August 14th, 2011
I joke a lot with friends and customers about how quilting is a cult, but think about it….
First of all, a cult is typically defined as a group of worship or religion. I can’t tell you how many times I have railed at the quilting “goddess” because my seams aren’t lining up or the pattern description just isn’t making sense. Or prayed that I can find that last bit of fabric to make that special quilt.
There is also the enthusiasm level. Anytime you get two quilters together, quilting is bound to creep into the conversation: “What are you working on now?”, “Done anything exciting or new?”, “Found any new, cool fabric or tools?” and so on. While our non-cult (I mean quilt) friends and family stand by us with dazed looks and wonder when they need to stage the intervention.
Next, in a definition of a cult, you definitely have the concept of bringing other lost souls into the fold. Do you even stop to think when you see a poor lost “non-quilter” and how you must share with them your enthusiasm and love for this cult (oops I mean art of course). And we mustn’t scare them away, so we are gentle and kind and show them how all they need to do is buy this small bit of fabric and we’ll show them how easy it is. Oh no, you don’t have to be like those quilters with yards and yards of fabric in their stash (20 bins of fabric later….).
Certainly we have our charismatic leaders. Who doesn’t get enthralled with their favorite quilting guru (aka. Alex Anderson, Ricky Timms, etc.)? Who wouldn’t stand in line to get their special autograph or put their name on Amazon’s waiting list for their lastest and greatest new book?
And dare I add in the money we end up giving to our cult? The money we don’t even think of spending for… (ooooh, look more fabric! I need that color!).
Sorry, got side-tracked.
Cults also have their own language, symbols, terminologies if you will. Do I need to even expound on this? Think: “frogging” (rippit – ripping out seams), longarm, SID (stitch-in-the-ditch) and so on.
I just had a conversation with a customer today and she explained how soothing just touching fabric is. True Nirvana!
So yes. I guess I do belong to a cult. I hope no one ever un-brainwashes me. I truly think finding this love of the art that is as my husband says, “cutting little pieces of fabric up and sewing them back together”, has truly made me a better and happier person.
Hope I can say the same for you!