Friday, March 08, 2013


Sometimes I wonder why I get mixed up with "groups". This week was one in which I once again got into hot water with a group I belong to. The problem, always, is that I have opinions and opinions are not that popular with groups. Groups like to be of a common mind. They like to say, "Hey, here's an idea. Let's all do this!" And they expect everyone to say, "Yay! An idea! Yes, I'll do it!" But some of us say, "Wait up—is this really that good an idea? Did you think about this? Do you think this might happen? Is what you are proposing even ethical, or doable?" Or, as I am tragically prone to say, "This is a bad idea, and here's why..." And then the group gets all up in your face and tells you you are a troublemaker and you have "a bad attitude." And one or two write you private emails ("for your eyes only... please don't share this...blah, blah, blah") and explain in detail how you are just all wet and a mean person and even that "really smart people thought up this idea" and you just need to get on board. It is true—many people do not evolve beyond the seventh grade. This is why people-with-opinions, go off and live in the woods by themselves.

Me, I go to the studio and putter. Today I was working on some projects, including the cafe and listening to the radio. Someone was talking about confronting death as you get older and how one should ask themselves if they are doing what they would do if they knew for certain that they were dying. I know this sounds depressing. It really wasn't. I thought about it and decided yes, I am making art and spending time with my family and friends and, I hope, making memories with my grandchildren. If I knew my days were numbered I would keep doing those things. And I would probably resign from a group or two. Tomorrow we are going, with a bunch of fine, funny and fast friends, to a crab feed. If I knew I was dying, I would eat as much crab as possible every chance I got. With friends.

So, here is where the cafe stands today.

Sewing it all down. This is not the quilting part. I am just sewing all those separate pieces to that interfacing background to make the top.

Now I am top stitching with black thread. I don't have a real logical explanation for this. I just like the way it looks and it gives it all a little definition that I like. It's one of my "things."

Have a nice weekend! The sun is shining in Oregon... I plan to enjoy it while I can.


  1. imagine if we all agreed!!! There would only be one tv show to watch!!! :) Or movie, that would be sad hehehehe. I agree and am not part of a group. I miss being able to talk to like minded people about my interest though.

  2. Living in the woods made me lol. NO is a great word. Say it freely to all and sundry. Do what you want now. The clock is ticking and you'll only feel motivated to race against it before your days are numbered.

    My days were numbered once. I got a reprieve. None of the things people say about bucket lists and such applied to me. I didn't care one bit about crafting or going places or achieving anything or making amends or creating a legacy. I just wanted to hang out with the one person who matters most and that is what I did. I've cared for a few dying relatives and they were the same way. Everything else just felt stupid. YMMV.

    I love black thread.

  3. I also am not part of a group these days, but, like Jane, I miss talking with like minded people. However, I don't want to do the things that groups do, like making blocks for each other or doing philanthropic projects. I just want to do my own thing and go and visit with the other ladies. One time someone who was upset me accused me of being opinionated, which I didn't think of as a bad thing, so I thanked her. She was furious.

  4. I love being able to say that I am doing what I would be doing if I knew my time was limited--but I, too, would resign from a group or two!!! Life is too short to waste it with discord. Eat crabs and enjoy life!

  5. Anonymous5:13 AM

    I'm a newish member to this particular group. This is yet again one of the discussions making me wonder if I've made the right choice and if I'll renew my membership. I think the answer is yes, I'll stay. I learned a lot in this discussion, essential to continuing as a quilter, artist, professional in a large group.
    I'm grateful for the disagreement until it becomes personal attacks. Attacking the person for disagreeing with the whole thing is just wrong. Recognizing differing views is essential.
    In part what I'm taking with me is how to be an effective voice in the conversation its not easy and I daresay Terry you are an effective voice in the conversation. Thank you for offering the educational part for the newer and/or less informed members.


  6. LOL! Terry - tooo funny - I've joined fiber groups and guilds and my husband always starts a pool on how long I'll last. He says that I should get a tshirt that says - "Does not play well with others" but I really think its more - like you - about "Does not want to waste time and make goofy decisions with others" hmmm - tooo long for a tshirt! LOL! I have from time to time - formed groups of my own with a bunch of us who do not play well with others and guess what - we do just fine!

  7. I also tend to ask the thought provoking questions... Or point out the negative side to an idea... Then I realize, too late, oops! Should have kept my mouth shut and done my own thing!
    Let's talk quilting... I notice that all pieces and parts of your building are backed in black, or did you use a black pen to draw the shapes before you cut them out??? I want to include a trattoria in my Italian quilt, and am watching your progress very closely.
    Hugs from Mary

  8. I'm not much of a group person for that reason! I'm not a 'girly girl' - I have wonderful friends, but mostly on an individual basis. I hate meetings. I enjoy my own company, but I don't mean that in a snobby sort of way, I just like solitude and time alone in my studio.
    I've been listening to a wonderful book by Julian Barnes - "Nothing to be frightened of" - about death. It's not the least bit depressing, but rather funny. You might like it.
    We're on our way to the beach - and I intend to eat just as much seafood as I can fit into my big mouth!


  9. I happen to agree with and Kristen. I almost didn't continue my membership of this group, because it seems like it's run for the benefit of a select few, and that the rest are there to support them. But I've been a member for only one year, so I'll give them a little more time (and money). If nothing else, it gives me fodder when my mentor asks me, "And what does belonging to that organization do for you?"

  10. I completely understand what's happening with that group thing. I get blindsided in meetings with new policies and ideas that I think are horrible but since they are coming from someone in authority, most of the other people nod and say how brilliant they are. I used to speak up right then and get mobbed. Now, I'm the "there are at least five reasons that thought needs to be rethunk and I'll present the reasons by the end of the day" guy. Cuts the mob mentality and gives me time to gather my argument.

    And I like the definition the top-stitching is giving too :-)

  11. Anonymous6:42 AM

    You have your priorities in order and that's a very good thing. I admire you!!!!

  12. Hi Terry, I followed a link on Angie's blog 'cos it mentioned some bird projects I thought I'd pop by and see what you do. Love the quilt at the top of your blog ;-) and the one you're working on. With regards to being outspoken I wish I was a little more like that but I don't like upsetting people. Mind you I don't always go along with a group of people if I don't agree with what they say or are doing I would just opt out. Having said that if it's something I really feel strongly about then I would have to say something. It's all about the way it's said rather than what is said in my opinion; it wouldn't bother me if someone didn't agree with something I'd suggested doing so long as they were reasonable in their response.
    Anne x

  13. Anonymous8:11 AM

    I once told a boss that I wasn't a good "team" player. I prefer to work alone most of the time. That being said I have found a group in my new home that allows lively conversation and opinion. Very rare

  14. I have led groups and always sighed with relief when I could stop. Now, no groups. I miss the good times. the conversation and the "knowing" that they get you, understand your history.

    If I knew I was dying? I would live as I do right now. I would clean up my messes and give things away to people who might like them. I would plant seeds. I would garden. I would sit in the sun. I would love my loved ones. I wouldn't waste one moment arguing with people. I would smile and walk away.

  15. You and I can run off into the woods (or the studio) to be alone, together. I was ready to talk about why dissenting comments can help a group grow and if no one ever said anything "bad" then the group would never know why it was or wasn't serving it's community. But then I decided that it just wouldn't be constructive at this time and I am walking away. Walking away from the in your face emails too.

  16. I play well with others at work. They pay me for that. I belong to only two 'fun' groups. If I don't want to do the group project, I just don't. I will say it sounds fun (if it does) and encourage others, but I do my own thing.

    I (often tediously, I'm sure) point out when decisions/ideas/projects do not match the stated goals of the organization. I have actually learned a lot from out leader about doing things the group wants to do even when it is really pretty uninteresting. Our group is big enough that there are other things that can interest me and the group isn't about me anyway. We have our '7th graders' too, but at least they aren't in charge.

    I really like hanging out with people who don't get the glassy-eye stare if you talk about quilting cottons, finishing seams and what did you use to interface that jacket.

  17. Personally, I like reading your opinions and they are always well articulated.

  18. As a newish member of the group, I've been really interested in the open discussion. I've been grateful that people have been honest, and I love the passion. It's not always comfortable to read the exchanges, but there has been generous sharing of knowledge and experience, and I'm starting to get an understanding of just how diverse the group is. Keep it up!! Oh, and this is just between you and me of course lol