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MEG COX S E-NEWS FOR SEPTEMBER, 2010 Again this year, the quilt highlight of my summer was attending the August board meeting for the nonprofit Alliance for American Quilts. We met in the bucolic haven known as Grafton, Vermont, and had a simply amazing time. We were bursting with ideas as we brainstormed everything from our next contest theme (read my next issue) to our vision for the organization 5 years out. Another peak moment for me was buying an amazing 1930 s crazy quilt from the collection of historian Sue Reich, which was auctioned online to raise money for the American Quilt Study Group. The quilt was among those photographed for Sue s book Crazy as a Bed Quilt, one of a series she has done compiling old newspaper clippings about quilts. I opened the book to the first article and broke out in goose bumps : the 1883 article appeared in the same newspaper where I started my journalism career after college, the Newark Advocate in Ohio. Was I meant to have this, or what? NOW IS THE TIME!!!!! I won t do a major song and dance here, but if you have any interest in supporting the Alliance for American Quilts in 2010, PLEASE do it before the end of October. An anonymous foundation has promised to match every dollar we raise including from new memberships between now and October 31. Dollars will be matched up to $30,000. Naturally, we don t want to leave a penny on the table. We ve raised $5,000 in a very short time and are sending out 500 letters to previous donors this week. To inject an immediate $60,000 infusion into our small organization is a staggering proposition: it s equivalent to about half our annual budget. What would we do with that extra money? For starters, tell the stories of quilts and quilters more vividly, by adding audio and video to our online oral history project, Quilters S.O.S. Save Our Stories. Start regular exhibitions of quilts from our various projects, both online galleries and actual traveling shows. Investigate opportunities to publish books and magazines. Keep growing our amazing joint project, the Quilt Index, an archive of 50,000 quilts from museums and state
documentation projects. And create curricula to allow teachers to use our resources creatively in the classroom. If you don t know how the Alliance works, or even if you do, click on this link to read Betty Londergan s blog What Gives 365. Betty is a passionate, thoughtful woman who is giving away $100 every day this year, and blogging about the recipient. Earlier this month, she gave her $100 to the Alliance. Click on this link and read why: http://tinyurl.com/22kybuv For more info on the grant and the Alliance, scoot on over to www.AllianceForAmericanQuilts.com, where there also happens to be news of yet another grant, one dedicated to taking the Quilt Index global. Yep, this is one happening organization. I hope if you are already a member, you ll send a donation. And if you are not yet a member, please join now! Feel free to contact me with any questions you have: I m happy to explain why I m so passionate about the Alliance. Heck, I might even break into a song, after all. MARK LIPINSKI S NEW MAGAZINES & RADIO SHOW Mark s legions of fans have been waiting patiently for his second act. At least his second act in the quilt world: most people know he s had multiple previous careers, including as a television producer. About a year ago, Mark quit working for the humorous magazine he founded, Quilter s Home, in a dispute with the new owners, and last winter, he announced a new job as creative director for publisher American Crafts. He said then that he would revamp some existing titles at the company and invent some new ones, including Mark Lipinski s Create: When One Craft Just isn t Enough. While the launch of Create won t happen until 2011, several magazines that Mark has redesigned have recently hit the stands, so those suffering from Lipinski withdrawal can get a fix of his humor and know-how. One is Christmas 365, which has taken on the clean graphics and personal writing style Lipinski is known for. But more significant is the recent publication of Fabric Trends, a previously rather dowdy, predictable quarterly publication showcasing new quilt fabrics.
It isn t so much that Mark has made fabric funny. Rather, he made the simple but radical decision to make the magazine not just pretty but timely. He junked a longstanding practice in quilt magazines of featuring fabric that is brand new when the issue is being planned, but is often sold out in shops by the time the issue actually arrives at readers mailboxes. This is done partly because it takes time for quilts to be made with new fabric, and magazines are generally designed months before they are printed. But Mark felt it was more important to be ahead of the curve, to show fabric lines that will just be coming to stores when Fabric Trends comes out, or soon after. What that means, among other things, is sacrificing the chance to make samples showing the fabric: instead, Lipinski scans in the fabric designs and readers see a virtual rendering of a quilt design, rather than a real quilt. But I m betting they ll be happy with the tradeoff. Apparently the fabric companies are: they rushed to send in their fabrics, and this first Lipinski-ized issue is the fattest Fabric Trends issue ever 164 pages. The first issue looks great too, clean, with plenty of white space to show off the fabrics and 19 quilt projects. Another nifty feature is that the magazine has two front pages: turn to the back cover, flip it upside down, and you ll see a special section featuring photo spreads of fabric lines organized by company. Although Mark has cut back on his teaching and travel, due to his kidney disease and the need to stay close enough to home to get to the hospital quickly if a kidney becomes available, his spirits are high and he s still working in manic mode. He continues to co-host new episodes of Quilt Out Loud (with Jodie Davis), which can be seen by paid subscribers at QNNtv.com. Plus, just last week he started hosting a FREE weekly (internet) radio show called Creative Mojo. Like his forthcoming magazine, Create, the live two-hour show at 3 p.m. (eastern) on Wednesdays covers a range of crafts. Creative Mojo mixes guest experts with call-in. You can listen on your computer (www.toginet.com/shows/creativemojo.com), live or download each show as a podcast. The first show featured a range of guests, from a psychic to a creativity coach and popular young fabric designer Tula Pink. The end result was both antic and informative.
Knowing Mark as well as I do, I can promise you there are more ventures in the works, so stay tuned! You can always find him on Facebook, or go to www.marklipinski.com. (INSIDER SCOOP: I can t divulge details, but recently, the editorial and design team currently behind Quilter s Home has completely redesigned the magazine. Check out the December issue, available soon. I know that right after Mark left, it sometimes read like a bad act of ventriloquism or Lipinski-Lite, but I think it s evolving into something fresh and fun. Yes, I say that partly because I continue to write a gossip column for the magazine, but I really like what I ve seen.) SAQA QUILT AUCTION UNDERWAY A great way to collect art quilts, especially for those of us who aren t in the Rockefeller tax bracket, is to bid on the one foot-squared quilts auctioned off each fall by SAQA Studio Art Quilt Associates. I buy a few of these every year and hang them in a row in my office. The first week of the three-week auction is over (and I was thrilled to buy a piece by one of my favorite artists, Terrie Hancock Mangat), but the second week has just begun. Being a reverse auction, the prices start at $750 but drop sharply each day, ending the week at $75. There is an especially diverse and vivid selection this year, and your purchase will be helping a really spectacular organization. www.saqa.com. BOOK REVIEW: THE SPORTY SIDE OF BARBARA BRACKMAN Quilt historian Barbara Brackman is not a jock. And neither am I. But like her, there are many athletes and sports fans in my family, so I was very pleased to hear about her new book Sew Into Sports: Quilts for the Fans in Your Life. What I love about this book is that it reflects reality. The projects are all pretty simple, and they are based on Brackman s own experience of making sports-themed quilts to raise money, especially signature quilts, like a basketball shoe quilt she made where the shoes were signed by star players from the University of Kansas. She also knows what most kids really want in a quilt. She writes, You can make beautiful florals and elaborate pieced quilts for your
nieces and nephews, but don t actually present those gifts until the kids are 40. What they want now is a sports quilt. Another selling point is the flexibility of the designs. She has some very specific patterns, like one for a football quilt and a clever, colorful bowling quilt titled Lebowski Fest. But she also provides alternatives to many patterns, so there are templates for ice skates and ballet shoes, among others. While I m at it, I also want to highly recommend Brackman s blog, which like all her writing is well-informed, beautifully illustrated and often humorous. www.barbarabrackman.blogspot.com.
That s it for September. My plan is to start putting photographs into the e-news and I m in the process of picking an online newsletter service. So maybe the new format will be ready in time for October s issue. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, if you enjoyed this issue, please forward it to a friend or colleague. New subscribers can join the list by sending a blank e-mail to Quilters-Join@megcox.com. Love, Meg Read the small print: This free monthly e-newsletter is written without sponsorship or interference by Meg Cox, a journalist and author whose books include The Quilters Catalog: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. No portion of the newsletter can be reprinted without permission. To subscribe, send a blank message to email@example.com. For more about Meg and an archive of back issues, go to www.megcox.com. To hire Meg as teacher or speaker, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. ************************************************************************
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