Remember this post? I'm doing the Bonnie Hunter Christmas Lights mystery quilt in Quiltmaker magazine. I had commented that after completing the blocks I couldn't see how they went together, and was resigned to waiting for the last installment, hoping that the designer came up with something fab that I couldn't think of.
Well, this morning in the Yahoo group dedicated to the mystery someone posted that Quiltmaker magazine had published a picture of the completed quilt. I scurried over to the website and there before me was the first arrangement I had tried in EQ. The one that had elicited the reaction "That's it? Really?"
I posted on the Yahoo group that I was less than enthralled with this design but would probably finish it anyway since it's this far done. Now, I knew my opinion would be in the minority (I even started my post with - "Well, I'm about to say something that will get a lot of Bonnie fans riled up." I had no idea that someone would rip into me within twelve minutes and call my comment mean spirited, no less (translation: I don't worship at their designer's feet!).
I'm amused more than anything about this whole episode. These women in the group are almost fanatical about the designer, although I bet most have never even met her. You should hear the excitement in their comments about the honor of putting her up for the night at their house - for free, probably. They are enthusiastic and protective about their favorite designer in a way that I just don't get. The lady is in business to publish quilt patterns. I'm sure she was paid by Quiltmaker for the pattern, and it does double duty as an advertisement for her other books. I'm figuring that she's run into people that didn't like one of her quilts before and I doubt it crushed her.
I "got it" from the first that this group was basically made up of cheerleaders for this designer, and never saw much in the way of balanced comments about the designs. However, I didn't figure anyone would be, well, so "mean spirited" about me expressing my opinion (right back at ya!). Here's my comment about the design. I would like others' unbiased opinions about whether I was mean about my comments, as the group member's reply accused me, because that wasn't my intent. I was expressing my opinion, as I thought was my right in the group, but maybe I'm harsher than I think and need to be more mannerly. I would like to include the whole response, but I don't have her permission. I am going to quote a few snippets, though, for illustration.
Here's what I said:
Well, I'm about to say something that will get a lot of Bonnie fans riled up. After I put the blocks together a few months ago, I drew them in EQ and started arranging them. The first thing I did of course was put them in an alternating on point setting since we were instructed to cut setting triangles. I added the borders as per the cutting instructions and my drawing looked just like the photo on the Quiltmaker website. I sat back and said "Is that it? Really?"
You see, it just didn't do anything for me. Disappointed, since I had loved her other mysteries and considered her Double Delight one of the prettiest quilts I had made (and its' recipient did too!), I started fiddling with the blocks and making other layouts. None of them worked very well. I arranged them every way you could possible put that number of blocks. Nothing "clicked". I resigned to put them away and see what Ms. Hunter did with the quilt. Surely there would be a surprise that tied the design together.
Well, in a word, nope. When I read this post I rushed over to Quiltmaker and there it was - my original EQ arrangement. It still doesn't do a thing for me.
In my opinion the blocks don't go together well. I was, well, "delighted" to see how the Double Delight blocks meshed and carried the design across the quilt top, linking the two blocks together. I just don't think these blocks relate as well and this one isn't as successful. I'll finish it, of course, because I have put this much work into the blocks. But I have to admit I'm disappointed. Bonnie has published many pretty patterns. This for me just wasn't one.
Part of the response:
"Couldn't you have just said it's not your favorite and leave it at that? Or how about not say anything at all, at least if you are so propelled to share your negative views wait until Bonnie got to read favorable reviews first. "
"Not everyone loves everything someone does, but we don't need our nose rubbed in it with a long description of why!!!! "
Four exclamation points. Mercy. And:
"What a bummer. What a negative. Why you felt the need to write this critique right off the bat is beyond me. Aside from your DD comments, the whole Christmas lights dialogue is mean spirited, and yes you have ruffled my feathers. You have a right to express how you feel, but this was mean - period."
Oops. I guess I don't have a right to express how I feel. If it doesn't agree with how you feel.
I was clear in my post that I didn't think the blocks related well and the design didn't do a lot for me - in my opinion. I also said that I loved the designer's other work and she has done a lot of pretty quilts. This didn't spell "mean spirited" to me. This is more like "one gal's viewpoint".
Maybe I'm not quilt group material. I'm not ready to "lemming up" with the flock.
Addendum: More responses have been aded at the Yahoo group and evidently, I'm a terrible person. Ha ha. In the meantime, please keep adding comments to my posts, positive or negative. I'm a big girl. I can take it.