I’ve completed the fourth in my accidental series of protest quilts. This one is called “Rise Up” and it features a crazy pieced, then appliqued and stuffed, symbol representing woman.”
What it Means to Me:
One of the most heartening events since the election was the Women’s Marches that occurred all over the United States and all over the world the day after the Presidential Inauguration. Women, men, and children left the comfort of their homes and rose up. They marched, they protested, and they made clear that joking about sexual assault would not be tolerated, that denying women access to health care would not be tolerated, that rolling back women’s hard-fought human rights would not be tolerated. They showed with their feet and with their voices that they were ready to fight. There is great power that comes from women rising up together and that gives me hope.
The woman symbol in this piece is created from a crazy patchwork of pink fabrics to represent that diversity of women who have come together. The symbol is stuffed to represent the act of rising up. Quilting lines radiate from the symbol to represent the impact that comes from action when we rise up together as women and as a nation.
Crazy Quilts, 1890-1920
The Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 and interest in Japanese art sparked the Crazy Quilt. It was fashionable for genteel upper-class ladies to use needlework as a proper use of leisure time. They had servants to do the mundane work. In the rapid changes in the world, like industrialization, the women wanted to make something beautiful.
Crazy Quilts had geometric shaped fabrics in an abstract arrangement. The quilts were used mostly as a decorative pieces, made with expensive fabrics, velvet, silk, brocade, and satin. They were embellished with buttons, lace, ribbons and decorative embroidery stitches on each seam.
For our show, we had two examples of crazy quilting: a Christmas stocking from Rita Alesi and framed piece of an antique crazy quilt from Bethany Viens. Crazy quilting is something that I have tried a few times myself, one of which was perhaps my first “crazy mom” moment. I stayed up until 11:30 on Christmas Eve of my daughter’s first Christmas finishing her stocking. She was 7 months old so I don’t think that it made any difference to her if she had a stocking, but I COULD NOT REST until her stocking was hung.
I also made a crazy quilted wall hanging for my mother and my sister for Christmas one year. (I started one for myself, which is still in the UFO drawer.) I called it “Crazy Family.” I made that one before I learned the value of a good stabilizer.