Moving Forward

Monday, June 29, 2020

I shared this on Instagram earlier today, but I want this list to live permanently here on my blog too. This is how I plan to continue working in the quilting industry going forward:

1. For collaborations and partnerships with brands, I will be evaluating them in a different way. It can no longer be just about whether it's a good fit for me, but also how these companies behave and contribute to our industry. Is the brand committed to providing opportunities for BIPOC? Is the compensation equitable?

2. For teaching/speaking jobs, I'll be considering who the other teachers/speakers are. Is the event accessible and safe for a diverse range of makers? Am I adding something to the conversation or event, or would my spot be better filled by someone else?

3. Shop intentionally. This has been something I've been focusing on in all aspects of my life. I intend to be more selective about where I spend my money in the industry. I'll be focusing my dollars on small business, brands that show good social responsibility, and on products/businesses by BIPOC.

4. Share my experience and knowledge. I don't work on much outside of my pattern business these days, but I have a lot of experience in the industry that I think could be put to better use in service to our community. I'm not sure how exactly this will manifest yet.

5. Highlight your work. I absolutely love seeing your projects and I try to comment on every post I'm tagged in. I intend to make a better effort to share your projects and use my platform to highlight the work of other makers.

6. Speak up. I am a people pleaser at heart, and I generally avoid confrontation. I acknowledge that operating in this way is a result of my privilege. I will continue to speak up for what is right and amplify causes I feel strongly about. I will work to make my feed/blog a safe space. I take comment moderation seriously, and I will continue to. Hate and racism are not welcome in my spaces.

This is an imperfect starting point. My practices will continue to evolve. I hope these small things can contribute to greater change across the craft industry.

14 comments :

  1. Your list is so thoughtful and essential right now and in the future. Have you thought about putting your expertise out there to mentor others? You would be a great resource.

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    1. I would love to do something that is accessible to more people than just one-on-one mentoring, but it's definitely an option!

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  2. Jeni, this is a nice wonderful list
    I did not know there were negative things going on in the craft industry, or comments on your blog. That is quite sad.

    below, I love the apron you made for hubby

    I am 65 now and I have never lived in such an angry or triggered time. Never.
    It saddens me and I pray unceasingly, and extra for the angry in our world.

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  3. Thank you for your courage. I have been disheartened to see the hate and prejudicial comments posted on many quilting blogs and websites. You have my loyalty.

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    1. Thank you for your support, it means a lot!

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  4. I applaud and thank you for everything you state here, Jeni, and it gives me great hope (because you are part of the younger generation--I am much older at 62) and you inspire me to also do more myself. While I'm commenting I just want to add how much I adore the photos of George you post. I told my daughter that I am nearly a stalker when it comes to George--cutest bunny ever!!!

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    1. Thanks for your support! I'm glad you enjoy George's photos, he is a really crowd pleaser! <3

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  5. Jeni--Thank you for joining the social justice movement and putting your principles into action. Each of us is a drop, that together will bring about the ocean of change needed to make our society more safe and equitable for all. PS I love George too!

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    1. I agree, we all can do our small part to add up to big change! Thanks, he is a real cutie!

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  6. I think this is wonderful! I love Ellis and Higgs quilts, but I haven't found any other BIPOC quilters. Do you know of some BIPOC quilters I could follow online? Thank you!

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    1. The Instagram account @meetmakersofcolor is a good place to start. They feature makers of color, including plenty of sewists and quilters! A few of my favorite BIPOC quilters to follow (with their instagram handles in parenthesis) are Jessica (@euphoria_jessica), Chawne Kimber (@cauchycomplete), Andrea Tsang Jackson (@3rdstoryworkshop), Latifah Saafir (@latifahsaafirstudios), and Ayumi Takahashi (@ayumills).

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  7. Hi. You have teaching experience and I wondered if you could create how to videos like Maura Ambrose did (the other quilter). I believe since you are a quilter and have travelled to Houston (where I use to live) you are probably familiar with her. You create videos on how to: design fabric for professional goals or for yourself, how to design patterns, your personal story from beginning to end (even though its on your blog), how you wrote a book, how your worked in a shop--just some ideas and sell your how to videos. But also what I like about your blog is how real you are, and how you combine your other likes like baking, vintage collecting (its not all about business). These things are all extensions of who you are as a complete person. And I don't want to get involved with your personal business, but you did mention it that your husband was ill and although I don't know you personally I hope all of you are okay and I do sort of worry about you. You seem to like dying fabric: what about that? You may have more control over your business if you offer online workshops and videos. You can maybe tell us more about your story to better understand your situation. And I don't like to get negative, but I have and I am having to deal with my own "things" and I've decided to be more open and I have gotten to the point of complete honesty not that I am dishonest. For example, I have gone to the Houston Quilt show numerous times, but the last two times I have attended I've been treated horribly. When I attempted to purchase some small items like thread I had the person throw the bag at me from the counter or had snide remarks made to me when I was looking at some items. Complete hate. And I don't know why. I'm a hispanic female with a Bachelors and an Associate degree ( I majored in Art History and Fashion Design) and now when I go there they are hateful. I use to live in Houston and it wasn't like that. Now I live in San Antonio. Good luck. With love. rebeca

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    1. Thank you for your suggestions, there are some great ideas in here! You're very kind, we are both doing well. I'm sorry to hear that you were treated badly at the Houston Quilt show, that is not okay. <3<3

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