The Quilt Life ...And As I See It...
...And The Quilt Life As I See It...
Early on, I learned that “quilting” involved more than sewing patches of fabric together. Up until my last semester in college, I thought I would be a weaver for life, but once the needle, thread, and quilt frame found their natural home in my lap, the loom no longer held any appeal. Quilting would be the perfect avenue for expressing my art in cloth.
In 1978, I stumbled upon a quilt show in Oakland, California. My heart stopped at seeing quilts hanging as art. At that moment, I recognized that quilts are made for many reasons. Realizing that I could be an artist and work in cloth was a “light bulb moment” for me.
In the 1970s, quilting in the San Francisco Bay area was advancing at warp speed. The East Bay Heritage Quilters was a vibrant guild that brought cutting-edge quilt artists to stretch their members’ creative process. Before long, a mini-group formed that met monthly. We called ourselves Strings. I was the “baby” in the group and these women were not only mentors in quilting, but also mentors of life.
As my kids grew, so did my involvement with quilting. Before I knew it, almost everything in my life was quilt-oriented. Many milestones along the quilt journey gave me a“buzz”—taking the extra bedroom as my dedicated studio; getting a loan from Dad to purchase my first Bernina; having my first two quilts published (in Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes); winning that first (and only) Best of Show ribbon; and when my in-laws traveled all the way from Los Angeles to baby-sit so I could attend a quilting retreat.
Little did I know that I was establishing a lifestyle as well as a lifelong passion. Our craft is about inspiration, creativity, community, charity, and so much more. When the American Quilter’s Society invited Ricky and me to create a brand-new magazine, the spin was easy. Welcome to the pages of The Quilt Life, where quilting is more than making a quilt. Let our creative lifestyle continue…together.
Alex Anderson’s love of quilting all began in 1978 when she completed her Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt as a part of her work towards her degree in art from San Francisco State University. Alex is the author of 30 books in four languages, selling near 1 million copies worldwide. Her quilts and instruction tips have also appeared in numerous magazines. She is the National Spokesperson for Bernina of America, a promotional partner for AccuQuilt’s Go!, as well as a designer of her own line of fabrics with P&B Textiles, and threads with Superior Threads. For 11 years, she served as host of Simply Quilts on HGTV. Alex continues to be one of the most sought after instructors and lecturers in the international quilting and sewing industry.
Alex was chosen as the 2008 Silver Star Award winner given annually by the International Quilt Festival to a person “whose work and influence has made –– and continues to make –– a sizable and positive impact on the quilting industry and community.”
Alex’s personal mission is not only to share her love of quilting with anyone who will listen, but to educate and encourage those interested in quilting as clearly and simply as possible, so quilting can continue to be handed down from generation to generation.
Alex has two children and lives in Northern California with her husband.