curses

The curse of the boyfriend sweater is replaced here by the curse of the uber warm mitten curse. The mittens are done and  overnight the thermometer has risen to a unseasonable warm 40*. And this is early yet I am sure it will get even warmer during the day. The snow is melting and the lake is puddling again. Curses!! Will my husband even be able to wear his mittens or has spring arrived early.Marty likes the idea that I have chased away the cold weather with my knitting so I am working on the first mitten I knit- the brown and green one. So that I don’t get bored with the second one I decided to knit it in the same pattern but from the top down. It felt a little clumsy last night as I knit it and I had to restart a couple of times – it still isn’t quite right. I am not happy with my increases in the color work but over all it looks good. You might have noticed I like to take pictures with my quilts in the background. These are quilts I rescued from St Vinnie’s. Unfinished tops that were tossed aside and never finished for some reason. This one is pretty old. Most of the material is  feed sacks. It is all stitched by hand. Whoever made it was very thrifty because in a few areas there wasn’t enough fabric to make those small squares so she sewed material together to make it big enough and then cut out the square.  The stitches are small and even. I imagined someone carefully sewing these together until it was big enough to make a quilt but for some reason interruped before they could finish. They had hoped that it would be on a special person’s bed to warm them at night and make them feel safe in a world where they knew they were loved and cared for. I used a cotton batt for this quilt because I felt cotton was apropreate for the age of the quilt and something a farmer’s wife might have. In my head I pictured an old fashioned woman sewing this in her spare time at night- an Auntie Em because the whole time I worked on this the line from Wizard of Oz kept running through my head-‘Toto I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore’. I was sad that some one abandoned this top but thrilled I found it And I hope Auntie Em would be happy that I am using it.

Its funny that a quilt evokes these images for me.

I think we have certain images associated with our crafts. And images of the people who create them. I don’t classify my knitting or sewing as art but there are those whose work I admire and consider art. I love them for their sense of color and the beauty of the stitchwork. This is why I read completely cauchy. Not only beautiful quilts, crochet and knitting but thought provoking reading and last week this blog managed to create quite a stir. And not for her current project -a quilt with squares contributed by many quilters. A sort of quilting bee you might say. And the quilts theme is F**k. Thats right – each square has that curse word in it. Some proclaim it loudly and bluntly. Some are quieter and it is almost hidden in the piecework. And others are embroidery cute and funny. Seeing it over and over in different context makes you think about the impact of the word and the different ways it is used.

But that wasn’t the quilt that shocked and angered some people. The quilt in question has a WORD quilted in white on a black background. A WORD not a swear word but a WORD that none the less makes me cringe when I hear it. I don’t use this WORD and hate when I hear it used even in a friendly manner because it is hurtful. People used to tell us when we were kids that sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you but we all know that isn’t true. I can’t imagine having this label attached to me or said about me. And although I hate this WORD worse than a curse word it doesn’t mean I should get angry or refuse to look at  Guest Post | Give a F*ck — whip up  because it featured this quilter. It means that as people we should look at words and the effect they have on us. And if it bothers us to view than maybe we should think about why and have that discussion. I can’t profess to know everything that Chawne felt when she worked on this piece but I don’t want to look away and ignore it. When I look at the photo I can feel the raw pain wrapped up in the very thing that so many of us sew to wrap our loved ones in. Imagine being wrapped and labeled and even though it might not be said out loud THIS WORD is how you are perceived. Now I will be the first to admit I am not a critic or some wonderfully smart person who knows it all but I think as a quilt this is a great piece and as art it has done its job well– it has made me question what I am uncomfortable about and think about society and maybe ways that I can make a difference and change.  I think it takes courage to share what is obviously a personal quilt made to ease the hurt of words and labels.

Now all of a sudden a quilt with the f**k word in it just seems silly doesn’t it. Actually reading my dribble seems kind of silly too.

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