9. Apr, 2020

Quilting

Is it just a craft?
Or is it woman's art?
Is it just utilitarian?
Or is it messages within the cloth?
The thread and textile flows
From my thoughts and through my fingers
Colour, Pattern, texture
Emerging from my mind,
Manifesting in the piece,
Part of an account of history
That has gone before.
It began with thrift and necessity
To keep loved ones warm
Patterns, styles, stitches
Forbidden frippery - art in the patterns.
Expresions of suppressed creativity.
Art was not a profession to encourage.
Create the stitches - keep to the rules
Learn by samplers, learn like school.
And yet - the quilts emerged and morphed
Subtle variations, subtle changes to the rule
Individual, not contained, textured
Flamboyant - never the same.
Messages hidden in the Negro railway quilts
Or from the Shangi prison spreads.
Innocence in their utility hides
A much deeper process for those whose minds fly wide
To the possibilities that the stitches contain.
The thread and textiles flow
From my thoughts and through my fingers
Colour, pattern, texture
Emerging from my mind.
Linking with a heritage
From unknown, unclaimed women
Who have gone before.
This is my birthright, 
This is their gift.
Not mere utility or priceless thrift.
The modern world so busy being busy
Overlooks the secrets in the quilts.
As the thread and textiles flow 
From my thoughts and through my fingers,
Colour, pattern texture
Emerge from within my mind.