Recently, Alex got the following email:
"Alex's new show was the topic of our bee meeting the other night. We are saddened that she has taken this route of a computer show that we must pay additionally for. Several of our bee members have limited funds and loved watching simply quilts. We have others that have very limited computer skills and this turned them off to alex immediately. I just just very disappointed. I know this means nothing, but she has just lost 12 fans."
Here are some facts:
1. Alex did not leave Simply Quilts - HGTV cancelled the show, and in my words, left Alex and the entire quilting community out in the cold with no reasonable explanation of why. Over - done - kaput!
2. Watching Simply Quilts was not free. HGTV is accessible via Cable or satellite A portion of each month's bill goes to those networks. Many quilters never saw Simply Quilts because they didn't have premium cable service or lived in other countries where it was not shown.
3. Our options were: 1.Create our own show on the internet - 2. Do nothing at all. We felt the later was not really a vialbe option.
We realize that the likelihood of having any network accept our show was close to zero (they are just not interested in a quilting show) and if we had pursued the network option and gotten accepted, we (and all quilters) would be at the mercy of their executive decisions and neither Alex nor myself would have any creative control over the show. Alex did not have creative control with Simply Quilts. Many people don't realize that.
Regarding limited computer skills. I will use my mom and dad as an example and I wish to commend them. For the past 3-4 years, I have tried to get them 'tuned on' to email, but they continued to avoid it and not embrace it. The day Justin helped them join the The Quilt Show, it was daunting for each of them. However, they were determined to learn how to log on - read blogs, enter chat, and read and post in the forum. My mom has turned into a site junkie and signs on every day, sometimes several times a day, to read what's new. We have tried to make a very complex and complicated site as user friendly as possible. With a little experience and guidance anyone can do it.
I can honesty understand the knee-jerk reaction seen in the letter to Alex, but I also think that if we can educate and enlighten people on the hows and whys, they will understand and appreciate the fact that we are trying to do something really great for quilters. I continue to be thrilled that this endeavor is open to everyone worldwide - instantly.
Combine all that with the fact that there has never been a full-service, interactive web site for quilters to share information, post their quilts, chat, find shops, find shows, find teachers - well, - I'm preaching to the choir - cause you already know how great it is.
In the end - we realize that no matter how hard we try, we cannot please everyone. We will try to do our best to provide you with a site that will engage quilters and continue supporting the entire industry. We are thankful that Bernina shared our vision and saw the wonderful possibilities of using the internet and agreed to be our Production Sponsor - you can thank them yourself (firstname.lastname@example.org) - We are also thankful to our site sponsors and members who have made the site so very exciting.
See also - Why Subscribe To Our Show blog (March 12)