My stars, it has been a strange couple of days here in Lynley's quilting world. All excitement and kerfuffle. It started on Wednesday when the "local interest" section on the back page of the Canberra Times ran a story about a quilt that is going in the exhibition that includes embroidered condoms - it looks fantastic and I can't wait to see it up close. But I did think "truly? the groovy and avant garde Canberra Quilters? really?" so I emailed the journalist and then talked on the phone to him. And on Friday the heading on the back page of the Canberra Times was "Quilt stirs emotion and is barred" - with a photo of my quilt (with the "fuckers" blurred out of course :)).
And the article was on the internet, and it got shared across a couple of quilting groups, and all of a sudden I'm getting emails! And comments on my blog! The blinding gaze of publicity is not something to which my pale and milky self is accustomed. As you'd expect, most of the comments that have gone directly to me are very supportive, although I've also looked at the facebook pages that shared it and then there's a bit more discussion about pros and cons and a few people who have said they wouldn't show it.
Such excitement, and even a bit of sensible conversation. It is clearly not a black and white issue - many people (like me) simply don't get what the problem is; you can see more confronting things on movie posters, let alone at the art gallery. Others are quite sure that there is no place for that kind of language in the quilting world, which is meant to be a kinder? less threatening? sheltered? environment. What is clear to me is that the committee's decision is at the conservative end - and if their views genuinely represent the Canberra Quilters as a whole (which I still doubt) - then this whole thing has been quite a public statement of the group's values. And they are not values that are particularly palatable to a lot of people, including me.
The highlight of the whole palaver? I was chatting about a raft of things to the journalist, and I said that quilting is not as adventurous as other crafts - I was thinking of some of the radical yarn work and embroidery - and I said, without thinking "The felters are always felting genitals". Which was duly reported in the Canberra Times to the absolute undie-ripping hilarity of everyone who read it ... even before I'd left the house in the morning a friend had shared it on facebook and said "I'm thinking of taking up felting" ... what an absolute face palm moment. Luckily no sign yet of the felters' society petrol-bombing my house. My husband says they're going to issue a fatwa ... or possibly a feltwa. Oh hahahahaha.
Anyway I was only really cross for about half an hour - at the shoulder-shrugging stage now, and looking forward to hanging the quilts on Wednesday and seeing all the amazing things that everyone else has done! And I've been doing a lot of sewing but for some reason I want to do tiny little very traditional blocks .... a steadily growing pile of 4 inch churn dashes.