Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Real Prize

Dear Quilting Friends,

2013 is mere weeks away.  I love the energy that comes alive in people as a new year approaches.  There is HOPE for new beginnings, new STARTS where there had been failures and new IDEAS abound.  This carries over into the quilting sphere as well.  New projects, new goals, and new energy create excitement for quilters everywhere.

But can I share one thing with you? 

I have noticed over the past year that the quilting blog community has been inundated with giveaways.  I have almost written this post three times over the past 9 months. It seems *almost* every blogger has sponsors who are giving away this or that in return for this or that.  Blog Hops provide endless possibilities for winning the next greatest fabric line, book or gadget. It seems that participation in just about any quilt-related activity also had some sort of prize or giveaway associated with it.

I have tired of the giveaways and prizes. I don't even read the posts on any blog (even my super favorites) that has the word 'Prize!', 'Giveaway!' or 'Sponsor' in it.  Why?

I HAVE ENOUGH STUFF.

I HAVE SO MUCH STUFF!!!!

I have enough fabric.  I have enough rulers.  I have enough thread and gadgets.  I have enough books and patterns.

These giveaways only leave me wanting more instead of using what I already have.
I believe all of this commercialization takes a bit of the joy out of quilting.  I love to read quilting blogs for ideas, inspiration and a shared sense of community.  I have seen less of these good qualities and more of the not so good qualities lately.

Where am I going with this?

I guess what I want to say is--I would like to make a new start in the quilting blog world for 2013.  Let's turn from a world of 'got to have more' towards a world where we are so busy using the 953 fat quarters we already have that we don't have time to leave a comment for a 1 in 953 chance of winning more fat quarters.
I still believe that quilters are some of the most generous people out there--what else could explain the fact that Margaret's Hope Chest has given 1600 quilts away over the past 6 years without one single sponsor, giveaway, or prize for participation?
Our world is hurting and needs HOPE.  The gift of a quilt can bring that to a life--I have seen it happen over and over.  Don't lose sight of the real prize--make 2013 the year you use what you already have to serve others!

Blessings on your final days in 2012!
Carin

By the way, if you have a blog that is mostly giveaway free (I don't have a problem with an occasional giveaway) and supports the ideas that I have shared here--leave your link in the comments and I will add it my sidebar!  It will be fun to watch our progress as we use what we have to serve others!



28 comments:

Renae said...

Completely agree.
I'm trying to use what I have already before obtaining any more fabric--free or not.

~Michelle~ said...

Sounds like a good plan :)

Bev said...

I so agree. I don't read give-away posts either and I never enter contests. Thanks for saying what I think.

CJ Tinkle said...

I agree!

Rachel said...

I totally get where you're coming from. I have weeded out many blogs from my reader because they are too commercial. I blog to share what I've made, and a bit of my family and thoughts. I have done a few giveaways, but it is usually something that I have made myself, or at the very least fabric that I have purchased myself to giveaway. I don't blog for business.

sunny said...

I used to enter every giveaway that I saw. Now I seldom do, because I really don't Need More STUFF! I'm about to have a small giveaway, because I've discovered a few duplicates in all my stuff!

Sara said...

I too have stopped entering giveaways, and I stop reading when I get to one on someone's blog.

I agree that MY purpose in quilting is to exercise my creativity with fabric and make something that will keep a cold person warm. No more beds in this house that NEED a quilt, so they go elsewhere.

Carol Jordan said...

I couldn't agree more. My Halloween resolution/November 1, 2012 is "do not add one more thing to my quilt room until it has slimmed down - is that a Quilt-Watchers member? - I sent 5 quilts to NJ from Hurricane Sandy. I have given away two quilts to friends w cancer, 3 new babies, college graduation quilt and a quilt for a friendof 40 years. I am trying to reform.

Jevne said...

I don't have a blog but I read LOTS of them looking for ideas and inspiration. I don't have a stash of fabric or all the popular gadgets, but I, too, have deleted all commercial blogs and I don't enter contests even to win something I could use. Who has time to leave a comment, 'like' on Facebook, or jump through whatever hoops required? I hope that bloggers take your suggestion and eliminate most of the giveaways.

Emily {Creative Chicks} said...

Well said.

jill said...

Great topic Carin.

Now I LOVE, LOVE, fabric but due to the high cost I started looking at good quality sheets and clothing at the thrift stores. I blame the fabric industry, and designers for the craziness that has turned some wonderful blogs into commercial spots for said designers.

I wonder if the bloggers themselves realize how much they are being taken away from their families. A commercial blog has got to be a ton of work. I had an etsy shop about two years ago to help me destash. The hours spent on that were crazy.

I do not have giveaways, and can not remember when I last entered one. I too dropped alot of commercial blogs from my reading list, due to the cookies their sponsors attached. It was slowing me down.

blessings, jill

Carol E. said...

Agree! I am tired of them, too. The only give-aways I've had (that I can recall) are when I hit a milestone number of posts, then I ask for comments and donate so many cents per comment to a favorite charity.

Lynn said...

Good post!!!
I've thought this often myself lately. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it.

Lynn said...

Sorry a second comment. I was just thinking. I would like to see giveaways but the catch would be: you have to use what you win to make a quilt to provide hope and comfort to give or donate to someone.

Donna said...

As you can see, you speak for a lot of us! I also skip over the blog posts with giveaways, but I go further than that. If a blog is touting a certain designer fabric line, I lose interest. I'm not doing this for popularity. I don't look at the name of the fabric before I buy it - it's totally based on whether I like the fabric and whether it will go well in a quilt.

Amy said...

Love the message. Thanks for speaking your heart.

Delighted Hands said...

Great point! If you have extras, it is nice to pass them on to others but Giveaways to increase your contacts does irk me. I will love to dedicate 2013 to using up what I have-great encouragement; thanks!

Sherry said...

After going through 2 floods in 4 years. . . and losing untold amounts of memories, heirlooms and just plain stuff I have realized that I really don't need more.

I have been trying to wean myself from book buying (both quilt & non quilt related) by utilizing my public library much more than I have ever done.

Prior to reading your post I had decided that 2013 would be the year that I get serious about getting organized and using up what I have before I buy more "just to have it".

I have a blog and it is fun to see that I have "followers". . . but even if I didn't have a single one I would be happy.

I have only done 2 giveaways --- I did do a "pay it forward" (there are still 2 spots open) and I have participated with one of The Travelling Stash programs. I don't consider those as giveaways but more of a sharing situation.

I have done, and will continue to do, charity projects. . .such as pillowcases for Sandy Hook, making quilts for children baptized in our church, prayer shawls (ok, those are crocheted, but I still count them), quilts for my guild charity outreach, etc.

Since I currently have more fabric than some quilt shops --- and hubby wants to retire in less than 10 years and move south --- I am hoping that 2013 will be a "banner" year for me for production and/or downsizing!

Heidi Grohs said...

I don't enter many giveaways and only have done two giveaways in the last two years from my own stash as thank yous to my followers.

I agree...I have very much started to ignore the blogs that TOO many giveaways. I just hit my Google reader "mark as read". Occasionally, I comment on a giveaway, only if to say something about the project they have and say "not entering the contest", if they are a blogger I consider a "friend".

Because of the blog world, I have more fabric than I know what to do with. Not because I won it, but because I was compelled to buy it. I have spent 15 years, buying only what I need, and now, in the past two years entering the blog world, I feel obligated to buy designer fabrics, where formerly, I did not care. I now feel I have to have a stash since I have joined some bees. I also would not have been fired up to buy discounted fabrics over Black Friday if I hadn't been inundated with deals. So now, I have BEAUTIFUL FQ bundles with no plan.

I have been completely lost the last few weeks because I have never felt so overwhelmed in my life. I recently had surgery that is keeping me from quilting and it has made me take a good look around my studio.

I usually donate/gift 90% of my quilts and I hope to spend this year making some for my own family. Even my mother pointed out that not only does SHE not have one, but I don't have very many in my own home...considering I a quilter. Great post.

SM RE said...

What a timely post you have shared with us today! I have been thinking the same thing. There is too much fabric at my house as we speak for me to buy any more than what is needed for a particular project that I do not have on hand (like solids).

Giveaway Day week was a eye-opening moment for me this year. I hated the feelings of loss and jealousy that were raging in me. My post-partum state leaves me with a heightened sense of emotions and I don't want to ever feel that way again.

My goal for 2013 is to use not only my stash but my scraps. Thank you for bringing up this very important topic!

sewfrench.com said...

You have been inside my head....
I am not a commercial blog and I still spend too much time blogging and reading than doing what I love to do.
I think I have found a whole new list of blogs to refill my reader with when I give it a haircut.
Thank you Carin for untangling the words that have been festering in my mouth for way too long!

April (Polkadot Sparrow) said...

Yes!
The only giveaways I really enjoy are when people are giving up from their stash--it's a unique thing. :)

I also want to use what I have in my stash. I used to buy fabric every week (I had a problem!) but haven't bought any for a few months now. And that's ok. I have plenty to go around in my stash.

Doris said...

I've been feeling much the same way. My blog has been painfully quite this Fall, and I think you hit the reason (nail) on the head. I'm tired of the commercialization, the "it's who you know" negativity, and the fun of what quilt blogging used to be.

Count me in, I want to use what I have next year and use it for GOOD!

Doris
www.madebyabrunnette.com

Nancy said...

I agree and have been turned off the giveaways. I too keep saying "No more fabric til I use what I have"
Keep up the words of wisdom!

Janeen said...

Great thoughts; thanks for sharing! I completely agree. Over the past year I've found I love to quilt for charity (project12quilts.com) and I have enjoyed stopping by your blog for inspiration. So thank you, and keep it up!

Dee Dee said...

I also agree. I also quit reading blog posts that do "Blog Hops" for books. I do realize that a lot of book sales come from folks reading blogs. I have also deleted many blogs from my favorite's list because of this. My blog is free from giveaways.

Merry Christmas.

Judy said...

Thanks for the insightful post. I have never done a giveaway on my blog. I have plenty of ideas for using my stash and scraps in 2013. Also planning at least one charity quilt for my guild's charity project this year.

I hate having to like your blog in order to win a prize. I want you to like my blog because of the content! Not in order to get something.

Mama Pea said...

I am in the same position. :-)