Nanny’s (Kay and David’s) Quilt = LOVE

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Dear Auntie Kay, thank you so much. I will take the very best care of this quilt that I know how..

xox, Danielle

If you would like to read more about the power of quilts/quilting and the creation of culture then I highly recommend the research, “Making Something for Myself”: Women, Quilts, Culture and Feminism by Australian researcher Dr. Emma Grahame. This work was published in 1998 in Sydney, NSW.

Her thesis is summarized as:

This thesis juxtaposes a historical and ethnographic account of a highly organised women’s activity — quiltmaking — with an examination of feminist discussions on art, craft, leisure, culture and folklore. In describing and analysing the quiltmaking revival in Australia, I attempt to show how quiltmakers have collectively constructed a space in which they avoid, and indeed, deconstruct, some of the ideas and practices which constrain women. As a case study, quiltmaking reveals the practical ‘workarounds’ that these women have found, which enable them to take time and space for themselves in the face of family responsibilities, to be creative and proud of their artistic efforts in the face of conventions of womanly modesty, and to arrange their own public events in the face of training in silence and backroom support. In so doing, they break down the divisions between professional and amateur, commercial and voluntary, and even public and private. For the most part, feminist analysis has ignored or misunderstood such women. Although feminist philosophers, academics and artists have often used the products of traditionally feminine crafts as metaphors, examples and parables, they have not always done so with knowledge or familiarity. My study of feminist art and craft writing suggests that this is because of a complex interaction between the political and strategic needs of academic feminists at different times and a lack of detailed attention to the actual creative choices of such women, who often refuse the label ‘artist’, though they are indubitably cultural producers. Similarly, feminist theorists and researchers of leisure have been concerned with why women do not choose the same leisure activities as men, but have discounted the specific pleasures of traditional women’s skills, and the homosocial organisations they inspire, as positive reasons for the choice of such activities.

Click: Graham_E_1998

1 Comment

  1. Loved the article on quilting in particular especially when she recognized that quilting was not only practical work but it was also a social one. Rarely did my Mum work on a quilt by herself, there were sisters, sister in laws, daughters, and neighbours who wanted to sew some stitches and find out “what was going on in the community”….oh, and a cup of tea!

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