Wednesday, October 31, 2012

{WiP} and Bullies ~ Week 43/52

(Could that title be right?? Only 9 more weeks in 2012?? Holy cow!!)

I'm really hoping November isn't as busy as October has been. This has just been crazy!

Quickly, about my {WiP}s. They're plentiful (bee blocks, galore!). I think I mentioned the TumblerPartyToo swap last week. It's a Flickr swap inspired by sweet Yolanda, hosted by Leona. We'll send Leona 12 fat quarters in aqua and orange (Yolanda's favorite color combo), and she'll use an Accuquilt Studio cutter to cut them into 6 1/2" tumblers, shuffle them around do we all get a good variety, and send them back to us.

This is my stack. I bought most of them from Sew, Mama, Sew because they had a great sale. :) The only one I'm disappointed with is a new Kona called Alegria. It's way more blue that what it looked like on my computer screen (which is precisely why I needed the new Kona solid insert...which Kristen sent with my order, thankyouverymuch.)

I also drafted my pattern, and I am RIDICULOUSLY excited about it. I can't share it, but when you see it, you'll be like "Yup, that's Melissa, alright." :o) I just wish I could (a) speed time up and get my tumblers rightnow, and (b) stop time so I could get my quilt made to submit to the modern quilt show next spring. The good news is, I'm sure there will be more opportunities to enter it. :o)

I was going to sew last night (bee blocks, anyone?), even turned on the light in the sewing room. :o) But I went into the other room to do something very quick on the computer and spent the rest of the evening supporting a quilty friend who was being bullied via her blog.

Can we camp out here for a bit?

Online bullying. Have you seen this? Have you been a victim of this? I've definitely seen online bullying outside of the quilt circle, but have been really surprised to see it among modern quilters.

We're QUILTERS, for Pete's sake! Can't we just be nice? Polite? Respectful??? Is that too much to ask?

I've actually been on both sides of this - bullied and accused of bullying. By quilters YOU KNOW and think are super sweet! Which, to be fair, they probably are super sweet, but their actions were very NOT sweet.

I'm going to tell you a story, but, like Law and Order, this is inspired by a true incident, the following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event. :o)

It's 2011, the Infinity Scarf is wildly popular, in part, due to the scrumptious voiles by Anna Maria Horner. Not wanting to shell out \$25 at the LQS for one, I decide to make one for me, but can NOT, for the life of me, find a tutorial I can understand. There were some out there, but they just don't make sense to me, and they don't make the scarf like I want. So I grab my camera and set about writing a tutorial for how to make a true infinity scarf where it twists, AND the seams are hidden. I hit "publish" on my blog, and immediately the positive comments start flooding in.

All is happy in HappyLand until SewSnide* leaves a snarky comment. You all recognize the name. She's got a following, but she's not THAT famous. She hasn't written any books, she doesn't design fabric (yet) and is just hoping to get the call from Moda that will change her life.

(*"SewSnide" is a pretend person. If there IS someone out there named SewSnide, I've never heard of her, and I apologize to her!)

SewSnide's comment says "Hey. Love ❤ your new tute. Looks a lot like the one for a voile scarf I posted 3 months ago. Here's the link. So happy I could inspire you! You know, it doesn't hurt to link back to the person who inspired you. :)"

And with that, SewSnide has simultaneously punched me in the gut AND told everyone that I stole her idea and couldn't even be courteous enough to link to her blog.

Not only that, but SewSnide hops on over to Facebook and Twitter to broadcast to all her faithful followers that I stole her idea.

Except that her tutorial isn't for an infinity scarf at all! It's for a circle scarf, and the seams aren't hidden. Sure, it's a good tutorial that I know took her time to write up, but it's NOT identical, and the only way it "inspired" me was to show me what I DIDN'T want to do!!

She's insisting that I put a link to her post on my blog, her friends are commenting on her tweet and facebook post about how much better her tutorial is, and all the while I'm just spinning.

What the heck just happened here??? I posted a tutorial on my teensy blog about making a scarf! I'm not selling anything, nor have I copied anything published or sold! People have been making and wearing scarves for centuries! And the concept of infinity was invented by the Greeks in about 490BC, and the symbol ($\infty$) was invented by John Wallis in 1655!! Scarf + infinity = nothing new under the sun.

I understand feeling like someone stole my idea. Y'all know that!! ((wink)), but the REAL problem here is that SewSnide didn't send me a polite, and private email. She broadcast my alleged theft all over this little modern quiltiverse! She isn't shoving me into a filthy corner in the girl's bathroom, she just gave me a big ol' shove via the internets. She is trying to force me to do something that isn't right by telling all her friends how wrong/rude/impolite/callous I am. But the truth is, she's the one who is wrong/rude/impolite/callous.

In the real world, if SewSnide HAD TO make her comments to my face, I highly doubt she would have the courage to say anything, much less say it the way she did. But because she simply left a comment on my blog, she feels safe. And by posting on Facebook and Twitter, she feels bolstered by her faithful followers, who, no doubt, would be disappointed if they really thought about her actions.

Bullies are cowards.

Now, back to last night. My friend had to deal with pretty much that exact scenario, and it was really frustrating to think that this is happening in the really sweet, really wonderful, really small modern quilt world. But SewSnide forgot something. There is a real person behind the blog she just smeared.

It's easy to forget that there is a person behind every blog. She has a name. She has feelings. She has an email address, which is a significantly more appropriate place to address her "theft" than by posting a comment on her blog, and then following up with a tweet or a Facebook post.

My friend responded in a very polite, very professional, very unemotional way, and didn't back down. She didn't link to the tutorial, and all evidence of the bullying conversation has been deleted. My friend took the high road, and I'm proud of her for not responding in kind.

But let's not be rude, folks. Let's behave in a manner that is above what we're seeing on the commercials and in politics. Good manners go a long, long way.

Now, I'm off to dress my little candy-mongers and go trick-or-treating.

(Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for her weekly WiP Wednesday party.)

1. I'm always shocked when adults do childish things like this. It surprises me, as it should, that some people never grow up. And we wonder why our children are being bullied. They learn it at home!

2. I have a friend who had the same thing happen to her a few months back and she actually DID try to credit the person where she got her inspiration from but that person was still publicly nasty to her. Sigh. Sorry you went through that, but you're a great friend to help others through it as well.

1. It's just awful that it's happening at all! To your friend, to my friend, to ANYONE! We're adults, doing something we love...why do we need to tear others down who are also doing what they love?
I think it boils down to insecurity. We're all insecure, it's just a matter of how we act on that insecurity. :-/

3. That is so sad! I am sorry that there are people out there who do feel they have the right to write anything they want! Be assured...there are a lot more good and decent people in blogland! Hang in there!

1. Oh, I know that!! I have learned that time, and time, and time again. Some of the most wonderful people I know I have met in blogland. And some of the most wonderful people I know are modern quilters who would never stand for that kind of behavior.
It's the shield of the computer screen, protecting the bullies from seeing their victims. But I'm also a believer in the saying that what goes around, comes around. :)

4. That's one of my biggest fears when writing up what I've been inspired by or a tutorial that piggybacks on someone else's work. t's given me bad dreams. In the end you can only do so much.

1. You CAN only do so much! But if you are actually inspired by a blog post, or a tutorial, and you link to it, that's great! That's the courtesy everyone expects. It's when you are NOT inspired by a tutorial, or didn't know it existed, or make something somewhat different, and they still want a link...that's when it's wrong.
A friend said "they think they invented the wheel, and then want to crucify someone when they make something even remotely round!" :) SO true!
Hopefully by talking about it, at least a few of us can think about our actions, and the actions of our friends, before we make fools of ourselves. :)

5. Oh I love those fabric colours! Looking forward to seeing your tumbling blocks in pretty colours!

1. Thanks! Yeah, I can't wait to get started on it! I hope I can carve out the time once they come in. :)

6. This is one of the reasons I have hesitated to write any tutorials. Such a shame that we have to worry about things like this!

7. genius post! very well said! I think that comments/behavior like what you described above also are an indicator of insecurity or fear. Fear of not being relevant, of not being liked, or of not being cool I think if we can let go of blogging being a popularity contest and celebrate each others unique creative process, then bullying like this in the quilting/sewing/crafting world will hopefully cease.

ps. your scarf tutorial is the only one I have ever understood

8. I agree with you....bullies ARE cowards. Loved your post, well written.

9. Crazy but I can't say I'm surprised, which is really really sad. You say it surprises you because they are quilters, but like you said.... There is a person behind that blog, and quilting isn't just for nice people.

Bullying sucks. And it's really sad that its coming from another adult, I hope she doesn't have children that see her behave like this.... :(

Anyway... I don't even know what a tumbler block is so now I have to google that. Lol

Your kids are totally adorable, love the blonde hair! Two of my kids had blonde hair like that but it's changed as they've grown :( I miss it!

10. Just home and catching up - sorry to hear about your friend and also about the bullying, yikes! I admit I couldn't be bothered to look up how to make infinity scarves to made it up as I went, I'll bear in mind not to publish it ;o)

11. It's not just the Modern Quilting world ...... some of the Traditional quilters could learn some manners too :)

What are you sewing?