My American grandmother was a quilter but diabetes stole her sight. She gave me an unfinished box of quilt squares because I had purchased a sewing machine to piece a couple of small quilts. Those quilt squares sat in my cupboard for years. I felt so guilty about them. Eventually I thrust them upon my unsuspecting sister when she got a sewing machine. "A great summer project for your girls!" I enthused.
We all know that starting a project is much easier than finishing. Which could explain how the Missouri Star Quilt Company became so successful. This business offers to finish where many quilters leave off: machine stitching your finished quilt squares into a completed top. The company founders, siblings Alan Doan and Sarah Galbraith Doan, started the company in 2008 to help their parents recover retirement savings lost in the crash. (Remember that year?) They now employ 180 people in their small town of Hamilton, Missouri. This year, they were named Small Business of the Year.
Their recognition coincides with quilting's popularity as a craft. It is hot these days. Modern quilters are reinventing the method using new technologies and refreshing the patterns with a graphic post-modern aesthetic. I love it!
Do you have a quilt made by someone who cared for you? Have you ever stitched a quilt? Are you a fan of textiles? Here are some links that might interest you:
Tomorrow, Maya Angelou's formidable art collection is being auctioned off. Included in the sale is this quilt by Faith Ringgold, commissioned by Oprah Winfrey in 1989 as a 60th birthday gift to Ms. Angelou. The quilt is titled "Maya's Quilt of Life." (I don't understand how Ms. Angelou's family can part with this. I wonder if anyone at the auction house took aside her son and said, "Look, just keep it, okay?")
See you on Friday!
Photo of quilt by Renn Kuhnen.