Welcome to Episode 27 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast.
Today we are talking quilts and politics. Don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about immigration, the EPA or cabinet appointments. We’re going to take a look at how women have used quilts to make political statements about presidents, political parties and social issues for as long as there has been a United States of America and talk to two quilters who are using fabric to express their beliefs today.
This episode was supposed to air the week after the inauguration, but I fell off the digital map because I have been super busy opening a brick and mortar version of Quilt Addicts Anonymous. More on that in future episodes. But the topic was inspired by Lee Chappell Monroe and her Love All Around block. The new design and tutorial were released on inauguration day and serves as a physical reminder that no matter what your political beliefs or opinions, we should show each other, love kindness and respect.
Here is my version of the block. I found its message very inspiring, pulling me out of a funk where I avoided all political news because it was all so negative to focus on positive changes I could make in the world. Plus, as a former journalist who met Barack Obama before he was elected to the Senate and attended a press conference in the Rose Garden with George W. Bush, I make sure to keep my personal opinions out of it. We just talk about history, respect and how women are using cloth to express their beliefs.
But if that still doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, we’ll be back to the quilty goodness you have come to love next week.
Lee Chappell Monroe, pattern designer
Lee Chappell Monroe is a very talented pattern designer and one of my quilting besties. I wish we lived closer and could sew together all the time. There may, or may not have been an entire section deleted from our interview about the fabulous shows we’ve been binge watching while quilting … a frequent topic of discussion between the two of us.
When Lee asked me to participate in the #LoveAllAround block reveal, I was on board immediately. I couldn’t think of any better way to use fabric and thread than to spread the message of love and respect.
Click here to see Lee’s fabulous tutorial for the Love All Around block and make sure to use the hashtag #LoveAllAround if you make one to help spread the love. Make sure you also check out her line of patterns May Chappell. I’ve got a bunch over at shop.quiltaddictsanonymous.com.
Jessica Skultety, aka Quilty Habit
You may know Jessica Skultety better as Quilty Habit online. She blogs, writes patterns, teaches and sends out the bi-monthly Wonky Press newsletter.
As I scrolled my Instagram feed the weekend after the inauguration I came across Jessica’s quilt. A proponent of women having access to healthcare in the United States and throughout the world, Jessica planned to attend the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Rather than carry a poster, she decided to make a quilt.
It was a week of constant sewing with the final stitches coming going in on the way to the capitol. In the interview we talk about her inspirations, the reaction to the quilt in the Women’s March and what it is like to be part of a long tradition of women who have used fabric and thread to express their political opinions.
You can read more about the quilt on Jessica’s website, QuiltyHabit.com.
Sue Reich, quilt historian
Sue Reich has been studying quilt history since 1991 when she became involved in the Connecticut Quilt Search Project. She has written several books on quilt history including, “Quilts Presidential and Patriotic.”
I wanted to include Sue in today’s podcast to give us historical context of how quilting and politics have gone together as long as there has been a United States of America. Sue’s research has uncovered quilts inspired by presidents, political parties and social issues from George Washington, to the Whig Party, to the Temperance Movement, to the bicentennial and 9/11.
Her interview is very interesting and shows us how women have been using fabric to express their political beliefs. You can hear more about presidents and quilts in Sue’s first interview on Sit & Sew Radio on Episode 5. You can read more about Sue and her research at her website coveringquilthistory.com.