To start off another amazing year,
I am so honored to be featured in Quiltfolk’s latest magazine, #5,
on Eastern Massachusetts!
I first discovered Quiltfolk on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. I have a subscription to just about every quilting magazine out there— I mean, when you take a break from sewing, you just want to read about it, right? So just to make sure I have them all, I scour the racks at B&N from time to time— and I was not disappointed... I saw the Quiltfolk masthead rising above the others.
The first thing I noticed besides that it looks more like a book, was that the cover has a really weird texture, kind of like velvet. While discovering this, I realized one of the bookstore employees was watching me “feeling” the cover, which is creepy. Since I was hooked already, I just made for the checkouts with a red face. I’d enjoy my velvet cover in the privacy of my own home.
If you are looking for the latest jelly roll pattern or another tutorial on free motion quilting, Quiltfolk is not for you. Its a very high minded publication with lots of writing, beautiful pictures, and it is more about people, places, and ideas. For each issue, they pick a region, and delve into the history, people, shops, and every other part of that place’s quilting community. It is armchair travel, art appreciation, and insight into the artist’s process all wrapped up in one.
A couple of weeks later, I got a call from the president of our local quilt guild. Quiltfolk was coming to Cape Cod for the next issue. Did you ever notice in life, how once your attention is drawn to something, you start seeing it everywhere? It was quite the coincidence, but artists tend to live in really nice places, and Cape Cod is just beautiful— we have a large per capita of amazing fiber artists, so really it wasn’t that unusual that Quiltfolk would be interested in the area.
I was invited with about eight others from my guild to meet and talk with them. One of our guild members opened up her eye-popping 1700's historic house, which was treat enough, but then sitting and sharing our stories and looking over all of our best quilts was heaven.
Having produced newsletters back in the day, I am pretty familiar with the slicing and dicing that must occur when you have hundreds of photographs, and lots of interviews, but only a few pages to pack it into. So I didn’t think about it too much, until about a month later, when I got an e-mail from Quiltfolk saying they would like to talk to me further. So I knew something was up... my quilts and story hadn’t hit the cutting room floor!
When my copy came in the mail just after Christmas, I flipped through like a kid... almost at the back, there I was on a two-page spread. My family was all home because of the New Year’s holiday, and my daughter grabbed the magazine out of my hands and started reading my story out loud. Tears streamed down my cheeks like the sap that I am...
I know I’m making a bigger deal of this than it is, but as quilters, we never expect to be up on a stage or on the nightly news. What we do is vastly in the privacy of our homes, and when we do show our quilts, we’re not up there standing with them. And when you think of the the work that goes into a single quilt that’s one thing, but the sacrifice that everyone has made while you are sewing is another...
My dad died when I was sixteen, and though my mom was sure I would starve with my art degree, took a job housecleaning so I could go to the most expensive art school in NY.
We all recognize how a pastime like quilting can rob from our families... once, when I had determined to take the time to make cookies with my pre-teen daughter, she very innocently asked if I knew how to use the oven.
(Yes, I did, for the record.)
So here I am, feeling grateful for everyone who helped me on the way. In the past year, I definitely had my 15 minutes of fame and now a couple of pages too! It’s beyond what I ever though, and I am wondering what next? My best work may be behind me, or still ahead, but I’m happy to still be working away in my sewing room either way.
Quiltfolk. Go out and buy a copy. Yes, it’s a bit expensive, but there’s no advertising, and just think of how much you would pay for a quilting book. If you’re lucky, they will have an issue near your home. And I have to say, owning a book crammed with the faces of friends and familiar quilt stores and places... It’s a rare treat.