It's Thanksgiving Day in the United States, a holiday that many people have patriotically proclaimed to be unique to America, totally ignoring the harvest festivals that have been celebrated by practically every civilization and nation since the invention of agriculture. But it is a lovely holiday, one that supposedly focuses our thoughts on just how much we have to be thankful for.
This being a blog mostly about art, and specifically needle art, I'll confine my recitation of thanks to that area. Today I'm thankful, among other things, for the sewing machine, and that the models available today are run by electricity, unlike the treadle machine that my grandmother used (until my grandfather added an electric motor to it). I have hand-pieced and hand-quilted enough to know that I greatly prefer to do neither; without the machine I would not make quilts.
I'm thankful for batting that I can order in a huge roll that's delivered to my door every couple of years, so that I don't have to pick the seeds out of the cotton bolls before making a quilt. I'm thankful for all the high-quality fabric now available -- such a contrast from when I started making quilts and you were lucky to find a few insipid pastelly calicos, not to mention from when our grandmothers had to make clothing and quilts from feed sacks. I'm thankful that I can afford lots and lots of fabric, that I don't have to restrict myself to scraps as so many of the earlier quilters did.
I'm thankful that the community we have built around this shared love is so supportive and inclusive. Sure, we complain about cliques and prejudices and bemoan the authors, teachers, jurors and curators who like stuff that we consider beneath us. But on the whole, the world of quilts as art is a pretty comfortable place to reside. I often hear artists in other mediums gasp in astonishment over all the opportunities open to us that do not exist for painters, sculptors or whatever.
One such opportunity that I am particularly thankful for today is the internet, which has enabled me to write this blog and stay in touch with so many friends and colleagues. Many of you I have been fortunate to meet in person, many of you are cyberfriends of long tenure, and many of you are total strangers. Yet from every one of you I value your support, love your comments, appreciate your reading. Thank you for making my life so much richer.