I've been fortunate to be involved in the OKC Modern Quilt Guild's Moore Love project. Fortunate that I've been able to receive a good portion of the quilts being sent and be the first one to see them straight out of the box! More than once, I've had tears in my eyes as I've read heartfelt notes that have accompanied beautiful quilts. (You can view the quilts on the OKCMQG flickr page.)
During the collection process, I've continually been reminded of a negative comment I received on a previous post. It just keeps running though my mind. The comment was in response to some personal ramblings about the meaning of quilts. (Yeah, I hate to go back to the topic again too, but here we go...)
Here's the comment:
I deleted another person's name from the comment below and reference to their art education.
"There are so many topical, vapid, surface quilts. It's really ignorance, but at the same time, I cannot expect every stay-at-home mom to understand how my quilt is influenced by Basquiat. Think about it from the other side---so many of us are striving to create ART, not just a freaking blanket."
I don't know about you, but when I make a quilt I'm not trying to create ART. That's not to say it isn't, it's just not my primary goal. And I'm not trying to be a quilt " artist " either. I'm a quilt maker that's truly just trying to make something that is aesthetically pleasing TO ME, and hope the recipient likes it too.
We had a family dinner on the 4th of July. My husband's aunt has her hand on the pulse of the non-profit/charity world. She always seems to know what's going on. She told us about a group of 26 or so families affected by the tornadoes in a smaller Oklahoma community. Almost two months later, these families are still living in tents and will probably continue to do so for the another 6-12 months. I don't know all the details, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of assistance available to them. They shower at the nearby truck stop. They have nothing. Not even a "freaking blanket".
So what's my point? Well...I'm not really sure. I think I just finally wanted to voice my rebuttal to the negative comment. But, if I had to come up with a point, it could be any one of the following:
Don't underestimate the power of a "freaking blanket". If ever faced with losing all my material possessions, I'm going to appreciate the gesture of a simple quilt. I can put it on the ground to lie on, or rig it up to give me shade in the 100 degree Oklahoma heat. I can roll it up to use as a pillow, because I probably don't have that either. Better yet, it tells me that someone cares enough to donate something they made with their own hands. The greatest compliment, to me, is a worn quilt. I love to see photos on Facebook of a baby on one of my quilts. On the floor. Getting dirty and spit up on. That's pure joy.
My style isn't less valid than yours. Regardless of perceived education or experience, our styles are our own. Is it even possible to explain how or why something speaks to us? Why are the wall's in my sister's home painted a rich tan while my livingroom is, literally, school bus yellow? We shared the same bedroom growing up that had pink and orange flowered wallpaper and orange shag carpet. How did our styles get to be so different?
NEVER think a stay-at-home mom is ignorant. Holy cow, I can barely wrap my head around that. My SAHM friend, BrieAnn, will blow your mind with the things she can discuss. Your favorite artist doesn't even need to be on my radar. And I can guarantee we all have a favorite artist/composer/piece of music that we think is just AHHH-mazing that the person sitting next to us had never heard of.
Be nice. Honestly? Most bloggers don't want your negative comments, and we certainly don't want ones that insult. And I don't think we want fake praise either. We really just want to share our latest projects and musings. If we ask for an opinion, then yes, be constructive in your comments, just don't be mean or I-know-better-than-you-because-I-have-the-education about it. I can have a discussion with you, but nothing ruins a discussion quicker than a condescending tone. That just makes you look bad.
BIG THANKS to all who have donated to the MOORE LOVE PROJECT! You're all spectacular!