1. South Dakota Quilters Hit Jackpot - Seventeen quilting friends who've been throwing $2 a week into a collective pool for 5 years just won $55,000 from a scratch ticket in the state lottery. That's about $2400 each after taxes. (Of course buying the tickets cost each $520 over five years, which brings the winnings down to around $1880.)
“Our plan is to get a nice place to all live together with our husbands and do quilting,” Richards said. “For $2 a week we have had lots of laughs and many dreams about building our big house. We call it our redneck retirement plan.”(Article here. Hmmm, I wonder if they're going to make a quilt from the winning scratch card? For example, here's a random scratch card from another state that could inspire an interesting quilt:
Or maybe not. By the time you've bought enough yellow and red fabric, your $1880 is severely depleted, and the graphics may have given you a headache!)
2. Rock Star Quilter Really Is! - You've heard of McTavishing? It's a way of machine quilting highly elaborate swooping featheresque fillers. It's jaw-droppingly spectacular:
Turns out that the inventor, Karen McTavish, is a young woman with dreadlocks, tattoos and gauged ears. Oh, and she's the singer for an alternative metal band called Grounds for Dismissal. Her mother talked her into becoming a quilter, according to this interesting bio in a local newspaper.
3. Quilts = Life - Wisconsin quilter Verna Riddle used to lecture about her collection of 110 quilts, of which she made about 15. She died in 1999, and now her son Jon takes her show on the road. His talks are profound:
"Verna would say how much piecing a quilt is like living a life. A quilt could explain predestination and free will better than any preacher. Neighbors give a piece of material here and there; whatever is left over or comes along goes into the quilt. When it comes to cutting out the quilt, the pattern is the quilter's choice. The same fabric given to different people will result in different quilts. 'That's the way of living. The Lord sends us the pieces, we can cut 'em out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves,' Verna would say."
"...The simple fact is that quilts were handmade by people for people. Every phase of their production was permeated by giving and sharing: from the trading of scraps and patterns to the actual production in 'bees,' to the giving away of the final finished work. Quilting was an essentially human activity. There is something about a quilt that says people friendship, community, family, home and love," Jon said.In other words, Mr. Data and Mr. Spock should be quilting to find their inner humanity. That's what I do, come to think about it.
More on Verna's legacy (with two nice pictures of embroidered quilts) here. Below is her hand-stitched presidential portrait quilt, made in 1987 (I think that's Reagan at the end).