In 2017 Goose Creek Friends First Day School established a community quilting project called, “Every Problem Has A Solution”. In 2020, they were unable to work on our third annual project in person due to the pandemic so they created an online version!
With Every Problem Has A Solution in mind, Friends of all ages use SPICES (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship) and related queries to process problems – personal to global – and find solutions for them. These solutions are then translated into a visual image and pieced together into a quilt.
In 2020, Friends who participated recieved a box full of different types of materials from fabric to stickers and stamps to create their non-traditional “quilt” square. However, some sewists made real fabric squares too.
Many of the squares have stories behind them – the problem, a solution, and journey along the way. Here are just a few:
My quilt square represents an organization called “teamtrees”. This organization is devoted to planting trees. For every dollar that is donated to team trees, one tree is planted.
My quilt square is about pollution and climate change. You can help by:
(1) Organize a community cleanup or go out on your own to clean. We do this every year around Earth Day. (2) Print and laminate the list of what is recyclable and what is not from your services website. This will help everyone in your family to follow the guidelines. (3) Plant some trees (4) Gather acorns and donate them! (5) Buy some waders and clean a stream/river (6) Buy biodegradable or reusable Ziploc bags instead of non biodegradable (7) Keep your recycling from blowing over – don’t put a bin out on a windy day or if you have a lid tape it with painters tape or masking tape that will release when the bin is emptied upside down but doesn’t come off if the bin is blown over. (8) Try not to purchase plastic water bottles. (9) Try to pick up your newspapers before they get washed down the storm drains. This is the item we clean up the most from our detention pond and water run off in our neighborhood. (10) Recycle your plastic grocery bags at your nearest grocery store.
The story behind my square has to do with being in community. I started with the Helen Keller quote in the lower right side of my quilt square. It says, “Alone, we can do little; together, we can do much.” As I meditated it, I thought of my community — Goose Creek Friends as well as neighbors, family, and other friends I’ve made over a lifetime. Each community has enriched my life. The other squares on my quilt reflect some of the things that happen in community, like creating memories together.
Problem: “How can I best use my skills as an artist to be helpful in the time of the pandemic, climate change – and now also – racial inequality?” Solution: make art raise awareness of sustainable agriculture, the environment, and racial equity. This square – one of a series of illustrations called “Everyday Saints” – was made to celebrate migrant farmers who labor with back-breaking effort in intolerable weather conditions, for long long hours, and for very little pay. Now, another bigger problem: how can this be translated into action?