Are rules made to be followed or broken?

It is blogapalooza time for the month of June. We have one hour to write on a topic and then publish. Here is tonight’s topic:

“Since rules are made to be broken, write about rules you routinely break or want to break”

I have to ask myself first, are rules made to be followed or broken? The premise of the topic is that they are made to be broken but I don’t accept that judgement. I think good rules are established to be followed because it makes life easier for everyone.rules

There are lots of examples of this. Classroom rules, especially in my classroom, were designed to help everyone get along and succeed. If a student broke those rules, the enjoyment they had better make the consequence worth it. If a student was late because they had just met the love of their life, heck yes, that was worth it.

Traffic rules help lessen accidents and you only break them if you are driving someone to the ER. They are also designed to give some a more level playing field, like spots reserved for Handicapped drivers. If you break that rule, be prepared to pay a hefty fine and be labelled as kindof a jerk.


Rules in National Parks keep the animals and the people safe while preserving the park for the future. People who hop out of their cars to take pictures of wild animals or hop a fence to get a better picture deserve whatever consequences occur. Some rules just make perfect sense.


You can tell that I am pretty much a rule follower. My daughter organized a painting party and the first three to follow directions, fill out the paperwork and pay the deposit were myself and my two daughters. Those kinds of rules make it easier on the hostess.

Golden rulePlus, there is no better rule than the golden rule. I think we should all treat other people the way we want them to treat us. And if we can’t, then just ignore them.

Rules of courtesy and respect make the world a better place. Being nice to people makes everyone happier. At the very least, you can be polite. Those rules are made to be followed.

Even a goody two shoes like me can rebel a bit. I have had to boycott Aqua Exercise class this summer because there is this new rule that there is no lap swimming. It makes me crazy and I’ve been reprimanded when I slipped over into the lap lanes and did laps rather than the cool down at the end of class.??????????????????????????????????????

I had to stop going to class because no one could explain to me how or why this rule made sense. I go to Aqua Exercise and swim laps to relax, not get myself all crazy. I couldn’t get it changed so I had to just avoid.

Another rule that I would LOVE to break is to pull a fire alarm. For all my adult life I worked in schools where there were fire alarms everywhere. Every once in a while, a kid would pull it and get in all kinds of trouble.

I didn’t want to get in trouble, I just salivated over the idea of pulling that alarm. When I was retiring I asked my principal if I could pull it for one of the fire drills. She said yes, I could do it in the office.

Do you know how it’s done in the office? You turn a key. Pfffft, I want to break that glass, pull that nifty red lever.


The only kinds of rules that I routinely ignore are those that don’t make the world a better place, don’t make sense and seem arbitrary to me. In quilting there are some of these. Some quilting rules are common sense and result in a better product.

Others are just labels or the way someone wants it done. Most of these involve competition quilts. Why in the heck do you have to bury all those threads? I guess it just makes it easier to pick a winner, who jumped through all the hoops.

no-quilt-police-largeWhen it comes to pleasure, free time and hobbies, I flaunt the rules. I don’t think you have to wear a certain costume, count your miles, laps or minutes. I don’t think you have to follow any rules.

And that goes double with quilting. I reject nearly every definition of modern, traditional or modern traditional quilting. (Examples of what I reject? Click here.) My only rule when it comes to quilting is do what moves you.

If you want to press your seams open, make time worn patterns, invent your own quilts, use unusual fabrics or run your quilts in the Kentucky Derby, go for it. I even wrote a whole post about quilt rules I’ve broken.

OK, maybe you can’t run your quilt in the Kentucky Derby but you get my idea. Creativity, art and leisure should not be bound by rules or labels. Those rules are just one person’s taste.

What is my point? Follow the rules and be a good citizen and member of a safe society. Do whatever you want with your art and passions.

And sadly, leave those fire alarms alone.fire1

Sew happy!

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Filed under: advice, blogapalooza

Tags: rules

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

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