I'm not a huge fan of definitions or pigeon holing. I understand it helps define what something or someone is but as a case in point I'm a contradiction - I'm a University educated mother of 2, married, well spoken, middle class (if you must). Put me in a suit and I look like any well heeled working woman. Put me in a vest top and I get stared at. I am used to people coming up to me and telling me to my face that I'll hate the tattoos that cover both of my arms when I'm 70. My reply is that I'm more likely to hate every other part of me when I'm 70 and at least my arms will be pretty to look at. I get a lot of muttering behind my back, I get a lot of disapproving looks as if to say I am setting a bad example to my children being so heavily tattooed. Despite the fact that they have no idea of what kind of parent I am or how traditional in my role as a wife and mother. It is assumed I must be a little bit rough, a little bit wrong and my kids must be tearaways. My husband is an even better case in point - he's big, he's got a shaven head, he's pretty much covered in tattoos. He looks like he could handle himself in a fight. Truth is - he's never done drugs, never smoked, never drinks (never has done), has manicures and facials, his best friend is the lint roller, and if someone tried to hit him he'd run away, he was at an incredibly posh boarding school until he was 13 and has been privately educated his whole school life. Both of us prefer to stay in and drink cups of tea and watch a bit of TV than go out causing a riot. Why do people feel the need to assume and judge on appearances?
So, what's my point? I feel the same way about quilting, sewing, crafting, designing - all of this that we do. We do it because we love it. We are all different, no-one is right or wrong, no-one is better or worse in their opinions. We cannot assume things about people's lives because of the photos they share. We share photos for whatever reason - we probably want to keep a record of them for ourselves, we most likely want to share with our friends, we may want to make new friends, we might hope to make a little pocket money from sponsors, or maybe we want to make a career out of it. We all want this community to be a huge guild where we all hang out, where advice is readily available and there are friends on hand to answer questions. We won't like everything we all make, but if X came up to me and showed me her latest creation and she loved it and she was so proud and she was grinning when she asked my opinion...what would I say? What would you say? I'd say 'wow - that's great'. And I'd mean it. Because it doesn't matter if I don't really like the fabrics, or the style of the design, or even the construction - it's not for me and unless someone asks me how to do things differently it's not my place to tell them they're doing it wrong. Nothing is wrong.
We are all 'nowadays' quilters - whether we follow a more traditional or modern path. We are all passing our love of a craft on to the next generation. Let's help them embrace it, welcome them in, offer them support and encourage them. If they get a line of fabric or a book deal - let's celebrate that, because it's a pretty big deal for that person and it's something they are incredibly proud of.
Let's play nice.