You know I think a lot, you’ve seen that in my quilts. I submitted a Sample Chapter and am still thinking about things that need to be in that chapter. I keep reminding myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just doesn’t. That thinking though, sometimes just keeps going. I’m sharing a couple of links to quilt related articles. These are, I believe, very important, kind of raw, and I trust you dear quilter to read with an open heart and mind.
International Quilt Market posted an article by Mary Fons asking a really good question: Why Don’t Quilters talk about Feminism. Please take a moment to read the article.
I promise it’s really fascinating.
Okay now that you’ve read it.
Now, you know me, I usually refrain, on my personal blog, and on fb from jumping into the fray of hot topics. I did that once and it was kind of brutal, and perhaps rightfully so. However Mary Fons asks a question, a really good one at that. Many of the answers were along the lines of “quilting and politics don’t mix”. I responded with:
“I think this is a fascinating article asking, and sourcing relevant information. Asking good questions gets us thinking. And the bonus is we get to choose how we deal with and respond to the information in the article. Quilters have, through our history, brought politics, faith, and morals into quilt making creating statement pieces. Blocks such as Burgoyne Surrounded, 54-40 or fight, the “T” block all come from a political/moral framework.
From person to person, and generation to generation the idea of and definition of feminism is different and as such the discussion may be contentious, or not. We get to choose. Just as we get to choose the styles of fabrics used in our quilts, whether we piece and quilt by hand, piece and quilt by machine, or some combination that makes the most sense to us.
I firmly believe that no matter how we quilt, no matter our political persuasion, no matter our definition of feminism – that what we really desire is validation in our style of quilting and in our political/moral thoughts. If a quilter chooses not to participate in the discussion – great. If a quilter does choose to participate, great. We get to pick.”
One thing I know about myself is that I don’t argue particularly well in part because of my introverted side, but in part because at some point I was taught that my opinion had no merit. It does. And what I’m learning is how to answer, or share things with an eye toward compassion particularly if things can get hot. I’ve learned from years of blogging that if I wouldn’t say something directly to the person don’t write it.
Why is this particular article important? Because it is the beginning of a discussion, not a definitive statement. Quilters are more than patterns, fabric, and off-the-hook quilting. We are passionate beings with opinions that deserve to be heard, thought about and responded to with respect. In politically and morally hot topics we can respond a few ways: we don’t have to say anything at all, we can ask questions to clarify, or we can offer our opinion and thoughts. If you choose to publicly refrain from sharing your opinions for whatever reason, you have my respect and admiration. If you choose to publicly share your thoughts and opinions, you have my respect and admiration.
Then there is this candid interview with Carrie Bloomston by the Craft Industry Alliance. I admire her work, her candor in this interview, and her self. Trying to make a living in the quilting world is difficult at best. We have rent or a mortgage to pay, we occasionally like to eat real food, we like to have health insurance (weird right), pay for car insurance, and we like to purchase supplies for the quilt making that we do to further our careers and it is our hope that the work that we do brings you great joy.
A couple of years ago while speaking with another industry pro I whined that guys in our industry make more money than we do. “Do they?” she queried? That got me thinking…I’m not entirely certain, they seem to be…but seeming, and are, are two entirely different things.
Let’s talk. Let me know your thoughts on these things.