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Thread: Quite honestly a matter of tact...

  1. #1
    Steve's Avatar
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    So what polite things do you really say when you see a quilt that looks awful (yech!), but you donít want to hurt the quilterís feelings when asked? Yeah, yeah, I know beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.

    I find ďVery interestingÖ.Ē or ďIíd never have thought in a million years to do that!Ē slip out quite easily when I suppose being more honest and giving constructive criticism a path harder to take, but more valuable in the long run to the quilter.

  2. #2

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    I alway look for something postive to say about a quilt, when it comes, to someone showing me their work. Because that could always be me, holding up a quilt that I've done. Focus on the postive, and then ask polite questions. Altho said many, many, times, and will be said many more times. One mans trash is really another mans treasure. I find beauty in all things handmade. It's all about HEART............

  3. #3
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    It really depends on the relationship with the quilter. Do they actually want an honest opinion or do they just want to show what they've done? Can they handle constructive criticism? or accept a better idea?
    I have a hard time showing my mother things because she automatically starts looking for what's wrong with it not what's right, but that's the way her mother was and any little imperfection had to be corrected. For a very long time it hurt my feelings something awful and I vowed to never make anybody feel that way! Therefore I'm very careful in what I say and always try to be encouraging. Now I only show her things from about 6 ft.!
    I do hate it when someone shows something and points out every little thing . That's not good for their confidence.
    So I guess you can say " Oh I just love that fabric" unless you don't! Or maybe comment on the pattern.
    OK, I think I'm just rattleing now!

  4. #4
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    Steve, I think you are "feeling us out" so that when you show us that awful thing you are hiding under the bed, you will know if we are being honest or not. Sure, we can say something nice! But I think that deep inside a person knows they have something that is not going to win a prize. That would be the reason I am not showing my first quilt off the frame. Ha! I can see the mistakes! They GLARE at me, so why do I want to embarrass myself?

    That was a very clever question and we will all be wary, now we know what you are up to.

  5. #5
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    yikes - i hope it wasn't one of mine that you looked at to prompt this question :oops: :cry:

    :wink:

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    I have a hard time showing my mother things because she automatically starts looking for what's wrong with it not what's right, but that's the way her mother was and any little imperfection had to be corrected. For a very long time it hurt my feelings something awful and I vowed to never make anybody feel that way! Therefore I'm very careful in what I say and always try to be encouraging.
    this used to be me to a 't', but since i've really been making lots of 'creative things' it doesn't happen so much. and i've learned to just let it roll when it does. one thing we agree to disagree on is basting. my mom bastes EVERYTHING. even little 2 X 2 pieces for a block she helped me with. drives me nuts! i just walk away and find something else to do and come back an hour later.

    but i am still careful about what i say to people in general and try to be encouraging.

  7. #7
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    My mom had a saying she taught us when I was young, "If you can't say something nice, keep your mouth closed" If someone feels the urge to judge, we need to call in the quilt police, and they were kicked out already. For most of us, this is our hobby, if you are hyper critical go away. There is free advice all over the computer. If someone asks show them where to find some ans, and you will keep your friends. Thats my opinon and I'm sticking to it, besides mean people suck :!: :!: :!: :wink: :roll: :mrgreen: :D :-o :roll: :wink:

    Hmmmmmmmm I just started a new project and posted the start of it.......a lot of people admired the fabric........lol well either way I like it :roll: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

  8. #8
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Options to being cruel -

    Ask what brand of thread they used, and would they reccomend it
    Find one block to focus on that has a nice print or color
    Praise their ability to get er done

    I've done some uglies that I have passed on to others. Every quilt has taught me something about myself. I would rather have someone change the subject slightly than to take compliments dishonestly. If the problem was poor color choices, you may want to reccommend a book that will help them make different choices. If it is true gag-me fugly, tactfully suggest overdying or embellishment could "add" (camoflauge) the worst of it.

    There used to be the Golden Rule. Then random acts of kindness. Don't let that end with you.

  9. #9

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    Ooh this is a touchy subject. Personally, growing up my mom told me that EVERYTHING I did looked great. As I got older I realized what she was doing and now when I receive a compliment, I never know if it's actually truthful or "just being nice."

    I think if the question is open-ended like "What do you think of my points?" or "Are my color choices okay?" it's different...obviously the quilter is looking for critique. But just to show a finished project and have someone start tearing it apart would be devastating. The quilter chose that pattern, fabrics, etc. for a reason. Unless they say it's not exactly what they had envisioned, I don't think it would be right to say anything about it.

    As for the "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything" mantra, that's cool. But it makes me think...no one made a comment on my last BOM picture, does everyone hate it? :?

  10. #10
    Steve's Avatar
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    I think Iím my own worse critic and having grown up with a father who was naturally inclined at most things, my brothers and I have insecurities that run deep. That said; I like what I do, and always look to improve upon it. My mother on the other hand tends to give new meaning to Ďa positive spiní on things. Not that sheís a Pollyanna, but maybe knowing we are sensitive, she takes that extra step in avoiding negativity. That too isnít so great when youíre looking to improve. Both mean well, and I can rationalize it, but putting my desire for positive feedback toward otherís works has always been tempered by these two extremes. They really arenít so extreme as they are exaggerated by said desire.

    So no, Iíve no monsters in the closet, or under the bed (too many dust bunnies) and no Iíve not felt any extreme revulsion towards any work Iíve seen here (though a couple color choices have bugged my eyes).

    What happened is someone at work asked why I didnít enter any of my own work into a quilt show, and I tried to explain it wasnít of a quality that I felt comfortable displaying in public. Then I thought about why I donít mind putting up the pictures here!

    I suppose itís because you all are a nice, fair lot of folks who always seem to say the right thing. What I like is a positive as well as constructive criticism, and that is where tact comes in.


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