Charletta McDougall (CM): This is Charletta McDougall. I am interviewing Georgia Burnsteel [voice of Marcie Ferris corrects Georgia’s last name- “Bonesteel”.] and this is October the 22. All right Georgia, would you tell us what quilt you brought today?
Georgia Bonesteel (GB): I have brought a quilt that is entitled “Spinning Spools.” And it’s a quilt that I made for a book that I wrote. And it is also a quilt that I made that I could teach on public television. And it is something that I am particularly fond of because they are some fabrics that were in a collection that had my name on the salvage for Wamsutta and Springs Industry in 1984, many years ago. But it’s a quilt that is indicative of my work because I have taught sampler quilts for a long time in my quilt history.
CM: Now could you describe some of the colors?
GB: It’s pastel and it’s a light–they’re called “sister fabrics” in that many of them are the same pattern but shaded in different colors of mint green and peach and lavender and yellow.
CM: And did you choose those colors because they were–What was your choice?
GB: Because they were sitting next to each other in the fabric shop and it was from a collection. I did add some other pastels to go with it but it’s a collection of prints and it’s quite often easy to choose fabric like that because they all go together.
CM: And choosing your patterns you have–This is a sampler. Tell me about your choice of patterns.
GB: Well, I try to stick with traditional patterns that I felt would not intimidate beginning quilters and I always try to choose something when I feel they can learn from the pattern so that I can teach technique. And there’re nine patches. There’re four patches. There’re quilt blocks made on the diagonal. So for everyone I try to use it as a teaching tool.
CM: Why is quilting important in your life?
GB: In my life? Because I feel that it is identified what I have learned and what I can share with people as a teacher. I look upon quilting as a–kind of the core of what I do. And it is how I spend a lot of my time every day. I go to bed usually thinking about a quilt. I wake up and after a cup of coffee I just go to my sewing room. I might–I spend a lot of time in my quilt studio.
CM: Well– what do you think about the importance of quilts in America?
GB: In America?
CM: And in the community.
GB: In the community. Well my focus of quilting is–I hadn’t–I don’t think I realize the scope of quilting until I am in a group atmosphere such as this one. I run into a lot of people from all over the country that I guess have been affected by the fact that I do public television and so–I’ve had an opportunity through that medium to reach out to a lot of people. And I think that quilting has given people security. It’s given them something to turn to. It’s given them a way to spend their time. They’ve been able to grow in quilting. And it’s become a part of their lives by simply watching someone and saying, ‘Oh, I think I can do that.’ And so then they’ve been able to become a quilt maker.
CM: And could you tell us how you got into television?
GB: Well, I came about–I told this story yesterday in the bus and it was to a young gal. She really seemed just fascinated. I don’t know how she asked the question but however she asked it; it just got me going. And it was fun to share it with her. She was so enlightened. When we–after our children were all in school we lived in New Orleans [Louisiana.] and I was bored with housekeeping. It seemed like I could get the house cleaned by ten o’clock and there wasn’t anything else to do. My husband was at work all day. And– so I saw an ad in the paper for a department store in downtown New Orleans in the French Quarter that wanted a seamstress who would come in and choose a pattern, pick out fabric and make a garment and then model it in the fashion department. So I did that for about three months and one day I got a phone call to do an audition for a television show. And I did a pilot show and I was chosen out of about twelve ladies to be an assistant in a TV show called “Sewing is Fun” in New Orleans. And I was the one who did all the sewing and this gal said she made all this stuff. [laughter from Georgia and Charletta.] And however, she was a very sharp lady and they ran out of ideas. And finally they said one day, ‘Well, do you have anything you can show?’ They could see I was a seamstress. And I said, ‘Well, as matter of fact, I’ve been making my husband’s neckties and with all the leftovers.’–When you make a tie you cut it on the bias and there is always a triangle leftover. And I said, ‘With the leftover I’ve been making patchwork pillows and it’s a lot of fun. I can show how to do that on TV.’ So I did that. This lady, the star of the show, at the time her son-in-law was president of Countess Mara and Wembley Tie Company. And year’s ago when ties were made and cut out and I imagine still, there are packed layers of raw silk, the most beautiful fabric you have ever seen. So to make a long story short, I ended up with boxes of raw silk tie fabric given to me and this woman said– She was also a very smart businesswoman. ‘Let’s start a business together. You will do the sewing and I will supply the fabric.’ So after many trials and errors, I ended up making quilted handbags that I sold in the French Quarter and the business was called Cajun Quilters. And it was a great little store I had. I only had the store for two weeks because it was right next to Pat O’Brien’s and it was in a bad part of the French Quarter. And sometimes I’d actually have to get help to move bodies to get in my store in the morning. [laughter from Charletta.] So–But it was a fun period in my life. It was during my hippie period. I used to ride a bicycle down the levee of the Mississippi River, take the free ferry over with these handbags on my back in a backpack. I was just kind of–It was my free spirit time. And I would sell these—I actually started supplying boutiques in the French Quarter with my handbags. And they only came to life when I put batting in those layers before they were just patchwork. And so I learned a lot about connecting three layers and the shadows that are formed on the surface of a quilt, which is what really brings it to life. We had to move to North Carolina. I’d burned out making handbags. I just couldn’t make another handbag. I mean I even crocheted the handles. And the handles–I had to dye the polyester cord on my kitchen stove. It was just a mess. So I–when I got to North Carolina, I was made aware of a quilt group at Opportunity House, a place for senior citizens where they quilted quilts. And I had become fascinated with quilt making. So I would go down there a couple times a week and quilt with them at a frame. And I learned to quilt really the right way, the old fashioned way, by sitting with these ladies. And I suspect they took my stitches out after I left [laughter from Charletta.] because they were very particular ladies. They at times asked me if I could make my stitches smaller. And–but anyway, from there I started teaching classes. This was about 1971. I taught classes at our community college. And I’m very proud to say that more people took my quilting class in the adult education program than any other course at that community college. And that record still stands today. So I happened to come upon quilting at a time when it was just right. It was a good time. And people were anxious to do something like I taught and because of making those handbags in small sections I was able to adapt the quilting classes to lap quilting at the community college. We couldn’t–We tried making a quilt on a big frame that I ordered from Sears and Roebuck. It was wobbly. It was–I’m not even sure what ever happened to that frame. We probably chopped it up for firewood. It just never worked. So then we switched gears and I started making quilts in sections and putting them together after they were quilted. So I became known as the lap quilter. One day my mother called and said that she’d seen a knitting show on public television. She said, ‘Wouldn’t it be a good idea if you did a quilting show?’ She said, ‘You’ve had all that experience in New Orleans. You were on TV and you worked with a producer.’ So I wrote to the University of North Carolina Public Television and asked them if they’d be interested. And this was 1976. And our little son was getting ready to go to college and we needed to check out the schools over in the Chapel Hill and Durham area so I drove a car load of quilts and met my producer Bill Hannah and they liked the idea. And it took us a year but in 1978 we produced the first lap quilting series. And it aired in North Carolina first then it went–then it went nationally. And I’ve been doing PBS series every two years since 1979.
CM: When did that book that you wrote come out?
GB: 1979. Actually my very first booklet was a little paperback booklet called “Lap Quilting Your Legacy Quilt” that sold for five dollars. And we had that little blurb at the end of my first six shows and I’m very proud to say that the sales of those five- dollar books bought a hardware store later on. And my mother and my children helped me collate that little booklet. Half the patterns weren’t even printed right. I mean, now that I go back and measure them they were off a little bit. I mean I drew them by hand. We’re talking primitive. And–but then that book was picked up by Oxmore House, the Southern Living people. And my first hardback book “Lap Quilting,” they got the patterns right and then sold lots of those books. It’s no longer in print. It’s died. It’s had a long life but it’s gone now.
CM: What are your immediate plans?
GB: My immediate plans? Well I’m going to go home and make an award-winning quilt for next year’s show. That’s what I really want to do. We’ve been involved in business in our community for 20 years and this summer we sold our hardware store. My husband wants to retire. I want to spend more time teaching and being able to work in my studio and not worry about 10 part-time employees. I found that merchandising is very hard and it’s hard to mix the two. It’s hard to mix teaching and merchandising. I find it difficult. And I have a mother who is 87 that I enjoy being with and I spend time with her. So those are my immediate plans. I’m about to have a new grandchild so we just checked on that baby last night. It’s due November the eighth so that’s just two weeks away. And we’re very excited about that.
CM: Have you made some baby quilts?
GB: I’m making one right now. Yes, I’ve made several baby quilts. In fact, the one that my granddaughter–I have a namesake, a little granddaughter in Atlanta that’s named Georgia. They didn’t tell me that until I got to the hospital when I saw her for the first time. Oh, she makes–I even want to cry just thinking of her. She’s wonderful. And I made her a baby quilt. And she will not let go of it. She absolutely loves it. And I made it-this is sweet too. I made it from shirts that my father wore. He was a lawyer and he was from a farm in Iowa. And he was quite a man. He was–I’m very proud of my father. He won more legal cases for the government than any other lawyer as an anti-trust lawyer. And he was a farm boy but he loved to dress up. And he would buy his shirts from Brooks Brothers. And he had those 100% cotton beautiful shirts and we saved them all. And I still have them. And so I made a quilt for Gigi out of–out of my–her great grandfather’s shirts. And she loves that quilt. She carries it everywhere so yes, I have made quilts for my grandchildren.
CM: Well, let me see–
Marcie Ferris (MF): May I ask one real quick?
CM: [shakes her head.]
MF: I just totally forgot what I was going to ask.
GB: Something about–did you think about the shirts or my family?
MF: No, it was about what was your first quilt memory?
CM: Oh, yes.
GB: That’s a good question. I did a stupid thing. I can remember as a little girl. I must not have been that little. I must have been 10, 12 years old. And I–we lived in Danville, Illinois at the time. Being a child of a government person we moved around a lot. Whenever a new lawsuit would have to be tried, we would move so I went to 13 schools growing up. And I was born with a lot of energy. And I think I must have driven my mother crazy because I always wanted to do something. And so I can remember Mother giving me hexagons that were already cut out and telling me to sew those together. And I–once I started teaching quilting I found this. I had for some reason I carried this around always. I had this thing that I had made. And it was only about say 24 inches square. For some dumb reason, I cut it up and made a stuffed kitty cat out of it. And I’m so mad I did that because it was really precious. It was all stitched by hand. And that’s my first patchwork memory. Now my quilt memory, as even a younger child I had a grandmother that went to auction sales all the time. She loved auction sales especially in Miami, Florida. And I’d go with her. I’d tag along. She would also take me to the five and dime and buy these preprinted squares that you would do embroidery work. I mean the red work is coming back. But I would do just hickory dickory dock and I’d do butterflies. And I can remember sewing by hand on those, doing embroidery work and thinking wasn’t it smart of someone to invent embroidery thread that changed colors for the butterfly. I’m sure that you have all worked on those. But my grandmother was not a quilter but when I finished those blocks she gave them to some lady and they put them into a baby quilt then I had that baby quilt. It was always a part of–we had it in the family and then I gave that to our first granddaughter that was born, Anna. Those are my earlier memories. And I’ve also got a quilt that was–that came from my husband’s side of the family. It was evidently a baby quilt that belonged to his mother. So I–but those are good questions because I think we have other quilts then what we’ve made that once we have them in our household possessions we know to cherish them and not cut them up and put them into stuffed kitty cats. [Charletta laughs.]
CM: Well, what do you think makes a really great quilt?
GB: Oh, dear. I don’t know. That’s hard, it’s hard to say what your parameters are whether it is going to be the kind of quilt you want to sleep under, the kind of quilt you want to be on the wall that you want to look at that you would never want to sleep under. I think probably the greatest quilt is the one you finish and that you are happy with. [Charletta laughs.] It has to feel good. It has to have nice colors in it. And sometimes I look at the quilts here at the show, it doesn’t necessarily have to be so intricate and so challenging and something that you could never make but it is just awesome. It has to respond– it has to respond to other senses. I mean, I guess it’s a sense of color, a sense of proportion and balance. And I’m finding even as I look at the quilts around here there are some that are what we call picture quilts that have dogs, cats, or a bird or something on it, a picture quilt. Then there are others that respond to tradition and geometrics and 360 degrees. I mean those that are just more traditional. That’s a hard question. [Georgia laughs.]
MF: Can I ask one more, Georgia? How do you think quilting in your life has affected your family or even influenced your family members?
GB: Well, in some respects I wish my family responded in a more positive way. Each member of my family responds differently to my quilting. And unfortunately– they like it but they don’t–my own family don’t ask me the kind of questions that my friends and my students do. It’s like oh there she goes again quilting. They don’t–They like it and they accept it but it’s not–They don’t have the passion for quilting that my students and my friends do. I mean I am being very honest with you about that. Even my daughter who you would think would. They all have my books. It’s our youngest son who is more like me that has– that is interested in what I do. He will ask more questions and wants to know like what is my latest quilt but my other children they don’t really say what are you working on now, Mom or let me see your quilt. They never ask. I guess it’s just so much a part of me that they just know I’m on another tangent and they just don’t ask. My mother is very involved in my quilting. And she helps me and she helps me rip out. She helps me do things. And–but I think my family basically knows that it has taken me away from them in some respects and it might be that they resent it a little bit. I sometimes sense that and I’m sorry about that but I think as professional quilters we do the best we can to balance our quilt life with our family life. I hope I have always kept family first but I know that sometimes it’s not always that way.
MF: How old were your kids when you started to get really involved in quilting–
GB: They were–I was doing patchwork when I lived in New Orleans and they were all in school. I’d say the youngest was 8 and they have all been two years apart so 8, 10 and 12. Now I did not start leaving home or traveling until they were in high school and in college. I didn’t do all the traveling and all of that and so I was basically teaching at home for the community college when they were in their more formative years in junior high and in elementary school. Because we lived in New Orleans–excuse me North Carolina for 30 years so that has really been basically home to them.
MF: Did they recognize what you did as an occupation–
GB: Oh, I think so–
MF: as much as their father?
GB: Oh, I think so, yes. Oh, they do and they are very proud of what I have done but they just don’t get all wrapped up in it. They really don’t so it’s Mom’s thing and they are proud of her but that’s it. [Georgia laughs.]
CM: Well, this next TV series that you’re going to do will there be a new, something new about that? What are you thinking about doing in that new series?
GB: Well, that’s a hard question. I’m working on that right now. I’m not going to write another book for that so I’ll probably use a lot of what I have in this current book. I thought it would be fun to–One–I’m working on ideas. One thing I’m going to do is take something as simple as the alphabet and divide the alphabet up into 13 shows. And staring with “a” for appliqué, I was going to do like four or five letters of the alphabet on each show and have it respond to quilting and have it include notions and everything that’s new in quilting. So as I am going around here I am taking notes and getting some new ideas. I also am– will probably try in a subtle way to teach math in quilting again. It’s– You worry about losing your audience when you teach math on TV in quilting because even though I know how important it is people tend to turn off when I tell them, you know, give them these things. They don’t want to–they don’t want to learn that even though it is the whole key to the doing the geometrics in patchwork so I have to find very clever ways [Georgia laughs.] to teach that. I will also be touring some quilt shops and I’ve been thinking about using, because I’m a grandmother now and I love to read to my children like the Richard Scary books on how things work. I might even open a show with a grandchild and be reading that book because what I would like to do on many of the shows is to show how things are made. We hope to go to Bernina factory in Switzerland and actually see how sewing machines are made. We’re going to a batting factory and we’re going to see how batting is made. And if you have ever read those Richard Scary books–I mean it’s fun. They do that and they go step by step. So I’d like to do a lot of that. I find it interesting to interview quilters and not always the famous ones. I like to interview people that are teaching today mostly on a grass roots level because they’re the ones that are truly passing it on in a very simple way. Some of the professional quilters who have been my mentors I think sometimes might intimidate some of the other beginning quilt makers. So that’s what I am thinking of. I’m working on that. I’ve got it with me with a yellow legal pad trying to get the shows worked out. I have wonderful underwriters in this business that give money and so we need to include them on the shows. And I have certain guidelines and restrictions from National Public Television that I have to abide by when I do these shows so I have to–when we go to the Bernina factory we can’t really make it that well known that we’re at “the” Bernina factory. It has to be “a” sewing machine factory, that kind of thing.
CM: Well, what part of quilting do you enjoy the most?
GB: Do I enjoy the most? I guess it’s maybe getting the ideas and coming up with the right idea. I like that part and then because there is satisfaction in going forward. And you have to believe in what you are doing because once you get the idea it’s quite a while before the completion gets there. And I–That can be the frustrating part. That’s why people laugh all the time about their works in progress but–but sometimes that happens. You get half way through something and you say it isn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be so you kind of put it on the shelf and you hope that isn’t going to happen. So–but I–I think it is the initial part of getting started that gets me fired up.
CM: And when you choose a design then is it difficult to find the material, the actual material for that fabric? I mean for that design?
GB: Well, sometimes but there is a wealth of fabric out there. That hasn’t been a real problem, no. As long as they keep making fabric, I don’t think we will have any problem.
MF: What are the big challenges that you think you face today or other people in the quilt industry face today? What are the biggest concerns or challenges?
GB: Challenges? Well, there are so many as far a– I don’t know if you mean personally or if you mean overall all quilters or either one.
MF: Either one.
GB: I guess time is the most frustration. We– There is a lot we want to do and it’s that balance, it’s that balancing act that we have to perform of fitting family in appropriate amount of time and seeing friends and trying to lead a normal life but yet setting these goals. That I think–we all laugh about being addicted to quilting but we are. I mean there is no doubt about it most city women that are teaching in this field today are driven. We are driven. And I can’t put a handle on what drives us exactly except we’re sick. [Georgia laughs.] We really are and we have found something that we like. [Charletta clears her throat.] We found something that we can control and now we have to meet the challenges of how to balance it into our lives. And I don’t think I am different than a lot of quilters when that happens. So I guess time management and fitting it all together. Most of the time, I plan my days ahead of time. Before I go to bed I usually write down what I have to do the next day. My top priorities. I have to. And–and in order [Charletta coughs.] to get things done-There’s a lady that I was anxious to meet here and I met her right before my Vegamatic operation [teachers demonstration area.] over here. [Georgia points.] And I said, ‘Jane, I’ve been anxious to meet you but when I look at you all I can think of is I know I’m late with your deadline. I know that I have got to get home and get a quilt made by next Thursday,” because there’s–I mean, a lot of us work on deadlines and got to get it done. So I guess the balancing act is [Charoletta coughs.] what hangs over many of us.
MF: What do you do when–to relax?
GB: I love to play tennis. [Charletta coughs.] And I love to walk. And I have friends who love to walk so I try to walk. On–In our new house we live on a lake and I have a canoe. And I always thought you needed two people in a canoe and one day I was standing at my kitchen sink and I saw this lady out there all by herself. I said, ‘How stupid of me. Of course I can go out in the canoe by myself.’ So I go out in the canoe a couple times a week and just relax. And I think it’s–I relax when I go to my mother’s. She lives about 25 miles away. She laughs when I go down there I usually take a long nap. And–but she is good company. And– so I go down and spend time and take her out to lunch a couple times a week. And that takes a lot of my time but it’s good quality time.
MF: Anything else you have?
MF: I’ve got one more.
MF: I’m not quite sure how to phrase this. I was just wondering what you think about the preservation of [Charletta coughs.] the history of quilting and of quilts themselves. The role of museums in this country–
GB: Oh that’s a–that’s a–
MF: How do you feel about that?
GB: I feel strongly about it. I think that your project and what all of you are doing here is very valid. I would be anxious–I would love to hear some of these stories. And I think they’re going to be wonderful. I think that it will give us an idea in hearing some of these stories of the past and the future. I think it would be fun for you to interview some of the mothers of these people that you are doing. I think that would be– you would get some generational things going on and I think that would be very, very interesting to balance their thoughts against our thoughts. And so maybe what you are starting can be handed on to future generations. And maybe my granddaughter Gigi, maybe you can interview her someday and which would be a wonderful thought. So–I’m sorry that there aren’t the monies available for museums around the country. When people use to come to my store and want to get rid of a quilt because they had no one in their family that understood a quilt. And they well, what should I do with this? I’d say give it to the museum in the area where your mother or your grandmother lived. Well they would contact them and then they would come back and they’d say the museum doesn’t have the money to take care of these quilts. And so I guess that it’s too bad that we– that more money isn’t appropriated through our government or who ever to take care of these quilts. And that’s too bad. But maybe it will be someday. I’m also upset with what the Smithsonian did with our quilts. I think–I think what is happening in the quilt world, I don’t know if that has been addressed but the quilts that I see in mail order catalogues for $100. I just– I mean, maybe you need to go save their stories and find out is it true that people are making these quilts in a prison in China. I mean I don’t know. But that has affected our quilt business. It really has and our quilt making. I have laughingly said maybe we need to write a book. Maybe those of us that are quilt teachers need to write a book and copy some of these quilts that are in mail order catalogues as kind of a rebuttal to what they are doing because whoever is picking out the designs is doing a great job. And that’s a whole other ball of wax you could say.
MF: Do you have anything you want to add?
MF: Charletta you got anything you want to add?
GB: There is one thing I would like to mention. I know that for me personally. That– about–in 1985, I had some serious surgery. I had an acoustic neuroma brain tumor and at the time I was working on a quilt that meant a lot to me. And I think that working on that quilt in the hospital three days after I came out of intensive care was very meaningful. And I was determined to get that quilt done to enter it into a contest. And I made the deadline. So I think that things like that–that I never thought would be that meaningful to me but at the time was very meaningful. I have a funny story to share with you about that. I have since given that quilt away because we went to Europe about six years ago. Pete had hidden our passports somewhere in the house and we couldn’t find them. Now our plane flight was leaving on a Monday and on a Saturday morning we could not find our passports. So I had to call my U.S. State representative and bribe him and he somehow made all the connections he could and finally he called me in tears Sunday night saying that there was nothing he could do but he worked all weekend trying to find out how he could get Pete and I two passports. That morning my cleaning lady had come to clean the house and she opened a cabinet and found my passports. This was like three hours before we were to get in the plane. I was a nervous wreck. I mean I was–because I knew that would not let me into France without my passport and yet I was going to the Lyon International Quilt event so when I came back I sent that quilt to Congressman Taylor. He had hung it in Washington, D.C. in his office before. He had wanted to borrow it. He’d seen it. I finally just gave it to him. I have good memories with it but you– I know you worked so hard that weekend to try to get us — get our passports even though we didn’t but of course, I had to let him know we found the passports before we left. So that’s a cute story. [Georgia laughs.]
Karen Musgrave (KM): Tell me why it is important to you to make an award-winning quilt.
GB: Well, I never use to think that was so important. In fact I judge a lot of shows and sometimes it irritates me because I get frustrated at that but I have gotten awards at quilt shows and I feel very puffed up afterwards. I feel very proud. I feel that yes I have been judged against my peers and it becomes a seal of approval. It becomes like well you’re okay. You can go forward. In my mind, even if I get an award I sometimes know I could have done better or I wasn’t that happy with the quilt but it’s a pat in the back and it’s a very sincere one from you peers, from people that have seen a lot of quilts. You know the judge has seen a lot of quilts and she uses all of that–all of that is weighed again and sometimes it’s not just the quilts in that show but all the quilts that she has seen when she judges a show. So and I look forward to making some prize winning quilts. I’d like to but it’s not what I make quilts for. That’s not my–I make quilts to teach and to pass on. And I don’t make quilts to win awards.
MF: What did you think you were going to do with your textile degree?
GB: Oh, I had no idea. I mean I had good training. It was in merchandising and I worked in Marshall Field and Company. I dressed mannequins. Was the first job I ever had and then I was promoted and I got to write the copy for the live models that modeled at Marshall Field and Company. And that ended up helping me a lot. I learned how to see something and condense it into like three sentences. But no I had–and I guess that is what is interesting about life, you never know what you are going to do next year. And you never know what door is going to open.
MF: It sounds so much like all these your experiences in your life were this really interesting journey that one experience built on another–
MF: That really allowed you to develop the skills that you ultimately all joined–
MF: Together to do exactly what you do today.
GB: Well, and sometimes I look back–I can remember going to New Trier High being scared to death especially in the public speaking class and in the English class. I was always scared to get up in front and talk to anyone especially if there was a boy in the room that I liked. I know I thought how could I stand up in front of Lori Stetson and give that book report. And I can remember standing up being so embarrassed when I was suppose to say, “The author of this book is” and instead I said, ‘The book of this author is.’ I mean just– you can remember being devastated, that you could have just fallen into the floor. And then to think years later here I am standing here up at the Vegamatic talking to all these people and I think it is the security of learning a craft and being able to feel secure in what you do. That you can easily talk about it. I mean if I had to talk about you know, the rain trees in South Africa or something else that I didn’t know anything about I couldn’t but when you require a skill and you’re sure of yourself in what you do then you can easily talk about it. So I feel very fortunate to do that–haven’t you learned enough about me by now? [Georgia laughs.] Are you sick of me by now? [Georgia laughs.]
MF: I think we should let you close.
GB: [Georgia laughs.] Do you have anything else Charletta that you want to ask?
CM: Well, I, I want to say that I have that little book. [Georgia laughs.] [Charletta is referring to Georgia’s first published booklet.]
GB: Oh, you do? Don’t measure the templates please. [Georgia laughs.] I’ll send you a new copy, okay?
CM: I just thought–And I treasure it and this is such an honor for me.
GB: Oh, you’re sweet. I appreciate that.
CM: I– This is an honor for them to have such a–you know–such a wonderful quilter–
GB: Well, you know I’m one of many you realize that–I am one of many that love quilts.
CM: It is sort of like, you know, there before us on television.
GB: Oh, I know, I realize that. Where are you from? Where is your home?
CM: I’m from Houston.
GB: Oh, are you?
GB: Okay. Are you in the Houston guild and–
CM: Yes, I am. And for many a Saturday morning, I got to set up and watch your program. I enjoyed it so.
GB: Well, I couldn’t do it if I couldn’t count on you all being out there. That is truly [announcement made by Quilt Festival organizers over the auditorium loud speaker] the only way someone can do something like that.[Tape ends.]
Georgia Bonesteel, Interviewee
Charletta McDougall, Interviewer
Karen Musgrave, Transcriber
The International Quilt Festival QSOS
International Quilt Festival
October 22, 1999
Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (QSOS) creates, through recorded interviews, a broadly accessible body of information concerning quiltmaking, both present-day and in living memory. Our downloadable QSOS Guidebook has everything you need to conduct your own QSOS interviews. Our archive for the original audio recordings and photographs is the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
QSOS volunteers from across the country conduct and transcribe these interviews. We appreciate their generosity of time and dedication to the project. We are always looking for guilds, organizations and individuals to undertake their own QSOS projects and join us. Find out how you can get involved with QSOS.