Assistant Curator of Exhibitions
I’ve been thinking how to describe what “Making & Mending: Quilts for Causes and Commemoration,” the International Quilt Study Center & Museum’s seventh biennial symposium, April 16-18, is really about.
There’s this Bee Gees’ 1971 hit, How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? It goes like this:
“How can you mend a broken heart?I wouldn’t want to stop the rain and sun both, but I guess the idea is that you can fix a broken heart about as easily as stopping either. Like, never. Pretty sad.
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?”
It’s true, some things will always stay broken. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t try to mend the ripped-up stuff in our world, or at least try to give some support to those who suffer from the consequences.
That’s kind of what “mending” in the symposium title is talking about.
|Madison Township Memorial of the World War|
Alice J. Hedderich, circa 1918
Madison Township, Clinton County, Indiana
Acquisition made possible by Robert & Ardis James Fund
Mending in the needle-and-thread sense isn’t something that we know as much about, these days. If I lose a button on a shirt, the shirt stays in the closet and eventually ends up pushed to the back and then goes to the Salvation Army. Have you heard of a darning egg? Well, I’ve seen one, and it is an egg-shaped hard object. If I had a hole in the sole of my sock, I could put the darning egg down inside the sock to give me something hard to push my needle against as I gathered up and closed the edges of the hole with thread. Brilliant really. Women used to keep them in their sewing baskets, but now I see them mostly in antique stores.
But sewing up holes in things is the right idea. Mending doesn’t undo the damage, but it can make the shirt or sole—or soul in the case of those who suffer—somewhat functional again. It restores a semblance of wholeness and normalcy.
Space is still available for symposium. Register today online.