In my last semester at Weber State University, I taught a class titled, "Text and Textile exploring creativity." The students learned to gain confidence in their own creativity as they practiced the parallel skills of writing and dyeing fabric. In both cases, we start with a blank, then add, edit, cut, and shape until we are satisfied with the result.
I wrote journals and dyed fabric along with the students, and like them, I merged text and textile into a final project. This quilt is titled, "The ABC's of Retirement." The alphabet seemed an appropriage visual image for my work as an English teacher. I wrote a quote, idea or thought in each square, matching that particular letter.
In the border, I wrote the following quote from Sue Hubbel's wonderful book, "A Country Year":
"Sometimes I wonder where we older women fit into the social scheme of things once nest building has lost its charm. There are so many of us that it's tempting to think of us as a class. We are past our reproductive years. Men don't want us; they prefer younger women. It makes good biological sense for males to be attracted to females who are at an earlier point in their breeding years, and if that leaves us unpaired, well, we have gained ourselves. We have another valuable thing, too. We have Time, or at least the awareness of it. We have lived long enough and seen enough to understand in more than an intellectual way that we will die, and so we have learned to live as though we are mortal, making our decisions with care and thought because we will not be able to make them again.Time for us will have an end; it is precious, and we have learned its value.It is a good time to be a grown-up woman with individuality, strength and crotchets. We are wonderfully free. We live long. Social rules are so flexible today that nothing we do is shocking. There are no political barriers to us anymore. Provided we stay healthy and can support ourselves, we can do anything, have anything, and spend our talents any way that we please."
Sample squares from the quilt.