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Although I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Cuesta, she was a remarkable lady. The previous blog has gotten me thinking about how interwoven we are. Even though we never met, her mark was certainly made in our community - she will be missed not only by those who knew her, but her effect on quilting will also be missed. I have gotten thinking about those who have profoundly impacted my life and I think I need to go and make a call to simply say, "Thank you" - which is perhaps the greatest prayer of all (I heard that on Oprah many years ago and it has stayed with me).

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For nearly 50 years, Cuesta Benberry made contributions to the world as a lecturer, workshop leader, seminar director, film, TV and radio participant, curator, researcher and author.  She was first introduced to quilts and quilt patterns by women from her husband’s family in Kentucky.  Her interest was sparked; and it grew into a lifelong passion for pattern collecting and quilt history research.  Cuesta’s research contributed considerable knowledge to the field of quilt studies.  

 She married George Benberry in 1951 and almost immediately thereafter began studying and collecting quilt patterns.  In 1965 Cuesta’s original quilt block design “Kennedy’s Eternal Flame”  won Honorable Mention in Aunt Kate’s Quilting Bee Magazine.  In 1970 she became a contributing author to Nimble Needle Treasures magazine, and in 1977 she began contributing articles to Quilters’ Journal.  In 1980 she attended the very first meeting of American Quilt Study Group in California.  In 1983 she was inducted into the Quilter’s Hall of Fame.  Cuesta was a teacher by profession and taught in St. Louis Public Schools until 1985.  

 A lifelong resident of St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Cuesta curated the “Hear My Quilt” exhibition for the St. Louis Art Museum, and in 1994, the St. Louis Art Museum commissioned Faith Ringgold to make a quilt in honor of Cuesta for its permanent collection.  “Jo Baker’s Birthday” was installed in March, 1994. 

  Mrs. Benberry is the author of four books:  Always There: The African American Presence in American Quilts, Love of Quilts: A Treasury of Classic Quilting Stories, Journey of the Spirit: The Art of Gwendolyn A. Magee, and A Piece of My Soul.    

Cuesta Benberry passed away on August 23, 2007.  She leaves behind her husband, a son and daughter-in-law, two grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and too many quilting friends to count.  You may sign her guestbook at http://tinyurl.com/yuqxq3.

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May 8-10, 2008 - Salt Lake City, UT, USA, The title for the 5th Annual Home Machine Quilting Show (HMQS) will be (drum roll, please) “Heirlooms – Wrapped Up in Your Quilted Past” - The 2008 show theme was inspired by a line in “The Quilt” song performed at this year’s show by award-winning music group, Joshua Creek.  As this is the 5th Anniversary of the Home Machine Quilting Show, the future looks very exciting, but the hope is that you will take a trip down memory lane as we reminisce about our ‘heirlooms’ – the quilts, stories and people who are a part of us today.  For more information visit www.hmqs.org 

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ROAD TRIP! That is what we just did across the top portion of your state - it was an offical Bernina adventure! What a pleasure meeting all of you - the best part? Knowing that where ever my journey lead, it was with YOU - the quilters! Now THAT is a day job to keep!

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"Hey Dennis, are we lost?"

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Mary Fisher, quilt artist, author and AIDS activist will be in chat room "Featured Guest" tomorrow August 28, 2007 at 6:00pm Pacific/9:00pm Eastern. As an ambassador for the United Nations AIDS program, Mary has used her art to raise awareness about AIDS and its impact, especially on women.  Join us for what is sure to be a moving experience.   

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Just when I thought we were lost in upstate NY - a quilt show member, Joanne, made me feel right at home with, who else...but SUNBONNET SUE! Oh YES!!! I was among friends - but I guess I knew that all along. On the road with Bernina and having a blast! THANK YOU Joanne and all of our friends of The Quilt Show - it was GREAT meeting you!!

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Carol Babbitt, president of Project Linus, has announced that Meryl Ann Butler will teach the techniques from her book, 90-Minute Quilts: 15+ Projects You Can Stitch in an Afternoon (www.90minutequilts.com ) at their next conference in June, 2008, in Bloomington, Illinois. The Project Linus Conference is an annual event held each summer as an educational tool for Chapter Coordinators. Project Linus (www.projectlinus.org ) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that provides love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets.

An estimated 50,000 volunteer "blanketeers" in 400 chapters have donated over 2 million lovingly sewn, quilted and crocheted blankets since the inception of the project in 1995. The 90-Minute Quilts methods are perfect for community service projects, and several dozen quilts will be made in Meryl Ann's classes at the conference. All the materials are being donated: Quilting Treasures is providing the fabric from their new Marie Osmond Heirloom Gardens and Paddington lines, Henry Glass & Co. is supplying the backing and binding flannels, and Fairfield Processing is providing the batting.

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That's right all you World Quilt Community members. If you arrived here you most likely did by logging on in the new landing page. The new page offers a tour of the site for non-members - letting them take a better peek at what is inside - but Basic Members and even Star Members will benefit by just going through the four pages on the tour. For those of you who already know all the great things feature at The Quilt Show, this tour will give you the opportunity to tell your friends and encourage them to take a peek as well.

Thanks Web Guru Bob for helping launch this much needed aspect to those who find their way to The Quilt Show, but have no idea what to expect. Try the tour - www.thequiltshow.com

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It seems flooding has been in the news quite a bit lately. The UK had tremendous flooding and now our upper mid-west. We don't know at this point if there is anything we can do, but certainly we would like to know if any of you have been affected or if your quilting friends have been. Being such a small organization and not having staff to do what the Red Cross or Salvation Army or other groups can do, we simply ask that you tell us your stories and we hope that our community will find a way to help. So - we're watching and praying for those who have experienced any loss this summer and most recently in the mid-west.

Edited - PS. I was reminded by a member of the recent floods in Texas, Oklahoma, and neighboring states. How could I fail to mention that as my HOME TOWN was seriously flooded this summber too. Shame on me.-Ricky 

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How does it feel to be a year older today?

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