It’s Been A Week


It’s been a week since ‘Quilt-gate 2017’, and I’m still pretty pissed. I don’t know about you, but when I hear a response along the lines of, ‘We should just all get along and get back to quilting.’, it makes my blood boil. Really, we should just all move past this? Quilters were attacked, quilters were hurt, people are receiving death threats, and you just want to move on??? You have to be kidding me. Mark Lipinski pointed out on his blog that silence is the worst response. He also pointed out that many quilters aren’t nice.

When I tried to explain this whole debacle to a friend of mine, he couldn’t believe the craft of the American heartland was a dangerous place. I had to tell him, there’s a lot of money up for grabs in quilting, and suddenly he got it. Personally, I think a lot of the problem comes from the fight over resources. People always find it upsetting when someone else wins instead of them. This group of people tried to punish people for being different, but I think a big hunk of it comes from jealousy. The people they were targeting are insanely talented quilters! Karen McTavish, Mark Lipinski, Sherry Rogers-Harrison, Jamie Wallen, and others were all victims of their rage…

Looking at the targeted group, they all have a few things in common.

  1. They all have ridiculous quilting skills.
  2. They don’t look like traditional quilters.
  3. They don’t act like traditional quilters.
  4. They all have awards!
  5. They all teach!

So this is about jealousy, xenophobia, and just plain old fashioned hate. What’s really strikes me as odd, is the fact that many people from this hate group, were regulars in the classes of some of these people. They wanted to learn how to do what they did, but then toss daggers at them behind their backs… This is what’s happening in the quilting community. This hate group found these quilters to be obscene, but what I find obscene is their two-facedness…. (Yeah, I know that is probably not a word. Duplicity would have been better, but I have already committed.) This is plain backstabbing. To compliment these artists on their work and take their classes, and thank them for their knowledge, and then turn around and talk smack about them, plot against them, and try to hurt them, is what I find despicable. This is an attack on the art of quilting! This is an attack on how we express ourselves through thread and fabric!

Back to my original point… We all witnessed this attack on the art of quilting, and people are silent. Where are the big named quilters? Will they break their silence, and stand up to bullying? Or will they sit back and ignore the problem like so many others. Mark pointed out in his video, you have to stand up for what you believe in. I took a stand with these many quilters who were the victims of bullying. Where is everyone else? Are the flames not close enough to your house where you don’t have to pay attention? Are you hoping this will blow over? I don’t think it will. In fact, I hope it won’t blow over. I’m hoping for a very long dialogue about this!


  1. Robi Witulski says:

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” This is a quote by Edmund Burke, and it certainly applies here. I was appalled, but, sadly, not surprised by the behavior of the ‘secret’ group. I’m with you, Eric, it also makes my blood boil when the biggest reaction some can muster is “can’t we all just get along and get back to quilting”. Fortunately for them, they have never know what it is like to be marginalized. Until we all know that feeling, however, we just can’t let it go. I know I can’t.

  2. Kathi Montoya says:

    It is so strange to me that this even occurred, but then I remembered, “The grown-up world is just like high school, but only with more money”… Think back to how evil (no, not hyperbole) some of those kids could be. Also, there is something in the air, where nasty or racist or gender-identity belittling or hate-mongering behavior is condoned or tacitly approved by silence. Not even a lifted eyebrow… So, never silence; we must ask ourselves…if we let this go, what’s next?

  3. Catherine says:

    Name calling and mud slinging…its all wrong. Petty. Positive role models for our children…I dont think so. Jealousy as a motive is understandable but really beneath us all. People havent changed throughout time. You can only change yourself, your actions and reactions. Shame on us all…those who started the drama and those who are propagating it.

  4. Sue Kaufman says:

    I watched Karen McTavish’s response video and I was struck by the emotional and mental pain she was in as a result of this attack. Small minds are throwing pain bombs, with impish glee. That it is/was an attack on liberty, make no mistake. The bullies are in the pulpit now. The groups using religion as a cover for their bullying ways are dangerous, as they will excuse their own physical and spiritual violence at the expense of your individuality and peace of mind, as they roll right over you. Remember, artists are among the first to be targeted by the narrow minded. None of us are exempt, including those artists who would turn on their own, wielding unkindness and pain like a weapon. Those who live by that sword may find themselves dying by the same sword. I can assure you that it won’t feel so good from the other end.

  5. Peggy says:

    I am disgusted by this group and their actions. I really appreciate that you have posted about it. I definitely want to avoid giving any of them my business.

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