years, it has been. We are living in some unkind and nasty times, my friends. The world and the quilt studio have become a hostile place. I’ve always thought of quilters as the types of individuals who live above the fray. They are the ones that, no matter what is whirling about around them, they live with the serenity if they can just get back to the sewing machine, fabric will make everything better. Sadly, this has changed in the last couple of years.
Politics should play no place in the quilting world. We should uphold each other’s craft, art, and abilities. We should honor each other’s work and respect it. Quilts are wide open to a range of talent and interpretation. None of them are wrong. The quilt itself speaks to the individual quilter and we should honor that communication even if we don’t understand it or would have made the quilt differently. The fact that one quilter is a conservative and another a liberal should have absolutely no play in our quilting world. Our job is to honor and respect each other’s talent, not obliterate each other on social media if we disagree in the ballot box.
However, in the last couple of months these political disagreements have spilled over onto quilt-related social media. I would like to make two statements about this:
- Stop it.
- Be kind. Always be kind.
The last person a quilter should expect to be mistreated by is another quilter.
To add to this, another well-known quilter was bullied by another well-known quilter about a design. You may have read that blog.
And I found something that I sent in an email (yes, an email) show up on Facebook. The sender of said email asked my opinion in confidence and told me that my opinion would be confidential. This week I found my opinion on Facebook and the recipient of that opinion was not happy with me.
In response to that, I can honestly say, if asked, I would have told the recipient the same thing I said in my email, but wasn’t directly asked. And to the sender of the email, I am surprised. I thought confidential was confidential.
People…quilters…get a grip.
Remember that movie Bambi? Remember the rabbit, Thumper? Remember what Thumper’s mother told him?
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.
If you disagree politically, big deal. I’m afraid with 24-hour news cycles, the talking heads have not only taken over our televisions, but have also wormed their way into our psyche so that everything we think about must take political overtones. Let me let you in on a little secret…what goes on in Washington has nothing to do with what you’re doing in the quilt world.
If you disagree with another quilter on design, keep it off social media. No one wants to know it. Keep it between the two of you and work it out. In the above circumstance, one quilter took the high road and didn’t mention it at all, and the other harped on it for weeks.
And if something is told to you in confidence, HIPPA laws apply. Don’t share it, even if it’s anonymously. Keep it to yourself.
Lesson learned this week – I’m not putting my opinion in writing ever again. Not unless I know you really well.
Let me remind you that there will be no blog next week, as I’ll be on vacation. The blog will resume on the weekend of June 8. Until then …. Be kind to each other and Quilt Fearlessly.
Love and Stitches,
Sherri and Sam