Starting Stories

It’s been a busy week, even in the sewing room, but nothing to photograph. My quilting efforts resulted in getting three quilt tops basted. One is the next Challenge project, two are baby quilts. With any luck (and a little work), I’ll have them ready to share next week. So this week I thought I would talk about beginnings.

My first finished quilt

My first finished quilt

This is the first quilt I finished. The label says it is my second project, but since I can’t remember what the first was I’m guessing it was a potholder, or something that would only require one block. Ann Anastasio was my first quilt teacher. She had been teaching long enough that she thought she had seen it all. She hadn’t, and she’ll still tell you stories about my ugly fabric collection. That didn’t stop us from collaborating on quilts, novels (Death by Chenille, When Chenille Is Not Enough), entertainment (Broken Dishes Repertory Theatre), and non-profits. Ann and I served together on the boards of several non-profits, including Amador Valley Quilters (AVQ).

AVQ sponsors a number of outreach programs, including the quilting class I teach at the nearby federal prison for women. The class was originally taught by Thea McCurry. I inherited the class when she moved, and have kept with it for nearly twenty years. Over that time it has transformed as the policies, budgets and demographics at the prison have changed. When I turn over the reins to new teachers later this year, some of the students will have progressed to the point where they can teach their own quilting classes.

The moral of the story is you never know what a beginning will bring. Ann could have thrown up her hands with my lack of skills (ask her about teaching me to iron properly) and fondness for odd color schemes. She didn’t, and we went on to be invited to Road to California, the annual Tennessee quilters conference, the recent SAQA conference – and we’re working on our third novel. I could have dropped the FCI quilting class when the prison made changes. I didn’t, and the program was featured on Alex Anderson‘s HGTV show Simply Quilts, has inspired other quilters to start their own outreach classes, and offers a unique opportunity for AVQ members. So – what are you going to start today?

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4 Responses to “Starting Stories”

  1. Cathy Lacer Says:

    And these r some of the things why u r one of my favorites!

  2. jkroyce Says:

    You’ve inspired me to start a short story that I’ve been thinking about for a while. We’ll see where it goes.

    How many years ago was that first project?

    • Lani Longshore Says:

      Wonderful, I look forward to reading the story! I think the quilt was finished in 1986 or 1987.

      Lani Longshore https://lanilongshore.wordpress.com Death By Chenille (www.smashwords.com) When Chenille Is Not Enough(www.smashwords.com, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com) Lani Longshore’s Blog (www.lanilongshore.wordpress.com)

      Broken Dishes Repertory Theatre (www.brokendishesrepertorytheatre.com)

      >________________________________

  3. TheaM Says:

    of all the things I miss about California… you and the FCI quilters are right at the top of the list! so glad you have carried on the program for all these years!

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