Saturday, August 11, 2007

Quilted BDS

Recently, I bought a full-color catalog of a prestigious international quilt show; I get the catalog every year so I can see what's popular in the quilt world and beat myself up for not finishing anything to submit *wry grin*. It was disappointing on a couple of levels--it's the same people making the same quilts since 1999--but one quilt in particular was very disturbing.

The artist is a woman I took a week-long class from just before the 2004 election. She used to make brightly colored, heavily hand-embroidered and beaded quilts with a lot of written text incorporated into the designs. The writing sometimes had hippy-dippy (her word) political thoughts, but the quilts were mostly about nature, teaching, her family, her friends, her cats, etc. I loved the embellishment and the whimsy, which is why I took her class, and she was a great teacher--very encouraging, very inspiring.

Which is why it was so disturbing to see her entry into this year's show. She's stopped embroidering and beading, she's stopped using bright colors, she's stopped painting nature--the quilt was just a bunch of anti-Bush screeds written on fabric and held together with minimal machine quilting. Typical Bush Derangement Syndrome falsehoods, like "Bush destroyed the economy!" (totally untrue) and "our children are dying to make Bush richer!" ('children' being our volunteer military, I assume) and "the Bush regime is trying to make us all afraid that people are trying to kill us, but that's just another of his lies" (yeah. right.)

I checked her website; she gave up her signature techniques because they were time-intensive and she can make more anti-Bush quilts faster if she just writes on fabric.

I...I'm just sad. Here's a lovely person and an awesome artist totally destroying herself and her work with her BDS. It might be time to get BDS recognized by the APA as a legitimate mental disorder.

There were half a dozen other anti-Bush, anti-military, anti-America quilts, including one that used the names of fallen soldiers. I wonder if the maker got permission from their families to exploit their memories? I know there are groups of Gold Star families who have sued anti-war groups for using the names of their soldiers for propaganda...

I'm half-kicking around the idea of making an anti-anti-Bush quilt (I'm not feeling pro-Bush after the immigration bill, just anti-BDS) using her techniques, but I've got my hands full right now trying to finish a Super Bowl quilt I have to mail to a different international show in four weeks. And, honestly, I don't want to be black-listed by the quilt-art establishment. None of my quilts are political, but that won't matter once I'm outed as a conservative.

No comments: