I am currently in Carmel, Indiana on behalf of Bernina - Yesterday I was in Oklahoma City. I LOVE getting out and meeting YOU! When I was in Oklahoma Wendy brought an incredible dress for us to enjoy - her daughters wedding dress that she sewed in 10 days!!! The embroidery was incredible and truly inspiring. Thank you Wendy for bringing this treat to the event!





Quilters looking forward to Anderson's visit

Popular TV host and author to appear at Weber's Inn Monday

Alex Anderson, a well-known quilter, author and TV personality, will be at Weber's Inn in Ann Arbor from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday for an event that is expected to draw close to 500 quilting enthusiasts.

Anderson has been highlighted in numerous magazines, penned more than 18 books, designs her own line of fabrics and threads, and is the national spokesperson for Bernina of America. She was chosen as recipient of this year's Silver Star Award by Houston's International Quilt Festival for her far-reaching and positive contributions to the quilting community.

In the morning, Anderson will give a lecture on her journey as a quilter accompanied by a virtual trunk show of her quilts and a light continental breakfast. Participants will hear about her early experiences with quilting, the ups and downs of being a TV host, and her newest endeavor.

In college, Anderson completed a quilt as part of her coursework toward an art degree and that experience jumpstarted her deep relationship with quilting.

Anderson hosted HGTV's "Simply Quilts" for 11 years before the show was canceled, and fans today still look for reruns of the popular show.

Her latest project, "The Quilt Show," is an interactive online video/Web magazine whose mission is to educate, inspire, entertain, connect and grow the world quilting community. The site offers subscribers hour-long episodes with charismatic co-hosts Anderson and artist Ricky Tims.

"The Quilt Show" also offers a place for quilters around the world to share ideas, view quilts, list global events, read newsletters, learn quilting techniques and get projects.

Anderson cites technology as the biggest change she's witnessed in quilting over the span of her career. She refers to "The Quilt Show" as "The Ultimate Cyber Quilting Bee" with its live audience, special guests, opportunities for learning and the interactive aspects of the site.

The Silver Star Award recognizes Anderson's impact on the quilting industry, but she has also touched the lives of many individuals throughout the world.

"I appreciate the stories, but it really doesn't resonate," she said. "I consider myself as just another quilter."

She describes quilters as a unique community of good people who support each other, despite coming in different packages.

"It's the nature of quilters," she said. "If everybody in the world quilted, there would be less fighting."

Although she has been quilting for more than 30 years, Anderson said she never gets bored with it. Anderson credits her energetic co-host Tims and "The Quilt Show" for her current enthusiasm and points out that there's always something new to learn about quilting.

She believes there are several misconceptions about quilters, including that it's "a little old lady sport," quilters have to be patient and quilters have to be good to join a guild.

A self-proclaimed impatient person, she authored a book for younger quilters titled "Kids Start Quilting with Alex Anderson" and acknowledges TV shows like "Project Runway" that emphasize sewing help to captivate a younger audience.

Anderson has always sought to educate and encourage quilters of all levels and offers advice to newcomers.

"Take a class at your local quilt shop, put on your blinders and don't look at the others or you'll get discouraged," she said.

Along with that, she tells quilters to pursue the types of quilting that best suit them and don't try to quilt in a style that isn't a good fit.

"Do what makes your own heart sing," she said.

According to Anderson, quilts are a part of American history and most people have a quilt in their family, making quilting a generational connector.

"It gets us in touch with our ancestry," she said.

The sponsor of this event, Viking Sewing Center, is celebrating 40 years in business. Kris Houghtaling first learned to repair sewing machines at the age of 13, when his parents owned the business. It's now co-owned by Kris and his wife, Doni, who live in Dexter along with 11-year-old Kristin and 9-year-old Mitchell.

The owners and their staff attend conventions to keep up to date on the sewing industry and it was at a convention in 2007 when Doni first met Anderson. The Houghtalings' daughter, Kristin, had entered a quilt into a competition and won honorable mention.

Anderson looked over Kristin's quilt, shared her own story, and offered words of encouragement.

"It impressed me that she took time out of her day to come and talk to my daughter," Doni Houghtaling said.

She describes Anderson's presentation style as upbeat and funny.

"Alex is one of the most personable, down-to-earth people. You wouldn't know she's as popular as she is, because it's like talking to the girl next door," she said.

Following a lunch break, Anderson will be available to meet participants, sign books, and pose for photographs. Attendees will be able to purchase Anderson's line of fabrics, patterns, books, quilt kits and DVDs.

Susan Vaughan, a quilter from Chelsea who likes Anderson's fabric and patterns, can't attend the event because of a new baby. She said she believes that Anderson took an activity that is considered to be solely for grandmothers to one that is enjoyed by all ages.

"She took quilting to the mainstream," Vaughan said.

Ethel Polsdofer, a quilter from Saline, said she looks forward to hearing what Anderson has to say.

"Alex Anderson has been an inspiration to a lot of quilters, especially new quilters like me, because she makes difficult things look easy," Polsdofer said.

Dexter resident Kathy Willis is looking forward to the event because she feels she always learns something new from Anderson.

"I'm very excited about seeing her. You can take everything you learn from quilting and apply it to other sewing projects."

Willis believes that Anderson has good color sense and a vast amount of knowledge.

"I'm anxious to learn what she has to say," she said.

Judy Gordon, Saline Township treasurer since 1988, quilts for pleasure and swears that quilting lowers her blood pressure. She teaches at Viking Sewing Center and will be staffing the event on Monday to discuss clubs and classes.

"I think Alex has so much information. It will be neat to see her in person," Gordon said.

Additional Viking Sewing Center staff will be on hand at various booths during the afternoon to provide activities while attendees wait in line to meet Anderson.

Michelle McCalla of Manchester and Kathy Reed of Plymouth will handle sales and share their knowledge of sewing machines. Bernina sewing machines purchased at the event can be signed by Anderson in the afternoon.

Cindy Hunter of Dexter will cover embellishing techniques, a service technician will cover the proper care of sewing machines and Crystal Smythe of Tecumseh will be assisting with fabric selection, check-in and questions.

Nanette Weaver, a Scio Township resident who has designed her own jacket pattern, will demonstrate machine quilting. She looks forward to showing off the store, as well as getting Anderson's autograph at the event.

"It will be fun to hear her story," Weaver said.

Two Saline residents also will be working at booths. Sylvia Coleman will demonstrate machine embroidery and Nancy Lindemann will assist with fabric selection and the cash register.

This will be the second time that Coleman will see Anderson and recalls that at a Toledo event Anderson was interested in seeing the items that participants had made.

"She's very personable, down to earth and just adorable," Coleman said.

Coleman finds Anderson to be an inspirational individual.

"She is really the person who is responsible for getting so many people interested in quilting," Coleman said.

Tickets are $25 and are available by calling Viking Sewing Center at 761-3094.

By Alison Marable, Special Writer  PUBLISHED: June 19, 2008

Alison Marable is a freelance writer and can be reached at alimarabelle@yahoo.com.




Alex loves baskets.  A friend saw this quilt on Ebay and instantly knew that Alex would want it.  So, she bought it and called Alex.  She was right, Alex was there with the checkbook.

Alex thinks it's about a 1930's quilt.  What's your guess?  I tried to take a lot of pictures of the fabrics.




What started out as a picture of Alex's Rose of Sharon quilt that was featured in "Beautifully Quilted", ended up being a lesson in photography-or rather a lesson in what not to do.  Notice that low brightness brings out the quilting better.  I have a whole lot of questions to ask Gregory Case now that I tried to do close-ups of quilting stitches.  As always, if it has to be done right for contests, magazines or hanging, use a professional.

The next quilt coming out of the armoire is one Alex bought on Ebay.




This is the last of the quilts made from blocks given to Alex by famous quilters. Again, it was Margaret Miller that so wonderfully put the quilts together.  The middle picture is by Charlotte Warr Andersen.  Her website is http://www.charlottewarrandersen.com/.  it is always fun to check up on what she is up to.

Next we will finally get to Alex's quilts. 




I heard that the wild Iris on the Cuchara Pass (about 15 miles up the road from La Veta, CO) were spectacular this year. It was predicted that they would be at their peak this past weekend. So, with camera in hand I took the journey to see what all the fuss was about. I was not disappointed. As you can see, the show they put on was absolutely amazing! I was surprised to see so many different varieties, including white and pale blue. These eight photos are just a sample of some of my favorites. I'm hoping to try printing them on fabric.

Beth Wheeler's show, Episode 211, has inspired many TQS members to try printing imagery on fabric - then quiltling it. If you were inspired by Beth's episode and you have added quilts to your profile page that feature digital imagery, let us know so we can go take a peek.


I was intrigued by the block that looks like a face.  It just looked like a pieced block until I took the picture.  It's by Tammie Bowser.  Her quilt site is http://www.mosaicquilt.com/



Here is another of the quilts put together by Margaret Miller of blocks from famous quilters. I'll put up one more later today.  I do need to remind you that these pictures were NOT the work of Gregory Case.





Free Tickets Available
It's time to reserve your tickets for the next series of TQS tapings! Information regarding dates, guidelines, and policies for requesting tickets appears below. If you plan to fly, the Colorado Springs airport--one hour and 45 minutes from La Veta--is the best option (Denver is three hours away). Lodging in La Veta is VERY limited, but Walsenburg (15 minutes away) has several hotels. Pueblo, Trinidad, and Alamosa are larger cities with plenty of amenities, and each is about one hour from La Veta. For general information on La Veta, click here.

Twelve Shows

Dates: Thursday - Tuesday, September 4 - 9, 2008

Two shows are taped each day. Attendance for the entire day is required.

Cutoff date for requests: August 13, 2008 or when 'Sold Out'

1. Tickets are FREE and available only to TQS members (both Basic and Star). Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

2. When requesting a ticket, you must provide your TQS screen name along with your first and last names.

3. If you are requesting tickets for someone other than yourself, you will need to provide their TQS screen name and first/last names along with your information at the time of request. (Non-members of TQS can join here.) Make sure all screen names are spelled correctly. Screen names not found in the TQS Membership database will not be processed.

4. Due to the overwhelming demand, tickets will be distributed for ONE day's attendance (two shows) only. You may request tickets for one additional day, but these requests will be honored only if space remains following the cutoff date.

Please include the word TICKET in the subject line of your e-mail ticket request to ensure that your order is processed promptly. Be specific regarding the date you wish to attend, and--again--be sure to list the screen names and first/last names of EACH person for whom you are requesting a ticket. .

Tickets will be confirmed via an e-mail document.

All tickets issued MUST be used. Please do not request tickets if you or your guests are not committed to attending. Seating is limited to 40 per day, and we do not overbook; therefore, unused tickets result in empty seats. This diminishes the energy of the show and denies someone else the opportunity to attend.

To make your request for a free ticket, or to receive further information about tickets and our ticket policies, e-mail service@thequiltshow.com. If you are a quilt shop or quilt guild wishing to bring a LARGE group to the tapings, please contact Lilo directly at (719) 481-1757.



Alex received blocks from many of the people she had the honor of working with.  Margaret Miller put them together and several wonderful keepsakes were created.  Here is an example of one of the quilts. 


Here are some of the names I could make out:

Jackie Robinson, Debbie Caffrey, Margaret Miller, Liza Prior Lucy, Kate Tegtmeier, Linda Long, Judy Severson, Barbara Garrett, Sandy Bonsib, Faye Labanaris, Carol Armstrong Debi Anderson, Jane Quinn, Kaye Wood, Clare O'Donohue, Dierdra McElroy, Robyn Pandolph, Becky Goldsmith, Lois Embree Arnold, Sharon Rexroad Ericson, Paula Reid, Nancy Eha, Sherry Reis, Joanie San Chirico & Billie Lauder



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