Let’s call it a Do-Over

Let’s call it a Do-Over

Last spring I was contacted by the team at Quiltfolk and asked if I was interested in being profiled for their upcoming Kentucky issue. I don’t think I could respond to that email fast enough…the answer was a resounding, “YES!” I have been a subscriber to the quarterly magazine since its second issue and I was so honored and humbled to be asked to represent a slice of quilting in my home state.

The day the team arrived at my house, I was so excited to show them my work and talk about what I create and why I quilt. It was so much fun having them here and the two hours they spent with me seemed to fly by. The conversation was mostly between one member of the team and myself while the two others flitted around, styling and taking photos. We talked about how I started sewing, the early days of this blog, how my focus shifted towards quilting, the books I have written and how I give away most everything I make to family, friends and charity. The team was warm, friendly to Kate (the only other person home) and kind to my dog (sadly, she passed away in July – I still miss her). It was a wonderful experience and I felt so good about all of it. I was told the issue would be out in October and that there would be some back and forth before then. Then off they went to their next appointment.

My subscription issue arrived at my house the first Friday in October. I knew it was on its way and was so so so excited to see the Kentucky issue and to read the story about me. As I read the first paragraph, my heart sank and I started shaking. They got so much wrong, including Fatty’s name, my niece’s name and the name of our business. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I started crying. I was shocked. And disappointed. And embarrassed. These were big mistakes.

I emailed Quiltfolk after I read the article and pointed out the larger errors. I told them how sad and disappointed I was.

I received a reply within an hour. They messed up and admitted it. They apologized and took full responsibility. Then we began to work together to make things right. They were extremely responsive, answering my questions and communicating their thoughts and plans with me as they unfolded. The publisher, Michael McCormick, wrote a heartfelt apology, which you can read here.

I have the utmost respect for Mike, Mary Fons, the rest of the Quiltfolk team and the publication itself. They handled this unfortunate situation with grace and worked to make sure that I felt good about it. And I do. Their apology is sincere and they also emailed all their subscribers a corrected version of the story, which I hope you will take the time to read. After all, I was very excited to be part of this magazine and I am proud of what I do.

Part of being a creative person is making mistakes and learning from them. I tell the eighth graders in my sewing class that I use my stitch ripper daily because I do. I’ve cut fabric incorrectly, set quilt blocks upside down, and cut two right sleeves for a blouse instead of a right and a left. I’ve unraveled hours of knitting when sweaters turn out the wrong size, a dropped stitch wasn’t noticed or the color work is off. I once baked a cake and forgot the eggs – into the garbage it went. And these are only the crafty mistakes! I’ve made my fair share of personal bumbles, too. I understand that mistakes happen because I make them myself. On the regular. I am human and part of being human is screwing up sometimes. The key is to admit it and apologize when necessary. Then figure out why it happened and learn from the error. Fix it if you can or, if not, start over.

I am grateful to Quiltfolk for admitting their errors, apologizing and fixing what they could. Everyone deserves a chance for a do-over.

Rinse and Repeat Quilt

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Have I mentioned that I teach eighth graders to sew? I do! I go in once a week in the fall and the spring and, along with a friend, teach a group of 12 or so kids how to use a sewing machine. We start simple and work up to some more difficult projects. This fall, our...

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