Apparently there aren’t enough good deeds in the world. At least, according to a quilt forum I recently frequented. I had an idea for a project I wanted to undertake that would provide quilting information from experienced quilters to non-experienced (or mildly experienced) quilters free of charge. Many quilters around the world don’t have the good fortune to be able to afford quilt books or to attend seminars from “famous” quilters. When you can barely afford to put food on your table, things like that just are not options.
It’s a well-known fact that when you are working on a large project, no matter what it is, there are times when you need to keep the important details to yourself. Think about inventors. Think about composers, authors, scientists… the list could go on. You and I know that there are times when you need to hold your cards close to your chest to prevent others from knowing what’s in your hand. Once they know, they have the potential to take it from you.
I’ve been an active participant in a particular quilt forum that will remain nameless. I wanted to know what questions fairly new quilters had about the quilting process. So I posed the question that you see in the top right corner of this blog. Quilters started responding and submitting some FANTASTIC questions! They were eager! They had a lot of curiosity and weren’t afraid to ask things that were on their minds. No question was stupid! I also asked my own guild the same question. I emailed several different groups that I belong to, and in 5 days time, have received way over 200 great questions.
And then it hit the fan. Someone asked what, specifically, this was for. Who was making money from this? What was this book going to be called? Who was the publisher? Etc.
I will admit, I responded in a very vague manner. I clearly said this wasn’t a book (and it isn’t). There isn’t a publisher… there is me. There is no charge, hence there is no money being made.
And then a very nasty quilter replied and started throwing accusations around. Not. Nice. At. All. Then the forum cop showed up with her deputy badge and threw the whole discussion in jail, slammed shut the door and turned the key.
I wrote to the Admin of the forum. The owner. The top dog.
He wrote back several times, and judging by the tone of his writing, it could be the same person as the grumpy complainer mentioned before.
“Will it be available for re-distribution on other sites or do you plan to attract people to your site by advertising the free download hosted there?”
“Will the file itself be used to promote/advertise some website or blog with links included in the file?”
“I’ve been selling e-books, offering freebies and doing other kinds of online marketing for over 10 years. And I’m sorry to tell you, but the “idea” of asking the target audience about what they want to read in order to produce “just the right” content is really old. So I wouldn’t worry about someone stealing that idea. It has been stolen, sold, and rented out more times than one can count.”
OK, so I’m a stupid idiot, huh?!?!?
Nope, I don’t think so. So I tossed my credentials and alphabet soup at him, (B.S., M.A., Ed.S.) and said “If you would prefer to NOT have the thread on your site, please by all means take the entire thread down. I’m sensing a lot of skepticism on your part, and my project is only about assisting quilters. I thought that was a GOOD thing.”
So, the discussion was removed from the forum, and his response? Get this:
“Frankly, I’m more skeptical when people state that their only motive is to “help others” than of anything else.”
Yes, what a wonderful world it would be if people stopped helping others.
So even though I’ve come into contact with a couple of NUTCASES over the last few days, the project is still on, and yes, I am really looking forward to providing quilters with answers to some of their important questions.
After all, we don’t have anything to hide in the world of quilting, do we?
I have a great list of questions. If you’d like to be one of the people who helps a new quilter understand something better, for FREE, please drop me an email.
And if you live near me, I’d be happy to show you how to hand quilt. For free. Really.