Gender Kisses Challenge
I’ll admit, at first my temper flared over this broiling gender debate. It felt demeaning to be misinterpreted, and not heard. Then something extraordinary happened. Stephanie from IndieQuilter and I started talking, finding common ground, and listening to each other through the noise of the surrounding commentary. I won’t pretend to be the representative for all men who quilt, nor is Stephanie acting on behalf of all women quilters. We have both had messages of support and detraction, which is to be expected with such a historically and socially infused topic as gender, even as it relates to quilting. But what I’ve learned most is that there are different types of quilters with respect to this topic. There are those that what to imbibe their quilts with theoretical-critical-historical-metaphysical-sociological-insert-your-own-“ical”-here meaning. Then there are (and I’d say most) those that just want to make pretty things with pretty fabric without any discussion or further thoughts of context. Of course, like my pants size, I usually fall somewhere in the middle! But hallelujah, praise the Holy Spearit vanilla incense candles, because both are perfectly fine ways to quilt! What’s more, we shouldn’t be judgemental of others for whichever path they choose to follow or approach they take. Instead, let’s raise each other up for daring to participate in this needle and thread community we continue to be a part of.
So that’s exactly what Stephanie and I thought we should do. Let us look right at each other, and raise each other up. Instead of arguing over contentious points of difference, how could we work together to bridge the gap between our communities? Of course we won’t agree on everything, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have margaritas together (two pitchers please!) Then Stephanie had a grand idea to make quilts. Seems so obvious, right? LOL! We decided to both make a quilt, with the same set of basic parameters, and then let you guys vote on which was made by a man or woman. Stephanie and I are also not sharing our design or quilt progress through social media, or with each other until the final reveal. We are hoping to explore the concept of how gender may or may not affect the aesthetics of a quilt. As individuals (regardless of gender) we both have our innate aesthetic, which means you might pick the creator straight away. Or you might not. At the very least, Stephanie and I both believe that this will be an interesting challenge for ourselves, but it might also further challenge conventions held about men and women quilters. In the end, our greatest message is to be the change you wish to see in the world!
So here are our rules:
- Use the Raspberry Kiss block tutorial (based off the block “Pattern without a Name” attributed to Nancy Cabot) in any way we choose
- Finished quilt must be approximately 40″ x 40″
- Solid fabrics only
Expect to see the final reveal sometime in February! It’s going to be a very interesting outcome, for sure!