International Women’s Day was celebrated this week (8 March 2020) and I was pleased to see that Craft Courses produced a special feature about female course providers on their blog. This included women working in woodwork and metalwork – hurrah!
You can read the entire feature by putting the following link into your browser:
By the way, I have just joined Craft Courses (https://www.craftcourses.com) where you can find my ‘Quilt in a Day’ course advertised. The course is an introduction to quilting and patchwork for absolute beginners, taught in my studio in a historic building (Ushaw in County Durham). There are hundreds of courses available and you can buy vouchers to give as gifts which are redeemable against any course on the site – a great idea for a Mothers’ Day gift.
The celebration of International Women’s Day made me think about the power of women working together, concentrated on a shared task. Quilt groups, at their best, are supportive and encouraging places where women (for it is usually women) can learn, relax and enjoy stitching, but often they are also places for members to be helped and sustained through difficult times: bereavement, grief, illness, the burden of being a carer. I was very struck by hearing Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company say (in a talk given at the Festival of Quilt last year) that she knew many women who had come to quilting ‘to heal’.
I love the generosity of quilters: they make quilts for orphaned children (Quilt SOS, https://www.alicecaroline.com), for sick and disabled children (httpd://project linusuk.org.uk), for young people leaving care (read Lemm Sissay’s blog post about this here: blog.lemnsissay.com/2019/04/06/quilts-for-care-leavers) and for adults suffering from dementia (www.fiddlefingersquilt.co.uk).
The slogan for International Women’s Day 2020 is #EachForEqual.
It’s such a great idea to have one day in the year when we celebrate women’s achievements and flag up the many inequalities suffered by women around the world. Let’s continue to press for equality of opportunity for women and celebrate what can happen when women get together.
If you are a male quilter reading this, thank you for being here! I’m so glad you have had an equal opportunity to get involved in such a great craft. I hope you won’t mind a somewhat gendered post on this occasion.