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Thread: A quilt police officer in the making *sigh*

  1. #1
    deema's Avatar
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    I am a newbie quilter. I only started late August 2010. I'm pretty much self taught, with the help of this board (HUGE help) and numerous hours spent surfing the web. lol. I have a friend who was inspired to start quilting after I did, which is GREAT! I actually have inspired a few of my friends to start - the more the merrier - and I always help them out where I can. Being a newbie myself, I don't always have the answers, but I try to find them. BUT, this one friend decided to take a class (more power to her) and she's decided the the things she's learned in this class are the "right" way to quilt. Now, I'm all for learning different techniques, finding what works best for you and running with it, and I always try to offer more than one alternative when a question is asked of me. But now every time we talk she'll say "the way you do "X" (insert technique) is wrong. I learned in my class that you're supposed to do it this way". Oy. :hunf:

    I always respond with "This is just what I prefer, and what works for me. There are no hard rules, just preferences." But jeepers, it just grinds me. *sigh* Ok, I'm done now. Do any of you have a quilt police officer in your midst?

  2. #2
    Super Member fidgety's Avatar
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    No I do not have any. My Dh just says yeah thats cool. He will not look at the mistakes I havemade even if I point them out. In my honest opinion.... each of us has what works for us...

  3. #3
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    As long as YOU are pleased with your work, learn to tune her out. Unless you are going to be entering shows/contests where you put your work out there TO BE JUDGED, tell her to keep her opinions to herself because he doesn't have a judges license.

    jodi in leavenworth

  4. #4
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    Do what you feel comfortable with and ignore her. Let her know that quilting has been around hundreds of years and there are no hard and fast rules on how to do it. One does it to please themselves and that as far as you are concerned there were "no quilt police centuries ago and there are none today". If it offends her "oh well"!

  5. #5

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    I meet them quite frequently in class. I've found that when I stand up to them with humour, all works out well. Often, there are others in class who are happy I say something. Usually, when my techniques or product are criticized, I just say that I wanted it to look that way! I act very innocent.

  6. #6
    Super Member seamstome's Avatar
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    Ask this question, "Why?" If she can answer it with a technical response, then I would listen to her because she is trying to help you.

    For example, there are several things you do the "correct" way due to bias issues.

    Otherwise, it is a preference and she is being the quilt police.

  7. #7
    joan_quilts's Avatar
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    I do what works for me. I am self taught and I have won ribbons in our local quilt shows. It may not be the "right" way, but it is my way and it works for me! LOL

    When I am teaching people how to quilt, I tell them they have to make sure they are cutting accuaratley, have to know the 1/4 inch seam rule, and the rest is preference. I can show them short cuts, but as long as you are happy with your work, that is what matters.

  8. #8
    Cyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattee
    I meet them quite frequently in class. I've found that when I stand up to them with humour, all works out well. Often, there are others in class who are happy I say something. Usually, when my techniques or product are criticized, I just say that I wanted it to look that way! I act very innocent.
    Great advice!

  9. #9
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    One up her. Just say, "I belong to a quilting board that has everyone from newbies, like US, to people that have been quilting for over 50 years. The group I'm in has quilters that have made quilts that are displayed in museums around the world and have won blue ribbons in world wide competitions. They've been wonderful at offering advice and helping me and the one thing that they're most adamant about is that there's no "right" or "wrong" way. It's supposed to be "whatever works" for the person doing the creating. If the instructor in your class said that there's right ways and wrong ways then he or she needs to broaden his/her horizons."

    I guess I must be pretty scary because people don't usually offer me advice unless I ask for it.

  10. #10
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joan_quilts
    When I am teaching people how to quilt, I tell them they have to make sure they are cutting accuaratley, have to know the 1/4 inch seam rule, and the rest is preference. I can show them short cuts, but as long as you are happy with your work, that is what matters.
    Now that's a teacher. :D

    For the 'new' quilt police, next time she does this, lean back a smidge, look her straight in the eye, slightly raise your eyebrows, do not break contact, do not speak first, wait her out, see what she does.
    I'm betting she will find that quite uncomfortable and hopefully make the connection that HER behavior is making you uncomfortable as well.
    Nothing is more ridiculous or annoying than a newly taught proselytizer.

    Jan in VA

  11. #11
    Super Member lovingmama's Avatar
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    Here is what I do, I ask people how many different they can find to make the sum of 10. (5+5, 4+6 etc.)

    Than I ask them, which one is right, which one is wrong?

    More than once, there are different ways of doing things, with the same good result. So it comes down to what you prefer.

    Sorry, but there will be always someone in our lives who knows it all and especially better.

    Look at her as you would at a child, still needs to learn a lot.

  12. #12
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I generally just say "how nice for you" and go on with my happy life.

  13. #13
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    my hubby has his moments that he feels the need to enforce his 'post'...he's been known to tell me...well i hope you don't plan on leaving that like that...you need to fix that. ;) i love that he is supportive, once in a while though....he could be a little less critical.
    in the sewing group i used to go to we had one person who thought all of us should do everything (her-way)...one time i was asked to teach a technique and she showed up with a totally different technique and ran around the room (behind me) taking fabric right out of peoples hands and telling them to '''do it this way''' well, turned out...her way...did not work for ANY ONE in the group and when 1/2 a dozen women finally stood up and said....this does NOT WORK! PLEASE WILL YOU JUST LET OUR 'TEACHER (me) 'SHOW US HOW SHE DOES IT...THAT'S WHAT WE WANTED TO LEARN....boy was she '''put-out'''but we all still like her. that night changed alot of things for us as a group. and many of the ladies started contacting me privately and coming to visit when they wanted to figure out how to do something...the whole meeting changed direction at that point and they stopped asking individuals to do 'classes' at the meetings which i think is sad....all because of one person's 'mighter than though attitude'

  14. #14
    Super Member Margie's Avatar
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    When my father was alive, he gave me the best advice ever(I just need to remember to do it all the time)....He said.."JUST SMILE AND NOD"!

  15. #15
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    More power to her for trying to help people but............. When I first started quilting I went to a night class, I was up in Scotland at that time, and this Scottish Lady was so emphatic as the way things were done that she took the fun out of quilting, so much so she frightened me out of quilting until I found a friendly Forum and a lovely bunch of quilters who were so generous with their time and experience. I am now a quilting addict and I love my hobby but it could so easily have turned out differently just by the first experience with that teacher. It's a shame someone could not be brave enough and give her some friendly advice.

  16. #16
    Senior Member LastGrandma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Margie
    When my father was alive, he gave me the best advice ever(I just need to remember to do it all the time)....He said.."JUST SMILE AND NOD"!
    I learned that "Smile and Be polite" works best for me.

  17. #17
    Junior Member TeriD's Avatar
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    The exact same thing happened to me. I just kind of ignored it, even though I was irritated. After a couple more years, though, my friend had more quilting experiences and took classes with different people and came to realize on her own that there are lots of ways to do things. She stopped being the quilting police and we each just do things the way we like. I would give your friend a little time.

  18. #18
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    Tell your friend, "You should take a few more lessons. Then you will begin to understand there is no one way to do it--just many ways to choose your favorite from." Now--say that over a few times to yourself so you'll be ready with it next time.

  19. #19
    Senior Member GrammaO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA
    Quote Originally Posted by joan_quilts
    When I am teaching people how to quilt, I tell them they have to make sure they are cutting accuaratley, have to know the 1/4 inch seam rule, and the rest is preference. I can show them short cuts, but as long as you are happy with your work, that is what matters.
    Now that's a teacher. :D

    For the 'new' quilt police, next time she does this, lean back a smidge, look her straight in the eye, slightly raise your eyebrows, do not break contact, do not speak first, wait her out, see what she does.
    I'm betting she will find that quite uncomfortable and hopefully make the connection that HER behavior is making you uncomfortable as well.
    Nothing is more ridiculous or annoying than a newly taught proselytizer.

    Jan in VA
    "poselytizer"! I love that word! I have no idea what it means, but I like it (now I have to go look it up :-) See how much you learn on this board!) I also love this piece of advice. It can be applied to almost any situation and I will definitely keep it in mind next time anyone thinks that they are no longer teachable because they already know everything.
    Have you introduced her to this board? She will quickly find out that a) there are many, many ways to achieve quilting results and b) there are thousands of women on this board who have tried most of those ways and few will say there is one 'right' way to do it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LastGrandma
    Quote Originally Posted by Margie
    When my father was alive, he gave me the best advice ever(I just need to remember to do it all the time)....He said.."JUST SMILE AND NOD"!
    I learned that "Smile and Be polite" works best for me.
    I admire you! After a few irritating coments from the quilt police, I go with "Cut and smile" or "Cut and run."

  21. #21
    Senior Member GrammaO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA
    Quote Originally Posted by joan_quilts
    When I am teaching people how to quilt, I tell them they have to make sure they are cutting accuaratley, have to know the 1/4 inch seam rule, and the rest is preference. I can show them short cuts, but as long as you are happy with your work, that is what matters.
    Now that's a teacher. :D

    For the 'new' quilt police, next time she does this, lean back a smidge, look her straight in the eye, slightly raise your eyebrows, do not break contact, do not speak first, wait her out, see what she does.
    I'm betting she will find that quite uncomfortable and hopefully make the connection that HER behavior is making you uncomfortable as well.
    Nothing is more ridiculous or annoying than a newly taught proselytizer.

    Jan in VA
    "proselytizer"! I love that word! I have no idea what it means, but I like it (now I have to go look it up :-) See how much you learn on this board!) I also love this piece of advice. It can be applied to almost any situation and I will definitely keep it in mind next time anyone thinks that they are no longer teachable because they already know everything.
    Have you introduced her to this board? She will quickly find out that a) there are many, many ways to achieve quilting results and b) there are thousands of women on this board who have tried most of those ways and few will say there is one 'right' way to do it.

  22. #22

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    Oh you have to love the quilt police. My mother, and mother-in-law are both over my shoulders. It's nice to have the experienced people to turn to, but it's scary when they look at my work. Sometimes they'll ask me questions and I'm afraid of my answer. I've decided to make a quilt without pre-washing my fabric. My mother-in-law is very concerned for the outcome of my quilt, and keeps questioning it. Once it's finished we'll see how it turns out I guess!

  23. #23
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I dont believe that there IS a right way to quilt. Quilting started outas a way to use up fabric pieces, make something pretty, a frugal hobby. I am sure the lady in the cabin in the woods, quilted a bit diffrent from the rich lady somewhere else. SO, who was right? WHY do we have to be right, lol?
    Actually, I pretty much do most things wrong, but it works for me. Ex MIL was super frugal and taught me, not the way most people do it. But its nice, pretty, andworks for me.
    HUGS!

  24. #24
    Senior Member LaurieE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Margie
    JUST SMILE AND NOD"!
    Margie, I tell that to my daughters all the time especially when they have to deal with an unfriendly person.

    In regards to your friend, there are some people in this world who just have to practice one-up-manship in order to feel good about themselves or what they have done. Don't let it bother you.

  25. #25
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    It never ceases to amaze me how many people think that because they take A class, suddenly they are experts. We have a person much like that in our family,BUT, that is a whole other story!

    You might mention to your "Quilt Police" person that most all quilting classes are taught BY OTHER QUILTERS! Yep, people just like all of us! Only difference, they are getting paid for their knowledge from the school of hard knocks. Do they still make mistakes? YOU BETCHA! Only difference is they tell everyone about their mistake and show a road much easier.

    I have taught several classes and the very first thing I tell the class is I AM BY NO MEANS OF THE WORD PERFECT. If you have a thought of how something can be done easier PLEASE say something. Then I say "Basically I'm here to show you what NOT to do and why."

    Now, for just a bit of a giggle. WARNING: I AM ABOUT TO TELL YOU A TRUE STORY. TAKE ALL FLUIDS AND SOLIDS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH.

    My sister and I went to a quilt retreat. Several of our friends were there but one of our friends brought her daughter. This was her first time to piece a quilt. Just like all new babies, all mother hens were taking her under our protective wings. Our baby finished her top and decided she wanted to go ahead and quilt it herself. My my my how fast they want to flee the nest. We all got her started and she was having so much fun every now and then she would giggle and say, "I thought it was illegal to have this much fun without alcohol!"

    Having her in a good way, mother hens went back to our own projects. Suddenly, some old CROW came up to her and was literally staring over our chick's shoulder. "MY GOD! You should be SHOT for quilting this so poorly!" said the old crow in a tone for EVERYONE to hear. Our new quilter immediately went to tears and sobbing. Since I was at the same table with our new quilter, needless to say I really felt like I needed to chime in on this. My not possessing the best of manners or etiquette decided to yell at the old crow, "YEAH, WELL WHO DIED AND PUT YOU IN CHARGE BECAUSE I DIDN'T GET THAT MEMO!" What folks weren't setting with their mouths gaped open were really having a pretty good laugh at the expense of "THE OLD CROW". Well, crow quickly turned on her heel to seek out the host of the retreat. Me, being the person I am, followed her. Now, this next thing was better than any Mastercard moment you could ever imagine. Crow goes up to the host, in a fit of rage starts telling him how rudely she had been accosted. I was proud to hear that she could repeat my statement word for word. Not missing a beat, our host said "Okay, so.....who died?" I nearly fainted from laughing so hard.

    Yes, you may go to the bathroom now.

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