Some Days…

Fabric Scrap Basket

…I wonder why I even bother.  I have come to realize I know exactly why I don’t blog as much anymore.  I try my best to ignore these sorts of things, but it’s sometimes hard.  I get the occasional email criticizing the way I write – things don’t flow as the reader thinks they should, or I have a misspelled word (I accidentally choose defiantly for definitely from spell check ALL the time), and the list goes on.  Sometimes it’s well meaning, sometimes not.  Even my own grandmother (a retired teacher) would email and point out when I used the wrong form of a word.  I also get accused of taking others ideas, when in fact my post will be months, if not years, before the other bloggers post.  More than likely they were inspired by my piece, or perhaps they didn’t see it at all.  I choose to see the best in people.  With the advent of Pinterest, the sharing of wonderful items has grown tenfold, and we are all bound to be inspired by what we see, consciously or not.  I have seen many variations (and exact copies) of Retro Flowers popping up in books and other periodicals recently.  I’m so glad that it is such a liked pattern idea.  I choose to remember:

Imitation is the best form of flattery.

I had a comment today on a post, basically accusing me of taking an idea from another popular blogger.  So I skipped on over to that blog, did a little search, found the item and saw it was similar.  Different, but alike in many ways.  It was posted two years after my post.  So without a doubt, I did not “steal” their idea.  Still, it’s very upsetting to be accused of taking someone elses idea.  It makes me sick to think that someone would accuse me of such a thing.  I try to be like a duck, and let it roll off my back, but these sorts of things stick with me and have me avoiding anything to do with the blog and sharing.  If you are torn down for what you do, do you really want to continue to do it?

That’s not everyone, for sure, but I always think it’s good to have a reminder that there is a real person behind the writing, and that I don’t blog for monetary gain (no ads in the sidebar, only my book has an affiliate link, any other links not my own are just because I love the site).  I buy almost every single piece of fabric/craft item I create with, only rarely (very, very rarely) accepting fabric or other items from companies, and even then only because I believe in the product and would purchase it myself.  I share out of my love to teach and inspire, and hope to always have original content (as original as possible).  I don’t want to repeat something that has been done wonderfully in another place, but I do like to share if I have a new spin on an old trick.  If you don’t like how I write, or find too many errors for your taste, there is a little ‘x’ on the top of your browser or tab, that you can easily click so the offensive content doesn’t bother you anymore.  If you’re going to accuse me of taking someone elses idea, at least check the posting dates before doing so.  While you may think your words are well meaning, they are really just a passive aggressive dig.  I’ll leave you with another gem I live by:

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

Thanks for letting me vent.  I usually keep it in, and sometimes it feels good to get it out.  The fabric box above was made with my free Fabric Scrap Basket tutorial. I’m in the process of updating my old ones with new fabrics and want to share a fresh new tutorial to clear up a few questions i’ve had over the years.  I have a companion pattern to this tutorial, to help you to make fabric boxes to the size you need, and i’m currently in the process of updating it.  A customer just pointed out that there were some spelling errors, which I don’t doubt.  I originally wrote the pattern in 2009 with Photoshop (i.e. no spellcheck) and i’ve always been a rotten speller.  (Although, homeschooling and teaching my son spelling has taught me some new rules I was never aware of!  Proving once again, you’re never too old to learn.)  The pattern currently doesn’t include the instructions for assembly, because no matter the size it’s all the same and there is a free tutorial for that, but i’m going to include the instructions so it will all be in one (printable) place for the maker.  I will make an announcement here and through my newsletter (sign-up in the sidebar) when it’s ready.  I will also renew any prior purchases so you can download a fresh copy when it’s time.

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  • You have written your message so beautifully and with proper spelling and grammar, don’t let people bring you down. I am new to your blog/creations and am very admiring of your ability.

    • Thank you, Carol. :) I question and doubt myself with my writing so much now days, that I often don’t post for fear of doing it “wrong” and the criticism that will follow. I try to tell myself it doesn’t matter what others think, but it does matter to me.

  • How can people be so nasty. I have just fojnd your blog.i think its great, love reading it.please dont take any notice of their are doing a wonderful job.keep up with the good work, .your ideas are brilliant.

    • Thank you. :) I’m sure more often than not, people don’t mean to be nasty. However, they don’t think before they write and send off an email or comment. Sometimes it’s well meaning, but they need to put some thought into how they are saying things and ask themselves if it really matters enough to send it off. I have had emails criticising my writing in the past (bad grammar, spelling, etc) and you should have seen the emails! I have no doubt I am imperfect, but if you are going to accuse someone of those things, you should probably make sure you know what you’re talking about before you fire off an email riddled with the same problems you are accusing the writer of having. LOL

  • I am so sorry that some people can be so petty. What makes it even worse is their lack of knowledge about parts of what they have chosen to criticize. How can people be so ungrateful? You have written this blog and shared many of your patterns out of the goodness of your heart, wishing only to share something that brings you joy ……. and someone rips your heart out and does a tap dance on it. I liked your “hint” that they can choose to un-follow you if they are offended by human error. What is that about “throwing the first stone” ? Please take a deep breathe (or two) and follow your heart.

    • Deep breaths are always good. :) I think what always gets me is how critical people can be about blog posts, when they are there for free to read and entertain. I could certainly see the upset if it was paid for and so poorly done. With purchased patterns, if there is ever an error or someone is unhappy I always am quick to give a refund because I want them to be happy with their purchase. When it comes to my blog, it’s for free, so it’s harder to make amends. I have always tried to stayed true to why I started this blog – to inspire others as I have been inspired, a place to keep record of what I have made, and to give credit where credit is due.

  • Ugh; that’s so disheartening. Truthfully, I always look forward to your posts and am excited when a new one pops up in feedly for me to read. Love hearing about your quilts, quilting, house, and sheep! I also really like your book too; had to buy it after I checked it out from the library. I really hope people will think twice before sending you negative comments in the future. You’re awssome; a fav comment for you from an old friend… “Don’t let the bastards get you down!”

    • ‘Disheartening’ is a very good word to use to describe how it feels some days. I am so glad to hear you look forward to my posts! I try very hard to make sure when I do post that it is meaningful and full of good content, whether it’s a tutorial, a quilt i’ve quilted or talking about the sheep. Even posts such as this I hope to impart something useful. I do the same thing, check out books from the library to check them out before buying. I have found some wonderful books this way without cluttering my shelves. There are so many wonderful books out here, but I have such limited shelf space. :) I actually went on to our library catalog and search and saw that we have 5 copies of QH and they are always checked out with holds! That just makes me feel like Diane and I hit the nail on the head. I will be sure to remember you’re friends words of advice. :)

  • Please don’t be dishearted! I have found that there are people out there who thrive on being judgmental! They refuse to find the good in people and move on! If spelling is such a fault, then we are all guilty once in awhile. Carry on your inspirational work. We love it.

  • Like Lindsay, I always look forward to your posts. I hope you can picture those of us who read your posts with enjoyment and gratitude and forget about those other unhappy folks (who obviously feel a need to share their unhappiness)…

  • Ironic… I *just* posted the same thing today… (more or less) Imagine that we too, are real people, with real feelings & emotions. Who knew bloggers had feelings!? ;) I feel for you and am in the same place as you today… I follow you via FB and think you have crazy talent and enjoy your posts! :) Chin up! <3

  • I would guess that the bulk of your comments are positive, but there will always be people who speak without thinking or use blogs as a way to vent. Your work is beautiful and it’s a joy to read your posts! I would also add that your book has been a great source of inspiration. I am in the middle of making your “Crazy Stripes Quilt” and I love the way working with a looser piecing technique is expanding the way I think about my quilting. Don’t feel discouraged about seeing retro flower-like designs in other places. The drunkards path is such a common block. In fact before seeing your quilt and buying your pattern, I had seen that very arrangement of the block in more traditional quilts (albeit at a smaller scale).

  • I am one of those who wrote you about errors–but I did so via a private email. And you didn’t reply. There are a couple of errors in this post (choose should be chose) about errors. But never mind. I do enjoy your blog and have purchased your Retro Flowers pattern. A lot of people make errors in language–but mostly it’s only a few mistakes that they repeat and repeat. Once they are pointed out they can be corrected. Some people put a lot of emphasis on language, others don’t. So be it. Retro Flowers is a great pattern/design. That’s what really matters.

    • Some corrections are well meaning and I do take those to heart. I guess I just didn’t realize I was being graded on this. I don’t always reply to those emails because what am I to say: thanks for showing me what an idiot I am? ;) I’m not perfect that’s for darn sure. Language and spelling and grammar are important to me so I take those errors seriously. I don’t just brush them off. I can’t tell you how often I’m type their when I need it to be there. I type too quickly and my brain goes on auto pilot and I miss that I used the wrong form (I know the difference between their, there and they’re, I promise). When I read back over my writing I always miss something because my brain sees the correct word (as with choose and chose). If only it made sense to have a proof reader for a blog that is purely for entertainment purposes, I would do it. But that takes money and this blog doesn’t make me money. At least not directly. Thank you for commenting and for trying to help. I’m sorry I didn’t respond to your email, I’m usually very good about that.

    • So, I went back and read my writing and I did actually mean to use choose, and it is the correct form. Chose would be past tense and I was speaking in present tense, so I think that just shows how we all read things differently. I wasn’t speaking of remembering that thought for just one instance, I was saying that it is always what I want to do. So I choose to always remember that imitation is the best form of flattery. It’s all in how you choose to read the piece, I suppose. :)

  • Oh My Gosh, I know exactly what you are talking about. I get the “typo” emails but I also get the “you used the wrong foot for that kind of seam” and why didn’t you match the pattern on your sleeve to your bodice? It’s like they are out there policing everything I do.
    I also am really conflicted by the originality issue. I get the “you stole” that comments on the craziest things that are so general I don’t know how anyone would claim ownership of it. Its gotten to the point that it’s making me second guess almost everything I’m posting lately…. it’s crazy how things have changed in the last few years. I wonder how they will continue to evolve.

  • im sorry people have to be that way. i can totally understand your reluctance to put yourself out there. ive known you online for years and i always think you are such a sweet soul. i know its hard, but ignore the negative nancys. they are just trying to make us all miserable

  • Oh my goodness. Just imagine that a new reader tuned in to this blog post for her first introduction to your blog. If you can’t rise above the fray and maintain a positive attitude you should really reconsider this medium. There are so many creative crafting blogs out there in the blogosphere that there is really no reason for me to return to hear more whining about how persecuted you feel. Just some constructive criticism that I hope will help you keep things in perspective and also focus on your goals. You have a lot of competition, and one post like this….does it reinforce the theme of your blog or is it merely a rant that adds no intrinsic value to you crafting theme? (Rant to your best friend, in other words, and not to your readers who come to learn about your crafting.)

    • I’m not sure how you felt your comment was constructive criticism. It was actually uncalled for and rude. This isn’t a competition, which was exactly my point. What am I competing for? I don’t blog for numbers or money. I do so to give back, but comments like these are exactly why I wonder why I bother to do anything. Thank you for proving my point.

    • Dearest Christina. Please don’t let nasty peoply who have nothing better to do chase you away from sharing your much loved blog. Long ago it came to me, like a blot from the sky, that you just cannot please everyone all the time. It might be possible to please a few folks once in a while, but honestly I don’t think that ANY of those nasty people need to be pleased. It is NOT your mission in life
      to make miserable people happy. Drum roll here please…….Those pissy people WILL NEVER be happy in any way shape or form. They actually like being pissy and mean and their mission in life is to get everyone to be just like them. I’ll tell you that I am not falling for it. They will never get their wish from me! Do not waste your time and energy even thinking about them. LIfe is too short to fret over their stupidness. I, like you, grew up being told that I must not open my mouth to speak unless only wonderful things were going to come out. I will never (even if I live to 110) understand how people
      get off on making other people miserable. Do not let them get you down. Who the heck cares if you mispell a word or put a comma in the wrong place. NONE of us is perfect and if those nasty folks think they are so darned perfect they best take another look! Don’t let them destroy your blog work or questin yourself about what you do. Put them out of your mind. Personally the minute a message started to read as negative it would hit the trash pile. You write a great blog and don’t let anyone make you runaway. Keep doing wha you’re doing and us normal, happy folks will continue reading and enjoying your blog.

    • Debbie it seems that you might want to take a few steps back and reconsider the words “constuctive critism”. Mabe take a chance on looking it up in the dictionary even. Or even try biting your tongue. Tongue OFF would be my choice! If you don’t like Christina’s blog and what she has to say just slink back into that whole you crawled out of because I’m pretty darn sure that NO ONE around here will miss you.

    • Wow. Really? After years of blogging, and years of people (like you) complaining at her or offering “constructive criticism”, she’s not allowed a single negative post? Ahh, but then if she chooses to not complain ever, the flip side of the coin is that she will get criticized for making her life look “too perfect”.
      Many bloggers consider their readers friends. Why else would so many of them offer free content week after week? They want to share their knowledge and build relationships with the people on the other side of the screen. If you are only here to take, take, take, then maybe this isn’t the blog for you.

    • Well I am one of those people that is just reading your blog for the first time and I will say that no, it does not bother me at all. The truth is that most people nowadays have become such selfish creatures, if you let them they will tear you down and then say “gimme more.” This may come as a shocker to the judgemental people but this is YOUR *gasp* blog! My goodness, if you can’t write about what you want then what’s the point? Ps. You’re writing a blog, not a book so who cares about the occasional typos. Aww I love your cats they are just adorable! Fabric and kitties, you’re definitely a lucky woman.

  • I was saddened to read this post and I completely understand. Whilst studying for a Fashion Btec here in the uk someone else on another course put a picture on my display board and basically accused me of stealing an idea and submitting it as mine for my course. At first I did not see it that way but as a “hey look you are in trend”. This is NOT what she meant at all. Even when I should her that the article was published four months AFTER my project submission she still bad mouthed me. It never occurred to her that perhaps my research was excellent etc. my tutors agreed with me and I got a great mark. That was over 25 years ago and it still feels unfair. I have seen work that looks very like mine and it could be a coincidence but is it when they were also linked to my blog and web shops at the time. I make typos. I can not type very well and my iPad often changes the words just as I am pressing send which is why I try not to use it for blogging, instead I use my old laptop.
    Keep smiling. Perhaps put a water mark here and there on your posts, it might deter them more.

  • I’m so sorry that your experiences necessatated writing a post like this. I think it was a good reminder to tell people that there is a person behind all these words and pictures. I’m relatively new to following bloggers and I so appreciate the creativity and generosity that you give to anonymous people like myself. I’ve always believed that “Virtual Reality” has created monsters out there who have never been taught that in whatever format you give it, a unkind, hurtful, destructive remark is never ok. I fully appreciate your comment about “passive aggressive” remarks, because I’ve experienced that too. Do they think they’re fooling anybody? We’re on your side and I hope that in writing this post, you’ve found that there are far more who are amazed by you than pull you down. However, it’s those types who more frequently comment. Let’s all collectively tell them to “Get a Life” and stop the bullying. You GO GIRL!

  • I love your work and don’t really care if something is not spelled right. Only God can make it perfect, and we are not even close to being perfect.

  • Oh man I feel so sorry for those people, like “Debbie” above. It really is a type of passive aggressive bullying. I’m sure it makes her feel better, but even one of a hundred comments being of that nature is so so hard to take! I remeber getting customer email after email praising my shop. Only the to get one every few months where something didn’t go right or they didn’t like what they got. It was horrible!!! I too have backed off my blog. I love my PRIVATE instagram for this very reason! I get to choose who sees my stuff. I miss the long form of blogging though, and it’s such a better record keeper. Makes me miss the old days…. Like when I started TEN years ago! Keep it up if it brings you some joy. And hopefully those sad people will find some joy somewhere else and leave you alone!

  • Gosh Debbie, yes imagine if this was someone’s first visit to this blog. What they would discover is someone who is an actual real person, with feelings , who is affected like we all are by nasty criticism. Sharing yourself like this with all who wish to look can be daunting. Especially when there are people out there who can only pick apart their efforts. I personally am glad she has feelings, and isn’t just a sewing robot, never making mistakes. I could go on and on but won’t. I personally love this blog and the creative things she shares typos and all.

  • You said it beautifully. Kudos to you. I’m with you on this one. If you can’t say anything positive, keep your fingers off the keys. There is always going to be someone out there in cyber space that gets joy by making someone else unhappy. I love your post, and, I love the way you used your words to make your point. Bravo to you. I don’t post as much as I would like on my blog, just for that same reason. After reading your post, I think I will get back into the groove, and, do more blog postings. Thanks so much for sharing, thanks so much for venting, and, thanks for every word you post now, and, in the future. Love your blog, and, your postings. Keep it up.

  • I have realized over the past few years that it takes real courage to put any of one’s work or thoughts out into the public realm. So I just wanted to speak up and say thank you for having that courage, Christina. :) The things you share with your readers are, in my opinion, well worth any mistakes or other ‘problems’ that may creep through. (‘Problems’ in quotes because it can be so subjective!) I can sure understand how the sharp barbs of criticism or accusation stick 100x more than positive comments, though, and how feeling the worth of continuing on kinda drops off a cliff at that point. :-/

    Totally off the wall here, but the conversation here reminded me about a science vlogger I follow – Emily Graslie, of ‘The Brain Scoop.’ She made a great video a while back addressing the negative comments and feedback she gets on a regular basis. Her problem is different – more along the lines of sexual harassment & the related lack of female representation in the online science world (which obviously is not an issue in the quilting world!), but I couldn’t help but draw parallels thinking how graceless and sometimes even cruel people can be online, no matter the topic. It’s hard to figure out how to deal with that kind of feedback… but I hope the positives will manage to out-balance the negatives, in the end!

    Personally, I struggle (in real life mostly – I’m mostly a lurker on blogs) to be aware of how I’m coming across and when I shouldn’t voice a criticism. So I’m grateful when people give me grace when I’ve said something hurtful. Communication is complicated! >.<

    Anyway – props for having an awesome blog and for enduring all your (sometimes crazy!) readers! :)

  • I’m so sorry that the negative feedback from a few people has put such a dark cloud over your crafting and blogging. Keep doing what you love with love in your heart and try your best to ignore those uglies. :-)

  • What can I say! I am shocked by such negative comments! Please do keep blogging as I am always inspired by your beautiful quilts and photography.

  • I love your blog even more after today’s post. I think it’s helpful to all of us to remember that there is a real person, with real feelings behind this space on the internet. I constantly remind myself of my gramma’s advice: She owns her bad behavior. Some people have to seemed to make it their life’s work to bring others down, and that is on them. Please don’t let the negativeness bring you down – you are always a delight to read, and I for one, very much appreciate what you share (Retro Flowers was the first quilt pattern I ever bought – and did beautiful curves with it, before I even knew to be scared by them!)

  • You might tell people who find mistakes that you have something for everyone on your site even those who love to find fault. I love your patterns. Keep up the good work.

  • I am amazed, yet not surprised, that people comment on spelling and grammar. If I see a misspelled word or something grammatically incorrect, I generally chalk it up to autocorrect, the harried life of the author, or gremlins; if I think about it at all! I would never think so highly of myself that I’d correct someone, even if it was a repeated error.

  • I am so sorry someone felt the need to blast you about your grammar and your pattern without checking their source and facts. Sadly our politically correct society has allowed people to use poor judgment and no filters with their opinions. My Mama always said, if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. I love reading your blog.

  • I don’t understand why a commenter would accuse you of taking another popular blogger’s idea. Why don’t they just contact that other popular blogger first and let said blogger take it up with you if there is an issue? And by the way, this is a sewing blog, not a grammar course! Quilters make mistakes all the time; that’s what keeps us humble :)

  • So the take away is: WE NEED TO ALL LEAVE COMMENTS WHEN WE ENJOY SOMETHING. Hopefully they will outweigh a few sour grapes. And who really cares about spelling – Im here to sew!!

  • Your blog is lovely! I adore your sense of style and creativity. I have been sewing for thirty years and never once wanted to try quilting or piecing until I found your blog. I sew window treatments and bedding, and hope I have the patience to try quilting!

    Try not to be unsettled by the critics; it is human nature to be critical and some folks just don’t have the restraint not to let that spill into everything they do. Do you have a trusted friend or family member that could help you proofread?

    As someone wrote above, follow your heart. Keep up the good work! All the best to you.

  • I have to tell you I have enjoyed reading all the replies to your post. I did reply earlier, but, went back, and, had to check to see if my sister was one of those rude commenters. This time it wasn’t her. lol She’s one of those that likes to make sure everyone knows the mistakes they made. She is also the reason I haven’t posted to much on my own blog. But after reading all your comments, and, all the amazing people out here in cyber space, I choose to ignore my sister, and, will have a post ready for tomorrow on my blog. THANK YOU so much for this post, THANK YOU so much for sharing your talents, and, the love of quilts. BROVO.

  • Thanks for reminding me why I don’t have a blog. People take themselves too literally. Keep doing what you are doing. Wish there was an App to delete snarky comments.