This week I would like to post (with permission) part of a newsletter I recently received from Hunter Design Studio. Sam Hunter is passionate about promoting the art/craft of quilting. In this newsletter she is encouraging quilters to “Show their stuff” regardless of where their abilities lie in the broad spectrum of quilting. YOU are a bridge between the less seasoned and the ‘ribbonworthy’ and we need to see all the steps along the way. Just Show Your Stuff!
Quilt guilds and shows are about promoting our craft … Part of that promotion is to attract new people to quilting, and the rest is to inspire the already hooked. Imagine being a not-yet quilter who is thinking about learning, and walking into a local show filled only with blue ribbon specimens. Imagine feeling like you shouldn’t start because you can’t be that great out of the gate.
We need to see the entire spectrum at our shows, from the best efforts of our newest quilters, to the best efforts of the seasoned wise-women in the tribe. How else can we inspire new members? And without them, how do we keep this craft vibrant and alive?
No matter where your skills are on the vast spectrum of quilting, you are undoubtedly in a place to be a bridge between someone else’s skills and the ribbonworthy. We need that bridge. We need YOU to be that bridge. We need to see some of the steps possible to have the courage to take our next one.
I also think it’s important to show your work outside our quilt world. One of the major issues with claiming the worth of our work is that many of the people who meet a hand-made quilt have never met one before, so when we give them the bare bones price of materials and hours, it’s no wonder they don’t understand… When we show our work to these people, either through displaying it in our homes, or stitching on it in a cafe, we are educating the public as to the value of the handcraft. And we must always be educating!
In the words of one of my favorite artist/authors, Austin Kleon, from his book, Show Your Work: “You don’t have to be a genius. Just show it.””
I received something else this week that is worth sharing. It is an infographic (link to pdf. chart) of copyright guidelines for crafters and hobbyists written by Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree. It may be a little difficult to read here but feel free to link to the chart or her article for more information. It is worth checking out.