I don't usually join in on these kinds of debates or conversations because my mom taught me a long time ago that if you can't say something nice you shouldn't say anything at all. Well in this case I don't have anything mean to say so I think I'm safe. Apparently I live in a bubble because I had no idea that there was a debate going on about "Dumbing Down Quilting" but once one of my regular reads responded I did a little research and I have to admit I was shocked at what I found. It seems like everyone has an opinion on the subject. And like everyone else I have an opinion too. It seems like what started this whole debate was the complexity of a pinwheel. Did anyone stop and think about this? There are lots of different pinwheel blocks. I made this set for charity and I would agree. Easy peasy, doesn't take a lot of time but leaves you with a fantastic looking quilt at the end of the day. When I was brand new to quilting I hated these blocks because those pesky little points in the middle never seemed to line up just like I wanted them too.
here. Some of those blocks were not easy for me. Maybe they aren't what some would call advanced or even intermediate but for me they were more challenging than what I personally would consider a basic block. Humm maybe that's the point here. Opinions are after all subjective. So maybe what I consider to be intermediate you think of as basic. But I don't think that makes me dumb.
I am really looking forward to developing my skills as a quilter but as a 20 something (okay thirty something) quilter right now my focus is on my job and building my family. Quilting for now is a hobby. Something I enjoy doing but sadly falls to the bottom of the priority list. As much as I wish I could spend time everyday with Bertha (my machine if you're new around here) that's just not realistic for me right now. So I join in things like quilt alongs and quilting bees. Some of the women in my life that I consider my best of friends are women I've meet through these experiences. They are my friends not only in this online quilting world but in real life too. They are the people I trust to ask for advice and to share my bad days with. But they are also the ones who challenge me to become a better person. Not only in my quilting but in my life as well. I don't think you can cheapen that experience by somehow implying that those experiences have been unproductive by not advancing my skill level.
On that same note one of the things I love about quilt alongs is the fact that while everyone is working with the same pattern the quilts all look different. Each person brings their individual skills, taste, and twist to the project. Take the postage stamp quilt along for example (since it was my most recent experience we can look at those) this quilt, this one, and this one were all made as part of the same project. So on first glance one might be seeing the same quilt on a ton of blogs all at once. But if you look a little closer you will see that it's because it was part of a project each quilter chose to participate in and then you get to appreciate the differences of each quilt. Same basic pattern, each with it's own special twist.
I love my quilting community that embraces me, challenges me, and shares with me. Maybe I don't yet know what kind of quilter I am but the journey is where the fun lies. I look forward to continuing to develop my skills, try out new things, and quilt with great fabrics that I love (even if they aren't the same ones my mom or grandmother would pick). Because I choose to believe that just by being fellow quilters we have a shared passion no matter how we choose to express it.