Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Modern Misunderstanding?

I finally got back to the blog and I was approving loads of comments that had built up and was getting ready to write a post about a new book that I am thrilled to be a part of and then I read this.  You know, I should let it go.  Why can't I? Maybe Taylor Swift is right.

Linda left a comment on my Modern Manifesto post.  Maybe she didn't read the post.  I was surprised by the anger in her comment.  It's comments like this that make it hard to blog sometimes.  Some days I feel we have made such progress in helping all kinds of quilters understand and respect each other, and then I read words like this.  They sap my energy. I know she's only one person, but are there others out there who feel this way?  I'd like to think it was simply a misunderstanding. How does setting a direction for myself put her down and merit this kind of sarcasm and meanness?

Linda said,

"I am trying very hard not to bristle at "modern". All of the words you use describe not just modern but amazing characteristics of quilters far back into history. It feels disrespectful of you since quilting has been evolving and changing for many years and we have all benefited. I feel put down by you. Sometimes I feel that modern has become buying a matching bundle of fat quarters and making a quilt - not as hard as trying to use your limited scraps and the little selection of fabrics they had available. Perhaps being wasteful of resources could be included in the description for modern. A spoiled society with disposable income that fancies themselves as innovative but are simply one more cog in a wheel. I'm disappointed that you are so anxious to separate yourself and that you see yourself as so different from women before you."
So my message to Linda is this:

I have to admit I am confused by your comment.  This is a personal quilt and is about my artistic journey.  The words on that quilt are my personal call to action to motivate me to learn and grow as an artist and a quilter this year.  I am part of the evolution in quilting to which you refer as are many other folks who are quilting today and throughout the history of our community.  Each of us who quilts makes a contribution in our own way.  We have all benefitted so why don't you want me to speak about how I might be able to continue to contribute?

I am hurt that you assume that I don't value and cherish those that have come before me, that I am being disrespectful to my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother who taught me to sew and my father who instilled in me a love of making.  You don't know me and who I am as a maker.  I am different and I am the same as all that have come before me.  We are all unique in our journeys.  I don't disparage how you came to quilting or your style or how you work; why do you feel the right to do that to me?

My goal is to be who I am as an artist and be a part of this amazing community.  I am not a cog in a wheel.  I am one member of the quilting community and I am contributing to the growth and development of the art and craft of quilting by creating, learning and sharing in a positive way.  If you bristle at the word modern, I don't believe you understand what modern quilting is or how the modern quilting community respects and embraces our history.  My email address is in the profile of this blog if you'd like to chat.  Maybe we can work together to understand each other.  I may be writing this to the wind, but sometimes the wind carries messages.

I've closed comments.  I'd like Linda to know how her comment was received and after than I'd rather us not say any more, but let's take action instead.  How about doing things like this?

Share what you make and why and how you made it.
Encourage others to sew and quilt.
Grow the community.
Make what you love, and love what you make.

I know that's what I'm going to do.  I'll share the book in another post.  It's nice to be back.  I've been sewing up a storm and I'm happy.