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There was a lot of publicity regarding the AIDS Memorial Quilt Project at its inception in 1987, and some of you may have wondered what has happened since then, in these 20 (Can you believe it?) years. 

For those of you who may NOT know, the AIDS Memorial Quilt is the largest ongoing community project in the world.  Each "block" or section of the AIDS Memorial Quilt measures approximately 12 feet square and a typical block consists of eight individual three foot by six foot panels sewn together.  Virtually every one of the more than 44,000 colorful panels that make up the Quilt memorializes the life of a person lost to AIDS. 

Today there are NAMES project chapters across the United States and independent Quilt affiliates around the world.  Since 1987, over 14 million people have visited the Quilt at thousands of displays worldwide. (Yes, it has toured non-stop for 20 years - take THAT, Rolling Stones!) Through such displays, the NAMES Project Foundation (the "custodian" of the Quilt) has raised over $3 million for AIDS service organizations throughout North America.

The Quilt was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and remains the largest community art project in the world.  The Quilt has been the subject of countless books, films, scholarly papers, articles, and theatrical, artistic and musical performances, including "Common Threads: Stories from The Quilt" which won the Academy Award as the best feature length documentary film of 1989. 

The Quilt has redefined the tradition of quilt-making in response to contemporary circumstances.  A memorial, a tool for education and a work of art, the Quilt is a unique creation, an uncommon and uplifting response to the tragic loss of human life.

For information on how to make a panel visit www.aidsquilt.org/makeapanel.htm. To see the Quilt's touring schedule visit www.aidsquilt.org/natdisplaysched.html.  If your schedule permits, you may even volunteer at one of the display sites, for more information visit www.aidsquilt.org/volunteer.htm

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We are proud of everyone who took part in helping with the V-Tech quilt project. Angelina had a vision for creating quilts of hope and healing for families who were directly affected by the tragic events at Virginia Tech this year. Here, in her own words, is an update.

Angelina here, with a great update: Thanks to the efforts of Meryl Ann Butler, two companies have donated all of the batting needed to complete this project. Leggett & Platt (makers of Mountain Mist) sent a 25-yard roll of their new Eco-Craft batting, which is made from a corn-derived polymer. Great idea for a toasty warm quilt. In addition, Fairfield sent three huge boxes of Quilter's 80/20 Poly-Fil. I am so grateful for their generosity. Thank you so much for helping with these quilts. With all of the batting donations that I have received from individual quilters (and there have been so many of you!), I now have plenty to finish 60 quilts. Quilters, please DO NOT send any more batting. I have finalized the revised flyer to distribute to your guilds and shops. Please email me (a_kendra@yahoo.com) if you need a copy.

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Houston, TX, June 4, 2007 - Quilts, Inc. announced the 2007 edition of the International Quilt Festival/Houston will feature a very special showing of the Quilt of Belonging.  The expansive quilt features hundreds of individual blocks representing every world nationality and major Canadian aboriginal group.  Festival will mark the quilt project's U.S. debut. 

Canada's largest and most comprehensive textile artowrk, the 120-foot long Quilt of Belonging is the collaborative effort of coordinator Esther Bryan and scores of individual and fabric artists.  Members of the 263 nationalities or ethnic groups represented in the quilt were invited to create a single block signifying a unique characteristic of their country or unique culture.  Each block possesses its own special character, yet also "belongs" in the overall design of the quilt.

Bryan initiated the Quilt of Belonging project after returning from a life-changing trip with her family to Slovakia, the country that her father had left behind 43 years earlier.  Her vision for the quilt was born out of the desire to create something that would celebrate diversity among people as well as promote a common humanity and compassion for others.

Since its inaugural exhibition in Canada in 2005, the quilt has traveled entirely across Canada, covering every province and parts of the Arctic territory.  Its upcoming journey to Houston, however, will mark its first exhibition in the United States. 

You can find out more about the Quilt of Belonging on the official website, www.quiltofbelonging.ca  

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It is very exciting to see the total of quilts growing day by day. Ricky's Rhapsody Blog is getting a lot of attention and some lucky person is going to win the very quilt you are watching him make. Be sure to keep browsing the Quilt Gallery. Our member Jolet has made some fun quilts that married Ricky's Caveman AND Convergence techinique. Way to go Jolet! This one is called Wonky Works 17.

In addition to the quilts in the gallery there are some great stories being posted in the Stories Pages. If you have a great story of interest about a quilt - please visit the Stories link and tell us about it.

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Essex Junction, VT, June 29-July 1 -  The Vermont Quilt Festival, New England's olderst and largest annual quilt event, will be held this year at the the Champlain Valley Expo.  It offers exhibits of more than 400 new and antique quilts, 75 lectures and workshops featuring renowned quilt artists, classes for children and a colorful display of wares in the Merchant Mall.  In addition, Warren Kimble, noted artist and activist, will make an appearance at this year's Festival to debut his new line of fabric for Quilting Treasures of Rhode Island. 

For more information about the VT Quilt Festival, visit www.vqf.org or email info@vqf.org.  For more information about the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.vermont.org.  

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Sebring, OH, June 29-30, 2007 - The 4th Biennial Quilt Show hosted by the United Quilt Guild will be held this weekend.  The venue for the show is Sebring High School. Included are a Hoffman Doll and Quilt Challenge, vendors, and a Guild Marketplace.  Admission is $5.  For more information visit www.neorqc.com, and click on the calendar link. 

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It is a beautiful Monday morning in La Veta, Colorado. The sun is rising over the lake near my house and I actually slept until 6:06am! Normally by this time I would have been at the studio for at least 30 minutes, downloading and editing footage for you and then prepearing for the taping. Can you tell, I'm taking a break?

The crew left last night and only a few 'stragglers' are here in town this morning. The shows are rich and full of everything you've asked for and still follow our vision for creating a lifestyle program for quilters. The first of the next set posts on July 23 - not too far away!

As you could tell in our last video, we DO read your comments. As a matter of fact - we are as additcted to hearing from you as many of you are to hear from us. Some of you are lurkers, and that's okay, but don't be shy to reply. Comments are really fun to receive.

Alex doesn't leave until later tonight. Boy do I have plans for her! She is going to do something today she has NEVER done before. As always, everything will be revealed in time, but it's okay for the guessing games to begin.

Ricky in cool, sunny southern Colorado.

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You saw her on the show recently, but she’s a hoot in person. Cheryl will be in chat room “Anybody out there” at 5:00pm Pacific/8:00 pm Eastern to share her tips on making your own unique one block quilt. By the way her other book Easy Chenille Appliqué I recently found out is NOT for appliqué fans only Click here . So put the TV on record and join us tonight.

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Story Submitted by: Kaypeaye

Just saw the story on how the Bernina still worked after the guy's accident, and it reminded me of the time I was in a hurry and almost forgot a stop sign that I was VERY familiar with. Anyhow I hit the brakes and my Bernina rolled over in the back seat and ended upside down on the floor. I was on my way to my very first quilting class and I didn't know if my machine would work either. It worked like a charm, but the light bulb did not work. Replaced the bulb and all was fine. It is a 1230 and it still works very good. It is easy to figure out too. I just got a 640 and need a LOT of lessons. I know eventually the knowledge will come, but my workhorse 1230, is my baby.

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Story Submitted by: mascyn

I had a job that allowed me to sew while I had down time waiting for customers. While gettig to work one day the road and walk ways were Icy, I slipped and my Bernina went straight up in the air over 6 feet and landed on its wheel. I cried not for pain to my body but the thought of my machine not working. After calming down and checking out the machine throughly I found it had a craked the wheel but ran perfectly. I did not even get it fixed till the next service when I could bear to be without it. You see this machine has been dropped off the table lots of times because the dogs and kids get cought in the cord and down it goes. (I sew at the kitchen table and forget to unblug it alot) How can you yell at the dog or the kids for a accident. I am now teaching my grandaughter to sew and she is 9 and already finished a quilt for her cousin. Life is simpler when you can depend on your Bernina. I LOVE MY BERNINA.


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