There’s no dancing around the issue, so I’m just going to come out and say it.
I’m a feminist.
A radical, equality-love’n, girl-power karate-kick’n feminist (I’m not totally sure karate has anything to do with feminism, but it sounded good in the moment).
I believe that intrinsically women are equal to men and deserve equal respect and rights. I also believe that you don’t have to be a woman to be a feminist. Feminism is not a female issue. It’s a human rights issue. I know many intelligent and empathetic men who call themselves feminists.
Too often fighting for women’s rights becomes synonymous with man-hating. This couldn’t be further from the truth. By definition, feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
To quote Emma Watson from her speech to the UN:
We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are, and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.
Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong…It’s about freedom.
But what does feminism look like for me? An encouraging word. A creative collaboration. Reminding other women and myself that there is enough room for all of us to succeed.
Her success does NOT equal my failure. In fact, her success means the success of a movement of love and equality. By allowing my specific strengths to shine, I believe that I am able to prove that as a woman I am not the same as a man. I am just equal to a man.
This may seem a little heavy for a quilting blog, but it’s a philosophy that can be found at the foundation of all that I do with Suzy Quilts. If you are a woman or a man, I want you to feel empowered to be creative and strengthened by the knowledge that I am in your corner! I am rooting for you to succeed and I see YOUR success as MY success!
I have the privilege of being close friends with some very creative people. My friend Michelle Reed is a published poet, fellow feminist and the bestest dog-sitter in Chicagoland. Scrap can’t get enough of her. She wrote a poem a couple years ago that has stuck with me and become a kind of mantra in my life.
This poem was originally published by Bird’s Thumb and will also be showing up in her book coming out this fall. Michelle is now letting me share this with you.
Poem for Jillian Michaels
by Michelle Reed
I find your videos on the internet,
and my body begins
the strange process of addition
and subtraction. You say,
kick harder, and I kick
harder. You make a fist,
and I make one too. I lose
myself in shapes I never knew
my limbs could make. Jillian,
I have been told so many times
that I am small. I practice violence
in the mirror every morning.
I watch myself cross-jab,
uppercut. I try to move
faster, better, more
like you. My mother is worried
about me, but she shouldn’t be.
How do I explain it, Jillian?
I don’t want less of myself,
of what’s strong. I think of you
when I walk down the street
alone. Men look at me,
and I want them to see
a weapon. Jillian,
I want them to be afraid.
You sweat as you lunge
toward me, and you say, You
can do this. You’re not gonna
die, and you’re wrong.
We are both going to die,
Jillian, both of us will quit
when we’re old or broken,
but I promise you, Jillian,
I promise we will never
You may be asking yourself, what does all of this have to do with a quilt. I wanted to describe a point of view for an adjective that I like to use, and I wanted to make sure that it was not misunderstood.
By definition, all this word really means is “pertaining to a woman or a girl.”
As the designer and creator of this Gingham Spring quilt, feminine is a word I would use to describe it. Other words I would use to describe this quilt are subtle, bold yet restrained, cheerful and vibrant. In my mind, the word “feminine” is synonymous with those words too.
If you’ve made it this far, and haven’t given up on this blog post yet, the feeling I would want you to walk away with is encouragement. Whether you are male or female, please be encouraged that through lifting each other up and empowering each other’s creativity, we ALL succeed – equally.
14 thoughts on “Gingham Spring Quilt”
You are a beautiful girl, miss. I love you to pieces and am loving the philosophical side of your quilting. I think you’ve hit on the same thing as Liddell in Chariots of Fire. . . “When I run (my sewing machine for hours at a time, and drink lots of coffee and have creative quilting sessions), I feel God’s pleasure.” Such a feeling…glad you’ve got it!
I don’t know why, but throwing this post out into the universe left me feeling really vulnerable. I think it’s because for me, it’s not fluff or superficial jokes; It’s something I really care about. Thanks so much, sweet Caits for your encouraging comment! xo
Will this pattern be available soon? I have to have this on my bed…..please. It’s so beautiful, peaceful and just perfect!
Thanks so much, Pat! I haven’t decided whether or not to write the pattern for this, but I’ll announce something if I do. Thanks for your interest! 🙂
first of all, your quilt and the quilting is amazing. And secondly I am totally agree with your speech for equality. In my opinion, the first steps of getting equal is not to feel different or at worst less worth than someone else. Whether it’s about the gender or about education, job or whatever. You should lift yourself up, to not feelling less worth.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it.
I really do love this post! You are one talented, strong, beautiful woman. And that empowers me to be more creative and strong myself. Thank you!
I am late to your party, however I enjoyed reading your piece. My son’s, 28 and 23 are feminists in every sense of the word. Human rights are so very fragile at this time in our world that you writing about your beliefs on your blog takes courage and gives hope to people everywhere. Quilt is incredible! Keep up that spirit, never let it be dampened.
Thank you so much for your sweet comment!
Thank you for your beautiful thoughts and creating this wonderful quilt! I love your designs and placement of colors. You are truly an amazing artist! I hope someday you will have this quilt pattern available to us. I would love to make this.
Thank you for your mature and insightful posture. Smart and talented is a winning combination.
You are an inspiration to all of us.
In your vulnerability you have created strength. Blessings.
I love this quilt. Will you consider writing a pattern for it? You have a unique and interesting style.
best to you,
I’m actually writing the pattern now! Hoping it will be available in September and include twin, throw and baby sizes. 🙂
Quick question I tried to click the link to
scrap quilt 10. Clover by Alexia Marcelle Abegg
But sadly the link wouldn’t open
I’ve done a quick google and couldn’t find it anywhere.
Hopefully you have the magic answer
Many thanks for your time and my continuous supply of helpful quilting information and entertainment
Well dang! I can’t seem to find it any more either. How sad! I will have to add a new one to the list. Thanks for letting me know!