FemEdTech Quilt of Care and Justice in Open Education #FemEdTech Quilt #OER20…by Frances Bell

This is an open invitation to contribute to the FemEdTech Quilt of Care and Justice in Open Education. Our Call for Participation complements the Call for contributions to OER20 with its theme of Care in Openness, and our quilt will be completed and displayed at OER20.

The quilt will be completed and displayed at the OER20 Conference in April 2020. Our particular call here stands alongside the Call for Proposals for OER20 and yet is distinct from it.

We, at FemEdTech, will be submitting a proposal to OER20 like many of you. We will propose a workshop where delegates can contribute to the almost complete quilt with some stitches, and final embellishments.

Whether or not you are planning to attend OER20, please consider contributing to the quilt as soon as possible.  Let’s be clear that your contributions don’t depend on your sewing or quilting prowess. This piece of craft activism, craftivism, really is for all. Express your ideas on Care and Justice in Open Education in any of the ways described in the Call for Participation by the stated deadlines.

Those of you who cannot attend OER20 for financial or other reasons, can make the most significant contributions to our quilt. You can see your contributions, work and art at our quilt without travelling to London in April 2020, as we will also create a digital artefact based on the quilt and its process of creation.

Let’s face it, there won’t be a quilt to finish at OER20 without the work that precedes the conference. And we want to invite all, sewists and non-sewists, artists and dabblers (like me) to contribute to our quilt by supplying fabric, quilt blocks, found objects, words and stories. Those who can’t attend OER20 can have a real presence, by way of the artefacts you contribute, at OER20 and beyond, into other events that can benefit from having our quilt in attendance.

Ours is a quilt of activism. My personal inspiration for this work is a quilt that was produced for the #justiceforlb  campaign, whose story of creation and impact is told here. I will never forget seeing the #JusticeforLB quilt at the People’s History Museum in Manchester when it was on tour. Our other inspirations include the Quilts of Gee’s Bend, Faith Ringgold, the Digital Embroidered Commons , Geek Art, the Quilted Banner displayed at https://britishtextilebiennial.co.uk/, Stitching the Border, The Colorful, Radical Quilts of Chawne Kimber, the LearnHigher Quilt and the Quilt of Comfort.

Here are two little stories of quilt block creation:

The first is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – making a quilt block with no sewing, a story of fabric applique and text written with fabric pen to create a quilt block. The second is (Trying to) Print a no sew Quilt Block from CCL image, a story of a failed attempt to print a CCL image to make a quilt block, along with some alternative possibilities for digital printing.

I hope these stories encourage you to make your own blocks and stories, inspired by other textile artists. If you plan to contribute, please register here and we’ll let you know where to send your contributions.

And why would you good people help make our quilt? Let’s think of the quilt’s appearance at OER20 as a celebration of our collective work, and as a focus for activism in the future. Care and Justice in Open Education are not a given, they need our thoughts, actions and work.

Written by Frances Bell