Aaron: Okay. So first question, What inspired you, besides your twin, to join this project? You're just me raving about it. Well, yeah, Kaylee raving about it, obviously. But, um, In my craft class, we'd just gone over quilting, and I thought it was so interesting, because she made us watch a whole bunch of documentaries on it.
Chloe: Um, And it just so happened that we learned that, and then you were like, making a quilt. And I was like, well, that's cool. Like, now I know somebody who's actually making a quilt. Uh, and then you were like, we need help making a quilt. And I was like, cool! Like, I want to do that. I want to, cause I thought it was, the community aspect of quilting was just so appealing.
Uh, definitely in those, um, documentaries. Cause it was just like, six older ladies that just like,
Aaron: Was it Gee's Bend? I think so. African American women, yeah, probably. Like singing while they were stitching.
Chloe: Yeah, they were just talking and singing. It just looked like such a great community to be in. So it was like, I could be part of that. And also helping with the narrative, which also is very appealing. And I don't think, I think as like a white person it's hard to talk about, and you do it very well. So, it was like, I want to be part of that. I want to be part of this. Like, the solution, not the problem.
Aaron: For sure. And, um, you don't have to answer this if it's too, like, personal or whatever, but one of the things that I struggled with when I was, like, coming up with this project was, like, initially I started it as I'm a white woman. That's how I identify. So I'm going to make a quilt with other white women. And, like, the language and the kind of gender division just never felt right to me. And I was like, you know, The The whole point of this work is connecting people, and it just doesn't feel right to have this kind of, um, qualifier, you know, to be a part of the project. And so, eventually, I just took that language out of the description and I never made, like, An announcement, or, you know, it was like, you don't have to identify as a white woman to be a part of this project, and it's been interesting because a couple of men have joined, and a couple of people of color have joined, and I know you identify as non binary, and, um, I don't know, like, what has, have you thought about the gender aspect of it at all, or, yeah,
Chloe: I haven't really thought about it that way. I was mostly just thinking about, like, I knew that that's where it started, but I knew that's not where it was going. I knew it was just like a stepping stone to get to where you wanted to go. Yeah. And it was like, it's easy to like, put, stumble. I'm sorry, I know what I do. But, um. I'm keeping the cute twin antics.
Um, I think. I don't know if I've ever thought about it as gender. I think it's more like people that want to be better people. Um, those are the type of people that get introduced to these movements. Like the Free Palestine Movement. It's like, it's not just Palestinians that are marching or doing all these art pieces for it.
Yeah. Other people who want to help the cause, and I think segregating it as black and white was the initial problem. Mm-Hmm. . Which is why we're still struggling with it now. Yeah. Um, so yeah, I don't know. I don't really think about the gender or the race aspect of it. I think Yeah. For this particular, that's good because that's what I want.
Aaron: Yeah. You know, and I think. For me, because my sibling is also non binary, and as I was telling them about the project, I was just like, It just does not feel right to just say that I'm making, I'm doing this project for white women, you know? Because that is, like, you know, those are the portraits, those are the people who the quilt is about, but that doesn't necessarily, like you were saying, like, intersectionality is intersectional, you know, and so it's like, not, this quilt isn't just for people who look like the people that are featured on the quilt. So who did you choose?
Chloe: I chose Lydia Mott. Um, mostly because her portrait was very like striking to me. She looked like just like a very hard edged woman that like got stuff done. When I did the research for her, she did, she did those movements. I don't think she ever got married either. She was just her and her two sisters and they pretty much all worked together into helping with um, Um, women's rights advocacy is where her other two sisters really like worked in, Um, but they all did like stuff with anti slave movements and helping um, With the slaves of the Underground Railroad. Um, I don't know, she was badass for sure.
Yeah. And, I mean like, her being a conductor on the railroad, like I didn't even know they like, had those positions, right? Yeah. So it's like, I think it's such a, like triumphant like, American history that we learned because I feel like we didn't learn anything. Really. We just glazed over the, you know, like this is how they got out.
But nothing else. Yeah, it's like this magical kind of myth Children's story. Like The Underground Railroad. But like, we never learned anything about the strategies. Or how many people it needed. Or how many people were involved. Or how like, I mean, Skye was talking to me about like the cornrows. And like, putting the maps into their hair.
And I was like, I didn't even know that. But like, that's crazy. That's so inventive and interesting to learn about.
Aaron: Yeah, and I have also heard that enslaved people from Africa put seeds in their hair too.
Chloe: Yeah, so they didn't starve. So they had something to eat and like Along with the quilts is like those were used as maps as well. And it's like, so interesting. Yeah. To think about.
Aaron: Yeah. I, one of the other women, um, in the quilt, Frances Seward. She, her husband was a secretary of state. And so that's probably why we know about her. But, and she, like, respected his public, um, reputation. And so she was, you know, a good housewife or whatever.
But, she, he was in Washington, D. C. Um, doing his political work. And so she got to be, like, at home. She ran the house. Yeah. So the house became part of the Underground Railroad, and she was like much more progressive than her husband was, and probably some of that had to do with the fact that she wasn't beholden to any like, moderate, um, constituents, but yeah, I, I didn't realize, and it, and it makes a lot of sense how that role of like, keeping the home, um, How, you know, at that time, it was traditionally the woman's role. And so, of course, like, if you're gonna have a secret room under the stairs or whatever, that's gonna have to be something that the woman of the house, like, knows about, agrees on, is involved in. You know, she's gonna know. Stuff that her husband will never know about, like, you know, like, who, who even knows? And there was another woman who, uh, no one's done her portrait yet, but she was also a conductor of the Underground Railroad, in Michigan, I think.
Chloe: Yeah, I think she's based in Albany, New York.
Aaron: Yeah, so those places that were closer to Canada were really important. Yeah.
Chloe: She was a baddie. She got it.
Aaron: I know, so many of them, like, it's, and it's been so interesting because as I've done the research, you know, they're all, they all are kind of connected to each other. Yeah. Like you read about one, and I know Kaylee was telling me earlier that, um, y'all worked on your pieces together and, you know, we're like, oh my lady, da da da, you know, and I, I just love seeing how, All of the stories are coming together and connecting with each other.
Chloe: Yeah, I think Having them so connected really works well with the quilt as well because, like, the quilting aspect of it is very togetherness. Yeah. I was like, stop looking at me. I just got out of crit, man. Yeah. Cool. Well, um. That's why I chose her though. Yeah, that's stone cold. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of, a lot of the women definitely have that kind of fiery look in their, in their eyes. It's like, I know she, she changed stuff. Yes. She did not sit back and relax, for sure. Yeah. I know, I've been, I've been thinking a lot about them.
These, these women, you know, since October 7th and the, um, the war in Palestine. And thinking about, you know, it's, It's such a divisive topic, and a lot of people are afraid to speak out, and immediately, I was like, well, I know what these ladies would be doing. Yeah. They would be out there, they would be telling it like it is, and you know, and so it's like, even though.
All of our struggles for liberation are all connected and intertwined. Um, but it's like, so awesome to think about how these women who lived 200 years ago, almost, and, um, were white abolitionists. States are inspiring me to be a more vocal activist for current conflicts in the world and, um, which we're just going to need more and more of that inspiration to keep us going because here we are, you know.
Since October 7th, man, I sure have been doing more than I have ever done before. But I feel like it's like, people are finally sharing how to do those things. Which is making it more, yeah, accessible, definitely. Cause it's like, I didn't know about 5 calls, that's so easy. Yeah. Do that, like
every week. Yeah.
Those politicians are gonna know what I think. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Emails? Easy. So easy. They got AI doing that now. Send, send, send. Yeah. For real. I know it makes me wonder what these ladies would say to us. Like, what? You don't have to ride a boat for days to get to a conference? You won't be allowed in. Yeah, that you are already like registered for and you know you'll be able to be there.
Participated, you know. Yeah. It's like, I think about how the activism that they were engaged in, I mean, they had a lot more that they were up against than we do. And, so that's another way that I'm constantly inspired by them. So I'm like, well, I really don't have an excuse. I don't, you know, these ladies did it.
I'm not gonna get arrested or find, like, exorbitant fines because I'm Safe housing, uh, safe housing. An underground railroad. Yeah. Passenger.
Yeah. Well, thank you for being a part of it. And it's been fun to get to know you through Kaylee. I'm glad you were able to be a part of the
project. Me too. I'm happy that it, like, turned out so well, too.
I'm pretty proud of it. Yeah. You should be. It is really cute. I like your piece a lot. Thank you.