"It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it." Nelson Mandela
In this extraordinary time in history, during national lockdown because of the global Covid -19 pandemic, amidst many emotions and experiences, we believe there is one thing that helps to keep quilt teachers sane - We can keep busy with our hands.
Never has there been a time when hands were so important - clean hands, but not touching hands; yet open hands, caring hands, praying hands, giving hands...
In July 2020 the SAQG quilt teachers who are members of the SAQG Teachers' Forum, were invited to show us their hands by participating in the SAQG Teachers' Forum - Hands Up Collection. This was an effort to lift the spirits of our quilt teachers who haven't been able to honour their teaching commitments and/or earn an income for many months.
The Collection title Hands Up suggests: Include me, I am in, I am still here, I will make it, I volunteer, I still am..! This show of hands has the aim of symbolizing our quilt teachers' community and solidarity with each other, our diversity, our creativity and what our SAQG quilt teachers can offer!
Each teacher was asked to make a 25cm quilted block, using their own hand print/shape and or outline, in their preferred/chosen technique or style, to be part of the collection.
The Hands Up blocks will be put together in panels suitable for travelling, and will be passed from hand to hand, to visit guilds, groups and galleries around South Africa in 2021, keeping in touch all the way until we can physically meet again at the Diversity National Quilt Festival in 2022.
"We cannot go backward. We cannot erase time and events. But we can go forward, hand in hand, with hope in our hearts and love lighting our way." Sharon Shin
Thank you to the teachers that put their hands up and joined hands across the continent.