Twice this week, while fabric shopping, I have overheard quilters chatting and talking behind someone’s back. Comments were exchanged about the quality of the work someone had shared with them, negative comments. Unnecessary comments. In one case the comments started as soon as the subject left the room!
Perhaps it is a fear of this type of criticism that makes people say “Well I am not as experienced as you” or “It isn’t very good” before showing something to another quilter. Perhaps it is something deeper.
Is there something in our culture that has taught us not to share unless the item is perfect? In the world of quilters and crafters, have we become critics instead of cheerleaders, forcing others to not share, or apologize for their offerings? Or are we afraid of not measuring up?
I am declaring a war on these apologies! How can any creative endeavor that you enjoy doing ever be inadequate? I want to be a positive supporter of all people pursuing what they love creating. Please join me, quit apologizing for your efforts, be a positive supporter of others. Stop your friends from starting statements with apologetic terms. Instead, please try to encourage, to applaud, and to reinforce confidence in others, and myself.
Of course, we all want to improve, to do our best. But we are learning. I have learned that I am a very imperfect quiltmaker, as well as an imperfect human being. I will never be perfect. And I am quite content with this. I know my mitered corners are askew, my triangles are cut off, and my stitching is uneven. Do not get me wrong, I care, I want to improve. But I will learn to accept my mistakes and either try to fix them, or simply move on and live with them.
The next time you share with someone, please make a point to not apologize. No need to explain, just offer to share the creative process that you are enjoying. It is yours. No one is judging you. Ok, no one should be judging you. If by some chance they do, feel free to simply say “I am happy to be having fun as I learn how to do this.”