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Meg Cox (MC): This is Meg Cox and I’m conducting an interview with Alex Anderson for Quilters’ S.O.S. Save Our Stories a project of The Alliance for American Quilts. It is now 10:42 A.M on Saturday November 5th and we’re conducting this interview on the convention floor at Quilt Festival. Now as usual, you’ve brought a touchstone quilt, you brought a special quilt, so why don’t you tell us why you picked this one?

Detail of Alex Anderson Rose of Sharon quilt

Alex Anderson, detail, Rose of Sharon

Alex Anderson (AA): Why did I choose this quilt to bring today? I consider myself a traditional quiltmaker, although I’m going into new venues, which is very, very exciting but typically I’ve been known as the Star Lady, and handquilter. So this particular quilt was made entirely by me, I didn’t even have a celebrity stunt sewer do the binding [laughs.] and it has machine pieced stars, hand appliquéd and handquilted.

MC: What do you think someone seeing this quilt would think about you as a quilter?

AA: What would I think if somebody were viewing this quilt, of me as a quiltmaker? I’m pretty simpleminded [laughs.] I mean it’s a classic patter, but it has a contemporary twist to it. You would know that this pattern A Rose of Sharon was not made one hundred years ago. You would know that it has been made probably around the turn of the century and I also love that it has hand dyes in it. [announcement on loudspeaker.]

MC: What do you do with this quilt? What is your plan for this quilt?

AA: What do I do with this quilt? Most of my quilts are working quilts. This particular quilt was created for my book Beautifully Quilted by Alex Anderson and it was a book that was written to talk about how much I love designing quilting motifs. I studied under a women named Lucy Hilty who is no longer with us, but she was a driving heart beat for us in the San Francisco Bay are [California.] She was a Mennonite woman who didn’t care much about creating the quilt top, she cared about creating the quilting designs and I’m not sure if that was my tenth book, but it was kind of in there, I knew that I had to document the lessons that Lucy taught me. For me, when the quilt is quilted, that’s when the true soul is, I’m going to say a wrong word, breathed into, the quilt. Is that correct English, Meg?

MC: I’m not sure, but it sounds great to me.

AA: Okay [laughs.] The quilting to me is where it is happening, especially when you’re sitting at the quilt frame; this magic.

MC: Alex, can you tell me your first quilt memory?

AA: My first quilt memory, I can tell you what it is, but I don’t remember it. My first quilt memory was brought to my attention about ten years ago. There was a women who lived next door to my mom and dad and her name is Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. Kelly was a multi-talented woman and when I met up with her, you know years later, when I was a little girl, I would come over and sit under her quilt frame. For eighth grade graduation in high school, she gave me a silver thimble. Who would have ever guessed? I met up with her later and she called me on the phone and she said, she’s a lawyer in the Monterey Bay area [California.] and she said, “You’re famous!” and I said, “And you’re smart!” [laughs.]

MC: [laughs.] What age did you actually start quiltmaking?

AA: Quiltmaking was started in seventy-eight. I was a student at San Francisco State University [California.] My degree was in generic art with kind of heavy design influence. One month prior to graduation, I found out I was a unit short. I had just done a paper on quilting at American Folk Tradition for a children’s class I was in. So I went to my counselor and I said, “If I do a quilt, in this one month, will you give me the unit that I need to graduate?” and she said, “Yes.” So I called my grandmother, who had started a hand pieced grandma’s flower garden in the 1930s and she was thrilled to send it off to me. I went and got cotton batting with seeds in it, I got Laura Ashley upholstery fabric for the backing, and this giganto quilt that I was going to do in one month, ended up being the size of a bathmat. Grandma was profoundly disappointed, but despite all odds, a quiltmaker was born.

MC: That’s wonderful. What about the second one? Did that take a while to get through?

AA: The second quilt? No, because I was, she asked what about my second quilt. I was supposed to be a weaver for life, but I found my home at the quilt frame that my dad made for me from stolen lumber from the neighbor’s yard [laughs.] and every night I would just come and quilt, quilt, quilt. The second quilt was actually a quilt, an Amish quilt that I made in Lucy Hilty’s class, where I learned how to draw feathers and cables and all those beautiful motifs that we still love today.

MC: Are there other quiltmakers in your family other than your grandmother?

AA: Are there other quiltmakers in my family? Interestingly enough, I kind of think it skips generations, but I know on both sides, the grandmothers dabbled in quilting, not seriously, but after both grandparents had passed away, both sides, we found my grandmother’s frame from one side in the attic of the other grandmother. We gave it to a museum in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. I’m kind of sad I didn’t hang on to those four sticks but I suppose it’s better that it’s where it really belongs, it’s in Dorr County [Wisconsin.]

MC: That’s wonderful. When did you start teaching?

AA: So when did I start teaching quiltmaking, about thirty seconds after I started making quilts, because you see I just discovered it [laughs.] I went to a church group and I taught, I don’t even know what, and then I was keeping one step ahead of what the students wanted, and if somebody wants to teach quiltmaking, I say, “It’s great,” find a group of people who want to learn, and just share your knowledge.

MC: So what was the class?

AA: So what was the class that I taught? I haven’t a clue [laughs.]

MC: But then you went from that onto television? Can you talk about that?

AA: So there’s a giant leap between when I started quiltmaking to when I went and got on television. There was a lot of teaching that went on. I was, I taught at Cotton Patch, Lafayette, California and Empty Spools store in Alamo, California, and I had the opportunity to put other, my quilts, in other people’s books. The first quilt that I had published was in Quilts, Quilts, Quilts by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes and it was a star quilt on black background, solid fabrics. That was a light bulb moment for me, because at the time in the San Francisco Bay area [California.] there was a war between art quilters and traditional quilters and it was really ugly. I wanted to be with the cool guys, that were the art quilters, but I kept finding myself drawn to the traditional medium and Diana saw that quilt of mine, this simple saw-toothed star quilt, and said, “Can we have it for our first book?” and that was a light bulb moment for me because I realized it doesn’t matter whether you’re traditional, whether you’re art, or you don’t even know where you fit in, all that’s important is that you are a quilter. I was kind of a generic quilter, teaching stars and how to draw the motifs and all that, and I was down at a show, Road to California put on by Caroline Reese in Southern California, and I was approached by Stephanie Kleinman who worked for Weller-Grossman Productions and she came into my class, and she wanted to know if I’d be interested in hosting a television show. And I said, “I can’t talk right now, I’m teaching a class, let’s meet at lunch,” so we couldn’t find a private place until we scored a bus bench, kind of like Forrest Gump [laughs.] and we had ourselves a conversation. I really was not interested in being on television; I just wanted to be able to be a professional quilter. So I said, “Let me think about this,” and I flew home that night, and John was in the kitchen fixing something that might look like a dinner, and my kids were watching television, at the time my son was probably early high school, my daughter junior high, pre-junior high, and I walked in the house, and I said, “You’re not going to believe this, somebody wants me to do a television show.” It’s the first time my kids ever cared what I did for a living, all of the sudden quilting was becoming important, and I remember walking through the family room to the kitchen, and I looked at my husband John, and I said, “I don’t want to do this,” and he looked at me and he said, “I’ve never seen you back away from anything. I’ve seen you make twenty quilts for a book, for books, in three months. I’ve seen you meet every single challenge,” and he said, “When you’re an old lady, in the old people’s home, sitting on the front porch trying to teach the lady next to you how to quilt, you’re going to be very sorry that you missed this opportunity.” So it was through my husband’s encouragement that I went forwards.

MC: That’s wonderful.

AA: And Meg that makes me want to weep right now [laughs.] Kidding.

MC: We’ve got the Kleenex, don’t worry.

AA: Yeah [laughs.]

MC: Can you, we’ll switch channels then, can you tell me about an amusing experience that occurred during your quilting or teaching of quilting?

AA: An amusing experience that’s happened during my quilting. What isn’t great about this industry, I can’t, I will just say what’s so amusing is that this is the universe’s joke, that I’ve been able to write all these books and have a TV show because I graduated with C- from Livermore High School [California.]

MC: Oh.

AA: That’s the joke [laughs.]

MC: What do you find pleasing about making quilts?

AA: What do I find pleasing about making quilts? I knew you’d ask a question kind of like that, so I’m going to preface it differently, then you can re-ask it if I don’t answer it. I have found that in quiltmaking, there are certain things that really have made a difference to me along the way. In the beginning it was when I had my first sewing room, and we took the bed out, and it was all mine that was really a wonderful moment. I remember when I got my first Bernina, I mean we didn’t have money, we didn’t have money at all, I borrowed the money from my dad. I remember when I was first published in Diana’s book, and Laura’s book, and the journey has continued to amaze me. I remember when I could go into a quilt shop and not have to worry if I could feed my family and be able to spend twenty-five dollars on fabric, but now the thing that is so pleasing to me about quilting are the people. And that’s why I love what you’re doing here with S.O.S. [Save Our Stories.] because we are an incredible community and I don’t think there’s anything else quite like it on the planet, so to me it’s the people now.

MC: Would you talk a little bit about techniques. Now you are, the queen of handquilting, but can you talk a little bit about your journey in terms of technique and material?

AA: Okay as far as my journey of technique, I did start out as a traditional quiltmaker. Love the handquilting, fell into the star lady, and that was actually because in Diana and Laura’s book, Quilts, Quilts, Quilts that wasn’t really included in the sampler. My journey has been taken, has taken a really abrupt turn lately, and it’s very interesting to watch because I don’t know where I’m going, but I know I’m doing something a little bit different. And at this point, my journey is taking me away from teaching and putting me back into the student role. Right now on my frame at home I have a silk Dupioni silk, that’s very arty, kind of like my quilt for the Alzheimer’s movement for Ami Simms, it’s full-size and yet it’s handquilted so it’s kind of like taking the old, and integrating the new to it. I think that’s one of the things we love about quilting, is that it’s not a journey that has an end. The more I know, the less I know, and I think that’s what continues to make this so exciting.

MC: How has technology influenced your quilting?

AA: How has technology influenced my quilting? A lot, a lot. I’ve learned things in the last five years that I didn’t know my brain could even process and I think technology, the thing is the internet. We are now connecting quilters worldwide. I’ve had the delicious pleasure of being in Africa this past year and meeting with a guild of which it was the first generation of quilters. I had the opportunity to go to Costa Rica and meet with the first generation of quilters and the internet I think is taking our community and just reaching it so far out there, and yet it’s making out community smaller, and smaller, and smaller. I also think digital photography is something else that’s really important. I was trying to put together something, and I went back to try and find college pictures of me, and they just simply didn’t exist because we didn’t, I didn’t have the money to process the film. Now with digital photography, you have people here from all over the world, snapping away their heart’s content, and then they can go to wherever they live and share these pictures either in person, or on the internet, so I think digital photography is a big deal.

MC: So you mentioned that silk Dupioni, so would you say that the materials and the techniques that you’re using are different now?

AA: I mentioned that I’m working with soup [laughs.] strike that from the record please, silk Dupioni and do I think that globally techniques and all that are changing? Oh definitely. I look here, this is on video, or on audio, but across the way I’m looking at a quilt that is just covered with crystals you know, and it’s changing at a very rapid speed. I think the rules have all been broken or open and there’s not the way that those of you who perhaps started quilting thirty years ago, if you didn’t do it the way that teacher said, you might end up in jail [laughs.] I’ll join you there.

MC: Yeah. Would you describe your studio now, your place where you do your quilting?

AA: I love my studio where I’m working now. My first studio, I even have a hard time saying that because it sounds so important, and it’s just my playground, my first studio was an extra bedroom with a bed in it, a guest room, and it was after taking a class from Nancy Crow, I came home to my husband and I said, “You know, you’re right, this needs to be, stay the guest bedroom, I’m going to move into the living room and claim that as my own,” and the bed was out the next day, so that was my first studio. The second studio, it was in Pinole, California, we purchased a second house, moved, and it was downstairs and it was quite large. It was long and skinny, but it was large. But then we had to move to Livermore, California, where I was raised, and the real-estate was a little bit more expensive, and so my studio became the largest extra bedroom, the kitchen, and the laundry room. My first book was written in the laundry room. I thought we needed to move, but my dad said, “Look, you’ve got some space right behind the house here, you could add on.” So I went and visited other quiltmakers’ studios, Yvonne Porcella, Freddy Moran, to name some of the people you might be familiar with, and I made a list of the things that I wanted. Then I went to an architect and I said, “It had to be under 500 square feet, because at 500 square feet, we had to pay more taxes. So my studio is 498 square feet, and it’s pushed to the back of the house, through my daughter’s bedroom, which is now my office. I’m so glad I had other people look at the plans, it is the place where you will find me even if I’m painting my fingernails. I love that spot.

MC: That’s great. With everything that you do, are you, do you find it hard to balance your schedule? Do you find, we all have trouble finding enough time for quilting, but is that especially difficult for you?

AA: With everything I do, do I have time to balance my quilting time? Yes it’s very, very difficult but I do quilt. My mom calls the back, my studio, my studio, not my sewing room, the factory, because she’ll come back there and see me sewing but in the end, when the day is over, and I’m done writing articles for the magazine or working on the website, or traveling, being here with you, and my friends, my friends and family, I find that at four o’clock in the afternoon, that’s where you might just find me, sitting at the quilt frame. I’ve just now put another quilt on the frame, it’s been a long time, and I have vowed that I will always have a quilt on the frame, because that’s where I get centered. I’ve got to have that to go to and it’s been a long time since I’ve made that promise to myself.

MC: That’s great. What about machine quilting? Do you do much of that?

AA: Machine quilting, yes I’ve learned to machine quilt and I think it’s really exciting that there’s something that you don’t know how to do, I think it’s important to learn to do it because I feel as quiltmakers we have a tool belt, and every technique and tip that you learn, can go into that tool belt and you can pull it out when you need it. So yes, I really like machine quilting, but I will tell you this, I also know I have x-amount of time, back to the time thing, and if I can pay somebody to do something better than I, I will do that, and I will give them credit too. For instance, I, we have the things we love and the things we don’t like, I really don’t like binding quilts, so I bind my checkbook, it’s a matter—

MC: Except for this quilt—

AA: Well this one I did it all. As a matter of surrounding yourself with the people that love to do that things you hate, then you love to do the things they hate, and that’s how we all get along, right?

MC: Tell me this; did you ever use quilting to get through a difficult time in your life?

AA: Did I ever use quilting to get through a difficult time in my life? I’ll bet that’s when Carol started crying, yeah.

MC: Most people.

AA: That’s a very good question. For me, it was very difficult on 9/11. I was separated from my children and my husband. I was in Dorr County, Wisconsin with my mom and dad. I was to fly home and host a quilt show at Quilting in the Garden at Alden Lane, in Livermore, California, an outdoor quilt show and we packed up a pickup truck and drove cross country. The pickup truck had jump seats in the back, so this was kind of amazing to do this with your eighty-year-old parents and I was horrified being separated from my children and John. When I got home, all the quilters started making quilts, and if you can remember, Houston [Texas.] International Quilt Festival was, you know what, a month and a half later and there was an aisle that went all the way down the length of the convention center with quilts on both sides with people responding to this horrific situation that had happened in the United States. I went to my sewing machine and I was paralyzed.

MC: Really?

AA: I couldn’t sew. All I could do was pick up and do red work. I couldn’t, so I think for me, the opposite happens, and that was an extremely interesting situation, when I could come to quilt festival and market and see what people had done, and I retreated.

MC: How long did it take before you sort of thawed out?

AA: Probably, how long did it take before I could get back in the groove, probably about six months? I will also say too, that after I had each child, well let’s start with Joey who’s my oldest, I lost my creativity for a year and I have warned other pregnant women that you could do, this might happen to you, and don’t freak out because you’ll get your groove back on. So when my daughter than was born, I gave myself permission to not be creative for a year. I’m opposite of the pack [laughs.]

MC: What do you think makes a great quilt?

AA: What do I think makes a great quilt? Wow. I don’t think I can define that because a great quilt might be the best of show, it might be something that documents something, or it might be Katie’s quilt, a young women who is my daughter’s best friend, or one of her very good friends, and two years ago Katie came to me, age twenty-six, and said, “I want to make a t-shirt quilt.” Or no, first it was, “Will you make me a t-shirt quilt?” No. So, we had a quilt day at my house, where my daughter and Katie made t-shirt quilts from their college, St. Mary’s, and at the very end, I looked at Katie and I said, “So what’s your next quilt going to be?” and she goes, “Well, I’ve decided it’s going to be a [inaudible.],” [laughs.] and that t-shirt quilt is the most important quilt. What was really great, I have a little bit of goose bumps going on here, Fourth of July, this last Fourth of July, she’s been quilting a year and a half, and she comes up to me and she goes, “Guess what?” and I said, “What?” she said, “I taught the lady who lives above me how to quilt.” That t-shirt quilt is a great quilt.

MC: I totally agree, but what makes a quilt appropriate for museum would you say?

AA: Oh what makes a quilt appropriate for museum? You know, I don’t know. I do know that I’m really impressed that Yvonne Porcella got the San Jose [Texas.] Quilt and Textile Museum to accept her work, because you know a hundred years from now, who knows where these quilts are going to be. I do know that probably my quilts are not appropriate for museums [laughs.] but you know it’s probably the masters, the masters and their quilts.

MC: So among quilters out there in any kind of genre or style, whose work are you drawn to in particular?

AA: Okay so whose work am I drawn to in particular? I don’t think I have a clear answer on that, I really don’t think I have a clear answer on that because I like the diversity is just incredible and I love everything from the antique quilts, I love the new things, I love, I just kind of love them all.

MC: Whose work has influenced you, whether it is a quilter or another type of artist?

AA: Whose, what quilter has influenced me? One of the great things about being a professional quilt teacher and traveling is that everywhere you go, you are influenced by what’s going on in that area, and then you’re the lucky one that gets to sprinkle that fairy dust in another area, but I do have a story. About four or five years ago, Jean Wells, who owns the Stitching Post in Sisters, Oregon, and who I consider a very good friend, called and asked me to teach, she has retreats that are not during the outdoor quilt show. And I said, “You know Jean, why don’t we co-teach a class together?” I can’t believe I’m telling this story. She had just started a whole thing with opening your creativity, design, color and all that, and I had just discovered a couple of cool techniques. So she said, “Let’s co-teach a class together,” and so I flew up there, she put me up in a wonderful facility and we co-taught for two or three days. What was happening during that magical three day class was that she was profoundly influencing a new direction I was going to take. So that was kind of a delightful moment and the best part was that I got paid after for teaching [laughs.]

MC: Why is quiltmaking important to your life?

AA: Why is quiltmaking important to my life? When I discovered quiltmaking, I’m an artistic person, I’m not an A+ artistic person, but my parents are artistic in their own way, my father is a woodworker, my mother lives a very artistic lifestyle meaning she could come in and arrange my furniture or hang the pictures, she can, she lives beautifully. I dabbled in all the textiles, in fact we even found a picture of me sewing at my grandmother’s knee at about age five, stitching. At the other grandmother’s knee at probably the same summer, knitting, knitting didn’t stick, but stitching did. I started sewing in about fifth grade, my eight grade graduation present with Mrs. Kelly’s silver thimble was a sewing machine, but when, then I learned bobbin lace in college, I learned crochet, all the wonderful different avenues of art. But when I sat down at that quilt frame and completed that first quilt, graduated, and then sat down again, it’s like yesterday, I found my home and it was just as clear as could be; that’s where I belonged.

MC: Can you try to analyze that or tease that out at all about what is it about that, that lasted when the others didn’t?

AA: What is it about quiltmaking that made it stick? I really don’t know what’s made it stick. I do know that you can control it, and unlike woodworking which I’ve done, I’ve actually made my children’s cradle and it ended up in a fine woodworking annual catalog, you can make a mistake and you can’t pull it and squish it and get it back together, there’s forgiveness in quilting. Also, when you create a quilt, in your mind you have an idea of what it’s going to look like or the direction you’re going to go, but like children, they take on their own life. So it’s kind of an interesting evolving journey that just continues, continues, continues and I want to reiterate that I am taking classes now. I am a student and so even in thirty-three years I think that’s how long I’ve been quilting, I realize there’s a whole genre out there of things I want to learn.

MC: Now you are nationally and internationally known, but do you feel that your quilts at all are representative of your region or come out of your community in some way?

AA: I’m internationally and nationally known, and do I feel that my quilts are, could be regionally identified?

MC: Yeah, or reflect your community in some way?

AA: Or reflect my community? That’s a tough question because in the San Francisco Bay Area [California.] there’s a lot of stuff going on and so I guess I kind of, my quilts do have a look to them, but in our area we have been very, very lucky because we’ve had Roberta Horton, Mary Mashuta, Diana McClun, Freddy Moran, Judy Matheson, Gay Perry, and I don’t want to skip anybody but we are in a really wonderful area of the United States to be in, so I’m not even sure you could tact anything.

MC: What do you think is the importance of quilts in American life?

AA: What do I think the importance of quilts is in the American life? Well I do think that it’s one of the crafts that is uniquely identified with us. I own quilts that were brought, that were family pieces, I don’t know who exactly brought them over, but gratefully they’re in our hands, but what, I go to places like Costa Rica, like I mentioned and it’s first generation, I mean here we have the delicious, delicious history of generation after generation after generation after generation. I think that’s why it’s so important. I also think that quilting has documented events in our history, like the Civil War quilts, like the Underground Railroad, like 9/11, as no other media has, medium.

MC: I’m curious, what happens to your quilts? Obviously you make them for magazines, but I’m sure you make them for family and friends. What happens to your quilts?

AA: What happens to my quilts, do I make them for family and friends? Not really [laughs.] I have what I call my important quilts, the ones that I know kids will fight over and then I have the quilts that are earning myself a living, yes I made my son and his wife a wedding quilt because I knew everybody would talk badly about me if I didn’t [laughs.] and I’m making one for my daughter who is getting married on New Year’s Eve. I have these quilts and some of them are like the ones the kids are going to fight over, some are pretty good, some are okay, and some are horrible. So right now I’m trying to decide what to do. The ones that are horrible I will probably give to a shelter, I’m in a cleaning mode, I don’t even want my name attached to them. Then I have the working quilts, and what I’m doing with those are after their done earning a living, and they’re good quilts, I am not parceling them out. For instance, after Katrina, I put up a thing on my website if you gave any amount of money to the American Red Cross, your name would go in a hat and somebody would win this quilt and I think we raised like about $14,000. For the Japan tsunami earthquake, Ricky Tims gave a free pass to one of his retreats and I threw in a quilt, a good quilt, and we made $35,000 for the American Red Cross. I’m still not getting rid of these quilts fast enough [laughs.] This is the latest plan, and I’m telling you this because Marianne Fons told me this, for my daughter’s wedding, I’m going to have a bridesmaid shower, and I’m going to give each bridesmaid a quilt and then let them fight over them, kind of like what are those things called? A white elephant thing. I’m going to hang onto the important quilts to share, to help earn my living, and then the good quilts that really aren’t helping, I’m going to start getting rid of, it’s time to let them go.

MC: What do you think is the biggest challenge confronting quiltmakers today?

AA: What is the biggest challenge confronting quiltmakers today? Couple years ago we would’ve said bringing in new quilt, younger quiltmakers, but I’m thrilled about the modern quilt guild, they’re doing their own thing. At Quilt Market you saw all these young women and I see them facing the struggles that I faced as a young mom, being a quiltmaker. I would say right now in history, right now it would be the socioeconomic issues and quilt shops having to close down. I think our industry, despite what’s all going on in the world, is relatively alive and healthy and if all of us commit to bring in one quiltmaker, just one quiltmaker, then that quiltmaker is going to pass her fairy dust onto somebody else just like my Katie Coons.

MC: To kind of wrap things up, Alex, how will you be remembered as quilter?

AA: How will I be remembered as a quilter? The good news is, is I’m on the internet now with Ricky Tims at thequiltshow.com because it’s really who I am. I was, I had a persona that was dictated by Home and Garden Television, that I needed to be, and that’s really not who I am. I’m a little bit, have a little bit of a wild side, if anybody knows me. I think how I hope, I hope how I am remembered is somebody that opened the door of quiltmaking to another person and by the magic of me having to fall into that television opportunity, I was blessed that particular incident. It will not be for my quiltmaking skills [laughs.]  

MC: Is there any question that I didn’t ask that you wanted to answer?

AA: Is there any question that you didn’t ask me, that I want to answer, no, but thank you for not asking my weight or age [laughs.]

MC: Okay this is Meg Cox, and I want to give a great big thank you to Alex Anderson for doing this interview today and doing it on the Festival floor, we don’t usually do these things in a big public setting and we are concluding the interview at 11:18 A.M. and thank you very much.

AA: Now I want to say to you people before you leave, this is a really important thing that is happening here. We had a thing called quilt days back in the eighties, where states would document quilts that were coming in and we were collecting history like that, it was farily unorganized. I know how much I appreciate the quilts of the 1800s and even the turn of the century and we simply do not have the information on it. What is going on now in our community is seriously profound and important and so if you would be willing to donate money to this so they could continue their cause, if you would be willing to be an interviewer, I want to throw this in off the record, that my daughter who’s getting married to Jerry, I found out Jerry’s grandmother is a quilter and is interviewing people, Save Our Stories, happened to interview Mary Kay Davis who works with us at thequiltshow.com. This is a very, very important thing that this organization is going and we must support them and help spread the word. I want to hear, “Amen, sister.”

MC: Amen, sister. I’m going to give you a chance to ask Alex a couple of questions, but just a little bit of business here.