Saturday, May 02, 2015

The In Crowd

I'm in with the In Crowd,
I know what the In Crowd knows.
I'm in with the In Crowd,
I go where the In Crowd goes. *

Me? Nope, that's not me. I'm not in any Crowd at all.

Traditional Quilters think I'm too Modern. The Moderns think I'm too Traditional. Art Quilters say I have no vision, no voice. I'm too controlled for the Liberated Quilters, too wonky for the Perfectly-Matched Seams set. I fit neatly -- no where. My style is hard to define, a bit from the whole spectrum of quilting. Not a big deal -- except that the quilting world seems to be getting so clannish, that if you don't subscribe wholeheartedly to a Group's lists of dos & don'ts then you don't really belong to the Group. OK, I've always been something of an out-lier, outside looking in from the thin end of the bell curve. I'm used to being there, it just gets a little lonely sometimes.

I am trying to shut out the distractions of the latest fabric challenges & QALs, swaps & the newest trends, the nay-sayers & the yay-sayers. I think it is safe to say that half of my life is over now, I hope I have many good years of quilting ahead of me, but life is uncertain. So I am trying to listen to *my* voice & make *my* quilts. I love making quilts for family & friends, trying to get inside their skin, finding colors, fabrics, designs they would like -- them, but through my eyes. Sometimes I nail it, other times a near miss. I also love sewing my stash into simple quilts for charitable giving -- de-stashing by sewing things that will warm bodies & souls. But when I am not making quilts to give, I want to make quilts that are me, my Own. A new friend used the word "authentic" -- that's what I am aiming for: quilts that are Authentically my Own.

* Billy Page


cauchy09 said...

The first thought that comes to mind is "me too!"

There are so many analogies (the Borg on Star Trek, the Hitler Youth, etc...kidding, of course). There's acceptance and then there's adherence to arbitrary rules made by folks who may or may not deserve such power. Meh.

Let's make our own rules for ourselves. And enjoy the quilts we make for their own sake. Your work is lovely and amazing and so are you.

O'Quilts said...

Can I be in your crowd?? Please:)

Rachaeldaisy said...

YAY!!! Awesome post! I love your quilts and style because your quilts are a mix of All of the Above. that's what makes your quilts interesting and unique.
I too am trying to make my own quilts and not be led by trends. That's a big reason I'm not on instagram, because I know I'm easily distracted.
One of the best compliments I ever received was that my quilts walk the line between modern and traditional. I like the idea that I'm there in between and not wholly one or the other. it was freeing.
Authentic is a great word and style to aim for.

Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

Love this post!!! We should all be making quilts we want to make, period.

Nifty Quilts said...

Great commentary on the pressures creating by quilts on the internet. Not something our grandmothers dealt with. I'm sure they were only trying to impress their families and neighbors, but most of all themselves. It's not easy to find your own voice with so many influences around. I love your eclectic style and your generosity. Consider me one of your neighbors. OK? We'll be virtually sitting around the kitchen table with coffee, scraps, ideas and appreciation.

Brenda said...

Amen, sisters!

Ailsa (Cape Pincushion) said...

I totally agree! If you think about Kaffe Fassett, he is somewhere in between all these so-called movements. His quilts employ traditional blocks and patterns but with his beautiful colourful "hand-painted" fabrics. I think to align oneself with a single quilt movement would probably end up being too restrictive! Best to do what is fun!

Pinkadot Quilts said...

I really liked this post and need to listen to my own voice too!

Tonya Ricucci said...

I hear ya. I started an interesting dialog on Facebook about this idea. I don't fit into any group and the only one I can think of is Rural Southern String quilter. that is where my heart is. Love imperfection and that so isn't respected much of anywhere. good for you: be authentic and be yourself.

Rebecca said...

I've had your blog post open in my window ever since you published it. I agree with you. And I wish we didn't box each other and ourselves in.

Carla said...

Authentic ... Unique
You have the best of all worlds.
Nice post

Ruth said...

This is so important. I have had the same feelings. I get a bit weary from the memes and giveaways, though I don't have anything against them. I realized yesterday that I will never ever create patterns to sell (not that there is anything wrong with that, they're good little money-makers). Each quilt is one-of-a-kind, and over time I am figuring out what I like, and what feels expressive of me. But it's ongoing. I was a traditional quilter in the '70s and '80s, and then I lost interest (because of hand issues, unable to hand quilt). When I saw the surge of modern quilting (and machine piecing and quilting) I came alive!

Do carry on, and I believe you will get better and better at hearing your own voice. Sometimes I devour ideas at Pinterest, and then days later something comes forth. It's like the hen who lays one egg a day, and the rest of the day is gathering or resting.