Monday, July 14, 2008

Quilt mentors

I've just had a blindingly good idea. Or not. Its hard to decide when your brain is frazzled from spending hours writing legal case notes for lectures. (Yawn) See what you think. (And whether you have any idea at all how to achieve it):

It started with a comment on my last post from Kristen La Flamme in which she referred me to her own posts here and again here about City and Guilds. In the latter she makes the excellent point that what she wanted from the course was really a mentor. That is certainly something I would like. At the same time today I got a lovely email from Gina saying how helpful to her my Quiltland Chronicle challenge had been. We corresponded generally about how people needed to be encouraged and supported to take steps towards original design.

And so the fireworks went off. Based on the fact that most ( indeed possibly all) quilting bloggers I have met like ( a) to encourage others and (b) to learn from others, how about a Quilt Mentor Dating Agency?

You upload your profile into one or both of two sections:
Willing to mentor
Want a mentor
The site will allow you to describe what you have to offer - what type of quilting, level, can you do face to face meetings within a certain geographical area or is it just online? What time commitment can you give a mentee? Etc. If you want a mentor you fill in a similar profile. So you can control what you are prepared to enter into and can define what a mentoring relationship would mean for you. I am thinking that it will mean different things for different people but will be more than a casual comment on a blog type of friendship. (Kirsten - you started this - albeit unwittingly - what did you mean by a mentor?!)

(As a side comment there are interesting definitions of mentoring here and here).
Although I suspect we would need a less formal more organic approach.

Anyway, having registered, you search the opposite section and see if anyone takes your fancy. You can then contact them and propose a first date. It is then up to the two of you to correspond and see if you are interested in pursuing a mentor/ mentee relationship. If you decide you are, then your profiles are marked 'taken' on the website/ blog on which this is all set up ( I am a bit vague on those details!) Obviously if you feel able to mentor two or more people that would be fine too.

I am thinking that most quilters are anxious to see skills passed down the generations and like to give back to the community so this might work. I envisage that you end up with chains of people both being mentored and giving a less experienced person mentoring themselves and thus the confidence and support 'cascades'. But I suspect we would need some real experienced people to get involved and I doubt they are messing about reading my blog ( if you are - now would be a good time to say hello rather than lurking!) Maybe they are too busy actually doing art and quilts to get involved? Maybe they just need to be contacted?

What think ye out there? Does anyone want to help set it up? Do I need to go lie down in a cool, dark room?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a great idea. The US art quilt group, SAQA has just started such a program. I'm too boggled with writing to do more with quiting than use it as a hobby so am not involved. But even quite good quilters are looking for mentors.
And thanks for our note on my Big 7-O Blog -- your agreement means you are wise beyond your years and, I hope, that I am a little younger than my years.