I learned to cross-stitch when I was five years old, and to knit when I was seven, and to weave when I was 19. I started quilting when I was about 40. Now that I am retired from teaching, and live on a peaceful tree farm in Texas, I can pursue those textile interests, and share what I learn. I am not an expert, just a very interested amateur.
Ulysses Grant Dietz, curator of Decorative Arts at the Newark Museum, arranged his first quilting exhibit in 1980, after being on the job only four months. His description of the exhibit perfectly expresses my goals for this blog:
It was not by any stretch of the imagination a scholarly effort. My selection was entirely based … on how each quilt appealed to my personal aesthetic. I have no shame in having done this: it filled a need and pleased an audience. I have no doubt that the visitors … went away a little bit better informed than when they arrived. Any curator who claims his or her job is grander than that is delusional. A curator’s interest is to spark interest and provoke thought.
from Unconventional and Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar, 1950-2000 by Roderick Kiracofe
In these troubled times, when I wonder if writing about simple joys is justified, I think of this quote:
…the central issue of our time: the impact of history upon moral being, the search for ways to survive spiritual ruin in a ruined world.
– Terrence Des Pres, quoted by the Poetry Foundation, writing on poet Czeslaw Milosz
Textiles and art help me deal with the impact of history on my moral being.
Over the years, a few people sent me stories of their love of textiles, and I have been so happy to provide them a platform. If you would like to do a guest post, please let me know in the comments!