Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave and I am doing a Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories interview with Georgia Bonesteel. Georgia is in Flat Rock, North Carolina and I’m in Naperville, Illinois, so we are doing this interview by telephone. Today’s date is March 7, 2008 and it is 2:28 in the afternoon. Georgia thank you for doing this interview with me. We are doing a special Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories because this is based on “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece” exhibit, so Georgia I would like you to talk about your quilt “A Porsche Problem” which is in the exhibit.
Georgia Bonesteel (GB): Thank you very much Karen for calling me. My quilt is something that I was moved to do because of my father’s situation health wise. I would like to tell you that he has Alzheimer’s, but he had one of the forms of Alzheimer’s. We never could quite figure out what he had, yet he died of congestive heart failure, but because we lived in North Carolina about thirty miles from my parents for about twenty years, I was able to have a close connection with my parents. Pete and I were raising our children close by, so I was very much in touch with what was happening day by day versus living far away. When my father first started getting ill he sensed that he was not right and so we went through that process and had many situations, especially with the car. My father actually loved that car and he had about four or five of those Porsches and drove quite a bit from Chicago to North Carolina because he had a hard time retiring. He was a lawyer in Chicago but wanted to be down on a golf course in Tryon, so he went back and forth with his car. When he got ill it was difficult to take the car away from him. We tried many situations, we even tried having a friend of his who was a policeman come over and talk to him and explain that because he was getting lost, well he wouldn’t come home, he would lose his way and we knew it was time, and my father would say, ‘Well yes, I understand you need to take the license away from me because I live here in North Carolina, but South Carolina is just right down the line a little bit, so I will drive in South Carolina.’ So he really didn’t get it, and the only way we could handle it was that one day my sister just drove the car out of the driveway and took it to Pennsylvania. So in essence, we did take the car keys away from him and it was a sad day, but he got over it. When Ami [Simms.] asked me to do this, to participate in this exhibit it was a natural thing for me, I knew that I would have to do the car and I did this exhibit because I have a lot of admiration for Ami. I actually got to meet her mother one time at one of the Mancuso shows and Ami is a person with an uplifting personality so you enjoy being around her. I find her creativity stimulating. Her website is wonderful. Her stories about her dog and her family are just very good. She is just a welcoming spirit. I wanted to do that for Ami and I wanted to do it as for recognition for my dad also. I had to do the car. We had pictures of the car but it wasn’t really a good picture so I went over and found a used car dealership here in town that had the same vintage year that he had and took pictures of it and that helped me to kind of get a sketch of the car. Then when I made the quilt, I did the yellow streaks in it just to kind of give the idea of speed. I hope that shows it, because he did like to drive fast. Then I used the car, it got larger in each of the blocks as it went down and I thought that, until it finally came into full view, and then of course the last block shows the circle on top of the key.
KM: So the universal not.
GB: The universal not. [laughs.] That is really the story of the quilt, and I’m proud to have it go around the country in different exhibits. I’ve seen it a couple of times. I did see it at one of the Mancuso shows. Like any exhibit, one of the most interesting parts I think of doing a quilt show is to stand next to other people and hear their comments, especially if they don’t realize that you made the quilt, whether it is yours or someone else’s, because you really learn the inside of what quilters are thinking. I have often thought that there should be a tape recorder in the back of quilts and then play it later. You would really get some interesting verbalization I think. I think it is a very poignant exhibit. I helped Ami out one year in Houston and stood at her booth. People are so moved by this exhibit. Anytime you have a health problem in your family, especially Alzheimer’s and then you see these quilts you have to talk about the person in your family personally. I mean you want to share that story. It’s either my aunt or my mother or my father, and then it is like it all happens all over again. That is really my perspective on the exhibit and I’m very proud for Ami and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
KM: Tell me about the poem.
GB: Oh gosh, yes, the poem, “There once was a guy from Chicago.” That poem, my mother and father had a close friend, Dr. Graves and Martha Graves. In fact Martha just died last year, she outlived my mother by three years and they were very close and every birthday she would write a poem. She was just a poet and so I have a whole stack of poetry that she wrote about when my dad would have a birthday. One year she wrote a poem about the year he shot his score, his par on the golf course. Then she wrote this poem about daddy’s car and so it was a natural to be stitched on top of his block. I was very proud to do that for Martha.
KM: It goes:
‘There once was a guy from Chicago
Who was quite found of making his “cah go”
Just a smidgen too fast
So he built up a past
And is he wanted from Jax to Wells Fargo!’
GB: He was wanted from Jacksonville to Wells Fargo.
KM: But it is Jax?
GB: Jacksonville, I just put Jax.
GB: From Jacksonville to Wells Fargo.
KM: That is awesome.
GB: [laughs.] Perfect.
KM: It is wonderful. What are your plans for this quilt when it comes back?
GB: I have to admit that it will probably slip through my fingers. My sister drove the car away, she ended up actually paying my dad for it, I think she got a good price. Then the car ended up going to her son Quinn who has it up in Boston, and when Jill saw this quilt, she said, ‘Oh I bet Quinn would love to have that some day.’ So I will probably give that to Quinn. I’m not sure how long the car will last, but I will probably give that to Quinn.
KM: One of the things that we had to do as artists in this exhibition was to do the audio part of the CD. Tell me about that experience for you.
GB: You know, I will be very honest about it, I can not remember that.
KM: It must have been easy for you, because it wasn’t easy for me. I remember it.
GB: Oh my, well I haven’t played it in a long time so I must have just.
KM: You probably did very well.
GB: I hope so, I hope so, I can not remember, and.
KM: Seriously I think that is a good thing because Ami would call me up and say, do it again. [GB laughs.] So you didn’t have that experience?
GB: No, I think I only did it once so I was lucky in that regard.
KM: Tell me about your interest in quiltmaking.
GB: Oh, Karen it goes back to the Stone Ages now. My quilting started in New Orleans of all places, although as a little girl I have always done patchwork. I was gifted with a lot of energy and I think to keep me out of my mother’s hair she would give me needle and thread and so I’ve always done stitching. I did the doll clothes thing. I guess I was always with a needle and thread going through cloth. It just always intrigued me, and I really didn’t have any question about what I would do when I went to college. I went into merchandizing. I should have stayed at Iowa State. I went there for two years, one of the best home ec [Economics.] colleges in the country. I fell in love and then transferred to Northwestern, which was an equally good school, but they did not have a very good home ec department, so I simply graduated with a BA. I was able to get a wonderful job in merchandizing at Marshall Fields and so I’ve always stayed in touch with cloth and always have been sewing. When we did finally end up moving to New Orleans with the young children I had an opportunity to once again use my sewing capabilities at a department store in the French Quarter which led me into some quilt opportunities. I quilted little evening bags and sold them in the French Quarter for about three years and came into the necktie fabric because of some television work I did. Someone said to me, well these are great little bags that you have made, but they are flat, they don’t have any body to them, they have no life and they said what about putting some batting inside, and before I knew it I was quilting with embroidery thread and I had batting in between layers of silk and batting and then fabric. That was basically opened my eyes to quilting because I had to search out little magazines and books that had quilting patterns in them and then we moved to North Carolina I started teaching quilting at our community college.
KM: Give me a timeframe.
GB: We moved to, we were in New Orleans from about 1970 to 1973, and in 1973 we moved here to North Carolina. Of course being in the Appalachian part of the country, I knew that quilts were popular here. So I just started teaching at our community college, but I was also quilting with a senior ladies group down at the Opportunity House and I learned a lot from those ladies. I learned my stitches weren’t small enough, I learned that it was hard to quilt on a standing quilt frame, and then I learned that if you are going to teach twenty ladies how to quilt in an eleven week class, we couldn’t make one quilt for each lady, that everyone had to work on their own individually and I realized then that if I broke the making of a large quilt down into sections we could have more satisfaction and see things grow faster. So that was when I started really teaching lap quilting and so those initial three years of teaching at the community college gave me enough samples that I had things to carry with me over to the University of North Carolina Public TV Station. I went over and made an appointment and suggested to them that I could do a How to Sew on Quilting, and I couldn’t have done it without those classes that I taught. That was the meat of what I had and so I just did a little TV show. [laughs.]
KM: Kind of an understatement there.
GB: It was, that really is what it was though. As I look back on those first shows and we had a very simple set. They wouldn’t stop the tape if I did something wrong because that cost too much money, and I look at those tapes and there are sometimes when I would pick up the edge of a cardboard if I couldn’t find a ruler to draw a straight line [laughs.]. It was very, very crude to begin with but we did get a little more upscale as the years went on.
KM: And, there is a lot more there. [GB laughs.] Share the Evolution. I think it is really important.
GB: It was an evolution because I was just kind of secluded. I was just so inspired by my students, and after these eleven weeks we would have what I called a quilt in. We would have it at the auditorium, and people that had taken a previous class but hadn’t finished would come, and we would spread out the quilts over the chairs and we would all, everyone would come up and talk about their quilt and tell their little story why they made it, and we would take pictures and we were just so happy in ourselves, and then pretty soon the guild started, and people realized, and I think this is happening all over the country, people were saying, ‘Well if classes can do it, then let’s get the classes together.’ Then let’s reach out to the community of people that have quilted over the years and their grandmothers and their sisters came. All of a sudden guilds started emerging around the country. Then people would get wind of my TV show and they would drive up in my driveway thinking I had a shop at my house. We had not bought the hardware store yet, and I’d say, no I’m not selling fabric out of my house. Then I had my first invitation to actually fly out of town with a few of my quilts and talk about what I did. People weren’t doing that, at least to my knowledge they weren’t. I can remember being excited when Jinny Beyer won that Good Housekeeping Contest and then Hazel Carter had that first quilt show in Virginia and we went up there, and so things started to happen. Then I went to Houston for the first time, so it was a progression that grew, but it was gradual. I think once my shows started airing around the country and my books were published to go with the shows that is when I got really busy. Then we bought the hardware store, so then I was managing a store, writing books and doing TV and traveling.
KM: We should really qualify the hardware store, because it was an element of the quilt corner in the hardware store.
GB: Yes, right, it was, it was called Bonesteel Hardware and Quilt Corner [website is georgiabonesteel.com and her blog is georgiabonesteel.com/gablog.html.] and people loved that. It was all open; there weren’t any walls in between. They would come in and their husband would go over and look at hardware and they would come over, and they just thought that was just wonderful. [laughs.] I was teaching there too, and it was a good thing, it really was. Our children were in college then and so they were pretty much on their own. Well they were, in the early years they were still in high school, because I can remember leaving and still dealing with that kind of situation. My husband was dealing with it also. All of a sudden he was Mr. Georgia Bonesteel and that was not easy for Pete for a while. He had been the breadwinner and then all of a sudden we were getting calls from Oxmoor House to come down for grand celebrations because of so many of thousands of books that had been sold. He dealt with it after a while, but it was hard at first.
KM: What do you think is the biggest challenge confronting quiltmakers today?
GB: Oh my, I think traveling is difficult. I’ve slowed down my traveling, especially this year. Last year I was out every month and it used to be I would go out twice a month and then the last five years I’ve been going out once a month and even that is a challenge. I think that after 9-11, quiltmakers have had to kind of take a different look on not so much the quilts they are making, but how they are getting their story out? How they are dealing with being a professional? The fact that we have restrictions now in the amount of bags we can take and the amount of pounds we can carry, the fact that we have to ship things ahead of time, that has put a new challenge on our profession. Last year I was able to handle it. I think this year, because I have cut back quite a bit, I’m doing different things in the quilt world. My obligation now is with the [Quilters.] Hall of Fame. I am going to do that for two more years. I’m excited for what is happening there and I want to see that progress so I’m helping out once again this year in July. I’m going to teach a class and I’m excited that Helen Kelly is going to be there. That is going to be a very exciting thing for all of us. I’m changing the direction of my quilt life mainly because, I guess partly because of my age, but partly because we have seven grandchildren now and we live on a wonderful piece of property in North Carolina and I love working outside, so I now, I’m in the middle of a Master Gardener Program with Home Extensions people here in North Carolina, so I’m learning about our property and about the soil and about what grows in North Carolina. I have forty hours of volunteer work that is ahead of me with the program before I graduate. I’m doing some different directions in my life which is kind of fun. I still consider myself a professional quilter, but I’m not doing any more taping. My shows are actually being rerun in a different venue all over the country, so I spend a lot of time on the computer everyday because I get so many questions about my shows that are still airing around the country. They are on a new network called Create TV.com. That is the network, and so I have to quiz people as to what show they are watching because after doing twelve CBS series, I’m not sure what actual show they are looking at. However, I am actually thinking new quilt book. It is time.
KM: You talk about your husband and his reaction to your quiltmaking, how about the rest of your family. How has it impacted them?
GB: They have all been very proud. I think that they are at an age where they are all so involved with their children right now. They will of course someday wreak the benefits of all my quilts. They will have to deal with them. Some of them I am in the process of selling and moving on, but the quilts that I have made specifically for them, I’m going to let them deal with that someday, but they have been very proud. I guess of our three children, Paul our youngest because he is a video producer and helps me with my website and also helped to produce the documentary, “The Great American Quilt Revival.” [www.quiltrevial.com.] He is the one that is the most involved in my quilt business. I share more with him I think than anyone else. My daughter, because she is a journalist has helped me I think in some of the writing things that I’ve done, but because she is not a seamstress, she doesn’t really understand the actual technique and that sort of thing. I’m going to cultivate these granddaughters. I have four granddaughters and I plan to cultivate them into the next quilt world. [laughs.]
KM: Why is quiltmaking important to you?
GB: Oh my, because I don’t think I’m any different than any of those people that love quiltmaking, I think we look at fabric and the results of what we do of fabric as an extension of ourselves. I think it is a creative outlet. It’s a tactical thing that we can hold on to. I think it is something in our lives that we have control of. There are so many things that we don’t have control of from the dentist bill to the price of ground beef. That is out of our field, but if you tell us to make a quilt for a reason or just because we bought this beautiful fabric and we know it has be to cut up and put back together into a design. We have control on that from the size to the design to how we make it, whether we hand quilt it or machine quilt it, and I think it is something that we own and that is ours and I guess that is why I think it is so valuable.
KM: Tell me about the quilt groups you belong to.
GB: Oh my, [laughs.] they are all unique, they are all different. I just met yesterday with a group that we call ourselves “The Cover Lovers.” That group of ladies actually met through one of my community college classes that I was teaching in garment making and we have been together for twenty-seven years. We have lost three of them, but one of them, Francis Gardenia always said that in North Carolina we have called quilts Kivers. They were always called Kivers. I have always laughingly told them that we can’t call our group Kiver Livers, so we will call our group Cover Lovers, so that group is called “The Cover Lovers.” It is truly a self-help group, in other words we have lost three of our members, we still talk about them every once in a while their name will come up, we have gone through divorces, deaths of children, we have gone through everything together. Yesterday I showed them a quilt I’m doing for AQS [American Quilters Society.] that I have to get done in three weeks. [laughs.] So I took that and we quilted together and we are just all very close. Actually where we met yesterday is a lady that has moved into a retirement condominium and we meet at her house now once a month because she can’t leave her husband. We have gone through all of these transformations together and we laugh, I looked at the slides of the group that we have watched our hair color change over the years. [laughs.] So that is one group, then I’m in another group, PTA, that is for Patchwork Talking and Appliqué and you might have heard some of those girls. Linda Cantrell is in that group and Barbara Swinea and Lynne Harrill, Connie Brown and other stimulating professionals. They are movers and shakers, and we have done challenges that have been in AQS. Right now we have an exhibit at the North Carolina Arboretum. Two of the ladies just got accepted for AQS and next Thursday we are driving to Pigeon Forge to look at an exhibit, so it is an invigorating group because they are younger and they are very much into making today’s quilts. They keep very much on top of what is happening. I’m also in three guilds in the area, the Landrum Guild, the Ashville Guild, and the Western North Carolina Quilters Guild. I can’t go to all the meetings because of traveling and other obligations, which is frustrating, but I do keep up with what is happening in the guilds. I think that the guilds are having a hard time across the country right now and I don’t know why exactly, whether it is the size, whether they are going to large, or whether the new people that are being voted in are not listening to what is happening with what the people that have formed the guilds have done, whether they are not including them, I’m not sure what is happening. I don’t know if you find that is true, Karen.
KM: I do, I really do. I do think this is just, I personally have not been able to figure out what it is.
GB: Right, I haven’t either, but there are things that are happening and I think they are going to have to work a little bit harder on making it come out okay. Things are happening in the guilds.
KM: What other changes do you see changing within the quilt world?
GB: I guess, one of the biggest things that is happening today is the hand quilting versus machine quilting. I think everyone is talking about it.
KM: You have the extension of that, which is longarm quilting.
GB: Yes, and the longarm too, so there are the three things, and I don’t–I’d prefer not naming names, but I know that one of the quilts that just got rejected for the upcoming AQS show, one of the comments was I can’t believe this quilt was rejected because I spent so long hand quilting it. In defense of machine quilting, I think it is, it takes longer to hand quilt, but it is equally challenging to machine quilt some of these quilts and now to compete in the machine quilting you have to really go on another level, I mean it is difficult too, so I don’t know why. I sometimes question where it is all going, because it is like, it is making it very different in the quilt world.
KM: I think that technology is definitely impacting in a very big way.
KM: In the quilt world.
GB: Yes. You have to understand that the people that are making sewing machines, they have put forth all of these opportunities for us and they realize that young people in schools today are very much tech people and so what they are hoping is that this will cross over to sewing machines and so then the new field of people coming out there are challenged to sew and make these things that are going to be awesome and then the people that have done all the hand quilting are saying, ‘well I can’t do that.’ Maybe it has something to do with the people that are crossing over from slide presentations to PowerPoint presentations. That has become challenging in of itself and now even the people that are doing PowerPoint are being challenged cause if they are taking all of their equipment with them and in many cases they can’t take it on board an airplane anymore. They can’t take their batteries anymore. I mean it is like where do we go from here, it is difficult.
KM: It is evolving.
GB: It is evolving.
KM: That is what I keep saying to people, it is evolving.
GB: It is evolving; right you have to hang in there with it. The bottom line is that it is still very exciting. I just came from an all day experience in a small community way up in northern North Carolina up near Sparta and Wilkesboro. I just had the most glorious day. I talked for four and a half hours and I took a carload of my quilts and to see those happy faces out there, to hear my story, and I have fun stories that went with all of my quilts and stories that related to my parents and to my mother helping me rip out things that were wrong and. My sweet mother, who has been gone now for three years, she spent a week ripping out the first quilt that we ever put on a longarm quilting machine because, and I can’t remember whether we had the wrong color thread or the wrong pattern, but she ripped it out and when I picked it up from her, she told me, she was serious about this, she said, ‘I think you can give this sort of quilt to anyone that has been locked up in jail on drugs.’
GB: They would never do drugs again. [laughs.]
GB: I just loved it. Anyway.
KM: Give me timeframe.
GB: That was probably five years ago. My mother has been gone three.
GB: Three years, it was about five years ago, and she helped me in so many ways. She was just a good sounding board and oh I miss her so much. She was with it right up to the end and she happened to have a bad fall in her house and broke her collar bone and her shoulder and she gave up. At the end, the last two or three years, she knew it was a struggle to live. She was in a lot of pain, and she was on a lot of pain medicine, but it was a joy to have her close by, it really was, both of my parents. Getting back to my wonderful day in Wellsboro, the day was culminated by a wonderful thing that happened. I had designed a modern teapot quilt for their group. The Sparta Quilt guild pieced this quilt and then had it machine quilted. I had not seen the results and everyone was so excited. I hope this quilt will get some good visual coverage. I hope they will exhibit it in Houston and it will hopefully end up in the museum that they are building up in Sparta, North Carolina. It is a modern quilt and they learned to use my grid grip. I gave them a couple of lessons. They came down here to my studio and then we met in Hickory one day and I gave them lessons on how to use the grid freezer paper and that is how they pieced this quilt, and they said they couldn’t have done it without that, and that was a really exciting thing for me to see the end results of that quilt.
KM: Tell me about grid freezer paper.
GB: Grid Grip. Years ago, I mean this was a long time ago, I would say probably about 1980, ’82, someone came to one of my classes and said they read in Quilter’s Newsletter that freezer paper with a dry iron will attach to fabric. I said, you have got to be kidding, I mean up until then we had gone from cardboard templates and window templates to plastic templates and I was always frustrated with drawing around a template and I knew there was a way to go a little bit faster in the quilt world. I went over to the hardware side of the store and got a roll of freezer paper. I started working with it and designing on it. It wasn’t very long, a month or so, I realized what I needed to continual quarter inch grid on this freezer paper. I need something printed on this. I contacted James River Corporation up in, I thought this was always pretty clever, Parchment, Michigan. [KM laughs.] Isn’t that cool?
KM: Yeah, that is cool.
GB: I bugged the president so long, and I would say listen I’ve got an idea for you, you’ve got to do this. He said, ‘Okay I’ve got a private jet. I’m going to fly down.’ He came to our little hardware store and spent a couple of hours with me and I said, here is why, and I showed him why and so they printed a continuous quarter inch grid on rolls of freezer paper and we sold it that way. They would provide it and I would sell it and he would get a little bit of money. I would get a little bit of money and we sold it about two years that way and finally he called me one day and said, ‘Listen this is too much trouble. We are just going to give you the trademark and hand it over to you.’ I said, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to continue doing this?’ I said, ‘You know the nice thing about it is that people still freeze their meat with freezer paper and now they could measure the amount of meat they are freezing.’ [KM laughs.]
He didn’t think that was funny. Then we had for about five years, I had to, I had the rights for this, and then Pete and I would continue doing it, but instead of being on rolls we found a web press up in Waynesville, North Carolina where we would have it printed and it was difficult to do. It was not easy. We would have to order these huge rolls of freezer paper and then we would take it up there in a big truck we would rent and we did that for about five years and finally it is no longer done that way. It is done by Prym Dritz Corporation.. So I sell it and still have an interest in it, but Prym Dritz makes continuous freezer paper that has a quarter inch grid on it, so you can design on it. You have a design tool and a template at the same time, and you can, that is what I use and that is what a lot of people use. In fact, I just sold some to a lady up in Canada. Not everyone knows about it, but yet if you talk to people like Ricky Tims and Caryl Bryer Fallert, they are designing their quilts with freezer paper. The reason the grid for me is so good and for teaching is that the grid is synonymous with the grain line of fabric, so if you design a block with Grid Grip and you code it properly, cut it out and then you iron it on fabric, so that you always align the grid, the straight line with the grain line of the fabric so that you never have bias edges on a block or on a design that you are doing and that is the beauty in what you are working with if you have a grid on it.
KM: How do you want to be remembered?
GB: Oh my, I told my group in Wilkesboro, someone asked me that or I guess it came up in the course of my conversation, and I said I guess I will always be remembered for the full proof knot, it was one of the things I taught on one of the very first shows, my full proof knot for quilting and dog ears. I don’t think anyone has come up with, when you cut off the extension of a triangle, those little things fall off and I have always called them dog ears, but that is kind of in jest, but I think what I would love to be remembered for is probably the comment that people say when they saw me doing patchwork on TV is like, well I can do that, if she can do that, I can do that. I guess that is what I would like to be remembered, that I’m really basically an ordinary quilter that was able to transcribe the fun, the excitement of doing it through a television screen and then many people can say, well I can do that. I guess that is what I would like to be remembered for. You are getting me all very emotional about this Karen. [laughs.] I guess the bottom line is that for many of us quilting is an emotional thing. I guess that is the bottom line.
KM: I agree with that.
KM: I do.
GB: For what you have done Karen is a wonderful thing. For you to bring that out of so many of us. There is another group that I’m in, it is called The Coffee Clutch group at my store, well I don’t have a store anymore, but I do–I’m in touch, I have a little group, a corner down at–it is called My Quilt Shoppe, and there are a group of us that meet once a month and I’ve turned them onto the Alliance people, they have discovered the Alliance [The Alliance for American Quilts.], the website, and so what you have done is to open up a great window of people that have enjoyed quilting, not only professionally, but other people that have found that world of quilting is just a meaningful part of their lives and we thank you for that.
KM: Thank you, it is a meaningful part of my life. It truly is a meaningful part of my life. I think we all have value to the collective.
GB: I agree.
KM: I don’t have professional people who make a living at this, but we have people who don’t belong to guilds and just make quilts, and I think that is a wonderful thing.
GB: I agree.
KM: I want to thank you for taking your time to share. I also want to give you the opportunity to turn to Ami and the “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece” and Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. Our involvement in this is a tribute to Ami.
GB: Yes I agree. That is the way I feel. Half the reason I did this was that Ami would take this step and do this and go so far with it. We were all so impressed that one day it was the collection, then it was getting around the country, then it was the CD, then it was the book.
KM: Now it is a nonprofit.
GB: Now it is a nonprofit, I mean it is like there is just no end to it. She hasn’t gotten on Oprah yet, but we know she will still be on, that is all there is to it, that is going to be her last step. [laughs.]
KM: I think the whole thing is that this is a real tribute to what quiltmaking can do.
GB: I agree.
KM: Quiltmaking, I think quiltmaking is a changing force and that is what excites me.
GB: Right, and even non-quilters who see this exhibit, then they can be turned on to quilting and say, well my goodness look at what that has been done and then they can make a quilt for a cause within their family. It works both ways.
KM: It is a win, win for everyone.
GB: That is right.
KM: Thank you so much for taking your time.
GB: You are welcome Karen. The best of luck to you. I hope our paths cross again one of these days.
KM: I know they will because I will be at Quilters Hall of Fame again.
GB: Okay, we will see you there.
KM: Thank you.
Georgia Bonesteel, Interviewee
Karen Musgrave, Interviewer
Kim Greene, Transcriber
The Alzheimers Forgetting Piece by Piece QSOS
Flat Rock, North Carolina
March 7, 2008
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.