Banned Books Week Apologies and Pretty Mail

Yes, I dropped off the face of the earth. I suppose it was wildly optimistic of me to think I'd get a blog posted during my most busy weeks of 2015. Still, I was with BBW in spirit!  

For those of you who did participate and post photos in the Flickr group, I will be awarding prizes as promised! I'm about to head out of town again but will take care of contacting y'all as soon as my life returns to my (new) normal after October 20th.

Meanwhile, the closest I've gotten to anything fiber-related the last few weeks is the delivery of my MassDrop score of a collection of Aurifil embroidery floss. Pretty mail--FTW. 

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I also got some Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Pins from another MassDrop. But they're not as exciting to photograph. Just picture them. Shiny. Skinny. Pointy.  

Banned Books Week Challenge 2015

It's that time of year again!

Banned Books Week is September 27-October 3, 2015.

Tanesha of CraftyGardenMom Podcast/Blog and I are once again hosting our annual...

Banned Books Week Challenge! 

You may find information on the issue of censorship, lists of what books have been banned or challenged, and other resources on www.bannedbooksweek.org or the American Library Association website at www.ala.org. You can find lists of Banned or Challenged Classics here, and the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009 here, and the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books 1990-1999 here.(Those dates, by the way, are when those books were banned/challenged, not when they were published.)

My 2014 challenge quilt "Subversion," based on the graphic novel  Persepolis  by Marjane Satrapi

My 2014 challenge quilt "Subversion," based on the graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

You are challenged to create a small wall quilt that somehow represents a book from the banned/challenged book list that you have read and particularly loved, found meaningful, or otherwise want to celebrate. How you choose to represent the book is up to you—it could be a scene from the book, words from the book, or just represents the book in some way.

            Please be aware that book cover images and illustrations in books are copyrighted art. You would need permission from the publisher/artist to depict those images exactly. You may, of course, use them as inspiration for your own artwork!

The Deets

  • Create a small wall quilt based on a book on a banned/challenged book list that you read and enjoyed. Really, the quilt can be any size, but thinking under 16" keeps it manageable. You can do a mug rug if you want! No specific sizes required. (See "Here's another idea" below, however.)
  • Use any type of quilt techniques you enjoy, any type of surface embellishment you choose--whatever flips your switch! 
  • Post pictures of your completed quilt(s) in the Flickr group for this challenge. We're using the same Flickr group as in years past, so please clearly label your post with "2015" in the title so we know what the new ones are!
  • Include your artist's statement in the description of your photo in the Flickr group. (Or, should you be a blogger, just include a link to your blog post about the quilt in the description.) The artist's statement should include the title and author of the book, why you chose that book, and anything else you want us to know about your mini-quilt.
  • If you finish your project before the week of September 27 and really can't wait to post it to the Flickr group, feel free. 

During Banned Books Week, Tanesha and I will be blogging/podcasting about the entries and there will be...yes!...prizes!  

Here's another idea: For the last several years that we've been doing this challenge, I've arranged for my local public library to display during Banned Books Week quilts from our any local artisans who participate. It's always wonderful to see how the library does the display. Why don't you ask your local library if you can display your finished project there? If so, you'll also want to check with them on a suggested maximum size to make the quilt easier to display in their space. Spread the word--get your local quilty friends to join in!

Tanesha and I are looking forward to seeing your work!

If you want to get some inspiration from previous challenges, here's the Flickr group link again. Beautiful work displayed!

Banned Books Week--My Challenge Project

Home again, home again, jiggity jig--so now it's time to talk about my own Banned Books Week project. Admittedly, it's a bit weird as quilt projects go, and it's not going to be numbered among my favorites, but I had a lot of fun putting it together and got to play with some new stuff. So it's all good.

This year, instead of doing a book I'd already read, a few months ago I looked over the lists of banned and challenged lists to choose one that I'd not read before. I landed on the book The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I chose this book for two reasons: The subject matter of the book is one close to my heart, addressing issues of women's freedoms, education, and oppression; and it also has a fantastic story of the attempted ban of this book in a school district and how the ban was fought by students themselves.

The Complete Persepolis is an autobiography in two volumes done as a graphic novel. Satrapi describes her life in Tehran during and after the revolution in 1979, an event which occurred when Satrapi was nine. Satrapi was the only child of two avant-garde parents who were very committed to the liberal education of their daughter. Prior to the revolution, Satrapi attended a French-Persian bilingual coed school. After the revolution the children were put into gender-exclusive schools with a curriculum subject to the revolutionaries' educational mandates. Satrapi describes the oppression, violence, and fear that she and her friends experienced daily. She's very honest about the impact that kind of setting also had on her and her friends, how they began to pick up on the violence themselves, and how it affected their relationships. The second volume of the book describes her high school years when her parents sent her to Vienna with relatives in fear for her safety, and her return to Tehran for college.

This book was removed by a district directive from all Chicago public schools in 2013 due to concerns about graphic illustrations, language, and student readiness for the subject matter. As word spread about the directive, the students themselves created a multi-media campaign including social media, writing articles for student newspapers, staging protests, checking out all the copies of the book from the school libraries, contacting the author, and appearing on local radio and TV programs. Eventually the directive was reversed and the book remained on reading lists and on the shelves in the school system.

I was taken strongly by the irony that a book about freedom would be banned. And I was taken strongly by the fact that the students who got it reinstated would so excellently show freedom in action. Students of Chicago rock! I'm proud of you!

And so...with all that background...let me now introduce you to...

"Subversion" 

Subversion.jpg

The image that inspired my project is from the second volume that describes Satrapi's experience as a young adult art student in Tehran.

"We confronted the regime as best we could," she says. "In 1990, the era of grand revolutionary ideas and demonstrations was over. Between 1980 and 1983, the government had imprisoned and executed so many high-school and college students that we no longer dared talk politics. Our struggle was more discreet. It hinged on the little details. To our leaders, the smallest thing could be a subject of subversion. Showing your wrist. A loud laugh. Having a Walkman. In short...everything was a pretext to arrest us. I even remember spending an entire day at the committee because of a pair of red socks. The regime had understood that one person leaving her house while asking herself: 'Are my trousers long enough? Can my make-up be seen? Is my veil in place? Are they going to whip me?' No longer asks herself: 'Where is my freedom of thought? Where is my freedom of speech? My life, is it livable? What's going on in political prisons?'....Showing your hair or putting on makeup logically became acts of rebellion."

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I was really struck by the image of red socks as a symbol of protest and subversion.

The socks are composed of a variety of fabrics to represent the freedom of diversity of human expression.

I wanted her feet to be in motion, symbolizing Satrapi's travels, as well as her ability to move forward through life despite obstacles.

I also created "stones" that both depict a street in a realistic way at the same time that they represent obstacles that those under oppression face, stumble over, and need to overcome to survive.

I'd had the image of the socks in my head for several months before I had time to actually sit down and create this project. As images in our heads tend to do, it kept getting more and more complex over time. At first, I was going to just do a basic fused applique of red socks under a fused applique black garment. Then I wanted to add stones. Then I wanted to do a dimensional garment using stiffened fabric. Then I wanted to make the socks out of scraps. Then I wanted all of the pieces to be dimensional. Yep--every one of those pieces is a 3D piece with batting, each its own little unit.That's why I took the pictures outside, so you could see the shadows the pieces cast. (All the fabrics except what's in the socks are my own hand-dyes, although that doesn't symbolize anything except they worked best for the parts I used them on.)

Each step created it's own issues I had to solve--not the least of which was how to attach everything to the quilt! I'll talk about that a little more in my podcast episode (hopefully tonight) because it's probably something better explained verbally than having an even longer blog post than this already is. 

I neglected to spread the word locally about Banned Books Week this year (it was a busy summer, but I feel terrible!) so mine is the only project being displayed in my local public library. I handed it over to my guild-friend-librarian and said, "Have fun figuring out how to hang this thing up." She solved the problem by mounting it on foam board. Brilliant woman!

Don't forget to check out everyone else's Banned Books Week quilts in the Flickr group! You've got through Saturday to enter yours. I'll be doing my drawing on Sunday; Tanesha will be doing hers on Sunday as well--she's got some great stuff in her giveaway too so be sure to check it out!. 

By the way--missed it this year? You can start thinking now about Banned Books Week in September 2015--this seems to have become an annual thing for us!

 

...Aaaand It's Banned Books Week! Time for a giveaway!

Yep, today officially starts Banned Books Week.

If you recall from this post back in August, Tanesha of CraftyGardenMom podcast and I are co-hosting the Banned Books Week quilt challenge and giveaway!

I'm pre-posting this blog post right before skipping town for a work event, so I'll be keeping it short and announcing my giveaway on this post and then sometime mid-week (after I'm home again) I'll show my own BBW project which will be hanging in my local public library during Banned Books Week.

Anyone who completes a challenge fabric project for Banned Books Week and posts their picture of it in the BBW Flickr group at this link will be eligible to win in either Tanesha or my giveaways. We'll each be drawing from the same pool of entrants so yes, indeed, it is possible to win twice!

I will be giving away (drum roll please...)

Two gift certificates at $15 each for Powells.com.

(That's two winners, each getting $15 a piece.)

The gift certificates will be emailed to you and you can use them at the Powell's website.

What's Powell's? Only one of the world's best bookstores!

The brick n' mortar is in Portland, Oregon. I had the opportunity to visit there years ago while in Portland for work. It's a pretty amazing place.

The website, although not quite as great as being able to walk through shelves of books smelling like...well...books (best smell in the world!), is pretty dang cool too.

And it just seemed fitting to encourage people to buy more books to celebrate Banned Books Week.

So post your photos to Flickr, and if you talk about your project on your blog, leave the link to your blog post in the description of the photo in Flickr. (Be sure to label your photos for 2014 since we're using the same group as last year.)

The drawing will close on Sunday, September 28.

Can't wait to see what you've come up with!

Just a quick reminder...Banned Books Week

Don't forget--Sunday starts Banned Books Week!

I've already got my blog post written and scheduled to go live at one minute past midnight on Sunday, September 21st, announcing my giveaway. Woo!

Sorry that I couldn't quite pull off a podcast episode this week--things got a bit hectic again. I leave town bright and early tomorrow morning for a work trip and by Friday afternoon, I'll be off the grid until I'm traveling home again Monday. I won't be able to see tweets, texts, or emails (o my) while I'm gone, which is sad. But I'll look forward to catching up with everyone when I get home.

Have a great weekend, everyone. There's still time to do a BBW project if you've been waffling about getting involved. Check out the Flickr group for inspiration!

 

Announcing the 2014 Banned Books Week Challenge!

Woot woot! It's time to engage in a little nonviolent protest again. And we get to do it with quilts!

Although I fully support everyone's right to determine what they and their children will read, I also support my right to do the same. Banning books from libraries does not protect freedom, it restricts it. Books are open pathways to ideas, meaningful discussions, and growth--even if (even especially if!) one does not agree with what's inside the covers. Besides, I was an English major in my undergrad years. Hence, I support Banned Books Week in celebrating literature!

Tanesha of Crafty Garden Mom podcast and blog and I are once again hosting the Banned Books Week challenge (and giveaway--whee!). And this year we're giving you a little more heads-up than in the past--ain't that just grand?

The 2014 Banned Books Week Challenge

My 2012 BBW challenge, "Alice's Spider," based on  Go Ask Alice  by Anonymous.

My 2012 BBW challenge, "Alice's Spider," based on Go Ask Alice by Anonymous.

Banned Books Week is September 21-27, 2014. You will find lists of books that have been banned or challenged and other resources on www.bannedbooksweek.org or the American Library Association website at www.ala.org. They also give a lot of ideas about ways to observe Banned Books Week in your area.

For our challenge: Create a small wall quilt that somehow represents a book from the banned/challenged book list that you have read and particularly loved, found meaningful, or otherwise want to celebrate. How you choose to represent the book is up to you—it could be a scene from the book, words from the book, or just represents the book in some way.

Please be aware that book cover images and illustrations in books are copyrighted art. You would need permission from the publisher/artist to depict those images exactly. You may, of course, use them as inspiration for your own artwork!

My 2013 BBW challenge, "If You Walk By," from  The Color Purple  by Alice Walker

My 2013 BBW challenge, "If You Walk By," from The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Deets

  • Create a mini-quilt based on a book on a banned/challenged book list that you read and enjoyed. The quilt can be any size, but "mini" keeps it manageable. You can do a mug rug if you want! No specific sizes required.
  • Use any type of quilt techniques you enjoy, any type of surface embellishment you choose--whatever flips your switch! 
  • Starting the week of September 21: Post pictures of your completed quilt(s) in the Flickr group for this challenge. We're using the same Flickr group as previous years, so please clearly label your post with "2014" in the title so we know what the new ones are!
  • Include your artist's statement in the description of your photo in the Flickr group. (Or, should you be a blogger, just include a link to your blog post about the quilt in the description. ) The artist's statement should include the title and author of the book, why you chose that book, and anything else you want us to know about your mini-quilt.

During Banned Books Week, Tanesha and I will be blogging/podcasting about the entries and there will be...yes!...prizes!

I did this last year, and I'm doing it again: I offer this same challenge in my quilt guild, and with the help of Kate, a guild friend who's also a librarian at our town's public library, for the second year in a row we've arranged for the library to display during Banned Books Week quilts from our guild members who participate. Why don't you ask your local library if you can display your finished project there?

BBW quilts on display at my local public library. Unfortunately I didn't write down what each represented--sorry!

BBW quilts on display at my local public library. Unfortunately I didn't write down what each represented--sorry!

Tanesha and I will both be posting about BBW over the next several weeks to help motivate and inspire you, and have some fun to boot. We'll also be posting about our own projects as we're so moved. So stay tuned!