Friday, 1 April 2011

The dumbing-down of quilting?

This post has been rattling about in my head all day  - perhaps it should have stayed there. Perhaps I would be wiser not to buy into the debate raging in quilting circles right now. At issue is whether quilting is being over simplified to the point of sacrificing technique and quality. 

In an attempt to summarise this emotive subject, here are some of the thoughts being debated:

As a quilter, are you:
  • extending your skills, or contenting yourself with simple designs?
  • working with triangles? Are you adept at constructing a pinwheel block?
  • sewing with a consistently accurate 1/4" seam?
  • choosing your own fabric combinations for quilts, or buying pre-cuts where the choice is made for you?
  • are you striving for accuracy, or disguising the lack thereof with 'wonky, improvisational' blocks?


As a quilter who blogs, are you:
  • doing your readers a disservice by sticking to simple designs, focussing on quantity, rather than quality?
  • glorifying the simplest of quilting achievements, in order to have your ego stroked?


As a pattern designer, are you:
  • trying to make a buck from selling over-simplified patterns? 

My, what a minefield! And do you feel the pressure? I feel guilty of several of the points at issue, and I feel a somewhat irrational need to defend myself! Many of the projects I am drawn to right now are simple and understated. This is purely a result of the stage of life I am currently in. With school-age children, I simply do not have the time to pursue complicated designs or the money to attend workshops to extend my techniques. I most certainly have the desire for these things, but not the wherewithal right now. And I don't think I'm the only one in this situation!

Has this issue caused a lack of confidence in my work and whether it is blog worthy? Well, yes. I feel like I should be getting my Dear Jane out again to justify my claim as a quilter! But it is a momentary lapse of reason, to be sure. To beat myself up with guilt or to turn myself inside out seeking the good opinion of others is not what being creative, or writing a blog is about. Quilting for me is a creative release, a therapy amidst a busy life. My blog is not about showing-off or seeking praise. It is a precious way of connecting with like-minded women. 

If you'd like to immerse yourself in the great 'dumbing-down of quilting' debate, just Google it!

57 comments:

  1. But sometimes I just like simple ... or wonky!
    And every now and then I LIKE to have my ego stroked.
    Is that wrong?
    Andi x

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  2. Oh my goodnes!!!

    This debate has slipped by me. I could go to town on this subject but quite simply, who's to tell anyone how they should be quilting or blogging.

    Isn't it all about what gives YOU pleasure.

    My mind is spinning I might have to write my own blog post rather than fill up your comment section.

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  3. Interesting points, but as someone who as quilted on and off for 20 years, there are some blogs I read for quick ideas for precuts, and there other blogs I read for inspiration...but I think what is important that new quilters are encouraged by projects that aren't over whelming!It is really great in the blog world to see all the young women that are so enthusiastic with their tutorials and quilt a longs. It really is up to the individual quilter to choose to challenge themselves! And there are plenty of good ideas around!

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  4. Oh for petes sake! What a dumb argument. 5 minuets at my local quilt guild show and tell will tell you that easy and simple isnt what our members spend their time on. Some have taken years to make masterpeices. Sure our charity quilts are big squares and trinagles but those need to be finishable in a weekend or we wouldnt have anything to give away. And there are lots of people with little kids and full time jobs who need simple fast projects that foster the love of fabric and creating, so when life gives them more time to create they can become more complex quilters. All it takes is a glance around some of the big quilt shows to see that things are being done that are so advanced and so amazing that the argument for dumbing down is what is dumb. There is a place for everybody and everything in the quilting world and we all have better things to get up in arms about. Whoever (I know not Bloom) started this whole thing, give it a rest and go quilt something.

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  5. Quilting is my Hobby all the varieties,fabrics and styles. Yes I like learning new tips and techniques and sometimes I need a quick present that doesn't take months to make. But it's my relaxation and if everyone was the same it would be a very bland world.

    I stand by this saying.
    Do What You Love, Love What You Do.

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  6. As a non-quilter I don't have much to say on this arguement BUT - the idea that anyone is ever doing their blog readers a disservice if they post simple things - makes me want to scream.
    Your blog your way !!!
    And dearest Bloom, you have nothing to worry about, I come here every single time you post and have yet to find anything too simple for my tastes...

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  7. oh dear, have I missed something, I've been busy in my sewing room . . . quilting

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  8. In these days of plenty this is surely a hobby for most & doesn't that mean we do it for the pleasure it gives us. If we lose sight of that what's the point. Whatever you do, simple or complex, enjoy it!
    Chris x

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  9. Hey! Remember, there will always be people like me, who are new to quilting and absolutely LOVE your style, and LOVE to see what you make and that it could even be achieved by a beginner. Your style is beautiful, colour choice seems so easy when we read your blog and look at the pretty pictures, but it is a skill you bring whether the piece is simple or complex. No matter how 'tricky' the quilt top is, it still comes down to your personal style right? What looks good in your house, on your bed (or in the home of the person you are making it for). I am enrolled in courses to learn more, but I don't ever want to lose the love of how seemingly disparate fabrics can come together in a dance of colours that brings joy to those who get to wrap themselves in it!
    Best wishes,
    Shani

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  10. Bloom

    What a straight forward and commendable attitude you have! I say Variety is the Spice of Life! I like simple but I am also trying to learn new things. Who cares what THEY think lets go quilt something....

    Nicky

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  11. I think this debate has been sparked by harsh criticism of those who are creating simply. As far as I am concerned, as long as you are creating something that's all that matters.

    Why can't we all just be nice to each other? Lets lift each other up, not drag each other down. At the end of the day it's just a matter of taste. In fact, for some, it's a matter of where you are in your life's cycle. I love all quilts and therefore all quilters. Let's play nice guys!

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  12. It has been raging a bit of late. Who are we to tell someone if their design is too simple, too hard, too easy or too quick. Just do what you love, have time to do and are happy doing it. Be happy & supportive of one another whatever they choose to do!We are all crafters, sewing is something we love to do...we don't need to turn into the quilt police!

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  13. I've Missed Something Too have had my head in my Stash...
    Not sure when or how this started but it's Not Nice.
    To Each Their Own I Say.

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  14. @The Village Queen I think perhaps you have summarised the whole thing in your response and I don't think it is a five minute argument at all.

    The 'quilt guild' type quilter sees the sewing together of pieces of fabric as a matter of technique and elegance of action. They actually worry about pinpoint precision in points and harmonising colour placement, etc, etc.

    Some of us have no desire to wreck our brains and fabric by attempting those styles of quilting but my choice (or anyone else's) to sew together strips/squares/triangles/pre-cuts or whatever to create a quilt that I like is my choice.

    There is an implication in your comment that quilts such as those made by the Gee's Bend women or my 'simple' finished object is any less of a quilt than that created by a guild member is entering a world of snobbery that holds no interest for me.

    Sew in peace.

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  15. back before google and maybe even alta vista lots of people were blogging and were never found or read by anyone, blogging was more like a journal only instead of hiding it under your mattress or adding a lock you just put it out there in the ether, it's personal and even though there are the added benefits now of truely connecting with others who are 'like you' it's not necessarily about being a role model in any field including just being...

    I'm a new quilter, nothing I blog about can be advanced of even useful to anyone but I won't stop and neither should you.

    I don't even think you need (even though you have) a fan base to blog about any topic.

    I follow blogs and read more of some than others more because of the feel of the posts and the style of writing and sometimes the pretty pictures.

    I buy patterns that appeal to me aesthetically (sometimes in error because they are too advanced) but I don't buy it because I want to be challenged, and my need to learn (for me personally) is only so that I can achieve the skills required to make a pretty that I saw someone else make who is willing to share how they did so that I can too, or is willing to make a pattern that I can buy so that I can too.

    I am quite certain that my feelings are represented by a large percentage of people (because ...ahem... even if I have a tattoo and some interesting lineage I am mostly run of the mill crafty nerd)

    If there are people out there who need to only surround themselves with or interact with or buy from extroadinary artisans in whatever field they are in, let them do that... the rest of us will keep blogging and quilting and reading and commenting and trying tutorials and doing whatever it is that makes us happy.

    Do what makes you happy!
    Reading your blog makes me happy and thinking about buying your patterns (I really want that sewing machine cover!) also makes me happy.

    Debating (particularly when some of the debaters put you on a 'wrong' side) is highly overated.

    ok... getting off the soap box now *slinks away quietly*

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  16. Hey bloggy friend! If it weren't for the simplistic quilts I would never have been inspired to buy a jelly roll...though I've yet to put it together. I need the simple and the dumbed-down posts. I'm a fashion sewer at heart who yearns to make a quilt from start to finish. Do what you love, post how you want. Your bloggy friends will read it and comment. Happy Friday! :o)

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  17. please dont change anything you do bloom.I love your quilts your colour combinations are fantastic, very inspirational.what is wrong with the world these days seems to be plenty of knockers out there.In a busy world we just have to do what we enjoy be it simple or complicated!

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  18. I don't even pretend to be a quilter..I like sewing though..and I like giving it away or making it for my family to use. That's just me and there's a place for all of us and a seasons in our lives for diverse ways of expressing our creativity. Diversity makes life interesting and makes us interesting to each other!

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  19. Oh my goodness. I am almost 58, started quilting in 1982 and this debate has been going on since way back then...hahahahaha! It's the never-ending quilt debate. I say do what you like, have fun doing it and don't sweat the small stuff.
    Of course, if you are into the details and enter contests you must follow certain protocol, but for the rest of us where quilting and sewing are creative outlets- do what you LOVE!
    Just my 2-cents....

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  20. I think you (and everyone else) should quilt and design what ever you feel like doing and do what you love and if people have problems with that then they can blogg off.
    Do what makes you happy.

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  21. I'm new to quilting, but it seems to me that you need to have simple and easy, as well as the more detailed and intricate.

    You are always going to need simple and easy for those just getting into quilting, those who need to whip off a quick project, or those that just want to do something while they need a break from the intricate masterpiece.

    If everything had to be complex and detailed, there would be a lot fewer quilts in the world. No one comes out a winner in that scenario.

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  22. I think this is basically the art versus craft debate. I stll like my idea that if your soul is in it, it is art - be it painting or quilting. And I LOVE the wonk nd the simple. It is beautiful too. Cherrie

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  23. Wow, I googled it and found the 3 part series, what a great read. You need to read all 3 parts, she has a point!
    But because of that I found something I have been wanting to do for a long time - a Double Wedding Ring quilt along. It was 3 degrees of separation! Thank you!

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  24. Quilt and guilt should never occur in the same thought,
    unless you are neglecting something important to do it. I'll define important (in my opinion): feeding and basic care of your children and animals, and your husband enough that he doesn't run away!
    I've been quilting for nearly 10 years and have made a few quilts with triangles in them. I still have issues, and don't even know why. I've read all of the books, watched all of the experts on tv, tried all of the techniques, without consistant results. I do get the best results when I starch my fabric, but that defeats the purpose of prewashing for me. I am sensitive to chemicals and starches and my skin dries out and my fingers crack...no quilting with bloody fingers. So simple is usually best for me, but occasionally I make a more difficult quilt and am content that all of my points don't match. I have several antique quilts and none of them have perfect piecing, including my grandma's.
    I would LOVE to make a NI quilt like Tazzy just finished. See I do have lofty goals, lol.

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  25. Well, I felt much the same way Ros, should I even be blogging? Such a newbie. But then, as a super newbie I loved reading blogs (still do) they are an amazing resource for all skill levels, and I am happy to contribute to that. If even one person thinks 'I might try to make a quilt' as a result of my blog, that would really chuff me. I actually find that I don't like a lot of the traditional, very busy designs. I can see and appreciate all the work that goes into them, but they're not my cup of tea. I will not apologise for that any more than I will apologise for not liking brussel sprouts. I have absolutely no prob with those who love that stuff and more power to them -to each their own. I can see the point behind the original post that people are dumbing stuff down (for marketing, speed of completion, whatever) but I do think it's up to each individual to seek what you need. There is more than enough info on blogs, in mags and in libraries for those looking for a challenge. Everyone, just carry on quilting how you do best, I say! (And don't you dare stop doing what you do Ros.)

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  26. As a new quilter I am attracted to simple quilts, I can handle those. My aesthetic is also different that the very elaborate from the past. To each it's own but we should be supporting each other instead of tearing us down. Just my 2 cents...

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  27. Wow..what a great post! I never really thought about any of that. I've only been quilting about 2 years. I love it...I'm obsessed with it. For me personally, I actually find the some of the most simplest quilts are the best! I'm just drawn to them. For me, quilting isn't about being 'advanced' and challenging myself in that way. I make what I like and I like like simple. To me, simple=modern. I don't care for most "traditional" style quilts. And I do blog. But I blog for the same reasons as you. I have no friends in 'real life' that sew or quilt. So blogging and flickr is where I find 'friends' with common interests and a passion for what I have a passion for.

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  28. I am extremely new to quilting. Like, this year new.

    But you know what? I am totally drawn in by the magic that is cutting several chunks of fabric into little pieces, and sewing them all together into a new piece of fabric that never would have existed without me. I'm fairly certain that that process, plus adding some batting and a backing and hooking it all together(with messy straight running stitch by hand, or little ties, or a brilliant and professionally supplied quilting job) is quilting. Regardless of pattern, or simplicity.

    It is so weird to me to see posts and comments from experienced quilters who are 'scared' to try improvisational piecing. Intimidated by it. It's the only thing I do, really. Why use a pattern when there are so many ideas abounding in my head? What is intimidating to me? It's the people who have never cut a quilt piece with a pair of scissors, because they HAVE to use a rotary cutter because it HAS to be perfect. The people who have forgotten that their foremothers made quilts to save fabric, such a precious resource, every little scrap needing to be used. I guarantee you their points weren't perfect. And they used scissors.

    And they quilted with love.

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  29. Yeah, everyone's already said it, because I think it's true - you're creating something. period. It doesn't matter how complicated or simple it is. What matters is that you enjoy it.

    Plus, there's people like me that would still consider quilting an "old lady sport" if it wasn't for people like amy butler and anna maria horner creating gorgeous modern fabrics and bloggers creating quilts that showcase the fabric instead of overly fussy little patterns that look so old fashioned. There's a reason we don't wear mutton sleeves and ankle length skirts anymore too. Quilting like that can be an art form, for sure, but I don't want it on my bed.

    that being said, I think I do get a little aggravated when I see a quilt pattern for sale that is really just squares. In fact, the quilts I've made were done by just looking at a quilt I like and figuring out the geometry. It's not rocket science. But hey, it's capitalism at it's best, right? If someone is willing to pay for it, why shouldn't you sell it? I won't begrudge them that.

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  30. It's a personal choice. I, for one, consider myself a traditional quilter. I avoid the simple and do as I please. It should be as simple as that. Want simple, do simple. Prefer to be engaged in the art of precision work, then do so. Fabric choices? Match your own, or choose 'samples' if you like them. Shouldn't be a big deal.

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  31. I think the debate is ridiculous. Let us all enjoy what we like. I like your blog and your work, and it sounds like lots of others do, too. If someone doesn't like it, they don't have to read it or look at it.

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  32. I read the original post that stirred the hornets nest up..........
    there are all levels of ability in quilting and everyone can do what they want........
    keep doing what you want.........thats what I do........

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  33. oh and I forgot I do "get" the points the writer was making...........some I agree with.........everyone has a chance to voice there opinions..........obviously quiet a few people read her blog...........there is a place for everything.........and everyone has a place they are happy with........so if your happy doing what you do keep it up.........don't let someone elses opinions affect you..........go create something beautiful....i'm stitching...

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  34. These debates are always so fascinating to me: traditional versus modern, simple versus complex. Sometimes I want really complex and it's worth the time. And it may be more traditional or more newly modern. Sometimes there is so much stuff going on in my life and my head that I'm not capable of complex, but simple works, and it keeps me creating. I think all the criticism on either side is unnecessary. Can't we all just get along? It's a personal choice. Respect it.

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  35. I'm new to quilting (but old to sewing) so I LOVE the simple designs. I think there is room for all of the above mentioned things! Maybe some of us are still in "remedial quilting classes" and others are in the "Gifted and talented classes" to use school analogies.

    I have to almost giggle that this is even a debate because it seems EVERYTHING in my life is subject to debate: homeschooling, being a Christian (and how to dress the "right" way, how to worship the "right" way, etc.), raising a child with autism/Asperger Syndrome (put her in school, teach her at home, and SO much more), raising a child with ADHD (just discipline her more, don't discipline her more, medicate, don't medicate), dealing with medical issues (don't use medicine, go natural; use medicine), and even being on a gluten free diet for celiac disease (NEVER be in a room with gluten;it's okay to have a little now & then). I'm generally take a stand half-way between both sides, so I guess that's how I see quilting---there's something for everyone with variety out there!

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  36. I missed all this debate (damned broken computers) but I really do agree with the majority. Is anything ever too simple if you love doing it? I started quilting with 'simple and plain' 30 years ago and I still love it. As for blogging I really, really agree with Jodie, my blog, if you don't like it don't visit......simple...again ;O)
    Lizzie
    xxx

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  37. I am no great quilter so there's really not much to "dumb down," but I certainly believe that we should create what we feel compelled to create, even if that's something simple. There are so many things in life that we "have" to do...quilting with complicated patterns and techniques shouldn't be one of them (unless you want to...and then more power to you :)

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  38. I went over to the other blog to see what it was all about.
    What a nob!!
    xx

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  39. Quilting is about about enjoying the process, meeting your needs in accordance to the season of life you are in. If that is simple quilts that look beautiful, then there's nothing wrong with that! Quilting shouldn't be about rules and regulations and seriously high expectations as that is what will destroy the joy found in it. BTW, I think your quilts are divine! Keep it up!

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  40. Yikes! I have been quilting for 33 years, since I was 9 years old. I learned on crazy quilts, no pattern, no perfection! I have done all sorts of other difficulty levels since then and now I am at a place where I WANT to do simple (like sew a layer cake together simple!) It never occurred to me that it was anyone's business what I quilted! (or what I shared on my blog for that matter!) I love quilting and I love the thought of covering others in that love. To each his or her own, be it simple or extravagant, do what works for you!

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  41. I am not A quilter But I enjoy what I do After all quilting to me is What my Grannie used to do Cut up all the old clothes And make A quilt out of it to wrap around someone to keep them warm And it dident matter what it looked like it was an act of love Everyone do what you like yourself and enjoy it you are making someone happy.

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  42. I think you have no reason to defend yourself. I enjoy reading your blog, and seeing what you create. I don't care if it's simple or complicated. It's beautiful and inspirational and I love to look at it - creations and garden bits.

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  43. I haven't heard of this before, nor have a read the original blog post about this, but I think people just need to get over themselves!! Everyone creates what they want because they want to , not because certain "quilting circles" tell them they have to make this or that.
    I like simple things and I like intricate things. I may prefer simple designs but I can still see the beauty and work in the more intricate designs.
    And what people blog about is their own business, if others don't want to read about it they can choose to not visit that blog any more.

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  44. it is such a challenging debate ... there are times when I feel quite cheerful about slapping something together because it's a quick dose of sewing without having to plan ahead or keep all the little pieces lined up for the next time I find a few hours to sew. There are other times when I remind myself that to take time and concentrate and extend myself is far more important and ultimately rewarding than that moment of ta-da. I'm not a big purchaser of pre-cuts, looks a bit matchy matchy to me. But I've sure enjoyed buying some over the last 10 years. Just tonight I watched a film with a simple quilt - made up of large squares surrounded by 40 little squares - 10 each side, and I thought oh yum! I want to make a quilt like that. But I also love making more complicated things like dresden plates and blocks with lots and lots of wee triangles. I adore looking through collections of historical quilts - they are breathtaking - I don't think a quilt with an intricate and difficult design should be as flippantly dismissed as out of fashioned and the same as "mutton sleeves" - quilting is bigger and more timeless than that. There are exceptionally talented women out there producing quilts that are works of exquisite artistry and I give them my full applause. By the very nature of our world, there will always be quilters who are beginning and revelling in their newly found skills, producing quilts that are simple yet lovely, and those who are truly skilled craftspeople. Those starting out should be encouraged and admired for their efforts, and those who can produce a pickle dish of breathtaking precision should be held up as the artisans they are. The short story my daughter wrote this week for Year 8 english is marvellous, but Margaret Atwood is a better writer and I would look to her for inspiration for my writing, not my daughter, as wonderful as I think she is :-) We do what we are able to do, enjoy what we enjoy doing, recognise where we are and what we are capable of and best of all, enjoy each other's company. I hope people put away their swords soon, there's no pleasure to be gained from wielding them!

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  45. It's rather lame that people are criticizing. Society has taught us to 'not wait'. Fast food, drive through banking, etc. etc. So when it comes to projects I like fast results, fast rewards so if I can make a simple thing now and then it's nice to feel quickly a sense of accomplishment. THERE IS NO HARM IN THAT. People should be faulted for it. As for my quilting my first quilt I started in 2001 and I'm still working on it because I 'chose' to hand quilt it. As for my second quilt I thought i'd make a machine quilt and when I got the topper done, it 'came to me' that I just had to hand quilt it because it would just look better and fit the style of the design. As far as my own blog, because i've chosen a longer route to work on my quilts, I WILL blog every step, even if only for me, to be able to document my experiences in making the quilts so I can look back and see how i've progressed as a quilter. In conclusion I think that anyone who 'hates' on others are just jealous that some people are getting attention instead of them.
    *steps down from the soapbox* ;) lol

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  46. I to am liking the simplified quilt patterns now. Although I am at a different stage of life than you, I have the same concerns. Seeing patterns emerge, feeling the fabric and enjoying when someone has already put many of the perfect fabrics together are as enjoyable as doing it all from "scratch." I think as long as we are enjoying it as a hobbie it should be whatever we want it to be. There will always be those who can do the hard stuff but quilting is relaxing to me and I don't want the patterns that stress me out. I think you are a wonderful quilter. enjoy!

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  47. Welcome to the fray! :)

    If you want to take my seat, you're welcome to it. I got dragged in by my hair and while it is something I have thought about, it certainly isn't something I ever wanted to discuss on a blog. And you're right, it is a minefield - especially if you would rather die than make someone feel bad about their quilting choices. (Heck, some of mine are highly questionable!)

    If I could have one wish, it would be that every quilter made the quilts that made them happy. More importantly, I would like them to have an emotional connection with those quilts, whether it is that they love the process, that they are making something for someone they care about, or to simply give them a quiet bit of peace in a crazy life.

    For me, there are only two things that bother me with some of the current trends in the quilting business ~ what I put into the "dumbing down" category. First, there are folks writing patterns and doing blog tutorials were the techniques and materials are poorly done. Cringe-worthy. For those quilters - new and old - that aren't familiar with that technique, or who don't have access to a local quilt shop, these are their only sources of information and instruction. With brick-and-mortar quilt shops disappearing, there will be fewer places to go to learn new techniques or how to do things.

    That ties in with the second issue ~ if we don't learn good technique, we won't have the confidence and skills we need to try something new... if that is what you want to do.

    What frustrates me most about this whole issue being raised is that too many quilters are feeling like their work isn't "worthy". That's wrong. The "value" of a quilt comes from the heart put into the making of it. If you made it and you love it, then celebrate it! And, absolutely - I want to see it! :)

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  48. Oh dear when I started quilting 24 yrs ago the debate was "hand quilting verses machine quilting" all the same arguments were put forward if you machine quilted it wasnt a "real Quilt"
    Some people need to get over things
    will we next have the "needle turn applique verses raw edge " debate
    At the end of the day (as much as quilting is my passion) it is only a Quilt !!! the World has many more things going on for us to worry about!!

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  49. Variety is good. Variety is important.
    I only began quilt blogging in January and it was quickly apparent, to me, that the well-funded/"popular" blogs are sponsored by the fabric collection crowd with simple/modern quilts. That is not to say they do not serve a purpose and are not thrilling to follow...
    I think it is impt for each quilter to be liberated to follow THAT quilt's destiny and her own interests.
    Freedom is literally a beautiful thing in our part of the universe.

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  50. We all quilt/sew/stitch and blog for different reasons....what I might see as a wonky seam, someone may see as a straight seam.....I might read a blog with a post that maybe moving to me and others see as trival rubbish.......thats the good thing about it all, we can read the blog if we want....if we feel like making a simple pot holder today we can, if we want to spend the next 1o years mnaking one quilt we can....if we opt for the simple thing today, that is today, maybe tomorrow it will be different....and if I are happy with that wonky seam, so be it...it's my seam........mwah to you Ros....xx

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  51. Just do what you want to do and enjoy it! That's what I do. There is room for all of us. I think its great that there is so much on offer (simple & complex). Pick what appeals to you and go for it!

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  52. I host a podcast and in one of the episodes I talked about the 'minutia of quilting'.

    Basically - you start out knowing nothing and overwhelmed. So if someone says 'cut on the straight of grain' - you just cut any old way because that didn't make any sense to you and so you figure it isn't important.

    And then - you get better at the 'big picture' parts of quilting. So all of the sudden there is less intense concentration needed to the bigger things like a quarter inch seam allowance and the fact that if you want a finished 2 inch square - you need to start at 2.5 inches.

    So - you expand your skills - grainline comes back to you as something that may help with the ironing. Um, I mean pressing.

    Basically - as you improve your skills you are better able to concentrate on the minutia of the hobby (any hobby).

    If you are quilting - YEAH! If you are happy with your project - YEAH! But the quilt that it patched to near death to cover up poor 'workmanship' is not going to be on the next cover of McCall's quilting. There is room for everyone. And dumbing down a subject that lessens the barrier to entry is OK by me.

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  53. I Like (and make)both traditional and "modern" quilts but I must say that if I see another "Dear Jane" quilt I will scream. A bit of originality please! Another thing that I don't really like is machine quilting that apes traditional designs. Lets see some originality here too.
    That being said, these are my personal preferences and if people want to copy the designs of others, let them, but don't call it art. It's craft, and if we are personally content with that, then that's OK. Also, let's put a bit of ourselves into our work. Otherwise we may end up making what, in the art world, is called "fakes".
    Robyn (Australia)

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  54. As a fairly new quilter I love being able to start with simple. Your quilts, patterns and the whole blog is inspiring to gals like me! When I'm old and grey (not all that far off maybe I'll be ready for something more complicated, tried and true and boring:) But for now I love the fun stuff!

    Thanks for the inspiring stuff!

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  55. I think you've attacked this subject in a positive way, and actually this has been bothering me for a while. I barely check blogs anymore because it is all the same. I am very disappointed with all the "modern" quilt movements... but at the end of the day I tend to keep all that to myself and just go off on my own tangents.

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  56. What a great post you have here! I personally feel that the folks who have created some of the posts complaining about the "dumbing down of quilting" are really NOT so concerned about the actual skills of the quilting community. I think they are more jealous that other quilters are getting more blog traffic, magazine spots and in some cases pattern sales with their simple designs. It's like they are saying, "Hey, I'm a better quilter than her and I have a blog so how come she gets so much attention." I think everyone should continue to sew the things that make them happy because there are no quilting police - each person gets to do the things that bring her joy and we shouldn't begrudge a fellow sewer some positive attention for her achievements - even if we think she is "just" a "beginner".

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