I could tell you some facts that you may not know about women and our history.
One of the historical facts that I learned and love about women’s history is that quilting is the only profession that is totally a woman’s art, an American Woman’s Art.
So when I was teaching, most of the subjects I taught during the entire month of March centered around women’s history … and quilting. Of course I followed the curriculum set by the state but I always managed to use quilting as the modality, the way we showed the children understood what I had taught them.
So even in math, there was quilting. Whatever we learned we put on squares of paper (in the barrio schools where I taught, there was no money for quilting materials). For reading, I bought sets of books on quilting which we read together. Quilting is excellent for math. Writing the formulas, problems on squares plus cutting rectangles, squares, circles and other forms for the quilting pieces gave my students a different perspective on math.
When I was teaching fourth grade, I got the brilliant idea of doing the missions of California. Each student chose their favorite mission, studied its history and then drew it on a piece of white cloth that I had bought with paint I had bought. I had also purchased a big white sheet and needles with big eyes. I sat with the students in a circle while each of them sewed their masterpieces on the white sheet. I really got the feeling of what it must have been like for women on the prairie meeting with each other to make their quilts, needed for their long winter months.
They say that for men to be healthy into old age, they must be married but for women, they must have female friends.
It takes a village, the sages propose. But it does take a bevy of friends to keep our health, to share and respect the sharing no matter what.
Happy Women’s History Month!