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!
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