Follow up on quilting controversy - a conversation with Eric the Quilter

I wrote a post about the controversy in the quilting world. I did this because it was news in the quilting world. It also became news in the international world with the article/interview with the BBC. If you haven't read that article you can access it here. In the article, they interview Eric the Quilter. I also recently read and reviewed the book Quilts and Human Rights. It featured a quilt by Eric the Quilter. Finally, I saw his quilt in person when I traveled to the show at MSU.

I felt like the quilting universe was telling me that I needed to have a conversation with Eric the Quilter. It's not every day that you read about a quilter online, in a book and see their quilt - quite a trifecta. I followed the quilt universe's advice.

eric-the-quilterLucky for me, Eric the Quilter was willing to talk with me. He also generously gave me access to all his photos across his various sites. I have great ones to share starting with screen shot from his YouTube account.

Eric has a quilt blog which you may remember shared details of the recent quilt controversy. However, it is way more than that. It is a space where he shares his quilts and quilting process.mjaxmy1kmtyzogyzogi2ztk1yzrm

One of my favorite parts of his blog is the paged entitled Sassy E Card collection. Sassy? Count me in!

If you stalk persuse his blog and Facebook page like I did you will also get to see his completed img_20170604_162916019-e1496616254736quilts and those in progress.

Eric is a versatile quilter who creates what is inside of him. Here is a recent art quilt, Solar Flair  which clearly shows his flair for quilting.img_20161127_205220113

It also features reds, a palette I found he must love as I saw it in many of his fantastic works. It is his baby quilt in various shades and hues.

Where else do you remember seeing it? In his quilt featured in the MSU collection. Here it is eric-re-2again!

This quilt looks terrific in this picture but remember, it is even more fabulous in person. I guess the best quilts always are.

I enjoyed our conversation quite a bit and here are some of my questions and his answers. At 9fd19f16-576f-4917-b96f-d80a8deb705fleast I hope they are, I was writing as fast as I could. Eric is easy to talk to and has a great sense of humor as evidenced by another card from his sassy collection.

Don't you love self deprecating humor? Me too!

I am hoping that all of this gives some background to our conversation. He is much more than the controversy and even more than his quilts. He's a pretty cool human being!

Let's get to our conversation, deal?

How did your blog posts about the conversation blow up and why do you think it did?

They were shared by Katie of Katie's Quilting Corner on Redditt and people shared it from there. In our current 24 hours news cycle culture, it caught on quickly.

Do you think that the issues exposed in the screen shots existed before and why or why not? 

I do think that tensions always existed in the quilting world just like they do in any competitive industry. In a competitive situation the perception is that if one quilter gets more attention or money then another one will be getting less. The level of "candor" might be a sign of our current level of discussion in political arenas.

What losses did you experience because of shining a light on what was going on?

Quite a few people shamed me for what I wrote. I lost readers on my blog and I lost likes on my Facebook page. I felt I had to take a public stand regardless and stand up against bullying.

Was there any silver lining to this controversy?

Yes, there definitely was. I received an outpouring of support much of it private but some public. Many high profile quilters try to not make a public stand on any controversy as this could jeopardize their living. I understand that but I feel discussion is healthy.

Will the quilting community change as a result of this public airing of dirty laundry?

I hope so, I hope that admitting out loud what is going on will improve the situation. Denial will not.

How did you feel when your quilt was featured in the book Quilts and Human Rights and subsequently at the MSU exhibit?

I had been writing my blog and quilting for a while and wondered if I was only hearing the echos of what I wrote. Having that quilt featured was the first sign that I had done something really worthy in the quilting world. It was the first time my work had been published outside of my own blog and it was gratifying.

What will your quilting life be like going forward?

I will definitely have a quilt that reflects all that went on. I am always quilting and right now enthused about the Anthems Quilt show which is scheduled for April of 2018 in Chicago. I am busy planning my entry. It is a continuing of the discussion which I feel we need in the quilting world as well.

Any last words of wisdom?

Don't support people who don't support you.

Thank you, Eric!

Sew happy!

Want to see and enjoy more quilty fun? Check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation!

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This is only my third interview for my blog. Here is a link to my first one and my second one.

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