There are male quilters.
But the overwhelming majority of American quilters are female, so in my line of work I spend a lot of time with a lot of women. Today, I feel like going on record to say that I love them. All of them, like sisters, because they are my sisters.
Just let me get this out.
Everywhere I meet these women — in Seattle, Richmond, Omaha, Phoenix, Orlando — I see beauty, grace, brains, compassion, passion, and strength. I love their stories. I love seeing girls of every age not know how to do something then figure it out. I love to see them bring out their favorite colors: This one has a dozen shades of blue from deep navy to snowflake; the lady sitting next to her has a collection of batiks so deep she could open a pop-up shop.
The women I meet and spend time with are kind. Dorie presses a seam ripper into my hand because I have to try it, it’s the best kind. Sarah makes cookies for everyone and laughs because she forgot to put egg in them but really, they’re pretty good, aren’t they? I see friends helping friends with sewing machines and iron settings and emotions too big to shoulder alone; I watch younger members aid older ones and vice versa; daughters and mothers sewing together, or maybe it’s aunts, nieces, granddaughters at the card tables. These are the women I sew with, who I work for. They are all ethnicities. They are 12 or 53 or 76 years old.
Dignified. Talented. Beautiful. Hilarious. Sometimes I look at these classrooms of women and I just shake my head and think, “We hold up the whole world.”
I’ve been sad for several days.