Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A new frontier for Georgia, a blog!

Quilts from my friend Luda in Kazakhstan

For almost 20 years we owned and operated Bonesteel Hardware & Quilt Corner. My, that was a busy time. How did I do it?---TV, books, travel, teaching, lectures, designing and family. Well, I had lots of help and a supportive family. Also, I had Norma, my trusted secretary. Now, all I have is the computer, my Bernina's, a retired husband, seven grandchildren and a good stash of fabric. Well, that is just about any upstanding quilter needs!

I am still designing and making quilts even though my beds and cupboards are full. What I can never give up is the people interaction. Once a month at My Quilt Shoppe (not mine, owned by Lanna Gordich) I do a Coffee Clatch get together where we exchange ideas and just have a mini quilt meeting. There is always so much to share. Everything from techniques, problem quilting lines, new tools and of course, "show and tell". Come visit if you are in the area. The store calendar is at Check out my Quilt Corner in the fabric room of the store. We have all just heard that In The Beginning, that wonderful quilt shop in Seattle, WA is closing their doors. New opportunities await Sharon and Jason Yenter. Things change!

We often question--why aren't more of our friends experiencing the joy of quilting? I contend there is no pride in saying, like I often hear on some of the decorating shows, "and you don't even have to sew it". Velcro and a glue gun are not the answer. We want to say, get with it and learn to sew. It is a joy and such a fulfillment and will open so many doors in your life. Please do not forget buttons and buttonholes. My new machine makes perfect, repeat button holes and can even determine the proper opening by the button size.

News Flash for Quilters! Great news with The Alliance for American Quilts moving to Asheville, NC. They are joining forces with HandMade in America Check this organization out on line and then join. Take a few minutes and read some of their accomplishments as they document, preserve and share our great quilt heritage.

Another favorite long standing organization is the AQSG, which stands for the American Quilt Study Group. My goal this year is to visit Lincoln, Nebraska and see their headquarters. Blanket Statements, their newsletter, is always full of good history, ideas and notable names in our field.

The internet has become the new daily diary for quilt connections. People from my past have found me--a classmate from Oak Hall at Iowa State College and a pen-pal-well, an email-pal from Kazakhstan. A quilter recently from a western state emailed me to say that one of her quilts from my design was bought by Robin Williams (ala Hollywood!) Just look what quilt connections do for the soul. Every day a new experience related to fiber happens. My advice for those just starting with their quilt career is to keep a diary. One never knows when you will have to call upon the past!

I am proud to be participating in the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, a program to raise awareness and fund research for Alzheimer's disease. It has two parts: a traveling art quilt exhibit interpreting Alzheimer's in fiber art that will tour the US for three years, and an on-going sale of small art quilts. All proceeds will go to Alzheimer's research.

So long for now, but look for updates with whatever crosses my needle.