My political quilt career started as I sat home alone watching the US bomb the Iraqis in the first Gulf War. The first quilt, Blood and Oil: the Peace Quilt, just poured out of me. This was the beginning of the challenges in making and displaying political quilts.
I put a ‘river’ in the center that represents a river of devastation.
Displaying this quilt at a local show was also a lesson in the display of political quilts. I saw the card with my story of the quilt on the quilt when I got there, but when I went back later, it was gone. No attribution and no story: no message got out to other quilt viewers. When I queried, they said that things like that happen and they would put up a new one. I never saw it.
This quilt was followed by two quilts after 9/11, which were so hard to make, but also cathartic.
Fireball just expressed my horror of the devastation. I made it very quickly for the America from the Heart display at Houston in 2001, which was about a month and a half after the devastation of 9/11.
What Comes Next is a quilt that expressed my hope for the future after 9/11. The ‘river’ theme continues in this quilt, but this time is a river of tears. Of course, the future brought the second Iraqi war, the continuing war in Afghanistan, Syria, devastation, hatred, fear all over the Middle East.
These quilts are difficult to make, difficult to display and difficult to look at. I have more in my future, I am sure.