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Are you a Quilting Fanatic?

Thank Goodness, I’m not One!

By Ami Simms

["Are You a Quilting Fanatic" by Ami Simms was originally published in the Winter 1986 edition of Quilt Magazine. If you enjoyed it, you may also enjoy Ami's free monthly newsletter.]

I love everything quilt-related, but thank goodness I’m not a fanatic! Fanatics are weird. They have uncontrollable, obsessive, almost perverse addictions to a particular point of view, philosophy or way of life. I just like to quilt a little. I’m perfectly normal.

Joggers are fanatics. They have to run every day to get their jollies. They even run when they’re on vacation. I can go two, maybe three days without picking up a needle. And I only take my quilting projects on vacation with me when I know that I’ll have enough free time to make the effort worthwhile. Anything less than six minutes and I leave the stuff at home.

Compulsive shoppers are fanatics. The have to buy everything in sight in order to be satisfied. They have to own the hottest new fashion, or latest thing-a-ma-bob, even if they have absolutely no use for it. They’re not happy unless they’re spending money. I only buy fabric when I see it. If I go to a store and they don’t sell fabric, then I just don’t buy any. I am always in complete control. And only buy quilting supplies that I need, or that I might at some future point in time be able to manufacture a need for. Just because there is no quilting gadget currently on the market that I don’t already own does not imply fanaticism. I just means I am an aware consumer.

Cleanliness freaks are fanatics. They spend all their time clutching dust rags or waiting for the ash on someone’s cigarette to fall off so they can whisk it away. If they can’t pick something up and put it away somewhere, then they wash it. I don’t have time for all that. If you can step over it, walk around it, or put it off until later, then that’s good enough for me. Anything else takes too much time away from quilting.

Car buffs are fanatics. Their lives revolve around taking cars apart only to put them back together again. They spend every waking hour either tinkering with the insides or polishing the outsides. Quilting is not my WHOLE life. There are other things that I enjoy doing, it’s just that I can’t think of what they are right now. And, I’ll admit that while I spend a lot of time making quilts, writing about quilts, teaching people to make quilts, or just plain thinking about quilts, I spend time doing other things too. One night last week I cooked dinner.

Animal lovers are fanatics. They love anything with fur that barks or meows, just as long as it makes it to the newspaper on time. They want to protect every species, regardless of how it looks, what it eats, or how badly it smells. Thank goodness, in my love of quilts I am more discriminating. I only like quilts that are made of cloth.

Gourmet cooks are fanatics. They spare no trouble or expense to prepare exotic dishes that stave off hunger just as well as something that would cost half as much. and take a quarter of the time to make. To think that there is any correlation whatsoever between quiltmaking and this kind of food preparation is totally absurd.

Fanatics are those poor souls that hold their view above all others, wish to associate only with those people who feel as they do, and want everyone else to discover and partake of their particular lunacy because they are so enamored of it. Just because I think that quiltmaking is a great way to spend my time, that all my friends happen to be quiltmakers, and that I think everyone ought to whip out a thimble and give it a try, does not make me a fanatic. I’m a quilt enthusiast! And there’s a difference!

Ami Simms is a quilter, teacher, and author of many books, including How NOT to Make a Prize-winning Quilt . She is also America's funniest quilter, and the creator of the Worst Quilt in the World Contest.  Read Planet Patchwork's profile of Ami here

Copyright 1986 by Ami Simms. 



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