The Gender Discussion

In the last couple months, we’ve seen gender in quilting discussed in several places, and after following the conversations I feel a need to add my voice.

I’ll attempt to pull some threads together for you here (and these are just the ones I know of – please send me others you might think are important to this conversation and I’ll add them):

  • Abby Glassenberg interviewed Luke Haynes on her podcast and asked him about gender in quilting
  • Luke Haynes wrote about being asked “the gender question”
  • Stephanie Boon wrote about why the gender question matters to her
  • Stephanie Forsyth added her thoughts about men and quilting
  • Molli Sparkles added his response (yes, his… Molli is the quilting persona of Joshua Helms)

And so here’s mine (and in just to clear up any confusion that my name, Sam, might generate, I am a white woman):


Women have not achieved equality. So many people think the fight was fought and won in the 70s and 80s, but it is not won, at all. We still, on average, make around 75% of male salaries. Our bodies are governed by restrictive laws made in general by white men. Western politics are driven mostly by white men. Western religions are driven mostly by white men.


This country (USA) came closer to passing a constitutional amendment banning flag burning than it did the Equal Rights Amendment, an amendment that says were are to be treated equally, all men and women, all races and creeds. If you add the number of women in this country (all races) and all the non-white men, their majority far outweighs the white men, yet the power of the white male politics kept this amendment from passing. Think about it. Flag burning might be provocative, but it’s about an inanimate object, and ultimately about freedom of speech (which is protected). The ERA is about PEOPLE. It’s about our fellow humans. And it failed.

If we, as women, do not keep speaking up when we disagree our histories will be dictated and defined by voices that are not OURS. And we need the discourse, the discussions, the passionately fed-up rants and the well-argued dissenting opinions. We need ALL of these conversations to help broaden EVERYONE’S views, and to expose people to ideas they’ve never considered.

Both men and women need to stop trying to silence each other when they disagree, and instead, welcome the conversation. And men, you need to stop using the “you’re not being nice” style of shaming language to shut women up. Here’s an excerpt of a conversation that I endured on Facebook a year ago, when a man jumped into a conversation a female friend and I were having about an exhibition at the Craft and Folk Art Museum of quilts made by men (emphasis mine):

Man: Male quilters are a deviation from the norm, and not-normal grabs more attention. That said these men all are talented and deserve a show, at this museum or elsewhere. Taking more than that from this exhibit is, to me, not fair and doesn’t give the artists in this exhibit the benefit of the doubt.

Me: I concur that these men are talented. I concur that their “deviation from the norm” makes it easy to show their work as a collective. All that said, I get to have my opinion, as you obviously do yours. There is no way an exhibition of the fiber works of men will not create discussion in this industry. And for you to attempt to silence my opinion by telling me I’m not being “nice” by having any opinion that isn’t a flat out politically correct “rah, rah” cheer isn’t giving me the benefit of the doubt either. I will attempt to see this show. I will form opinions about the work and its makers, and about the politics of it (because you can’t discuss gender without politics, especially in fiber). And I will use my intellect and hard fought MFA (in fiber) to have a well reasoned opinion about it that is MINE. Dude, I’m not trying to pick a fight, but don’t tell me how I’m supposed to think about this thing. Women are ALWAYS being hold how to frame stuff. If you think there could be an all male show without discourse, you’re being naive.

Man: I’m not exactly sure how I was trying to silence you. The second comment on this thread is basically saying the artists in this exhibit are getting this attention because they have a penis [note, this was a comment made by the friend that sent me the article]. My first comment was me trying to be slightly funny-hurt. There’s a big difference between having a discussion and me trying to silence you. And if you can’t see that distinction then you’re being to (sic) reactive.

Me: I am reacting to “Taking more than that from this exhibit is, to me, not fair and doesn’t give the artists in this exhibit the benefit of the doubt.” Which I interpret as “So if you take more than that, it’s not fair to the guys, which isn’t nice, so be fair.” Which isn’t really encouraging me to have any discussion that doesn’t align with the “not fair” part.

So first I’m not being fair (or nice) and then when I defend my right to have an opinion, I’m being reactive. And the thing is, I don’t think this man could see how his language is silencing… it’s so prevalent in our culture that it just isn’t recognized, and it IS the product of privilege. This goes on EVERY DAY in the lives of most women. And often at the hands of other women, which NEEDS TO STOP TOO.

So in the spirit of not being silent, here are my responses to some of the ideas that are in the links above:

  • On men being tired of being treated like minorities in the quilting world: Yes, you might be presumed to be the husband in a quilt store. I’m tempted to say, “Get over it. Welcome to the Land of Having Assumptions Made About You Based on Your Gender.” But not because I want men to “feel my pain” (wouldn’t it be lovely if this pain ceased to exist for ALL), but because I want men to understand how it feels, and thereby be galvanized to be at the forefront of teaching other men not to make those types of assumptions about women. And to the women in fabric stores – knock it off; teach more inclusivity by example.
  • On men reacting to (whining about?) negative comment/commentary: Men need to get past the idea that their privilege dictates everyone agree with them, especially women. And I hope the men recognize the unequal safety of their pulpits… they don’t risk the death, mutilation, and rape threats women get as standard business practice just for speaking their opinions. And these threats silence us… we’re so scared to risk our safety, families, and businesses that we sit here mutely.
  • On men getting professional opportunities: In the professional realm where women are dominant, like quilting, men get more opportunities because they stand out. When white men are the minority, the white male privilege upends the usual paradigm of minorities NOT getting increased professional opportunities. As Viola Davis said in her beautiful Emmy acceptance speech, “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” Women can’t get the exhibition opportunities that are not offered to them. What would happen if men asked the venue to stop making their exhibitions based on gender parity, and refused to participate unless the show was open to all? And venues: seek to make these shows of parity.
  • On the intersection of fine art and craft: The fine art world is also run by a white male establishment. When fine art engages craft, the first rules of engagement follow that traditional structure, one of white male power which marginalizes women and people of color, and pays them poorly. The Guerrillla Girls have been illuminating this disparity for years, most recently on Stephen Colbert’s show. We still need to keep fighting it.
  • On the title of the “No Girls Allowed” quilt exhibition coming up: Really? That title? I know this language was considered funny and cute in the 1940s with Spanky and Our Gang, but really? There is a LOT of language from that time we no longer consider acceptable. Why is this OK, and why is protesting about it not OK? The men might call their quilting group that (“But it’s tongue in cheek, it’s just a joke!”) but why on earth is the museum perpetuating it? We are not girls, we are women. (And as an aside, do we ever suffer for there not being a female word equivalent to “guy.” I made this art about that.)
  • On men writing what they think is the history of women in quilting: Do your research, dammit. Before you carpetbag in with your ideas, study our history, and use us as primary resources. And be very careful… your privilege as a man will make you blind to nuances that are daily freight for women. The same goes for women: as a white woman, I think it naively presumptuous to assume I understand half of what it means to be a woman of color in quilting.
  • On women being fairly compensated (compared to men): While the people doing the paying need to knock it off, women also need to step it up. We need to not wait politely to be handed our opportunities, but we need to go out there and ask for them, MAKE them, and negotiate to be paid well for them. We need to take a leaf out of Jennifer Lawrence’s book when she found out she was underpaid:

“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.”

  • On being nice women: We have been so cultured to play nice and fair. SO cultured. And we are losing ground because of it. Back to Jennifer Lawrence again (really, just go read the whole thing):

“But if I’m honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem “difficult” or “spoiled.” At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being “difficult” or “spoiled.” This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I’m sure it’s both. But this is an element of my personality that I’ve been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way? We’ve only been able to vote for what, 90 years? I’m seriously asking… Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn’t “offend” or “scare” men?

Absolutely YES, Ms. Lawrence. We are still tip-toeing.

We still have a long way to go. Women still need to do more for our own equality, and men need to help out by advocating for us, too. WE NEED TO KEEP HAVING THIS CONVERSATION until the points are no longer true.

I welcome your comments below. Especially if they’re not threatening.

11055, Hunter, FA14


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WASWI – Raising your prices, not working for free, and a new Alliance

There have been some great discussions out on the interwebs, of late, covering some thoughts on pricing and working for free. These are definitely worth your time!

First: Karen McTavish on the Crafty Planner Podcast. At about minute 42, Sandi and Karen start discussing the pricing for long-arm services. Karen makes her version of the point I’m always trying to make: When you undercut yourself, you undercut EVERYONE. She believes that as you get better, you should raise your prices, then the new folks coming up behind you can earn a decent rate too. AMEN.

The rest of the podcast is great also, as Karen talks about her unlikely journey to being the Karen McTavish – and she’s a funny lady to boot!

Second: This WONDERFUL video shows how nuts it is to be asked to work for free in other industries outside of the arts. In two and a half very short minutes, the point is beautifully made, especially by the old chap in the restaurant! There are some great points about being a professional who gets paid for their time, and keeping ownership of one’s intellectual property.

Third: We have a new organization in town, The Craft Industry Alliance. Abby Glassenberg of While She Naps, and Kristin Link of Sew Mama Sew have joined forces to make an online community where craft industry professionals can discuss the details of how we do business, and get help from the wisdom of others. I have long thought that we needed some type of unofficial union in our industry so that fewer crappy contracts are offered to (or accepted by) my colleagues. I had no idea how to build such a thing, and am grateful that Abby and Kristin figured it out. It’s been running for a couple of months, and already there are some great reference articles and robust forum discussions going on. Brava, and thank you, ladies!

We Are $ew Worth It!

HDS Sew Worth It LOGO


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Spring Cleaning Blog Hop begins today!

Today kicks off a fun blog hop! Cheryl Sleboda of, and maven of the fabulous sewing skully merch, asked a group of us to show some before and after shots of doing a little studio cleaning. If you want to join in on social media, please use #springcleanyourstudio


Here’s the line-up:

May 7 Kathy Mathews
May 8 Misty Cole Http://
May 9 Heather Kinion
May 10 Jessica Darling
May 11 Lisa Blevis Filion
May 12 Peta Minerof-Bartos
May 13 Mandy Leins
May 14 Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz
May 15 Sam Hunter
May 16 Debby Ritenbaugh Brown
May 17 Debbie Kleve Berkebile
May 18 Michelle Mattingly
May 19 Cheryl Sleboda

Hopefully I’ll be ready to clean up the market mess by then!


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Dimensional Indeed!

Pam Lincoln at Mama Spark’s World recently filled my inbox with goodness! Check out the pix of her rendition of my Relatively Dimensional pattern!

IMG_3494She used a custom Gallifreyan Spoonflower fabric for the background, and then sent it to Kathy Koch at Thread Bear Quilting for the long-arm artistry.

IMG_3496 IMG_3497I’m utterly entranced with the interplay of the circles, and more than a little geeked out by the “DW” motif in the door panels. Swoon!

Brava, ladies! And thank you SO much for sharing the pix with me!


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WASWI: “But I don’t need the money”


It’s exciting to see the topic of selling handcrafted items for decent money rise up in the consciousness of our industry. I believe that the more we talk about it, the better it will be for all.

I was sent a recent post from Kate Chiconi, from which I pulled this quote (emphasis mine) regarding getting paid well for a quilt:

But I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no point counting the hours I spend in my enjoyment and expecting a return on investment. All that would achieve is a deep sense of despondency at how poorly I’m rewarded, whereas in fact the reward lies in the process and the pleasure my handwork gives, not the monetary reward. Fortunately, I’m not dependent on my sewing to support myself, unlike some of my forebears!

While I’m glad Kate understands the “despondency” of being low-balled for her work, and I’m thrilled she enjoys her process, I think she is missing the fact that her contemporary peers try to make livings with a needle, too.

For many of us, it’s REALLY tough to place a price on what we do. It engages all sorts of discomfort in our esteem, and often leaves us open to criticism and ridicule for daring to challenge the notion that it’s OK for artists to starve. Our love for what we do is called into question when we monetize it. And for we ladies, there’s an added layer of judgment about being uppity and “not nice” when you try to be business-like.

So we don’t do it. We shrink back when asking for a fair price. We do funky math and discount the cost of the materials because we already owned them (unwilling to point out that to replace them will cost good money.) We weakly defend the idea that you can love something AND make money at it (and why the hell is this only a conversation in the arts? I don’t see bankers struggling with this at all.) And the most corrosive lie we can tell is “I don’t need the money.”

It’s a great one to hide behind… not only does it make you sound fortunate, it colors you as generous and altruistic. You’re doing the would-be buyers a favor by leaving some cash in their wallets.

But while it might help you, and maybe get you a modest sale, it actually hurts all your sew-sisters and -brothers. YOU might not need the money, but I certainly do, and I’m not the only one. If you don’t educate buyers as to a fair price, then the knowledge of what that is will not permeate our art-buying culture. And we all suffer for it.

Even if you don’t need the money, PLEASE charge it. Donate the cash to children’s arts programs or your favorite charity if you need to get it out of your account. If you still don’t want to do that, please AT LEAST give the buyers a detailed invoice showing the depth of the discount they receive. Education is the easiest thing we can do to change this.

Kate ends with this:

We create because we can and because we must. Monetary reward is just a very pleasant fringe benefit…

Pleasure in my process is certainly important. But no one quilts for cash without enjoying their process – it’s just too damned hard. However, we can’t pay the rent in satisfaction, nor should we be expected to. Money isn’t a fringe benefit in the arts, it’s what feeds the family. Just like in other careers.


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Blog Tour – Rose Hughes and Fast-Piece Applique – FIRE!

My friend Rose Hughes is debuting her latest book, Fast-Piece Applique and I’m tickled to be included on the tour.

Rose is a seasoned author – this is her 4th book! I met Rose while she was writing her third book, and lucky me, she was a great mentor when I began the work on mine. She is definitely a person that I look forward to hugging at industry meets like Quilt Market!

One of the cool things about Rose’s new book is the triptych format of the projects – they are created with the elements in either groups of three or panels of three:

Final Fast-Piece Applique B1277.indd

Photo Credit: Brent Kane/ Martingale

Art history geek alert!

The triptych has a long history in art, and rose to prominence in western, Christian-based, religious iconography during the Middle Ages. The center panel would show a major scene from the Bible (usually from the life of Jesus), and the two side panels would be supporting elements of the story.

Often, the side panels were hinged, creating doors to cover the main panel. This was used extensively on altarpieces – once the services were done the doors were closed, and the smaller altarpieces were then carried back to safe storage.

The picture below is a great example of a triptych: the center panel is Mary and the baby  Jesus (the format is known as “Madonna and Child Enthroned”), flanked by angels and saints, announcing the child’s birth. The side panels show John the Baptist, who came before Jesus, and John the Evangelist, who came after.


The Donne Altarpiece by Hans Memling

The kneeling characters in the main panel are the poet and cleric, John Donne, and his wife and daughter. Donne likely commissioned this to show his piety and dedication to the Church (paintings that include their patrons are called “donor portraits”) – while making sure that he was acknowledged for his donation. It was like getting one’s name listed on a publicly displayed donor roster. Why a portrait and not a list? Back then, reading was something only the wealthy were able to do, so pictoral religious art functioned as cartoons for the unwashed – if you could “read” the pictures, you could grasp the stories.

One of the most magnificent altarpieces is a polyptych (poly = many) tour-de-force by brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck, known as the Ghent Altarpiece:


Go here for a really detailed hi-res peek :-) and here to see what it looks like closed.

And now, back to regular programming!

Rose has planted free patterns at each hop, and I chose the FIRE Heart pattern to share with you! FIRE conjures up ORANGE for me, so it was a great fit!


ALSO – yes, a giveaway! Please leave a comment below to win a digital copy of the book. Rather than tell me which word you would make using Rose’s techniques (because we just talked about words last week!), tell me what your favorite piece of fine art is, and why it moves you! I’ll choose a winner on Jan 16th. – UPDATE: winner chosen and notified!

Don’t forget to pick up the rest of the WORDS – here’s the list of stops – their posting day and #loveletterhearts WORD

Jan 5th-  KISS– Victoria Findlay Wolfe

Jan 6th – SOUL– Natalie Barnes

Jan 7th – SEXY –Maddie Kertay

Jan 8th – SWAK– Teri Lucas-Generation Q

Jan 9th – LEAP– Mandy Leins

Jan 12th- LUST– Megan Dougherty

Jan 13th – HUGS– Jenny Wilding Cardon

Jan 14th – FIRE– Sam Hunter

Jan 15th – SING — Rachel Biel-TAFA

Jan 16th – ROCK, WILD, XOXO — Rose Hughes


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What’s your word?

Happy new 2015!

Being a word girl, I like the idea of having a word or phrase to play with. Confession though… I don’t do the yearly word thing because my life seems to operate in seasons that don’t necessarily begin and end with a tidy bow at the new year!

I love being inspired by other people’s words too. In fact, I’d like to be inspired by yours! So pop your word or phrase into the comments, and tell me a little bit about them. I’ll choose a winner on Monday (based on what inspires me the most) and send you a copy of Quilt Talk so you have the tools to make your word in fabric!

And if you’ve already made your word in any type of fiber, please post it on Instagram and tag me @huntersds, and use the hashtag #2015word to add it to lots of others.

As for resolutions, I make few. But if there was one that I would encourage all of us to make, it’s this: Please maintain your sewing machine regularly. Respect the Power Tool! De-fuzz it, oil it, and change that needle! I even have a cute and quick free pattern for holding your dead needles! It could be your first finish of 2015!


Wishing you all the best a new year can bring!


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On Turning 53


Yesterday, I had the good fortune to celebrate my 53rd birthday. I am grateful for and humbled by the wishes, hugs, emails, FB posts, gifts, chocolates, handmade goodies, gifts, and gift cards that made their way to me from many timezones near and far. I got weepy several times because of it. I am cared for and loved, and it is a wonderful thing.

I was once married to a good chap that just hated his birthday. He approached it with trepidation, running a commentary of the “shoulds” in his head. “By (insert age here) I should have done this by now, should have seen this by now, should have bought this by now.” I’ve never felt this way, but then I prefer looking at the filled part of the glass. I have no idea what I though 53 might look like from my 20’s (other than perhaps hoping I wouldn’t be as unhip as I perceived my parents to be) but I can say without doubt that I’m the best, truest version of me I’ve ever been. And for my next birthday, should I get one, I plan to have refined myself further down this path!

On my 50th birthday, I wrote the following essay, and as I revisited it today, I see that it’s all still true for me. So I’ll share it here, and I’ve added three more to grow on at the end.

50 Thoughts on Turning 50

A time for reflection and introspection. Time for a party filled with embarrassing gifts of prune juice and adult diapers. The big five-oh. Mid-century. Half way done, should I be so lucky. A few thoughts on that…

1.  In the inimitable words of the Monty Python gang – I’m not dead yet!
2.  Turning 30 was a relief. Turning 40 made me feel powerful. Turning 50 makes me feel grateful.
3.  Questioning authority is still fashionable.
4.  Knowing that your girlfriends get you (and like you anyway) is incredibly comforting.
5.  Eating chocolate every day is sacrosanct. Wasting calories by eating bad chocolate is just wrong.
6.  Having a season pass to Disneyland allows you to see all the small things in the design and artistry – and to marvel at the absolute commitment to the concept such details illustrate.
7.  Board games are even more fun as a grown-up.
8.  Fake butter is just that. Fake.
9.  The shift of a smooth gearbox on an open road is still a thrill.
10.  However, next time I’m buying an automatic car. I’m done with clutching my way through traffic.
11.  I got too good at not wanting to be a bother in the doctor’s office, and it almost killed me. Being firm about what I instinctually know about my body is the right kind of bothersome to be.
12.  Spending time outside of your home country is important.
13.  Facebook birthdays rock.
14.  Uncomfortable shoes are just not worth the agony.
15.  Uncomfortable undies aren’t either.
16.  Although I would have chewed my tongue off before admitting this to her as a teenager, I’m grateful that my step-mother spent the time to teach me which fork is the right one.
17.  While I think I could have been just fine without children in my life, I’m so glad I have my son, Steve. He somehow makes me more complete.
18.  Art really is everywhere. And that is a very good thing.
19.  That multitasking thing that we’ve all tried so hard to be good at is a load of bull. Being fully present to one thing at a time is so much more satisfying.
20.  Having good manners never goes out of style.
21.  It is wonderful to find a lost friend from your youth, and to find out that that you still like who they are.
22.  It doesn’t matter that my shoes never match my handbag.
23.  Having an opinion is a good thing. Respecting that other opinions may differ is a better thing.
24.  In my head I’m still in my thirties. But 50 is the new 30, right?
25.  Smart phones are incredible tools of efficiency and convenience. And distraction.
26.  I’m no longer willing to play dumb, or hide my light, or stay silent when I should speak up, just for the comfort of others.
27.  Climbing to the top of a dome or church is a spiritual journey. Coming out into the light and 360 view after the fight of the climb, through the dark and narrow passages, is a re-birth of sorts and worth every ache, gasp, and bead of sweat.
28.  I prefer clocks with hands.
29.  Wearing the right earrings can make your day.
30.  I’m ok with not being liked by everyone anymore. I’m ok with not liking everyone anymore. We are not ALL made for each other.
31.  Keeping the back of your neck warm from draughts wards off colds.
32.  When all else fails, bake shortbread.
33.  Having my face cut and filled to look like a version of 30 will never happen. I’ve earned and lived all my lines.
34.  Saying “thank you” is SO important.
35.  Saying “sorry” is perhaps even more important.
36.  I’m grateful to have been born in times that allow me to exercise choices. And I’m aware that with such privilege comes the responsibility to make sure that these choices are available to future generations.
37.  Those SMTWTFS pill boxes really do make your life easier.
38.  Sleeping under a handmade quilt is a special joy.
39.  Not being obsessively clean is good for your immune system.
40.  I hope evolution takes care of chin hairs and the hairs on the top of big toes in future generations because I can vouch for them having no use whatsoever.
41.  I’m thrilled to see my young friends making babies, and even more thrilled that I’m no longer in the business of teething, tantrums, and teenagers.
42.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
43.  I love the summer movie formula: the good guys win, the bad guys lose, the guy gets the girl, and stuff blows up during a really good car chase.
44.  Slumming with the occasional book of trash pulp will not rot my intellect.
45.  Learning to say “no” is a good thing. Wish I’d got better at it sooner.
46.  Beautifully written words are as satisfying as perfect crème brulée.
47.  This teach-to-the-test crap is ruining our children.
48.  Seeing it in person is so much better than reading about it on the internet. Just say no to the mediated experience.
49.  The color orange makes me happy.
50.  You dishonor the people who love you when you don’t allow them to actually do loving things for you. Accepting love is both humbling and powerful.

51. Making stuff makes my world right. Make, make, make.

52. Minding your values matters. Both personal values, and the color values in art.

53. In the words of Madeleine Albright, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

WASWI – Designing Fabric?

photo 1

Yesterday, Abby Glassenberg of WhileSheNaps delivered an eye-opening post of behind-the-scenes information about the money in fabric design in our industry. Please go read it… I’ll be waiting for you when you’re done. And a continued thank you to Abby for researching and writing such important posts.

I woke up in the wee hours this morning fretting about this, and here’s what I was fretting about: WE must stop agreeing to work for negative income. 

At Quilt Market, just two weeks ago, the result of the Quilting in America 2014 Survey was presented by F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company. The major data point is that Quilting is a $3.76 BILLION industry. Yes, BILLION. To be told that there’s almost $4B of cash floating around in Quiltdom, and then to read that there are fabric companies that effectively force their designers into penury via footing the entire bill of Quilt Market marketing obligations is… just… appalling. Abusive. Manipulative. Just plain WRONG.

And I lost count of how many times I heard during market “I don’t know who’s getting the $4B but it sure isn’t me.”

Look – this isn’t about the companies (fabric or otherwise) that take care of their people. This is about those that don’t. If you are so desperate to see your name on the selvedge that you will sign a questionable dotted line, then you will live by that questionable contract (and really, is the “fame” worth it?) But here’s the thing: because you are willing to sign, it tells the company that what they are offering is good enough. So the bar stays low for anyone coming behind you. It’s the same thing I argue about pricing handmade goods – if you are willing to give it up for the “work for free” price, then you are educating the customer that “work for free” is the going rate. Which screws us all, you included.

These companies are not going to offer you a better deal out of the goodness of their hearts, any more than a craft fair customer will double your asking price for the sake of good karma. We are not going to get better contracts unless we refuse to sign the bad ones. And my guess is that if enough of us pass on the bad contracts, and the company faces Quilt Market with little new stuff to show, then they’ll get motivated to up their game.

photo 2

The quilting industry started its growth back when we began the fight for Equal Rights. Its initial population was founded on women who were brought up to be nice, and that pressure to be nice above all else, and especially above being business-savvy people, is still extreme. I know it can feel “not nice” to push back on a contract, especially when you’ve worked hard to achieve the offer of one. But a contract that screws you over isn’t one you (or our industry) deserves.

And in case you are reading this and thinking “I don’t design fabric so it doesn’t apply to me,” well, think again. If you knew which company treated their artists like this, would you buy from them? Would you encourage them to mistreat their people with your hard-earned money? I hope not…. many of us boycott several brands and chains for less.

We are, as always, in this together. If we demand better, we can achieve it for us all. If we take care of others as we rise, then we all rise. I believe we really can change our industry, but we really have to do it together. As Abby says at the end of her post “This kind of alliance can only happen when we speak up.”

So I’m speaking up. We truly Are $ew Worth It.

HDS Sew Worth It LOGO

BTW – Did you join my mailing list yet? Do it here. I’m dreaming up groovy exclusive stuff for you!


Final QUILT TALK Blog Hop Day 13 – ORANGE – with me!

You made it! Lucky 13 ends here with me, and of course, with the ORANGE bucket!


Here’s a link to the ORANGE pattern, and here’s a link to the instructions on how to construct all the color buckets (you only need to download this once).

It was pointed out to me that the ORANGE bucket seems to have a bit more work in the fabrics – to which I can only say “guilty as charged!” ORANGE is definitely my favorite color, and I had strips left over from making another project, so it was perfect.

Thank you for hopping along, and I hope you’re inspired to make a project talk with some words! If you didn’t yet purchase your copy of Quilt Talk, you can get a signed copy here. You can also hit up your local quilt shop or indie bookstore – remember, the price difference between the local store and Amazon is only about the cost of a frothy coffee or a half yard of fabric – so please give your local stores some love or they won’t be there when you need them!


And finally – I have goodies for you! In addition to an autographed book, I have a package of my favorite newsprint paper-piecing paper, a hunk of Timtex and fusible fleece to get you started on a bucket, printouts of all the color words on the newsprint, and some Sassy Buttons. And if there’s room in the envelope, maybe other things!

photo 2

In your comments, please talk quilty to me! Tell me which words you’d use on your wordy quilt. will help me choose a winner on Monday Oct 27, after I get back from Houston Quilt Market (where I plan to take a lot of pix, so follow @huntersds on Instagram, or here on Facebook.

ALSO – when I get back from Quilt Market, look for a photo tutorial on how to make the buckets!

A LAST REMINDER: Hop back to these great people to grab any missing color patterns!


BTW – Did you join my mailing list yet? Do it here. I’m dreaming up groovy exclusive stuff for you!