Sometimes things are simply gross.
Ebony Love is one of the people I admire, and look to in the Quilting World as a leader.
I’ll come back to Ebony in a moment so hang with me friends. If you’ve taken a class with me, been a customer, or generally know me I am incredibly patient with people. There are times when I lose my stuff, and it’s usually not good when that happens. And has landed on one of those sites where people review businesses. Yep. When my patience is at the end of the tether there is no intention towards a lack of charity, or not being kind, sometimes I reach the end.
A few years back while working on Generation Q Magazine we had a No Quilt Bullies campaign, complete with button, social media posts, and conversations. People can sometimes be cruel. There are times in my life where I’ve been a follower, this is in and of itself not a bad thing, however this led me toward making a couple of bad decisions: like posting on a fabric designers page that I would *never* purchase her fabric, or essentially ending my relationship with a company that I’d wanted to work with for a long time because I wasn’t enamored of how they were doing something. While that wasn’t my call, deep down I knew better, and yet allowed myself to say my thing. I’m still embarrassed about both of these things I assure you.
These last few weeks have been painful to say the least. The last straw flung on top of my very deep well of patience and tapped me out. It’s gone. Done.
As mentioned Ebony is a quilt industry leader. I admire not only her work as a quilter, quilt maker, and pattern designer, but her ideas, her advice is spot on from her working knowledge business, and contracts. In other words, this woman knows her stuff. If she gives you advice, pick up that gold nugget, say thank you, and go do the thing. And here is where I have lost my mind. Sam Hunter posted here, then Ebony posted here about a “tone checking” experience. and why she decided to leave the Craft Industry Alliance.
After Sam’s post I reached out to Abby Glassenberg the founder and president of Craft Industry Alliance and said in very clear, unemotional terms that Ebony deserved an immediate, unqualified apology.
I write. I can write fluffy stuff, I can write snark. What I write, I write with great passion, and often more vulnerability than I care to admit. I am admitting here and now I am really angry. Not only was the tone check unnecessary, it was unkind, uncharitable, and without cause. When I read, and I do read and watch, listening and thinking deeply before responding. I know that words do have power, and I also know that when we read words we read from the place where we are standing, with whatever is going on in our mind, and heart and being, in other words, we read into what people write. And in some regard we need to do that, we are people with deep emotions, thoughts, and experiences.
Here, though, is where we have a problem. The President and Founder of the Craft Industry Alliance has a track record of targeting individuals expressing disdain, displeasure over some thing they are doing that they must change immediately because it is so, so wrong and must be brought to the daylight for immediate correction. I can assure you Ebony did not need correction. At. All. I would go to Ebony first, because sound advice and she quilts. The President and Founder of the Craft Industry Alliance, is by clear definition, a bully, pushing, and pushing, and pushing until some either stop doing business with that person, effectively giving it to her, or they leave the quilting world altogether, or might not get the work they are so qualified for because, well, bullying. This track record includes editing posts given comments on said post. I know other people who have screenshots, I don’t. I wish I did though. I have, over the last few years, written posts here because of things Abby has written, offering another view of something happening in our quilting world.
As a quilter who tries to bring everyone on board, I object. As a woman I object. As a human being I object. As a blogger, author, human being who is sometimes pretty okay, I object. I object to Ebony, a Black woman, having to even make a statement like this as a direct result of the amount of melanin in her skin. I object. And so I’m doing the best thing I know how. I’m writing because I’m fatigued of the bullying. If I’m fatigued I can only imagine how Ebony feels. Latifah, Jemelia, Gyleen, Carol, Chawne, Renee (of Renee said Elizabeth said fame). All of these women who contribute to the depth and beauty of quilt making. Each one of these women bring their skills generously, and have so much to offer and teach. Dammit, here goes the tears.
Our Black and Brown bothers and sisters need to be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve as human beings. Our Black and Brown quilters need to be appreciated for who they are, what they bring to the quilting world not for what they can give us, but for WHO THEY ARE.