Monday, October 3, 2011

Blessings of the web...

I attended a very interesting talk this weekend about children and technology; TV, games, computers, the internet, Facebook, cell phones, etc. The upshot in the end was that, just like with many other aspects of life, you have to function as the "crap filter" for your kids. None of those technologies are 100% bad, but the good that can come from them must be found and bad filtered out. I think that is true with adults too, we just have to do it for ourselves.
The internet in particular can be both good and bad. Browsing quilt blogs in particular can be an amazing source of inspiration and motivation, as well as an endless time-suck that keeps us away from the actual sewing machine! It can be a window into our lives that we would rather some people not use at all, while we welcome others with open arms, or comment boxes as the case may be. I have belonged to an online community of women raising children since 2000 that has been both tremendously helpful in a practical sense as well as incredibly emotionally supportive. The only downside to that community is that people look at you strange when you start talking about your 'good friend' from thousands of miles away that you have never met!  Today's design wall is an example of the wonderful good that can come from on-line communities, in this case a quilting one. The quilt on the wall today is the result of collaboration between 6 people in the US and Canada this past spring. We chose fabrics to make blocks and mass manufactured 6-8 of each fabric to exchange with each person participating.

Stitch and Quilt Exchange Scrap quilt 2011
The quilt is going to be fabulous and there are fabrics in there that I never would have chosen myself but that add tremendously to the overall look. The layout is of course not finished. In fact I have not yet made all the blocks I plan to make, although chunks of fabric have been cut and packed away in the project tub. It is a long term, slow and steady project that I plan to work on a bit at a time. I wanted to throw the blocks up this weekend to decide if I wanted to bring up yet another exchange for this winter so we can all widen our fabric scope. I hope I can engender some interest in it.

Bookcase Quilt 2000-2001
Another internet project that I derived a lot of pleasure from was a round robin type bookshelf quilt undertaken by 12 wonderful ladies spanning 5 countries and 12 months. I would almost be game for another one like that at some point, and not because I use the quilt a lot (see, its not even quilted - that is practically my signature!) but because the interaction between the people and the range of ideas and skills that were brought to it were so interesting. I guess that in the early years of the last century quilting promoted community by bringing people together to stitch and talk and support each other at a time when neighbors could be miles apart and not see each other for weeks or months at a time. In this century we are being brought together again by quilting, only now it can be from as much as thousands of miles and country boundaries away. Thanks for being part of my quilting community!


  1. Wow! Both of these are great!

  2. I love both of your quilts. The RR Bookcase Quilt looks like it was lots of fun. We are going to do a RR in our guild later next year. I'm looking forward to it! Have a great week! :)

  3. Those are great quilts. The bookcase is amazing. I've always wanted to do one of those. And I love the other one as well. Are these closed swaps? Are you doing any more?