I came out of the closet in 1998.
No, not the closet you are probably thinking about. I came out of that particular closet long ago, but that is another story for another time.
I went public as a quilter in 1998.
Back then, I was a member of Christ Church Cathedral (Anglican/Episcopal). The dean and his wife were retiring.
I heard one of the canons at the cathedral was planning a quilt. A canon is a hierarchical rank; a cannon is artillery. Cricket, the canon, planned to send each member of the cathedral a square of muslin to decorate.
I opined she ran the risk of getting blank muslin squares or muslin squares covered in marabou feathers and bugle beads (not that there’s anything wrong with either of them, but they were not appropriate).
I volunteered to design and make a signature quilt for the entire cathedral to sign.
No one at the cathedral knew I had been quilting for twenty-two years by then; no one at the cathedral had seen any of my previous quilts.
When I showed people my proposed design and fabric choices, all I got was a smug, self-satisfied “oh, that’s nice.” (Well, that’s the way it felt to me back then.)
The quilt was nearly complete when I presented it to collect peoples’ signatures.
I heard, “Oh! That’s Nice!!” in awed tones. (I felt vindicated, but did it really matter??)
The congregation refused to sign it.
They said it looked “too good to write on.”
They wrote on the back of the quilt instead. They wrote way more than would have fit in the bars for merely signatures. They just needed a blank canvas, and my quilt was just the thing.
This quilt was mentioned in a national quilt magazine as an example of what NOT to do when making a signature quilt . . . Go figure.
As for me, I made a public declaration. “I create quilts.”
I still do.