We interrupt the trotting out of holiday traditions for a special announcement: My latest Quilt Scout column is up! And I really do need to let you know that because I forgot to do it last week.
You’ll soon see that the column is sober in tone; that’s by design. In the piece, I examine how hard it is to learn things that challenge what we think — even what we love. It happened to me recently while I was doing quilt history research and writing it out for the ol’ Scout helped me cope. Maybe it’ll get you thinking, too.
Anywhoop, I’ll be back tomorrow with Holiday Tradition No. 2.
(It involves ‘tockins.)
Mary Says Sew!
Just because Elissa Auther makes a fascinating, cogent, thought-provoking argument, doesn’t mean you have to agree with her.
I’m pondering that quilts are both “Art” and functional bed- and peoplecoverings. There, I just coined a new word and concept.
The important thing is that we challenge our knowledge and beliefs, and then decide what we accept, reject, or table for further review. That’s Education.
But Mary, you subconsciously knew this, because you wrote recently about the lamentably second-class status of tied quilts and the lovely but virtuosic impracticality of overquilting.
As solace: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aristotle. “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” F. Scott Fitzgerald. “You are educated when you have the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or self-confidence.” Robert Frost
Pope had some zingers, fo sho. Like “whose dog are you?” (nowadays we’d be more specific about the sex if the canine) I think often of that poem, but somehow “drink deep” hasn’t caught on in the popular consciousness.
I’ve always enjoyed some “art” or wall quilts, but my heart has always been with “bed quits,” which have an emotional connection to me, and all people, that “art” quilts do not. What good is a quilt that can’t cover you in good times and bad? Comfort your child or your pet or your sick friend, or serve as a lasting reminder of a happy celebration? Those “art” quilts and wall quilts are art, but they aren’t really quilts. They are works of art. Many bed quilts also are “art” that just happen to have as their main purpose, bedcovers. My quilts are to be used as quilts. Some of them do rise to the level of “art,” I think, but they are meant to be used for warmth, and loved, not stared at on a wall. (I have many paintings — too many for my walls — for that.) Can “art” also have a physical purpose, not just an esthetic one? That may be the question.
Thanks for writing this and reminding us of this important idea.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Looks really good! While I was reading about it on Amazon, I came across another book that also looks good: Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times
by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. That one I can actually get at my library, so I’ll be reading it first.