Yes, They Do Matter – by Generation Q

Originally published in Generation Q Magazine
March 2012

As quilting becomes more mainstream (and yes, it is) it grabs the attention of creative people from other disciplines, like filmmakers. Last year it was Stitched, The Film, produced by our friends Jena and Tom, who set out to capture the dedication, obsession and intermittent in-fighting among different quilt camps. This year, it’s Why Quilts Matter, a documentary series of nine episodes of well-crafted film that carefully reveals what quilting is and why we should care.

And care we do, because, as we’ve finally accepted, the only thing we love second to making quilts is talking about our quilts. When bitten by that nasty Quilt Bug, we turn into passionate messiahs of all things stitched and our best day is when we see the light go on in someone else’s eyes about quilting. That’s what host Shelly Zegart knows and shares. She could be seen as straight, but then she comes out with bursts of passion reflective of our existence and we know she’s another Sister of the Cloth being a good steward of our shared passion. For instance, we loved it when Shelly, in the eighth episode, Quilt Nation: 20,000,000 and Counting! told those people who believe the quilt world is a cozy place celebrating a domestic craft to, “Get out more!”

And this is indicative of the documentary throughout. Just when you’re starting to wonder if there’s anything other than an university survey lecture happening before your eyes on the vid, we’re shown QuiltMan, or given graphic images of just how many times and in how many ways Sunbonnet Sue can be offed by our fellow quilters. It’s enough to make us proud, we say.

Those of us who have come to quilting recently could easily dismiss Why Quilts Matter as yet another look-see into a corner of our universe where we don’t live. But that would be arrogant and dismissive to ignore our roots. Fact is that our roots are vitally important to what we’re able to do in today’s quilt world. Learning more about them can only help us become better advocates for our love. Get the DVD. Host a movie night (with sewing machines—all nine episodes together makes for a long night!) or maybe run the DVD during the course of a weekend sewing retreat. But do watch it and then watch it again. What you learn about where you come from can inspire you to make better quilts. It’s a legacy filled with pride.

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