Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn Crawl is on through Sunday, September 25.

“Sit Down and Shut Up”

Dear Ann,
Just had to share this award-winning short film (15 minutes or so) from 1981, Quilts in Women’s Lives.
This is a short trailer:

Here’s the whole film, which is worth the 15 minutes if you like to think about why we make stuff by hand.
(Ann and I both had those big round glasses back then, so be kind, young’uns!)
I found this film via our excellent friends over at The Sister Project, (And by the way, The Sister Project has a fantastic horoscope writer, Sheilaa Hite. While astrology has always struck me as highly improbable, I believe in entertaining writing and good common sense, such as Sheilaa’s advice to me this month: “Don’t try to hold on to what you used to feel, know or believe was safe and predictable.”)
(I’m also thinking of changing the spelling of my name to Kaay. Is that OK with you, Aann?)
Happy Thursday!




  1. What a great film — fascinating to hear those women talk about their work! (I had those big round glasses, too… rilly big!)

  2. I think you should both get to have as many vowels as you want. 🙂

  3. This movie is totally amazing. I am knocked out by these women, almost 30 years ago, talking to us today. I keep thinking about Nora Lee Condra and her stack of quilts made by the generations of her family. Really, really strong stuff.

  4. PS, Vickii, nobody had glasses bigger than mine. Windshields. Picture windows on my face!

  5. Wow, that is fantastic! I agree with Ann, Nora Lee really got to me. And that is quite a righteous bandaid Grace has on her finger. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I didn’t have round ones but I had blue cat eye’s in 7th grade. I’m really old.

  7. Vibration, titillation, shimmering! I mean, I love it!

  8. “The more you do it, the more you want to do it.”
    I love this summing up of the fiber obsession—Oooohkaaay, any obsession—in 12 words!
    Also, as one who believes that “Oh, shiny!” and “Easily distracted by bright and shiny objects,” are words to live and purchase fiber by: yes, shimmer, shimmer, shimmer.

  9. Aawww, lovely little film, Kaay. I’m going to watch the longer one later. Think I still have a pair of those glasses somewhere.

  10. Dear Kaay – thaanks so much for shaaring this beaautiful clip with us. I waas touched to see all the wonderful women shaaring their paassion with us.

  11. Kaay, Perhaps you noticed, when you were over at The Sister Project, the great profile of the knitter/crocheter extraordinaire Margie Oomen?
    The photo of the crocheted stones a little way down the page is stunning!

  12. happy festival of lights

  13. you are so wry, you could make a cat laugh!

  14. Aw gees. I have a little tear today.

  15. Wonderful film. Deeply moving. Especially Nora Lee, piling her memories high on her lap.
    Shimmering with authenticity. A good aim.

  16. “The more you do it, the more you want to do it” so true!

  17. Wonderful and moving! Thank you for sharing this film with us, Kay.

  18. Just sit down and shut up!
    Thank you, Kaay, for those fifteen minutes on a snowy Saturday morning.

  19. Thank you. That was a great video. So glad you posted it; so glad I watched it.

  20. I love the thought of the needle praying. This is the way I experience my craft as well. I feel myself making an act of devotion in everything I create. Silent knitting, sewing, spinning, this is reverence in the little things.

  21. Okay, inspirational, but some of those women do make me wonder if I will be that odd when I get older (older than I already am that is), but wow, beautiful work, and I love the quilt from the flower sacks.

  22. Thank you, Kay!
    I’m ready to hie to my neglected sewing room and put in some stitches.

  23. Love the video & quilts. Almost makes me want to get back to quilting. And hell yes. Change your name to Kaay. Aann works, too. I’ll join you. I’ve always hated sally so I am now Saally.

  24. So ’80s! Very cute though – love that “titillation & vibration” thing – who knew?


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