Thursday, May 10, 2007

Feeling Sad

I just got home from work and found an email from Finn at Pieces from my scrapbag asking to be removed from the mavericks ring.

I'm sorry she wasn't happy with the ring and felt it didn't fit her. But every time someone airs their feelings about why something doesn't fit, there are those who have to vent their feelings over something that happened or didn't happen with in the past 2 years for them either. And it snowballs in people's comment sections, cackling like a bunch of unhappy chickens.

Some complained that the ring didn't feel the same because it got too big...but when I tried to limit the size, those applying who were turned down for whatever reason got upset. (seem's that "invitation only" isn't understood by the masses either)..so we have people complaining about it being too big and impersonal, and people complaining that they weren't allowed in. What the heck am I supposed to do?!

I have had the following on the homepage for a while:

"Thank you for your interest in Quilt Mavericks. At this time we are not taking new ring members. It is the feeling of many that the ring got too big and we lost our sense of community once the ring was bigger than our ability to travel through the ring in a timely manner and comment on each other's blogs.

Community is the reason why we started this ring. Community is why we desire to keep the size limited. We hope you understand, and will keep up with our blogs by travelling around the ring often!"

Does this explain to anyone how I feel that we have lost our sense of community? And do those who feel like outsiders to the community understand, or are they still taking it as personal and will mouth off about the mavericks being "cliquish" every chance they get? If this were a ring strictly for amish quilts.....and you didn't make amish quilts, didn't even like solids...would you feel bad that you weren't invited?

When Tonya and I started this ring, we wanted to represent a certain genre of quilts. But tonya's ideas and mine are somewhat different,so there were differences of opinion! I HATE hurting people's feelings....I'd take in EVERYONE if that was the purpose of the ring. There are other rings out there that do. I don't like having to categorize quilters, and after Tonya turned the reigns back over to me, I was more lenient with the guidelines. Then people who had not been invited BEFORE were upset because now I was letting so and so in and why not them?

It's a MESS ladies. I ask any of you.....do you want to be in my shoes? Anyone?
I can't make everyone happy. I have tried really hard to get along with everyone and keep the peace. I don't have as much time as I used to to travel around the ring and feel as big a part of it. I do try to keep up on my blog, and I don't comment on every single post that everyone makes. I'm working two jobs and some days feeling like I can't keep my head above water. It is NORMAL that some people are going to find more of a connection with each other than others. Some people who live closer together may see each other in person and do things. It isn't that they are leaving anyone out of "their loop". This is just life.

I've gotten to know many of you, in and out of the ring over the past several years and I value each and every one of you.

I don't want to think that Mavericks is EXCLUSIVE. Maybe those who are on the outside looking in feel that way....and I have no answers. If anyone wants to leave, as Finn felt she had to, just let me know.



  1. You just can't please everyone all of the time! I don't belong to Mavericks, but I want you to know that you're the reason I even have a blog! I happened upon your website by accident and started reading your blog, then the other Maverick blogs and I've been lurking in the background ever since.

  2. Bonnie, I understand how you feel. It's the same thing with the Stash Quilts ring and I have a hard time finding balance. I read almost everyone's blogs once a week or so but rarely have time to comment. I write on my own and don't get offended if I have fewer comments. I don't know the answer except as Joanna said . . you can't please all the people all the time. You're doing a great job with all you do and I appreciate you!

  3. Bonnie, as I mentioned on Finn's blog, I'm not sure how I qualified to be a Maverick, but her blog was the one that inspired me to ask you to join. I'm sorry that she has left the ring and I'm sorry that you are taking the heat for providing all of us such a wonderful opportunity to connect with other quilters who we would never have had the pleasure of meeting otherwise. You have inspired so many of us with your blog and website that I can't understand why anyone would be angry with you for trying to keep the size of the webring manageable. I've never felt that the Maverick ring was exclusive, just working under the constraints of size. There are so many wonderful webrings out there for quilters and I read many blogs from many different rings. Although I don't belong to them, I never felt that they were exclusive either. I think you have done a great job keeping the ring going and of a size that is manageable. We all love Finn and will visit her whether she is in this ring or not. This ring may not suit the needs of everyone, just as I'm not sure I suit the needs of this ring. But I'm staying and I'm proud to be here.

  4. Big, big hugs to you! You are not only an amazing woman, you are an inspiration in every and all ways. You have taught us so very much for so many years. Remember, we are women. Some of us are pms-ing, some of us are hot flashing, and some of us are just plain headless chickens and like to squawk once in a while. Just because chickens squawk doesn't truly mean they are squawking at you. Sometimes, its because they have lost their heads and other times it's because they are still being chased by the axe.

  5. Anonymous8:53 PM EDT

    Hi Bonnie. Not a member of any ring, but I do occasionally if reading an interesting page take a trip on one of their rings. Its got to be a tough job managing it - there is never a way to please everyone because we all know WE are right - the others are wrong, lol.
    You are correct in that I can't tell the difference between a maverick and the stash quilt ring types. Also sometimes I am following say Maverick and I get to a page that doesn't have the symbol so I can't go to the next one. As someone surfing I find that very annoying...I am trying to discern the group and this "member" (and it seems to happen on all sorts of rings) doesn't have the ring symbol. Maybe the ring "bosses" (pretend you are Tony Soprano) can remove those types of members. Thats one way to curtail your size.

  6. Relax Bon. As an "outsider" I can tell you this, you will never please everyone. The Mavericks is a good ring and I enjoy visiting many of your members' blogs as part of my daily rounds. I think most rings get too big and I'm not sure there is an answer for it.

  7. I visited everyone's blog in the ring to begin with, but after a while picked out my favourite few. I comment a little but with a 3 year old with special needs, find I am needed elsewhere - can't spend all day on the computer.

    I don't believe the Mav ring is cliquey at all - if it is, then every other ring is a clique as well. However, I have noticed that there are several who don't update their blogs according to the guidelines of the group (me included). Should we be asked to leave the ring? Maybe so, and without any ill feelings. Life changes - what 'fits' in 2006 may not in 2007. For me, blogging has taken a backseat to other important things in my life right now. We should probably just move on and be grateful for the experience.

    I have been wondering lately whether to ditch my blog simply because updating it is becoming a chore. I love the Mav ring as well a other blogs/rings that I'm not a member of and would still read my favourites even if not a member.

    I don't know the answer if there even IS one.

  8. Tell them if they are not happy to bugger off. I am a member of no rings and have never been asked and don't care. I do enjoy cruising around various rings as I find it the easiest way to find new blogs that I am interested in. Please do not stop and maybe keep the number that you have now and if someone leaves then add someone new. Chin up. It really is only the internet and life is more important than that to worry what someone says that you may or may not ever meet.
    You are a very busy woman and I am greatful that you send the time you do to have the ring to look at.
    Also I don't post things for heaps of comments...I post for myself and if some one leaves a comment OK.... besides how would you reply to lots of comments..... I can only just keep up with it all now and like you say we don't want to be on the computer all day and all night. Goodluck!!!!!!!!

  9. You poor dear, just do your best and remember that you can't please everybody all the time. I like this ring and I like what it stands for, and I will contine to work towards my goal to become a maverick.

  10. Bonnie, I'm not sure what triggered Finn to decide to leave the blog ring but you can only do your best to manage the size of the ring. The larger it gets the harder it is to feel the same sense of community.

    Should you *eject* people already accepted it they don't meet the criteria? I don't know.

    You do the best you can and if people leave, you accept it's for their reasons and DON'T beat yourself up for it.

  11. Hi Bonnie, I never meant to cause you anguish over my departure. You do a wonderful job of all the jobs you do! You run a marvelous web site, have a family and work extra full time.
    While I haven't been entirely happy with the sprawing of our group, I do understand and realize your dilema. As I said, I was still happy to be a Maverick but it wasn't as much fun any more. In weighing my feeling, my relationship with blogging,etc, it seemed that being "unattached" to any web ring was the best choice for me at this time. Being part of a circle means staying connected and supporting the ring. That's gotten harder and harder to do for a number of reasons. Again, I'm sorry 'stuff' fell your way. I wish only the best for everyone. Hugs, Finn

  12. Hi Bonnie

    PLEASE do NOT take this as a complaint, this is an explanation: I was one of the ones who posted a comment on Finn's blog about asking to join the Quilt Mavericks blog ring. As far as I am aware the notice about the ring not taking any new members was not on the home page when I first contacted you, otherwise I wouldn't have asked to join. I was just disappointed that I never got a reply, that's all.

    I used to go around the ring once a week but I found I disliked visiting a blog which hadn't been updated so I got bloglines. I subscribed to all the then current members of the ring and am still subscribed to these, but of course I don't know when some one new joins the ring. I have since joined a ring for Southern Cross Quilters. And when someone mentions a blogger whom I don't know and provides a link then I go visit. If I like what I see I add them to my list.

    Doing any task that involves humans always brings the "you can't please all of the people all of the time" feeling. And things evolve. So, yes I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to be a Quilt Maverick, but I've gotten over it.

  13. Oh Bonnie - you poor thing, you can't do right for doing wrong - sadly it's a fact of life that you'll never please all the people all of the time

  14. I've been reading blogs for about a year and started my own a couple months ago. I've been on the fence on the idea of joining a ring and so haven't really looked into it, but I have found some blogs I visit regularly through the ring lists. By now, I "know" some of the members of the various rings. I've also gone off and explored other blogs that I find listed here and there, and I've had quilters visit my blog--no idea how they got there, but I'm glad they came to visit me! I guess what I'm trying to say is does a ring really matter? Like minded people will find each other and become friends whether they belong to rings or not, I suspect. And you can't regulate friendships. So try not to stress, Bonnie. Everything will sort itself out eventually.

  15. Bonnie, everybody is different. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. We grow, we change as we all know. Life gets in the way, we can't update as often as we like. There are times we haven't really any quilting to share or blog about. It doesn't mean you've done a bad job of monitoring Mavericks, it just means, there's nothing to say this particular day. Mavericks is the only ring I belong to...I love it...I read my favorites daily, sometimes comment, sometimes not. Those of us who belong to Mavericks know you do a wonderful job of managing without saying so. If ever the time comes I feel a need to leave I will do it as gracefully as Finn. I know I will miss her.

  16. Anonymous6:53 AM EDT

    Just a word of encouragement.... I am a "lurker" and have only been quilting for about a year. Your blog and website have been incredibly inspirational and informative. One of my favortite things about being over forty is that I don't have to please everyone all the time any more. Your blog and the ring are great. Keep it up.

  17. On behalf of quilters worldwide, a big THANK YOU for all you do for us, Bonnie. I do not belong to any rings but the Mavericks are an inspiring group of blogs to visit.
    I found them via your site.
    I use 'control D' to bookmark blogs/sites into my list of 'favourites' on my computer and when I have the time I enjoy visiting them. We can't all be mavericks though! I shall still visit Finn, who is one of my 'favourites'.

  18. I left my ring as well. It didn't suit me.

    It had nothing to do with the ring "leader" or it's participants.

    It ALL to do with the expectations I placed on myself to maintain my spot in the ring.

    I was able to realize what's best for me and move forward with my own progress.

    Love that woman, as I do all of you. Hugs all around.

  19. You shouldn't apologize - it is what it is! You can only do so much - don't fret. It wasn't working for Finn anymore and that's OK!

    I never asked to join the Maverick Ring cuz I'm not a Maverick - LOL. That's not to say that I haven't enjoyed reading Maverick blogs - I'm in awe.

  20. As the person who's innocent remark started the avalanche last year I'm so sorry you've taken this backlash again. While it might have seemed like it before I've NEVER had any hard feelings about not being asked to join the Mavericks because I know I really don't fit the definition of the type quilter you were looking for when you set up the ring. I AM a stash quilter so I'm happy to have found a home there.

    I started my blog because of the inspiration I got from yours. And while I'm not a Maverick I still visit everyone at least once a week. Seldom leave comments anymore because it takes so much time to keep up with all the great blogs out there but I do read and get a lot of inspiration from you and many of the other Mavericks.

    Has it become cliqueish? Probably. But then so are the Stash Quilters. Not by design but just in the fact that anytime you have a group or organization where not everyone is invited to join someone will get their feelings hurt. My Granny used to say, "you can get glad in the same panties you got mad in." so I'm thinking a lot of people need to just get over it and "get glad"!

    PLEASE try to shrug this off and get on with having fun with your quilting. We love you! (((HUGS)))

  21. Oh, Bonnie, please don't feel bad, it's definitely a situation where it's impossible to please everybody. More and more people want to be in quilt rings lately and it is exciting and interesting and overwhelming to keep up with them; maybe the best thing is to have more rings. It's a good thing we have Bloglines so we can keep up with at least a good portion of the blogs that we love. As Nancy posted before me, we love you and hugs!

  22. Don't worry about it Bonnie. Yours was the very first blog I ever found and after being invited to join Mavericks I was thrilled and still am. Finn mentioned name dropping and I think these days it's just something you have to do. If you even start with a pattern idea you better give credit to the maker. We all start somewhere. You and JudyL are the only two I know who can think up all these fabulous quilt patterns from out of your heads *G*. Most of us get ideas from some place. It's also normal to eventually start friendships that deepen over time and yes, sometimes we drift to certain blogs when we only have a limited amount of time. To be honest I'd rather quilt when I have the time and not be on the computer! You are doing fine. Don't let it bother you any more.

  23. I've been so overwhelmed with work lately that I haven't visited the Mav ring for a while. I went looking for Finn this morning and couldn't find her. I'm glad I checked in with you and found out what happened.

    Bonnie, your blog and your management of this ring is to be commended. You spend your valuable time inspiring us and motivating us. I applaud you, and thank you for the wonderful patterns you post.

    The critics will be there, no matter what you do. Keep up the good work! I think the Mav ring is wonderful and I visit it often.

    (BIG HUGS) for you!

  24. I ran the Knitting Blogs web ring for years and it was always a source of distress for me. There were always people who were unhappy with some aspect of the ring. My advice is to do what you want with the ring and don't try to make anyone but yourself happy. You will never be able to make everyone happy and trying to do so will only wear you out!

  25. I feel for you, I really do. Been there, done that. I own one small Yahoo group and help moderate another one (neither quilting based). The latter has grown very quickly and has lost its small cosy feeling. Some applications are being rejected as the group has got too big to manage properly which is a shame, but that's life! As you say, there plenty of other rings/groups out there. Courage.

  26. I'm sorry to read about the ring situation. I understand where you're coming from. I belong to two rings, and frankly, it's enough. I don't understand the need to belong to so many rings. As far as I'm concerned, it clutters you page, something that keeps me from reading a blog. Perhaps it's a power/popular thing! LOL

    When I first joined the stashbuster ring, it was purely to have access to quilting blogs. Now the ring has gotten so big that I rarely go around anymore. I keep track of the blogs I read on either "reader" or blogline. I still think it's a great tool to get to know other quilters. If it wasn't for stashbuster I wouldn't have found your blog. I don't always comment but I do read. Hope the situation works out! Be well and happy quilting!

  27. The Maverick ring was basically the first thing I was drawn to and that got me blogging. It is a like minded community and you do a great job. No-one else in my "real" quilting world quilts in the Maverick style, it's all patterns and rules and precision. The Mavericks have made me realise that my way is fine as well, Tracey


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