This is Molli B. Sparkles being serious for one hot minute.
So many incredible things have happened since the announcement of the No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee (#NGAQB). First off, I paper pieced for the first time. That alone is a goal I have wanted to achieve for months, so I thank Sandy Greenberg for that one.
Way to go boys! My son (almost 11) is interested in learning to quilt and has sewn just a few things with me. I was telling him there were a lot of men who quilt too. I told him about this and he’s wanting to follow along and make himself a quilt with you all.
It immediately touched my heart. To be honest, I had a tearful moment because I remembered being that age and sewing with Grandma Sparkles. I shared that comment with the other guys in the #NGAQB, and we all agreed it was too special not to acknowledge. I reached out to Amanda for some more details about her son, and her address, and a bunch of us from around the globe are packaging up fabric and notions and sending him some quilting love. (You should start seeing those soon, Amanda, but Australia is a long way away!)
I have also heard anecdotes from other #NGAQB members about other boys that have seen our story and are following along with us, or have since requested trips to fabric stores. I won’t recount the personal details of those stories here, as they are not mine to tell, but I’m sure you will see them pop up on the blogs of other members.
I tell you all this, not because I need a pat on the back, but because what we are doing is coming from a positive and sincere place. The name No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee, is not one of misogyny, sexism, exclusivity, or conceit. It is derivative of childhood forts, and hand drawn signs, demanding that those smelly girls stay out. It purposefully does not direct its fanciful ire at women, as I certainly see how that could have had sexist undertones.
I take full credit for the name. So if anyone has a problem, please direct your concerns towards me, not at my bee mates. At this stage, I will dutifully listen, but my opinion on how the name reflects on me, my guy friends, or any gender, is unlikely to change. I will respect your opinion, and since it is just that, an opinion, we are each entitled to one. No convincing in either direction is required.
If after all this, an eleven year old boy in Kentucky finds joy, hope, solace, and normalcy in a group of adult guys quilting their hearts out, then this small misinterpretation by some is entirely worth it.
Now, let’s sew on.