100th Suzy's Fancy Column!
Suzanne Labry (right) showing off work at the Texas Quilt Museum.
When Bob Ruggiero, Director of Publications and Public Information at Quilts, Inc., alerted me that the Suzy’s Fancy column was about to hit the century mark, so to speak, I’ll admit to being surprised!
But then, I’m always surprised to realize how old I am every year when my birthday rolls around too. I suppose my puzzlement on both counts speaks to the fact that both in life and in work, I’m lucky enough to enjoy what I’m doing. Time flies when you’re having fun…
Getting to talk to quilters and write about quilts and quiltmaking truly is so much fun for me! The creativity of quilters seems bottomless—a renewable resource of ideas and talent that delights, encourages, inspires, amuses, challenges, and ultimately amazes me at every turn.
Who wouldn’t feel honored and humbled to get to share their stories? The art of quiltmaking itself has a rich and colorful history with many facets to explore. Then there are the quilts themselves, and the way they arouse and nourish the senses on so many levels. Every aspect of the quilt world offers a trove of interesting aspects to write about.
One of the best parts about writing Suzy’s Fancy is that no matter how much I study and read and research, there is always so much more to learn. I’ve been around quilts and quilters my entire life and for at least half that time, I’ve been a student of the artform.
Yet, there’s always something different, some unusual bit of history, a new technique, a fresh interpretation of an old idea that makes certain I will never, no matter how hard I try, grasp all there is to know abut the subject.
Since beginning to write the column, I’ve learned about cultural interpretations of quiltmaking around the world, including Weya Appliqué from Africa; Tivaevae from the Cook Islands; colchas from the Texas-Mexico border; ralli quilts from Pakistan and India; Hopi Indian quilts from Arizona; Czech quilting in Texas; and quilting in the Bahamas.
I’ve seen how writers (Clare O’Donohue and Terri Thayer), poets (Teresa Palomo Acosta), and artists working in other media (Rebecca Barker, Quilt Gardens) have used quilts as a springboard for their own interpretations.
I’ve chronicled the way in which quilts continue to serve as vehicles for
I’ve enjoyed sharing stories of quilters’ playful senses of humor (Magnificent Eggsession; The Quilted Yurt; The Fat Quarters), remarkable resourcefulness (Something from Nothing; A Bounty of Quilts); and ideas that have sparked national movements (Quilt Raising).
It has been my privilege to share experiences such as these and so many more during my tenure as the Suzy’s Fancy writer. I’m looking forward to the next 100 columns!
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Column 134: Deaf Initiatives—Communicating Through Quilts
Column 133: My Betty Boop Quilt
Column 132: Maura Grace Ambrose
Column 131: All You Need Is Love
Column 130: Chicken Linens
Column 129: The Quilted Chuppah
Column 128: Patchwork Around the World: Yoruba Dance Costumes
Column 127: The Bowers Co-Op Quilts
Column 126: Fon Appliqué and Haitian Voodoo Flags
Column 125: The Quilt Garden at The North Carolina Arboretum
Column 124: Harriet Powers and Handful’s Mauma
Column 123: Quilters de Mexico
Column 122: An Appliquéd Surprise
Column 121: Matisse’s Fabric Stash
Column 120: Soogan—The Cowboy’s Quilt
Column 119: The Ron Swanson Quilt
Column 118: HClarkdale, Georgia—A Thread of History
Column 117: How WWI Changed the Color of Quilts in the United States
Column 116: Wagga—The Bushman’s Quilt
Column 115: All in the Family
Column 114: The Alabama State Quilt
Column 113: Balloon Quilts of Albuquerque
Column 112: The Family That Quilts Together, Stays Together
Column 111: Two Rivers, Three Sisters
Column 110: Quilters Helping Quilters
Column 109: Community Cookbooks and Fundraiser Quilts—Parallel Histories
Column 108: Quilting to Freedom
Column 107: National Quilting Day
Column 106: The Airing of the Quilts
Column 105: A Call for a National Juneteenth Commemorative Quilt
Column 104: Dominoes
Column 103: 1936 Texas Centennial Bluebonnet Quilt
Column 102: Helen Blackstone, A Texas Quilter
Column 101: Montana CattleWomen Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 100: 100th Suzy's Fancy Column!
Column 99: Montana Stockgrowers Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 98: The Tobacco Sack Connection
Column 97: Meet the Sisters Who Are State Fair Quilting Queens
Column 96: The connection between fairs and quilts.
Column 95: Her Mother Pieced Quilts
Column 94: Rebecca Barker’s Quiltscapes
Column 93: The Thread and Thimble Club Mystery
Column 92: The Ballerina Quilter
Column 91: Grandmother's Flower Garden Comes Alive at Texas Quilt Museum
Column 90: Leitmotif for a Lifelong Love Affair
Column 89: Quilting in The Bahamas
Column 88: Joan of Arc: A Quilter's Inspiration
Column 87: Home Demonstration Clubs and Quilting
Column 86: Linzi Upton and the Quilted Yurt
Column 85: A Bounty of Quilts
Column 84: Desert Trader
Column 83: Quilts and the Women’s Liberation Movement
Column 82: Replicating the Past: Reproduction Fabrics for Today’s Quilts
Column 81: Why So Many Quilt Shops in Bozeman, Montana?
Column 80: Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum
Column 79: 54 Tons of Quilt
Column 78: Ollie Steele Burden’s Quilt Blocks
Column 77: Quilting with AMD
Column 76: Maverick Quilts and Cowgirls
Column 75: The Modern Quilt Guild—Cyberculture Quilting Ramps Up
Column 74: The Membership Quilt—Czech Quilting in Texas
Column 73: Maximum Security Quilts
Column 72: Author: Terri Thayer
Column 71: The Christmas Quilt
Column 70: New Mexico Centennial Quilt
Column 69: Scrub Quilts
Column 68: “Think Pink” Quilt Raises Funds for Rare Cancer Research
Column 67: Righting Old Wrongs.
Column 66: 100 Years, 100 Quilts - More on the Arizona Centennial.
Column 65: Arizona Centennial Quilt Project
Column 64: Capt. John Files Tom’s Family Tree
Column 63: The Fat Quarters
Column 62: Quilt Fiction Author: Clare O’Donohue
Column 61: Louisiana Bicentennial Quilt
Column 60: The Camo Quilt Project.
Column 59: Thread Wit
Column 58: Ralli Quilts
Column 57: Preschool Quilters
Column 56: The Story Quilt
Column 55: Red and Green Quilts
Column 54: On the Trail
Column 53: Quilt Trail Gathering
Column 52: True Confessions: First Quilt
Column 51: Quilted Pages
Column 50: Doll Quilts
Column 49: More Than a Quilt Shop
Column 48: Las Colchas of the Texas-Mexico Border
Column 47: Literary Gifts
Column 46: A Different Way of Seeing
Column 45: Sampling
Column 44: Hen and Chicks
Column 43: A Star Studied Event
Column 42: Shoo Fly Pattern
Column 41: Awareness Quilts
Column 40: Tivaevae
Column 39: UnOILed UnspOILed Coast Quilt Project
Column 38: Katrina Recovery Quilts
Column 37: Quilted Vermont
Column 36: The Labyrinth Quilt—A Meditative Endeavor
See other archived columns here