I have been thinking for almost a year now that I would like to begin a open, community, quilting bee where there is no one-teacher, and no on- way to create the quilts individual squares. The pattern of the quilt would evolved based on the involvement and styles of the individual participants and finished quilts would be donated to a charity – each one decided upon by the individuals who worked on that particular quilt. Originally I had thought that I would approach a local arts centre to hold the gatherings, but now I think that perhaps it should be at a local coffee shop. I am reading a very interesting book right now, The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg. It talks about cafes, pubs, hair salons, etc., as being important places for community’s social vitality and also of grassroots democracy. It is giving me lots of interesting ‘material’ for thought.
These two papers were delivered at “Celebrating Canada’s Craft Amateurs”, part of Imagining History: A Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Conference held May 3-5 2012, Concordia University.