Friday, August 12, 2016

Tone on Tone

Quilt Designs  

I was pretty clueless about the recent controversy stirred up over this MQG article until I started reading comments on Facebook and Instagram and then I just wanted to crawl in a hole.   It's easy to get caught up in the drama, I get it.  But really people, watch your Tone (on Tone).

My opinion is that MQG had good intentions that went wrong and have done an admirable job attempting to correct course.   Good can come of controversy and also of clearing the air but times like this make me want to say "I don't know, I don't know, never mind!!"

After lurking somewhere between hiding my head in the sand and stepping on a soapbox about it all, I've decided to write a post and put it on paper, for the record.  

Quilting is my happy place.  I don't like conflict.  But I am also protective and think that it's OK to speak up if something doesn't seem right (just ask my local peeps).   To sit back and just think it or to walk away instead of trying to make a difference and redirect is everyones loss.   

Rachel of Stitched In Color proposed a #30DaysQuiltDesign challenge on her blog and I've been posting on Instagram.   To date, this is where I've worked out my feelings on the topic through the designs, their names and description:

4 days ago:Lower Right:  "Lashes to Thorns" I started with innocent fluttery eyelashes in mind and then it turned to dangerous spikes that can hurt you.  A nod to how quickly things can go from good to bad and also how the same object can be viewed so differently.  

3 days ago: Upper Right: "Divided by Derivative" This was in reaction to the hashtag #beingderivative.  The wedge arrows pointing inward to represent leading to the same place (we're all in this together we just get there different ways). And also the Roman Colosseum because it feels like a very uncomfortable spectator sport watching the sparring. Lastly the glow of the background for shedding of light.

Yesterday: Lower Left: "Sew Not the Point"  The accusations and extreme interpretation that I found to be exhausting and depleting.  I'm guilty of snide remarks plenty and everyone is entitled but ugh. 

Today: Upper Left: "Monologue" aka: my Tone on Tone post

With That Said:

I think that making a genuine effort to credit where credit is due is something to aspire to but to feel bound creatively to identifying the source of all aspects of what you create is unreasonable and paralyzing.  I try my best and sleep at night.  I think there's a certain element of Chicken or the Egg involved and there are published quilt patterns out there that I shake my head about but that just means I don't have to buy them.  If someone does and they sew and love a quilt because of it more power to them.  

Ironically, the two most popular posts on my blog - of all time and by far- are the tutorials for Chain piecing Polaroid block and fussy cut Giant x-Plus with bonus triangle neither are my original designs or techniques.  I've linked back to the best of my knowledge on them both. 

This article by Amy at 13 Spools has so much information and I hope to take more time to read it thoroughly.   Now I'm really sorry that I missed the Copyright, Culture and Quilting lecture by Rossie at QuiltCon2015 not only because I'm a fan of hers but I would've had more foundation to stand on while forming my position.   This post by Leanne at She Can Quilt and my comment to it got me typing today. 


  1. Good post ......I agree with you and also recommend reading Amy and Leanne's posts.

  2. I love your designs, and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Thanks for sharing Karen. I was oblivious until the discussion was well under way, and was unsettled by it all as well. Your mention of paralysis rang true for me...and I've been mulling that over all week. I second your ugh.

  4. Good on you for taking the time to comment on this tough matter. I did not know about the brew ha ha until I read Leanne's coments the other day. I have still not had the energy to go back and see what started it all...I third your ugh. But think you made some good points: Like making an effort to link back but hey we are human and this is mostly NOT some sinister conspiracy to steel ideas cheers, CW

  5. Great post, Karen. We see so much online and unconsciously absorb great amounts, that it's hard to know, at times, where our inspiration comes from. And inspiration is just that, inspiration, not a copy. I like your comment about the chicken and the egg. We take so many elements from so many places that we can't possibly now, let alone credit all the sources. Juliet, from The Tartankiwi, also address the controversy in a great post...


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