Come on in!
Welcome to my site. I don't blog, so I occasionally use this page to make announcements - like this one.
Once upon a time, my husband thumbed through a copy of The American Quilter magazine and mentioned there was a big quilt show in Paducah KY and why didn't I go? My mental response was, why don't I go the moon? Not long after, he mentioned there was a program for appraisers and suggested I'd enjoy doing that, and my out-loud response was “And I could be an astronaut” which would make sense as I could then go to the moon as he had suggested.
That was twenty five years ago. I did indeed go to Paducah to a quilt show – many, many times. I did become an appraiser, and have had the privilege of appraising literally thousands of quilts brought to me by trusting clients. I've put hundreds of thousand of miles on my cars, and logged just as many air miles all in the service of quilts or quilt history. I've answered thousands of questions, solved family mysteries, found inscriptions that families had searched for and missed, opened people's eyes to the treasures – or not – that they own, laughed, instructed, bit my tongue, rolled my eyes, suggested paths for genealogical research based on what I saw in a quilt, taught countless people about care and storage, given lectures to thousands, acted as consultant, and made friends that I will keep forever. Friends have been kind enough to put my quilts in important exhibits all over the country; other friends have included me in their books and magazines. How wonderful is that!
But twenty five years is a long time, a full career as I see it, and I'm ready to go on to other things. This will be my last appraisal season, with only two shows remaining. I will miss it immensely; my whole world has been quilt related for so long I wonder who I will be if I'm not the quilt lady. I feel as if I'm throwing away my entire identity, and I'll admit there is discomfort in the process, but it is time, without a doubt. No vacillating, no second thoughts. I am officially announcing my retirement.
My greatest regret is that I've no way to dump my knowledge of antique quilts into someone else's brain – these are things you can't learn from books or classes. It can only be learned from years of flapping quilts, talking to clients, putting that quilt on the table in context with the family history, weaving together those bits after thousands of quilts and making those deductions and connections for yourself. You see and learn facts that have never been in print or photograph; those facts are yours alone, and your files and your brain are overflowing with valuable information. Can I just stick one of those little jump drive things in my ear and download all this great stuff?
I hope to make some dynamite quilts. I hope to spend quality time with my hubby. And I plan to write. I was a writer – at least, I dreamed of being one – before I even knew what a quilt was. It's time to let the writer come out to play.
Thank you for any part you may have played in my quilting life and in what I consider to have been quite a successful career. I won't be going to Paducah or Houston but I will go to the AQSG seminars when convenient as that's where my most cherished friends will be. Man, it's been a wild ride!
I'm a true Gemini, so you get "twin" websites in one here. The first is for Teddy the Certified Appraiser and very serious business person - at least it will be for a little while. The second is for Teddy the quiltmaker who marches to the beat of a different sewing machine. I like to work with old worn out things I buy in thrift shops. One of my friends says I shop in places she would only go into with rubber gloves and tongs, and I admit to keeping antibacterial hand cleaner in my car. But I have such a heart for the women who came before me, the women who worked so hard to find a few moments to make beautiful things for their families. Perhaps it was a crocheted doily, a hanky with tatted edges, an embroidered dresser scarf, or a stack of quilt blocks they never got around to setting together. These are the fragments I gather and I find great joy in giving them new life. As you look at the quilts in the galleries, you will spot the vintage pieces.
When you have a few moments, check out the wonderful www.porterbriggs.com. It's a good-news, all-about-the-south online magazine. Short articles, beautiful photography, great subject matter, and skilled writers - what more could you ask? Oh - by the way, I'm one of those writers!!
I hope you will enjoy your moments here.