Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The following is in response to the "dumbing down" controversy.

I think there is scope for all styles.Pin wheels may not be anything but beginner level and the wording of the post that sent you off on your *rant* may or may not have been a last straw kind of thing.

I have not been quilting long, I'm not a purist, I use a sewing machine! I am not a purist because I enjoy seeing what happens if I do xyz rather than yzx. I wasn't a purist at art college either. I experiment I learn by looking at the images people put up and by trying to figure out how they did what they did. But I suspect your annoyance isnt against folk like me. When I was earning my living as a sculptor I'd get similarly annoyed at people who bought made in china pre-made moulds poured a bit of plaster into them and sold the results as hand made art.
For me it seemed folk didn't care or couldn't tell the difference in the final result. But you know, in reality they could tell, some could tell and didnt care of course and likely never would, some could tell and it gave them a new found appreciation for the real art works. Some just couldnt afford my work and the pale clumpy imitations were their way of saying I aspire to that but can afford this.

Self promotion happens with all sorts of people. If the latest trend draws the first glimmer of interest from a whole new audience a goodly number of those will stick at that first, inviting level but others, like me will make that a toe dipping step and who knows where we will end up?

I love looking at all the variations on a theme, sure I will get bored of simple blocks, just as likely I will get bored of repetition in appliqué designs but for those people who have so enjoyed their new adventure into quilting who can begrudge them looking for praise? Dont we all like a little pat on the back from those we aspire to be our peer group? As others have said there is more to quilting than pure technique, there is more to any art form than that, but lack of expertise doesn't stop the DIY home handy man from getting out his tools and having a go, shouldn't stop the DIY quilter either.

The internet is a place of ideas, ideas freely shared for the most part. Don't like one set of ideas move to the next there's plenty to go round after all. The internet also has opened up access to fabric buying for many of us, it is capable of giving us choices long since taken from us in the high street. If we toe dip by buying charm packs what of it? even squares have to eventually be cut in some way. And it does give affordable variety, or must we, in these days of poly cotton and man made fibre clothes wait a lifetime to amass our own stash of off cuts?
So promote the next level of quilting as you see it, because to carp at the baby steps and inviters-in of the new, only puts off the timid to try.

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