In between the two great iconic American cities, New York and Los Angeles, is a place derogatorily referred to as “flyover” country. Flyover as in there’s nothing worth paying attention to down there. Most Midwest folks don’t seem to give much credence to that thought—they are too busy living productive lives to be concerned about what those big city folks think.

Years ago, near one of those iconic American cities, Jon Landau, Bruce Springsteen’s manager, said when he first saw “the Boss” on stage, “I saw rock and roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”

Today, in flyover country, I’ve seen the future of quilting and its name is the ubiquitous Internet. This is verified by the fact that you are reading this article, on-line, via The Quilt Show on a web blog. I am betting three years ago, you weren’t reading web blogs about quilting. Additional proof is seen in the popularity of on-line stores, such as, the Fat Quarter Shop, which exist only on-line. Welcome to the future.

Today, Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson, in rural Colorado, specifically La Veta, are betting they’ve seen the future and they want to help shape the quilting future. They are the hosts of a new internet-based “TV-like” show and web site called The Quilt Show (www.thequiltshow.com). Their aim is to create a web “space” where current and future quilters can join in a virtual community to experience and revel in quilts, fabric, teaching, playing and loving quilting.

Alex Anderson, formerly of HGTV’s Simply Quilts, and Ricky Tims, well-known quilter and musician, have known each other for over five years. Last year they started numerous conversations about what they wanted to do together and out of those conversations begat The Quilt Show. The first six shows, which will be taped before a live studio audience, will happen this Friday – Sunday at Ricky Tims' Art Quilt Studio & Gallery in La Veta, CO.

As a quilt and textile photographer, I’ve been blessed to be a part of this experience. I am photographing/documenting and blogging the “behind the scenes” of the show and will be featured in their first taping.

While I was documenting the events of the day, Justin, Ricky’s partner, sent over a photo of a table he was looking at for the set, via his cell phone, while shopping in another city in Colorado. Alex and Ricky looked at the piece of furniture via Ricky’s cell phone and decided whether or not to buy the table (picture here). That’s when it occurred to me—that singular event encapsulated the impact of technology on our lives--they were making a purchasing decision for their new studio, for an internet-based program, that quilters would view via their personal computer, when and where ever they want. In that moment, it was clear: by the creative use of existing communication tools, Ricky and Alex are helping to create an exciting future for you and me.

(Part one of two)

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