A Newsletter from Meg Cox                                  September,  2014

SAQA Auction on Now!!!

         If you are like me, you don't have a budget for collecting quilts, or a grand showcase to display them. My answer has always been to acquire mostly small quilts, and display them where I work and live. 
         So one of the auctions I watch closely every year is that of SAQA, Studio Art Quilt Associates. The quilts are only 12 inches square, and I'm always flabbergasted to see people create a bold statement on such a small canvas. 
         Over the years, I've been able to buy amazing quilts in the SAQA fall auction by half a dozen quilters with long museum resumes. Masters like Susan Shie, Therese May and Linda Colsh. This is a reverse auction, with a set price of $750 the first day pf each week. But the set price falls daily, down to $75 at the end of the week.  I have had to buy the first and second day to snap up quilts by big names. But I must admit, some of my favorites came from virtual unknowns and cost double digits. 

          The 2014 SAQA auction began on September 15. The quilt above by The Pixeladies is available for online bidding from September 29 to October 5. Click on the apple quilt to view all the auction quilts, and learn how to bid. It's easy, and you will know very quickly if you've won. 


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"This is the only e-newsletter that actually has news," says quilting icon Denyse Schmidt. 
Every month, this space is full of news and reviews, an insider's look at the quilt world prepared by a former Wall Street Journal reporter.  Readers learn what's new, cool and important -- ahead of the pack. 

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Who is Meg Cox?  

Journalist /Author/Teacher



 President, Quilt Alliance

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The Best Online Source of Kaffe Fassett Fabric -- and more.

September Giveaway!!!
6 Month Pass to Creative Bug
PLUS Kaffe Fassett fabric

September's prize is a double doozy: you get a full 6-month FREE pass to take any of the online classes available at Creativebug (not just quilting). Plus, you get this yummy bundle of 30 fat quarters from the new Fall 2015 Kaffe Collective fabrics. The designers are Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably and Philip Jacobs, and as you can see, they work together beautifully.

The winner will be chosen at random from e-mails received by midnight October1. To enter, send an email to meg@megcox.com. (Only subscribers are eligible to win.) 
The overjoyed August winner of the AccuQuilt GO fabric cutter was Ann Pierce. 

Thanks for coming!

I hope to see you again in October. 
Send any comments or suggestions to meg@megcox.com.

Quilt on!
Dear Friends--                  
        How do you like my new logo? I'm extremely pleased with the work done by designer Suzanne Staud. I try to make both words and images stand out every month, but quilting is a visual medium, and I felt I deserved a logo after 5 years of this work. I have been on Constant Contact since 2012, but my first e-newsletter on quilting was sent January 2009.
        The Fall always seems to me like the peak of the quilting year. It's a time when the very weather seems to encourage quilting, new fabric is flooding into the shops, and major quilt shows occur. Since I just got back from Quilters Take Manhattan, I'll give you a glimpse into last weekend's fun. And reveal the keynote speaker for 2015.
         The ultimate fall gathering is always International Quilt Festival in Houston, so I interviewed its founder, Karey Bresenhan, to talk about some of the special treats in store for the show's 40th anniversary next month!
         This issue, I welcome a new advertiser: Glorious Color, the go-to site for Kaffe Fassett junkies. Along with another chance to win a 6-month free pass on Creative Bug, the winner of this month's giveaway will get a juicy fat quarter bundle of the latest Kaffe fabric.
infinite gratitude

Quilt Festival's Ruby Jubilee

Many years, the biggest group of conventioneers in Houston is quilters! No wonder International Quilt Festival has sometimes billed itself as the World's Fair of Quilts. Next month will mark the 40th anniversary of this quilt-tacular event, and founder, Karey Bresenhan, has made sure it will be a Texas-sized party.

        During a recent interview, I asked her to reminisce about how the quilt scene has changed since she held the first Quilt Festival in 1974. "First, the art quilt movement has changed quilting in many ways. Second, the growth and artistry of machine quilting has changed even the way we look at quilts. The third big change is that we are blessed to have so many suppliers we didn't have before. We had nice fabric, but nothing like we have now, plus all the fabulous new tools."

If you have the opportunity to attend Quilt Festival this year, along with 60,000-plus others, between October 30 and November 2, you will have a chance to observe all those things at the George R. Brown convention center. As for vendors, there will be more than 1,000 booths. Exhibits will include the usual fantastic selection of judged quilts from the International Quilt Association, but more special exhibits than ever, including some related to the anniversary.

"Ruby is the stone for 40th wedding anniversaries, so we are calling this our Ruby Jubilee," says Karey. There will be a special exhibit of 130 red and white quilts made between 1974 and the present in homage to the amazing Infinite Variety show in New York, in 2011. Karey missed that show because she had just gotten out of the hospital, but thought this was a perfect way to celebrate the red tie-in. One of the quilts included is the exquisite red and white Dear Jane above, which was made by Deborah Bingham and friends as a gift to Joanna Rose -- the collector whose quilts were showcased in New York (Joanna Rose is Deborah's aunt.) The quilt is called Infinite Gratitude.

Another nod to the anniversary is a special exhibit called "Life Begins at 40," showing contemporary quilts that express what turning 40 means to their makers. 

The success of Quilts Inc., the parent company of this and other shows, along with Fall and Spring Quilt Market, comes from a strong work ethic and smart choices by Karey and her veteran staffers. But she says the real key has been keeping quilts and quilters as her top priority. Literally. For the past 25 years, the company has conducted meetings with a sign on the table that guides all decisions: "First, is it good for quilting? Second, is it good for us? Third, can we make or save money on it?"

Come to this anniversary party if you can. I'm sure she will make it extra special: on Saturday night, they'll be shooting fireworks right off the roof of the convention center. 

"Tell your readers, if they don't come, they are going to miss a once-in-a-lifetime show," Karey says. 
I hope to see you there: you'll find me, mostly, in the Quilt Alliance booth. If you can't come, look for a copy of the Quilt Scene magazine in late October, from Interweave.
Quilters Took Manhattan & You Can too.
      The 4th annual Quilters Take Manhattan benefit was the biggest and best yet, with more of everything quilters love. The main event on Saturday, September 20 at the Fashion Institute of Technology was two hours longer, and offered more quilts, more vendors, more food and more fun than previous years. (For the same ticket price.) 
        Initial comments from the audience have been effusive, and people say they appreciated the rich diversity of the day's content. The irreverent Mark Lipinski introduced the earnest Amy Butler, who surprised many with a deeply personal reflection about both her business and spiritual life. She talked openly about how she dealt with a difficult patch in her business, and even read from her journal at one point. Her new fabrics were on display in slides and in person, and quilters got a chance to ask her all kinds of questions: she even gave out her email address, and encouraged people to get in touch.   

        The program also included a richly varied trunk show presented by Moda CEO Mark Dunn, who explained how he uses exquisite antique quilts to create special reproduction fabric collections whose sale benefits non-profits. His two sons carried and displayed quilts as he told their stories. 
       Mark Lipinski kept the crowd revved up throughout the live quilt-design competition, Quilt Match Manhattan. Contestants John Kubinech and Allie Aller came armed with ideas and a yard of fabric from home, but our third competitor had travel issues. So Mark picked our final contestant from the audience! Earamichia Brown threw herself into the fray, but the winner was Allie Aller. 

        I love this event so much, but the absolute highlight for me this year was probably going behind the scenes of the Ratti Textile Center in the bowels of the Metropolitan Museum. Curator Amelia Peck showed our group of 25 more than a dozen exceptional quilts from the Met's collection. And I learned some things that are worth sharing here. 
        We learned that only about 200 of the 36,000 objects in the Met Museum textile collection are quilts, but that each one is a treasure. The curator says they don't acquire pieces in poor condition or without a compelling story. One of the most amazing stories we heard was about a stunning silk signature quilt that was begun in 1856: it contains 360 signatures, mostly from celebrities of the day. Everyone from Lincoln and Grant to Emerson, Hawthorne and Dickens.
         It was gratifying to learn how much quilts have risen in the estimation of museums like this one: Amelia Peck says the Met used to hang Indian palampores made in the 1920s like curtains in galleries filled with natural light. They were destroyed. 
         Though there isn't a quilt exhibit coming soon to the Met, Peck says they will be adding many more quilts to the American Wing galleries, and both a tapestry show and a kimono show are scheduled. Also, the museum, which has almost no contemporary quilts, is about to acquire some from Gees Bend. 
         Did you know that you don't have to have a PhD to dig into the Ratti Center's treasures? If you want to come use their reference library, study the Collection Database or even ask them to bring out quilts or tapestries to see, you just have to contact them ahead of time and make an appointment. 
         On Monday, September 29, I'll be posting a blog at www.megcox.com with loads more photographs from Quilters Take Manhattan, including the side visit to the Met Museum. We hope to make videos available from this year's main presenters, for a small fee, and I'll let you know when those are available. 
          We sold out four months before the event, so keep an eye out for the launch of Quilters Take Manhattan 2015. I promise that 2015 will include more new outings and another museum experience. We already announced next year's keynote speaker: Ricky Tims!

Save the Date: 9/26/2015
Meet the New Sponsor:

      Liza Lucy has been teaching and writing books with Kaffe Fassett for many years. The reason she started her e-store in 1999, was that she and Kaffe were teaching projects using his stripes, which quilt shops were reluctant to stock. "I started the shop to carry the stripes!" she explains. 
       At the time, e-commerce was just taking off, and Liza's husband, a software engineer, would update the website on weekends. When he (and 30,000 others) lost their jobs at Lucent, he and Liza decided to ramp up their e-tail business, and built an addition onto the house in New Hope, Pennsylvania to hold it.
       If you are a Kaffe fan, you'll find many treasures at www.gloriouscolor.com. Not only will you find an unparalleled selection of his current and earlier fabrics, but Liza also sells all his books. In addition, her 5 quilt maker employees design stunning quilts using his fabrics, and their kits are available here exclusively. Glorious Color also sells the patterns of appliqué genius Kim McLean --including the one above. 

Note: to start your free 2-week trial, see instructions in Creative Bug's ad in the lefthand column.