When I started to move into the blogsphere, I was advised to not rock the boat too much. To be careful what I say. To be a goody-goody. I cringed but accepted the plan after seeing a very well known and loved quilter be shunned because of personal life choices that were none of the community's fucking business. So I tried to do it. However, I've come to realize that in doing so, I have disconnected myself from who I really am. For the most part I have kept my posts "clean", "polite" and "acceptable" by most traditional quilter standards. On top of that, I have kept my work at those standards as well.
Maybe it's getting older, I don't know, but for awhile now I have been getting very antsy about "pretending" to be something I am not. Honestly, any of my friends can attest - I adore swearing. Seriously. I talk like a sailor. I'm not rude, but I am unfiltered.
Some things about me: I'm opinionated as hell and enjoy a good debate about politics. I'm freakishly liberal, but I do support things like background checks for guns. I love beer. Oh, and whiskey, really-good-not-cheap-whiskey. I watch shitty reality shows - yes, I watched Jersey Shore. Also the Kardhashians. I also love Nova, documentaries and TED Talks. I have a special love for puns and knock knock jokes. Now that I've started weight training, I take pictures of my biceps often to watch them grow.
The point is, I don't want to pretend to be all Miss Prissy Nice anymore. It makes me uncomfortable, and I think that's why I became so bad at keeping up this blog. It becomes too exhausting and depressing to continuously filter out ideas and "conversations" in order to not offend someone. I'm not a politician, if someone doesn't like me I'm not going to lose this blog. They just won't read it anymore.
Which brings me to another thing. Groups of people (quilters are no exception) are notorious for getting in an uproar that "so-and-so" did xyz, therefore we are going to boycott. But honestly, most times that's just talk isn't it? So there's a good chance that even if someone says, "I'm so offended I'm never going to read your blog again!" that they will indeed be back lurking the very next post. (Maybe we will get into the sociology aspect of that another day...lol.) After all these years I have only boycotted one thing, I now avoid licensed fabrics with stipulations on them, because I think telling me I can't buy Ms. Fancy Designers fabric and sell something made from it is complete and utter bullshit. If I'm going to pay $15 a yard for you fabric, shut up and take my money, and let me USE the stuff. (Sorry...soap box tangent!)
With that let me just say, I'm Stephanie, and I'm a girl who fucking loves fiber! I don't know how often I will post, but when I do it will be ME who is represented.
Do you feel that you alter the appearance of who you are to "fit in" in the quilt world?
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
I know I do and I must say, I don't know who I censor myself for! I have not yet met a person who has had a problem with me, my style, my potty mouth, in fact, when I teach and am genuinely myself, people tend to like me even more! But, Yeah! I want to blow the lid on the oppressive portions of the quilt world I work in, and I have really strong opinions about it that I don't talk about on my blog. I think I am going to do a responsive post. With Link Love, of course.ReplyDelete
Oh. My. God. You are my kindred spirit! I entered the quilt world at 23 (40 now) and I am also an art quilter. Show and Tell is sometimes the most frustrating thing that leaves me thinking that my art is bad and not that they don't "get" it. I am also tired of censoring myself for a bunch of ladies who are NOT MY AUDIENCE. I could go on and on in your comments area here, but I'm just writing to say GO ON WITH YOUR BAD-ASS SELF! I will follow you no matter what voice you decide to write with. :)ReplyDelete
Yeah, it occurred to me if I am making art because *I* want to, and not making it to please others, why shouldn't I approach the blog the same way. :)Delete
Some of us really love your work and find it inspiring!Delete
I did a response post too, like Melly. Thanks for the topic, I have really thought a lot about it!Delete
Love this! I get tired of the judge mental attitudes in any forum. Can't wait to read more.ReplyDelete
You go girl!ReplyDelete
Amen, sistah! I, too, have a "potty mouth" and despite urban myths that say profanity indicates that its usage indicates lack of IQ points, I find that "swearing" (which really is only a different way of saying what others are saying which I find passive aggressive... I digress) is MY way of expressing ME! I do quilt, but am more involved in the larger art community here and decided that if people don't like the REAL me, then fuck 'em as they aren't really friends with me, but the person THEY want me to be. I used to filter what I posted on FB, but I just started unfriending those who are "offended" by me. Thank you for being YOU! I told my students in Jr. High to always be the best YOU you can be! It takes courage!ReplyDelete
They key is using the profanity properly. ;) I live in MN so passive aggressive is just a way of life here.Delete
you go girl! know just how you feel. dropped out of my local guild years ago because it was just too stifling. haven't missed a day of those old biddies who seem to think they know everything about everything. On my next blog post I'll be linking people to this blog.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much! Glad to have another kindred stopping in!Delete
Girl... you need to come join me and 2400 other smooth talking men and women who have given the middle finger to the quilting establishment! Please come over for a visit to the BadAss Quilters Association!ReplyDelete
I started it after being told by a brand that I could not represent them unless I "toned it down" and stopped cursing.. ummm hell no!. in fact.. fuck no. :)
Hope to see you and your biceps there! :)
I've been following Bass Ass since day 1 lady, and already intend on ordering one of the hoodies! :)Delete
Come on over and read my blog, sister. There's a TON of us out there who feel the same and we're all getting a larger voice.ReplyDelete
You had me at Serbian Penis Hats. ;)Delete
I've been down the same road and stopped blogging for a long time. I've felt the identity crisis as well, not just in my blog or community, but in my life! Scream it loud sister!!ReplyDelete
Clean, polite, and acceptable. Fuck that. How about, Stephanie quilts as she damned well pleases, and piss on the rest!ReplyDelete
Maddie from Badass sent me here, btw. You would have enjoyed the discussion a few weeks ago regarding the "fuck" quilt! :P I would love to see you over there, if that makes any difference, given that I'm nobody in the quilting world (for now!)
Lisa in MD
I've been keeping up with Bad Ass, just been quiet as I've been in a reflective space for few months now. I'm emerging from my winter cocoon here, and it's time to just live it all bad ass style. :)Delete
A kindred spirit. Hello, lady, from another foul-mouthed, alcohol-drinking, politically active, freakishly liberal, fabric-loving artist.ReplyDelete
I keep my blog upbeat, because I mostly am upbeat, but for my other social media, it's Katy, bar the door, the fight's on! LOL
This reply will be posted as Unknown or Anonymous, but that's not my intent. I couldn't agree more with everything you've said. I'd like to say, however, that there are legions of us "traditional" quilters who are anything but traditional in our thoughts, views, language, politics, etc. I left my guild years ago, not because of the type of quilts they made & enjoyed - there were actually at least 2/3 who were art quilters vs. traditional. It was more an overall cliquish & judgmental vibe. I believe there is room for every kind of quilter & fiber artist, and, indeed, ANY art. If I want to make an art quilt one week, an antique repro the next, that's my prerogative. I won't be put in anyone's box. Linda PayneReplyDelete
I just want to say, that I do adore traditional quilts (I don't often make them anymore because of the time commitment and that I no longer have a longarm machine.)Delete
Also want to say that I loathe the clique aspect of guilds (actually..of most predominately female organizations.) I hate high school because of it, I sure as shit am not going to PAY to be in a "club" that treats me like that again. lol
Well you can add me as a new reader! for 2013 I decided to use my blog to focus mostly on professional development goals...it is a real challenge and definitely unexciting for me personally...I'm gonna trudge on though. hangeth in!ReplyDelete
Glad to have another reader! I will check out your blog - professional development goals are good for all of us! :)Delete
TA FUCKING WANDA TO YOU!!!!!!!!!! I so feel ya.The word "quilter" is beginning to chap my ass a bit.......and I don't want to even attempt to fall under that mainstream description (or what it means for me). Thanks for blowin it up with this blog post!!ReplyDelete
Also ass chapping? "So you're quilter?" Me: "Yeah". "Great! I have this pair of jeans that have a whole in them." ARRRRRRGH.Delete
Whole instead of hole, really autocorrect?!! /sighDelete
My personal style is for traditional quilts and my strongest curse word 90% of the time is shit or hellsbells. Most of the rest of your post could apply to me. I quilt to Rachel Maddow in the background. Never joined a guild, it doesn't fit with my work schedule. Sounds like I haven't missed much. Will be comming back to read your blog.ReplyDelete
I love Rachel Maddow - she often makes me laugh extremely hard. :)Delete
I love traditional quilts, but I guess I'm not a huge fan of stuff traditional atmosphere. ;)
I think we're out there, somewhere. I love it when quilters like us come out of the uhhh… fabric armoire!ReplyDelete
I hope over time, as our generation gets more in to quilting, it will be a more welcoming place to anyone who wants to quilt, even if they don’t follow the party line of the prim and proper generation.
My name is Mandy, I'm un upstate NY, and I was going to invite you to come sew with us and realized where you lived was not conducive to that, ha! Although consider it an open invite if you're ever p this way. I'm totally in agreement with you, and posted about something like this after QuiltCon (which was very much like what you experienced in a traditional guild, just flipped a bit). Make what you love and need to make, which pretty much defines art, right? Rock on. I'm still feeling my way in the whole blogging thing, which is funny since I've been reading blogs since 2002 and my husband worked for various blog readers. Would love to keep up the conversation with you.ReplyDelete
Should I ever happen that way, I will let you know! :)Delete
What a relief! You have nailed why I do not have a blog. I know myself too well and know that I would try to be "nice" and not be me. I have never visited your blog before, but trust me - I shall return!!! I seek out honest people who speak their minds and create however the spirit moves them. Thanks for being you! (Maybe we will meet some day at a background check or women's rights rally. :D)ReplyDelete
Women 's rights rally....so an Indigo Girl's concert???Delete
You GO, girl! There's room for everyone's creativity in my world. I like to see and feel personal "expression" in what people create. Now I'm off to check out the Bad Ass Quilters.ReplyDelete
PS: I'm 71 years old and have been called "Bad Ass Bass" too many times to count through the years (Bass is my maiden name which became my middle name when I married 50 years ago.)
You set a great example for quilters everywhere! I hope when I'm 71 I can be as cool as you :)Delete
I love the name Bad Ass Bass. Pretty sure you should go with that!! :)Delete
I'm 24, I started quilting in November at the ripe young age of 23. I brought an art quilt to a local guild for show and tell and never wanted to quilt again... they're bitches. Any who, I discovered a HUGE community of quilters like you online and now I'm comfortable with my art and even blog about it. Fuck the haters. Thanks so much for your brutal honesty, I love you for it!!!ReplyDelete
I knew there was more to you than 'missy prissy'
I feel extremely grateful to have a fairly traditional guild of 200 people be nothing but welcoming and supportive of me. I'm sorry for your experience.
I hear you on the competitiveness. I am NOT a competitive person, so moving to art felt 'safer'. No microscope, just smiles. I haven't made a quilt in a year actually...
all the best,
do your thing.
nothing else matters - the right people will enjoy it.
Wearing missy prissy is like a bad fitting shoe - it hurts and make you really bitchy. lolDelete
Joke'm if they can't take a Fuck!! Go get'm!~VickiReplyDelete
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Oh hell yeah! I adore this post, how is it that I never knew about bad ass quilters? Thanks Melly for the link to your blog, I will be reading it from here on!!ReplyDelete
Dear Precious Steph ~ I loooooooove your blog, and will be letting my quilting pal Wacky Jackie know about it. I'm sure she'll love it as well. Please... don't ever change who you are. I love you just the way you are, and the same goes for your whole group in MN! L&K 'n BIG OL' HUGS ~ ELReplyDelete
I started quilting at 25, really started loving it at 34 when I started designing my own stuff, I'm now 52. I remember being told by one of the "Grande Dames" of quilting that my quilt would NEVER be used on the cover of their magazine becuase it wasn't "square". I do have a love/hate relationship with the quilt world. I just found your blog today. And I am quite happy that I did! You go girl!!! Be yourself and nothing less!!!ReplyDelete
Weighing in a little late Stephanie, but just had to say Amen! To all of that. I've done my time with the worst of the female art-cliques: being told I "betrayed the feminist movement" and took advantage of "the women whose sacrifices made it possible" for me to curate and create, just because I installed a woman's work in a location she did not like as part of a group show! And I've held my own, with limited involvement in "guilds," because I dread the middle-of-the-road quilt-cops and their assertion that I can't be an artist until my child is grown up and my husband lets me build a studio in our house. Sorry, not everyone acts that way, but the ladies who do are a bummer. YOU are SO AWESOME to just come out and say so! And I'm linking your post. Rock on! JSReplyDelete
And here I thought I had a struggle fighting the "embroiderers" of the world !!!ReplyDelete
They snubbed their royal noses at 'quilters' and anyone who stitched embroideries by ... here it comes ! ... that dreaded *^#*@ ... sewing machine !!!
I was struck with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 11 yrs. old and had already been taught to do hand-work and loved it.
After years of treatments, surgeries, splints, etc. my creative spirit was still trying to speak. I joined a local guild that dabbled in all kinds of needlework (love this term), specialists in none. This was where I finally found a term that applied to what I had already been doing but didn't know it ... free-motion machine embroidery ... and this is where I belong.
My work has been invited to be a part of quilt shows ... but I decline because they aren't quilts, dammit ! They might fit the criteria but they are FINE ART !!
When I chose to call myself THREADPAINTER people were stymied ... lol ! What the hell was a thread painter ? It's taken quite a few years but people are finally 'getting' it.
I just turned 65 and my hands would shock you if you could see them ... there is no way in hell that I could/can stitch by hand ... but put me in front of a machine and I'm off to the races.
So ... I applaud you for standing up for yourself ... great reads everyone !
I stopped by your blog - BEAUTIFUL work lady! I love the idea of a guild that is a more broad spectrum "needlework" theme. Seems it would keep the catty "this is more art than yours" crap at bay!Delete
ANd your work is certainly FINE ART! Wow!
Hi, I came upon your post from Cheryl Sleboda's blog. While I don't use much foul language myself...I do find that I tend to hold back on my blog because I thought it was the "nice" thing to do. Thanks for your refreshing and honest thoughts.ReplyDelete
I hope you all know (and I absolutely know some of you know) you and your unique fiber art styles are always welcome at Quilting Daily (quiltingdaily.com).ReplyDelete
Cate - I'm not 100% sure how to contribute at the site. Mine emailing me at email@example.com or messaging me on Facebook with more information?Delete
great blog post. I still filter myself on my blog, which very well might be why I only post every few months. Have you read Chawne's blog? talk about an amazing quilter and stitcher who is HERSELF. and a wonderful potty-mouth. http://cauchycomplete.wordpress.com/ReplyDelete
you're a f'in LEGEND!ReplyDelete