Did you miss my lectures at QuiltCon this year? Hey, it’s okay: I was so nervous before both of them, I almost forgot to put on pants.
The first lecture I gave in Pasadena was on the AIDS Quilt. If you did miss it, you’re in luck: I have written a condensed text version of it for Column #61 for the Quilt Scout, the column that I have written for Quilts, Inc. since 1999.
Psyche! I started writing the Scout in 2015. In 1999, I was a silly human sophomore at the University of Iowa, throwing (great) parties and scamming my way through Italian 2 homework while in rehearsal for the theater department’s Playwright’s Festival. Good times, people.
I take my work very seriously, especially when it comes to lectures. I spent hours and hours and hours and days and days in research for both lectures, which means that in the case of the talk I was scheduled to give on the AIDS Quilt, I spent a year reading about the AIDS crisis in America and beyond, the creation and life of the quilt itself, the backlash to the project, and everything else.
Measuring myself against all the other work I have done, I know my AIDS Quilt lecture tied for the Best Lecture I E’er Did Lect. It tied with the second lecture I gave at QuiltCon: “Modern Quilts: Roots + Frontiers.” (I’d ask you to inquire about hiring me to come speak to your group but I am off the road these days, what with all the things going on.)
Please head over to the Quilt Scout to read what I have prepared for you. Learning about the AIDS Quilt will enrich you as a quilter and as a citizen and as a human — and you think you know what you’re going to learn, but you’re not. You’re going to learn other things. Because that is exactly what happened to me. Yep. You and me. We’re the same. We are exactly the same.
Except … that these shoes are going to arrive at my building tomorrow and I think … I think I’m the only one on that one.
I can’t wait to read your AIDS Quilt article. My friends and I made a panel in memory and honor of our friend, Chris. The last time I saw the whole quilt was in DC in the early 90’s. It was an amazing mix of sadness and celebration!
Thank you for doing this lecture. I have many friends who had panels made for them in the quilt. As a gay man recent to quilting myself, I hadn’t connected the dots of the AIDS Quilt and my own quilting. Thank you.
Thank you, Mary. I’ve heard of the AIDS quilt, but we are a bit removed from it down here in the Southern Hemisphere, so it’s good to learn more. I’m looking forward to reading the second part. The statistics are pretty overwhelming.
Your voice and insight is so important to this craft. We tend to get bogged down in the narrowly focused technical/commercial aspects of being quilters. Keep reminding us that our craft can have a position or function beyond simply making.
I love the shoes! we are the same!
The Quilt Scout and The AIDS Quilt, Part II - Mary Fons
[…] Scout column in which I share a bit of what I learned in researching the AIDS Quilt. Make sure you read the first part first and then go on to the second. I hope you’ll feel enriched by the material as I […]