Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Am I wrong?

This morning, I sat in a meeting from 8:30 AM until 12:15 PM, a succession of people from across the University making 20-minute presentations to a group of us, one after another. I came prepared with some hand quilting to keep me focused. However, one of my co-workers looked at me askance and said, "Are you really going to quilt while the President is talking?"

I thought nothing of it - when my hands are focused on quilting, my mind can zero in on what is being said. The same is true if I'm watching TV; without something for my hands to be doing, my mind often wanders (or shuts off and I start to snooze). But it made me wonder, was that rude of me? Would YOU bring handwork to a presentation, whether it be quilting or knitting or embroidery? Would you be offended if someone were doing handwork while you were giving a presentation? Inquiring minds want to know!


By the way, I got a block quilted on my 4th of July Tablerunner during the meeting - 3 blocks down, 2 blocks and the border to go. At this rate, it might actually be ready for next 4th of July! I'm not sure why I am quilting a tablerunner so heavily...


I also received some squishy mail earlier this week, some early birthday love from Char at Cloth Stitched - lovely fabric and a sweet handmade card. Thanks, Char!

12 comments:

Shirleymac said...

First of all I'm the same as you. I always have handwork going when I'm watching TV. On the other hand if I was going to a presentation that I was supposed to being paying attention to, no, I wouldn't take handwork. Not because I'd lose my focus but because I'm afraid it does appear rude. At our church everyone has to spend a year going to the board meetings as a congregational representative. There are two people at a time that go. The other woman that was going at the same time I was knit through the meetings. They were long and boring but I really did find her knitting distracting to me because I felt she wasn't giving the meetings her full attention. It seemed like she was saying "Okay I'm here but I don't have to like it." Just my 2 cents worth.

Judi said...

I'm like you and can do two things at once, but many can't and don't understand those who can multitask.

Now as to your meetings I wouldn't while Ken was presenting, but while others were it's OK to pause during a presentation and look engaged.

I have someone in many of our meetings is either on their iPad or knitting. Many are on their phones or iPads so what's the difference? Where you work it's different than other places keep that in mind.

Livin' Blue Quilter said...

No, I don't think you are wrong. I agree with the other folks that some people may consider it rude or distracting, but if people know you and know that this is just something that you do, I don't think it should be a problem. I would probably give the President my full attention, but ease back into your handwork as the presentations progress. Also, if you are quiet and not disruptive (rustling, constantly moving around), again I would think it would be acceptable. Keep stitchin. Robin

quiltfool said...

What I wouldn't give to be able to quilt in some of the meetings I attend. Unfortunately, around here, it is not PC. The closest I've gotten was some hand piecing during a remote training class when I was on the phone. Instead I sit in meetings with my eyes crossing and my lids fluttering and hope no one just saw my head fall to the side. Lane

joe tulips said...

More 2 cents stuff...
I don't think you are wrong. The hand stitching really does keep you focused on what is being said. I have seen this with kids in school who need to doodle while listening. But some people don't get that. I don't want you getting in trouble at work though. When you are finished listening and you go back to stitching again, does the talk given repeat itself in your head? This happens to me. If I were listening to a TV show while sewing and then stop, but start up again later. I get like a rerun in my brain of what I had heard earlier.

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

I doodle constantly in meetings. It helps to keep me focused but there are many that feel it looks like I'm completely disinterested.

So I'm pretty sure that if I draged handwork into a meeting the room would have an apoplexy.

If it works for you and you arent giving anyone a heart attack by doing it- go for it - I say !

Stray Stitches said...

I don't think you were at all in the wrong. It was probably a guy who made the remark and we all know most of them don't multi task well. I'm like you - I have to have my hands busy watching tv or I will fall asleep very quickly - same at meetings. Keep on stitching!

Barb H said...

I'll join the others who commented. I took copious notes all through college--just so I wouldn't fall asleep in class. Now, I take notes at meetings. Once I brought knitting to a 6 hour training and it helped keep me tuned in to the presentor. No one commented. Handwork doesn't require the attention that texting does, I think, and I find texting very annoying in meetings.

Nancy-Rose said...

I have to THINK about this one!

Okay - you're all right. I'd rather you quilt than surf facebook, or text on your Crackberry. I knit socks in my first year psych class so I didn't pass out during 3 hour power point presentation in the dark every freaking morning for six weeks!

But I wouldn't quilt in church. So, was your colleague's remark a 'respect' thing? I've seen knitting done in lots of presentations over the years. Quilting is equally acceptable in my books.

Christina said...

This really rubs some people the wrong way! I don't think it's rude at all. In fact, I think for people who are more tactile/physical in nature having something to do with their hands while sitting still can help them focus on the matter at hand. I sewed and knitted through nursing school and I did just fine. Some people don't understand that, but we process visual/spatial stuff and verbal stuff in different parts of our brains so it is not like one is competing with another. I spend most of my days up on my feet but every few months we have a day long meeting and I have to take sewing or knitting to keep me in my chair otherwise I am so darn fidgety! You have my support for this behavior and my sympathy that it is so misunderstood.

Char said...

I don't think it's a problem. Especially if it helps your concentration.

Kim said...

I think it is not socially acceptable
behavior in the business world......in the quilting world everyone gets it. I think it is interrupted as not paying attention and being disrespectful to the speaker. I'd save my sewing for another time.

Happy Sewing