The other day I received an email from one of the readers of my blog, a new blog friend, Angie. My face turned a little red and that boiling feeling began to bubble in my gut. Then I felt a little sad. Angie said she didn't mind if I shared her story. This is what she wrote:
I really enjoy your blog and would like to get your perspective on quilting. I just finished a beginning quilting class from a master quilter. I am new to sewing and quilting and I was really excited about this class...now, however, I am very discouraged. This lady was very "technical" and had no idea what I meant when I said "wonky log cabin." In fact, she said that quilters only did that who couldn't quilt correctly......At the end of the second day, I told the girl sitting beside me that I want to learn how but not like this...
Do you have any advice to give to a new sewer and quilter?
While I do think technique and quality construction are important, they aren't more important than welcoming new folks into the quilting community. Technique will come with practice and experience. The more quilts we make the better we become. If we don't encourage and welcome new folks, new ideas, we are risking quilting becoming a lost art. I'm passionate about growing the art of quilting; lighting that spark, that love, that passion in as many folks as I can, especially the younger generation.
Wouldn't a better answer to Angie's question have been, "No, I'm not familiar with a wonky log cabin, tell me about it?" That would have told me that the 'master quilter' was not only a master of the art, but that she was a learner as well. My guess is that in her years as a quilter, she has messed up seams, sewn pieces right side to wrong side, had points that didn't match and some wacky quilting along the way. Those are our badges of honor.