Machine pieced hexagons, finished size, one inch

Introduction to False Dichotomies

 A few years back our family traveled to Pike’s Place Market in Seattle WA and I noticed a fascinating hexagonal bathroom tile sign which denoted the gender assignments to the two available washrooms.

Pike Place Market Public restrooms signage
Pike Place Market Public restrooms signage

I was particularly smitten with the isolated male and female symbols which correlated with floor markings with chromosomal indications of XY and XX spelled out in the tiles. I also loved the M that formed the chest on the male and the W that formed the chest on female. (not pictured below but still quite cool).


XY and XX
XY and XX


I had already crafted a paper pieced quilt block of a woman’s bathroom sign during a workshop with while at the first Quilt Con, and soon started collecting images of bathroom signs in all of my travels. My favorites were the ones that eliminated the need for separation, and simply stated that a toilet was available, with a sink.  I imagined a time when more bathrooms were accessible to more people and am happy to see that now becoming a topic of discussion on a national platform.

FD gridwork
Hexagonal grid work sketch of False Dichotomy check out the neutral genital flower- my favorite touch

Sometime in April I started in earnest to create this new quilt, which I am calling False Dichotomies. It depicts a figure created with a blend of the two designs, a shoulder heavy, partially skirted person that indicates access to a room where one can rest, and wash, and things like that.

It reflects my view that gender is a social construct. The dominant binary understanding is actually a false dichotomy and that there is a possibility of fluidity of self-expression that is missed by those with rigid definitions.

FD skirt start
heavy shoulder, skirt formation, W/M breast and chest merge

The pieces are small, the timing is apt and the result will be mighty. I invite you to share this little blog journey with friends as I will continue posting images of this piece as the construction, and the conversation around expression and acceptance, continues.


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