Our son, Bryan, has been in the U.S. Army for almost two years and will leave for his first deployment soon. In 2006 he asked me to make a quilt with his treasured cavalry flag on it and sent some patches for me to attach as well. Of course, before I sent the quilt to Bry it became part of show-n-tell at quilt guild meetings and bees. During one of the show-n-tells a friend introduced me to the Quilts of Valor Foundation. I have now made two quilts for injured soldiers through QOV and will be busy quilting away the anxious days until Bry comes home.
Recently, Alex got the following email:
"Alex's new show was the topic of our bee meeting the other night. We are saddened that she has taken this route of a computer show that we must pay additionally for. Several of our bee members have limited funds and loved watching simply quilts. We have others that have very limited computer skills and this turned them off to alex immediately. I just just very disappointed. I know this means nothing, but she has just lost 12 fans."
Here are some facts:
1. Alex did not leave Simply Quilts - HGTV cancelled the show, and in my words, left Alex and the entire quilting community out in the cold with no reasonable explanation of why. Over - done - kaput!
2. Watching Simply Quilts was not free. HGTV is accessible via Cable or satellite A portion of each month's bill goes to those networks. Many quilters never saw Simply Quilts because they didn't have premium cable service or lived in other countries where it was not shown.
3. Our options were: 1.Create our own show on the internet - 2. Do nothing at all. We felt the later was not really a vialbe option.
We realize that the likelihood of having any network accept our show was close to zero (they are just not interested in a quilting show) and if we had pursued the network option and gotten accepted, we (and all quilters) would be at the mercy of their executive decisions and neither Alex nor myself would have any creative control over the show. Alex did not have creative control with Simply Quilts. Many people don't realize that.
Regarding limited computer skills. I will use my mom and dad as an example and I wish to commend them. For the past 3-4 years, I have tried to get them 'tuned on' to email, but they continued to avoid it and not embrace it. The day Justin helped them join the The Quilt Show, it was daunting for each of them. However, they were determined to learn how to log on - read blogs, enter chat, and read and post in the forum. My mom has turned into a site junkie and signs on every day, sometimes several times a day, to read what's new. We have tried to make a very complex and complicated site as user friendly as possible. With a little experience and guidance anyone can do it.
I can honesty understand the knee-jerk reaction seen in the letter to Alex, but I also think that if we can educate and enlighten people on the hows and whys, they will understand and appreciate the fact that we are trying to do something really great for quilters. I continue to be thrilled that this endeavor is open to everyone worldwide - instantly.
Combine all that with the fact that there has never been a full-service, interactive web site for quilters to share information, post their quilts, chat, find shops, find shows, find teachers - well, - I'm preaching to the choir - cause you already know how great it is.
In the end - we realize that no matter how hard we try, we cannot please everyone. We will try to do our best to provide you with a site that will engage quilters and continue supporting the entire industry. We are thankful that Bernina shared our vision and saw the wonderful possibilities of using the internet and agreed to be our Production Sponsor - you can thank them yourself (email@example.com) - We are also thankful to our site sponsors and members who have made the site so very exciting.
See also - Why Subscribe To Our Show blog (March 12)
Once in a while Mom and I go to Sonora, Ca to go shopping. Sonora is a tiny town nestled in the foothills of CA. It is rich with history dating back to the Gold Rush days. Stores seem to come and go and sometimes the town is bustling (yesterday) and sometimes it is quiet and sleepy. For some reason we walked a little longer on main and we saw a window filled with a delicious assortment of shoes! I never thought of my self as a shoe person, but that changed yesterday. I couldn't believe how knowledgable the people were and how willing to work with two ladies going NUTS over their merchandise. I bought three pairs............John hates the green ones, but let me say they are SSOO comfortable and frankly I think they are cute. Then check out the soles of the other pair - love at first site.
On my husbands 50 birthday I gave him what one day would be a quilt of him 3 years old on a tricycle. He already loved it and it was only just started. I made the quilt from a picture his mother gave me (2X2 inch big and black and white) Next month he will be 54 and guess what he will get the finished pieced because I DID it. The quilt is finished and it is great. He looks realy 3 years and cycling. My husband still love to cycle and maybe one day I will make a quilt of him now on his bycicle. Will be continued.......
I have always considered quilting a journey and have treasured the process to get to the finished product. Having 2 sons, I decided when they each graduated from high school, I would hand quilt a quilt for them using the school colors of red, black, and white. I'm a machine quilter and hand quilting for me was such a labor intensive process, it felt like I was giving birth to a quilt. Each quilt took 9 months to complete. When the 2nd son was approaching graduation, I was trying to sum up my feelings on having my youngest leave the nest and what it meant to have him as my son. A new chapter was beginning in my life too and when it came time to make a label a plain one wouldn't do and I knew I needed to document my feelings into this piece of fabric. I authored a poem for his label and would like to share it. As I stitch I am deep reflection, A boy I love has had so much dedication. Molded by strong values and love, A gift to us from up above. As you move on to pursue your dreams, I pray God will guide you through each scene. But, my son as you fly away, Your Mother's love will always stay.
I just received this e letter from one of our first incredible guests and she so perfectly wrapped up the vision and voice of The Quilt Show. I asked her if I could post her note. I can't tell you who, but have fun guessing!
We had a terrific time...... Alex and
Ricky seem to have a wonderful chemistry as they "play off" each other
during the segments.
My husband went with me to the taping in CO. We both ended up in the
audience when we arrived and popped in to observe. I thought he'd die
when they put him in the front row (he's so shy). But he really got
into it and thoroughly enjoyed himself. We ended up staying for as many
tapings as we could before we had to fly out.
I loved the experience of working with both of them... On SQ, subjects
dealing with the spiritual, inspirational or of human
interest/situations were not allowed. Why would you sterilize quilting?
Quilters aren't like that..they put themselves and their spirit,
passions and emotions in their work. They stitch their tears, dreams
and joy in there too. We spend hours to months working on our
projects... and almost all of that time while our hands are working on
our quilts, our mind is off wandering and thinking about other things
more important than how we are constructing the quilt. I hope
Ricky/Alex do well with the show... it should prove to be very good
thing for our world of quilting.
All my best,
During the taping of what will be the free show, Ricky asked what do I do for fun besides quilting. Though I liked my answer, I forgot the coveted "burn day". Every spring when we head to the hills, there is a weekend when we attempt to clear the lot, and that includes BURNING! I LOVE burn day!!! Today, as our community rolled over 12,000 (YIPEE) I was burning old brush and leaves with Dad. Now, spring has been officially ushered in.
The contractors, actually my friends, are on the way out. Just one more morning of a few things to be installed when they arrive. So NOW the mess. Some of you are going through the same thing as I "speak". Trust me, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Check out my closet! May it stay like this for 24 hours. Now, if the living room can get whipped back into shape things will be dandy. Once it is all done, I'll post a picture. (for a sneak peek, John posted an in progress pix of the shower in his quilt gallery)