Sometimes I think twice about using the eff-word in my embroidery and quilting work, but I always end up using it because it feels right. And when folks criticize the choice, well so far, they are wholly unconvincing. The reasons they offer for NOT using the word are in three categories: (1) f*ck is not a pretty word, (2) f*ck is a private word, and (3) the use of f*ck will destroy the crafting world.

Here are my quick responses: (1) I try and almost always succeed in presenting f*ck in a pretty way, but art need not be pretty. (2) Having a “private vocabulary” must be stressful; it’s a personal choice that does not play in concert with my own choices. And, finally, (3) if a little cross stitching of f*ck can bring down centuries of crafting, then I am happy to hear of the awesome power of my needles. Apparently, my stitches are MIGHTY!

I’d be interested to hear more opinions on this, if they are given in a constructive and polite way. Thanks, ahead of time, for your input.

To get more folks to take a moment and exercise their potty-mouths in textiles, I started a communal quilt project that is tentatively entitled The Give a F*ck Quilt. Textile artists around the world have volunteered to design blocks for the quilt and a couple of them have already arrived early. I thought that I’d show them to you to give a sense of the diversity of interpretations of the request.

Disclaimer: If you have even just skimmed up until here, I really don’t need to mention that what is presented below contains the f*ck word, but without the *. If this is going to bug you, then don’t look at it. Come back later for a blanket or…some Fair Isle knee high socks in-progress.
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This first one is a super scrappy blue block with patchwork improv lettering made by Jeni. I am interested in the choice of the color blue, of course, but I’m even more thrilled by the happy scrappiness.

Jeni's block

Jeni has written a great series of posts, The Art of Choosing, about color theory applied in fabrics. I highly recommend them to everyone, if only just to admire her fabric stash! And should you ever have a hankering for some vintage linens, pop on over to her shop. Jeni is supremely professional and sources some amazing prints.

Thanks, Jeni!