Bill Volkening has guest blog post on Why Quilts Matter: History, Art, & Politics. I really enjoy chatting with Bill, and have had the privilege of connecting Bill with Generation Q Magazine. His love for quilting, and his collection of quilts inspire me. Bill is, in a very unique way, preserving and furthering our quilt history.
As I watch the quilting community I see a couple of things happening that I’ll express in the phrase, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Working towards some of that change is an essential component; we know though that the ocean creates sand one wave at a time. Change happens slowly, over time.
By the time I found and joined the Pelham Quilters, I’d been quilting for about 9 years. These ladies welcomed me with open arms my age was never an issue. I can walk in today and experience the same welcome. These ladies helped form me in my quilting inspiring me to try new things, make good quilts and grow as a quilter. They helped me to understand that quilting is as individual as the person. Not every one has to do the same thing to be a quilter. Each quilter had the opportunity to teach, share, and do their own thing. What more could you want from a guild? Being accepted for being different is a beautiful thing. Thank you!
After this “upbringing” there is a sense of heartache when I hear that a quilter is dismissed for their youth, particularly when they clearly know their stuff. These quilters have a lot to offer our community, they bring different sensibilities that inspire, keep us on our toes, keep our own work fresh, and give us something to think about. These quilters see things from thread and fabric, to batting and style a bit differently. This only ADDS to our collective knowledge and experience of quilt making.
As “older” and “experienced” quilters we welcome them to the community, lead by example, and help grow them. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to the quilters who have made me feel welcome. The quilters who are willing to share their experience as quilt makers and teachers and competitors. The quilters who I can go to still for advice. Some of these quilters that I go to haven’t been quilting as long as me, nor are they as old as me. No matter how long I’ve been quilting, no matter how old I am, there is still more to learn.
We all have something to offer the quilting community. Thank you for adding to my quilting world.