Thursday, June 28, 2012

swan song

I delivered my swan song as departing President at Quilt Guild last night. I figured if one speech was good, two speeches would be better. What!? Oh well, here is speech number one.

Before a keynote speaker delivers a speech at a gala dinner event, there is often a warm up speaker; someone who serves as court jester, to draw the eyes of the crowd to the podium and quiet the chatter; someone to loosen up the crowd and make them a more receptive audience. In the absence of this crucial individual, I will give a very short prequel; some preliminary thoughts. This will resonate at a deeper level with those who are teachers or students in our group, but the rest of us can dig deep and remember when we sat with our knees together and our feet firmly planted under a school desk. Of course we would all have been wearing dresses.

And so to begin, I ask a question.
How is quilting like school?
Let’s consider an average selection of courses.

Math- There is actually a lot of math in quilting. Calculating half square triangles and flying geese units and of course having a grasp on problem solving. For example,,,, if two quilters are headed in cars from opposite directions towards a quilt shop and one is going sixty K and one is going ninety, who will have money left after paying the speeding ticket to buy three spools of thread and a meter of batik?

Science-Color fades and bleeds and wicks and rubs off.
Osmosis can be studies by observing how quickly tea travels when splashed on an appliqu├ęd block.
A grasp of the properties of light can be achieved by leaving a square of fabric in the back window of the Sedan for a weekend.

English - There has probably been a quilt or two pushed over the edge into the winning category on the strength of a well written artist statement alone, hence the importance of Writing 101.

History-An in depth look at origins of block names and color palettes and trends. There have always been trends. In spite of the fact that your parents had no known decorating scheme in the living room of your youth, trends existed.

P.E. - Flitting to the ironing board, Rising and sitting. Stretching and bending, Quilting is like yoga on fast forward.

Shop- The value of maintaining our machine by borrowing tools from our husbands shop

S.S.- Learning about the various structures of power at work in societies around the world. Democracies, dictatorships and communes can be closely examined and compared and contrasted to those of an average quilt guild.

Home Economics- A bit of a stretch, because quilters are often dashing away from home for workshops and lectures and sit and stitch and shows and shopping: And a stretch because building a stash isn’t always economical. But, making a quilt is mandatory to earn top marks and the title of Home Maker of the Year and credits can be doubled if the skill is passed to a family member and tripled if the family member is male.

Happy Learning Ladies.

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