I am a mother of two boys, and many species of creatures whom I have cared for over the years. I am an artist, medical marijuana patient and hardcore activist for cannabis reform as well as for human, animal, and environmental rights.
I first heard about the Moms for Marijuana Cannabis Quilt project just after it got started, but it took a long time to gather the materials that would later become six, 24″ x 24″ quilt squares. Three of them would represent the states of Wyoming, Illinois, and Massachusetts.
I had originally adopted two leaf squares and Wyoming since my home states of California and Washington were already taken. I have fond memories of a Wyoming vacation when I was young. While working on those three squares, a call went out for Illinois to be done. My grandmother who had owned a corn and soybean farm in Illinois that used to grow hemp, had just passed away the week before. I took the square in her honor.
Later on, in the sewing stages, another call went out for missing squares, and we adopted Massachusetts. The final of the six squares was to represent Kief Radio, my online news network that I built to share cannabis news. The other designer has decided not to take credit for her part due to personal reasons.
Each square had a slightly different look, feel, and message. Some of the materials belonged to myself, my Grandma and my Mom, and some were thrift shop finds. We had fun using printable transfer medium to make the state flags and other emblems we needed. When we set out, the only ideal we had was to represent cannabis in a favourable light, and in a beautiful, creative way.
I have a hard time representing the cause with what I call “Stupid Stoner Tricks,” or just plain cliche stoner jokes, so we put a lot of time in trying to send a message without any of that.
The materials that we came up with for Wyoming, came together to represent not only the beauty and heritage of the state itself, but also the families that live there who are affected by faulty cannabis laws. Wyoming was our tribute to Dads for Marijuana, our other half. It shows a Dad coming home from the fields that should be hemp, but can’t be because of ridiculous cannabis laws. This is a common theme in all of the squares, and I won’t keep repeating it, but it is the most important message of all so I will only yell it once.
“WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GROW AND USE HEMP FOR FOOD, MEDICINE, CLOTHING AND SHELTER, WITHOUT FEAR OF THE LAW CAUSING HARM TO OURSELVES, OUR LIVES, OUR FAMILIES, AND OUR ENVIRONMENT!”
The letter about to be sent to post in the Wyoming square represents our ability to use our Constitutional rights to change the system. The cannabis is White Widow, a powerful strain with amazing medicinal properties from my own garden. It symbolizes those of us who have the right to consume cannabis who have not given up fighting for those who do not.
The Illinois square seemed to end up being Wyoming’s exact complement, composition-wise. This is our Moms square, with a fabric that lent itself well to this theme. The fabric reminded me of sunny days down on my grandparents’ farm. It is world that used to be less complicated, and could teach us lessons about going back to the basics that we’ve forgotten. The strip of Marijuana Tax Act Stamps that I made, represents the beginning of the end for reasonable cannabis laws, and the fact that it is criminal that it is regulated at all. The state flag and flower represent the history and beauty of Illinois.
Massachusetts was a last-minute square that was a challenge, but also one of the most satisfying. We had amazing fun getting the Sankaty Head lighthouse to look right. What you can’t see in person, is that the material really does look like shimmery glass in the windows. This square represents much the same as the others, but we didn’t want to make the message too redundant, so we kind of just had fun with this one. The lighthouse represents the light in the dark. It is there, and hasn’t moved an inch, stable and strong, waiting for us to see it. There is simply a mighty fog bank in our way, but we’ll find it in the end.
The Kief Radio Square was made to send my personal message “Pass a Joint, Pass the Word: Legalize!” This square holds a tiny secret. Inside of the joint, is a pocket to pass an actual joint around the world. This was my one act of civil disobedience, and though many told me not to do it, I couldn’t resist. To leave it out would have gone against everything I stand for. If you happen to get to see the quilt in person, find an attendant and give them a joint to put in the pocket for me? (Note: The “K” is simply Kief Radio’s sponsorship tag. There is a custom made tag for each square.)
The leaf squares symbolize the cannabis plant herself, in all her beauty. We can but try and represent her in fabric. We love this plant, need this plant, and we won’t give up our right to it. We did our best to say this in textiles.
It was both rewarding and a personal challenge to finish this project. I was honored to work with so many other activists and patients to build the final quilt which ended up being 24’x18’! I blew up two machines sewing things that probably shouldn’t have been sewn together and as a reward for my work, my Dad bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas.
There were so many reasons that I was upset when the quilt was stolen, the least of which was my own work. Many artists put hundreds of hours into this project, with pure hearts, that it seemed ironic that someone could do something so rotten. I’m so glad that it can continue on its journey to spread the word about cannabis reform. I can’t wait to get this cast off of my arm so I can go to town on the next project!
~ Written by Nightmare Alabama
Moms for Marijuana is an amazing group of women, joined now by Dads for Marijuana.
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