After a most chaotic spring, summer was a chance to recalibrate and take several deep breaths, literally and metaphorically. I focused on helping the kids feel safe and active, finding ways to be an engaged citizen during a pandemic, and using my quilting practice to think and process the nonsensical nature of the world right now. I find myself at the beginning of fall craving a regular routine but also hating how we have grown accustomed to this awful avoidable new reality. In the US we are hurtling toward a crucial election, and I am grateful for my friends in the textile world who have found a way to come together and make a difference.

My latest work is called Tally. It is a 13″ square mini quilt made entirely by hand, every stitch. I made it while thinking about how stitches are like votes– a single one is important, but as you add more, the bigger and stronger your project can grow. I pieced it by improvising with fabric in soft shades of neutral Cirrus solids and some light blue shirting fabric, then added a greenish yellow, some of my favorite light teal Cirrus, and a single rectangle of navy.

I rarely offer quilts for sale, but this one will be auctioned off in my Instagram feed @melanie.tuazon from September 15-18. All of the proceeds will go directly to the Movement Voter Project’s Big 5 Battleground Fund, which funnels needed funds to grassroots organizations that are already working in communities to register and engage voters. The current administration must be voted out, and this will only happen if there is significant turnout and response to efforts to restrict voting rights. MVP is prepared to respond to election-related needs leading up to November and beyond, and if the auction isn’t for you or you are not the winner, I hope you’ll check them out and consider donating.

I am only one of more than 100 textile artists who are coming together to raise money for this important cause. Jen Hewett, one of the organizers and a talented fiber artist, did a fantastic overview of the #Textiles4MVP collaboration on her blog. It also includes links to auctions, sales, and all kinds of incentives and offers from some very inspiring humans.