I was walking north on Michigan Avenue the other day and I took a picture. Here’s the picture:
I had given this man some change on my way past, partly because I do that when I feel like I can. Living in a big city, you just can’t give to every person begging on the street because there are so many of them. This is true in downtown Chicago, anyhow. But I gave some money in this man’s cup because he was covered in a quilt and it pulled my heartstrings, obviously.
The responses that came from my post about teaching the First Lady to make a quilt really surprised me. A lot of people thought, “Hey, that’s a great idea!” but there were more than a few that really…didn’t. The responses that were anti the concept varied from “Michelle’s got better things to do” to “There are people who need quilts more” to even one lady, who thought I was suggesting a quilt in the White House for my own benefit. Her post was so mean, so full of vitriol and insults, I didn’t approve it. Sorry, lady, but that was pretty gross.
The idea came from a love of quilts in America, plain and simple. As my mom has always said to me, “As long as people are making quilts, that’s a good thing.” She says this a lot, because that sentiment seems to need to come up a lot. If a traditional quilter looks at a modern quilt, an art quilt, etc., and says, “Well, that’s not a quilt” or when a more modern quilter or art quilter looks at a new, super traditional log cabin quilt, sniffs, and says, “Ugh! How unoriginal!” then it’s time for my mom’s point to make an entrance. That’s how I feel.
“As long as people are making quilts, that’s a good thing.”
The idea that a group of quilters, white, black, blue or otherwise — and whether I was part of that core of teachers or not — might visit our nation’s capital for a one-on-one lesson with the First Family (and as many other people as we might invite!) to teach the art of quilt making, well, I just think that’s groovy. Whether you agree with the politics of the people there or not, well, I just don’t think that matters. Are quilts Democrats? Republicans? Do they vote? No, they just make people happy and they are part of our history.
There are many charitable organizations that need quilts because there are people in the world who need comfort, care, and attention. I suggested a fun idea I had about the White House and would sincerely love to help make something like that happen because as long as quilting keeps being important in this country, I suspect that all those charitable groups will keep being able to make quilts for all the people who need them. Period.
Like this guy.