When Alice Marie Slaven talks about quilting her passion and humor are contagious. Whether you quilt or not, you will find yourself imagining aisles of colorful textiles, laughing quilters sharing jokes and ideas, and babies and newlyweds wrapped in beautiful quilts.
Slaven explains her joy of quilting and of life in simple terms. "I call it 'quilt therapy,' " Slaven says. "Today's quilters have a great sense of humor. They are glad that they do not have to quilt to keep their families warm, but for the art and enjoyment of it."
Slaven, like many other local quilters, is a member of the Basket Case Quilt Guild. The guild's mission includes a statement about supporting education for the textile art of quilting. Guild member Jeanne Leser designed a quilting display to help meet that goal.
The guild uses the display at its bi-annual quilt show and likes to make it available to the community year-round. "And what better place for it to be than at the libraries," Slaven states.
Crawford Library is currently showcasing the display. "It has something for both new and experienced quilters," Slaven explains. The display includes quilting techniques for all levels and examples of different styles of quilts.
Along with education, the guild also focuses on community outreach. Members are launching a project this year that aims to give local migrant women income through the winter months. Guild members have also sent handmade dresses, bandages, pro pads, dishcloths, baby hats and blankets to Haiti.
Slaven wrapped up our conversation by sharing the message on one of her favorite T-shirts. She referred to it as "The Quilter's Prayer": "May your tension always be well-adjusted, your bobbins always be full, and your fabric always be on sale!"
I would like to add to that message by saying, "May there always be people like Alice Marie Slaven in this world to make it a brighter, more colorful place."
To view the display, visit Crawford Library during normal business hours, Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday noon to 4 p.m.. The Basket Case Quilt Guild meets the second Tuesday of every month at Bill Heddles Recreation Center.
To learn more about the guild, visit them on Facebook.