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!


24 Responses

  1. Ken Casey says:

    Love it!

  2. Perfect compromise…by two of my fav bloggers/kwilters. Wish we could settle the rest of the world’s troubles via needle and thread !

  3. Maria Porter says:

    I may be a little obtuse, (and I did read the discussion regarding how men made it into the big time of quilting because of their appendages) but, really, does everything have to become a gender issue? Personally, as a female quilter, I tremendously admire any person who has the creative flare, which is so far beyond mine; those individuals who make up and create the patterns, which I but follow. Frankly, I really don’t care whether you are male or female, what you design, all of you, is just amazing.

    • Hey Maria! Not obtuse at all! You’re right, not everything has to be about gender, not even quilting. As I mentioned in this post, I think there are some of us that want to instil our art with theory (gender and otherwise) and there are those that do not. Both totally acceptable! This is a fun outcome that Stephanie and I thought might help add to the conversation for those that are interested in it.

  4. Jill says:

    I love this idea so much!

  5. Lesley Gilbert says:

    2 great quilts coming up – can’t wait 🙂

  6. What an awesome idea! Can’t wait for the reveal.

  7. Shannon Lowe says:

    I freaking love this!!!! I love that you have come together to discuss this as rational people and come up with something positive!!!! I an’t wait to watch this play out. Bravo to you both!

  8. Ms Midge says:

    Hoorah! Common sense prevails!

  9. I think it is fantastic that the two of you have been having a conversation and that it lead to quilts. Sounds like a great evolution, and it will be really interesting to see how it comes together!

  10. Mary ann says:

    Grown ups! Talking, listening and not trying to diminish each other’s opinions. Love it!

  11. Jen says:

    Hugs to both of you Molli & Stephanie for your courage & good will!!

  12. Tish says:

    I love this idea and the best part is we get to see two super great quilts! It’s always interesting to see two different interpretations of the same general project…I don’t care if it’s a bird and a billy goat that make them 🙂 Of course if a bird and a billy goat do make them, I’d like video as well. How would they guide the fabric and run the foot pedal at the same time?? I fall into the category of I just want everyone to quilt and talk about quilting.

  13. Jayne says:

    What an interesting and great idea! Look forward to seeing and voting!

  14. Lisa says:

    This sounds like fun!

  15. I love that you’ve come to a place where you can meet somewhere in the middle and work together to further explore gender issues in your craft. As the mom of twins – one boy, one girl – gender issues are in the forefront of my mind in the childrearing department. Oh Lord, why is there so much freakin’ pink? And why can’t boys have interesting clothing that doesn’t involve sports, construction, or bugs? But when it comes to quilting, I perhaps haven’t thought on it enough. I enjoy your blog and creations because of your style and your turn of phrase… it has little to do with the novelty of a male quilter. It’s the glitter, man. It’s the glitter.

  16. Kathleen says:

    I was wondering how you were going to make these quilts anonymous to us, because we’ve all seen your stash! But then I got to the part about using solids only. Can’t wait to see the outcome!

  17. Debbie Leschisin says:

    This will be so fun trying to guess which quilt is made by which person. I like the fact that you are discussing gender issues in quilting, even though it shouldn’t matter. For me, I enjoy both the famous female and famous male quilters in the quilting world. When I see a quilt I like, it does not matter if the creative force behind that quilt is male or female, I only wish I had that creative force! However, I do think that sometimes people with those appendages between their legs have an advantage in the business world. That can be seen in pay inequalities, career advancement, etc – even in 2016. That being said, looking forward to seeing both quilts!! This is really quite fun.

  18. Trude says:

    Just curious if the two quilts were ever posted…have been looking forward to seeing them.


  1. April 6, 2016

    […] also want to let you know that my Gender Kisses Challenge quilt is nearly ready to go. I have it pin-basted, ready to quilt, but I had to reach out to my […]

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