I agree, Carole. I used to be a bit embarrassed of my stitching 'cus some older friend of mom is the perfectionist stitcher and she always said it was nice that I stitched, but that I should start stitching the right way soon if I wanted my work to "matter".
I was still very young then (about 12) and even stopped showing people my work, was terrified someone would look at the backs of my projects or see me stitching in hand and not following the basic guidelines of stitching in order to achieve a perfect back.
It wasn't until years later that I realized I'd never want to enter a competition, and that the back didn't matter if my project was framed or attached to some other fabric and that people in general appreciated my work and "professional" stitchers could think whatever they wanted.
And now that I joined the forums, I see that all type of stitchers can get along perfectly well and appreciate each other's work, at all levels of expertise.
they are experts always ready to put you down when they see you doing something that is not up to their so-called standards. I've had that experience. Not with stitching (yet) but with other things. It can be very off-putting and make you want to give up altogether.