Issue 22: Texas Hill Country

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Pioneers in Texas Hill Country could look north, south, east, and west and see for miles. The sky was an endless blue, and the open range held limitless possibilities. For these folks, quilts were literally a means of survival. They kept their children warm on cold nights and were used in place of doors for families who lived in dugouts. 

But the most powerful quality quilts possessed was the opportunity to form relationships. Visiting a neighbor meant at least a day of travel, so it was a special occasion whenever families could come together. That longing for connection forged a commitment to community among Texas quilters that endures today. 

You’ll see it at Las Colchas, an inspirational quilt shop that feels like home the moment you step inside. Or with the African American Quilt Circle of San Antonio, whose members nurture an environment of sisterhood and work to preserve history. And you’ll find it among the members of the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild’s “Storybooks and Quilts to Go” program, who use their skills in innovative ways to educate the next generation. 

You’ll read about the “First Lady of Texas” Ima Hogg, a 20th century native Texan who collected quilts and American decorative arts. While Ima played a critical role in the past, makers like Maura Ambrose, who sources from Texas’ dazzling variety of plant life for dye-making, are still using familiar themes that transcend to quilters today.

So like the pioneers of old, join us as we explore the people, places, and stories nestled against the beautiful landscape of Hill Country.


180 pages (16 extra pages!), offset printed and perfect bound, full color on uncoated paper. Printed in the USA.

Previews From Issue 22

Jane Dunnewold

Texas flowers are the latest inspiration for renowned artist Jane Dunnewold. Her botanical series is rich in imagery, color, and the lasting beauty of nature, captured on paper and textiles. Jane comes from a family of quilters, and her innovations in textile surface design have inspired countless students and followers. Museums around the world collect and exhibit her art. Read about how this artist and teacher leads others with one extraordinary trait—kindness!

Girl Scout Quilt

When Priscilla Mayfield and her daughter, Tasiah, were asked to create a quilt honoring a historic African American woman in Texas, they knew immediately they wanted someone involved with the Girl Scouts. Their research led them to Mrs. Zudora McCoy, a music teacher and Girl Scout executive staff member, who founded the first overnight camp for African American Girl Scouts in Texas.

Maura Ambrose

Maura Ambrose fell in love with the magic in natural dyes and fibers during college. Now, she finds creativity within the constraints of the materials—and the time—available to her on her 10-acre home outside of Austin.

Texas Quilt Museum

Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes are major figures in the quilt world as owners of Quilt Inc., which produces the International Quilt Festival. When they opened the Texas Quilt Museum a decade ago, people wondered if they would use it mostly to promote their shows or if, given the name, they would stick to Texas quilts. Neither prediction proved true. Inside two glorious old buildings, TQM has turned into a champion of both traditional and art quilts from all over the world. And they’re just getting warmed up.

AAQCSATX

It was chance encounters and a love of quilting that shaped the African American Quilt Circle of San Antonio, TX, (AAQCSATX), whose members work tirelessly to preserve the quilting history of their community. Of its many achievements, the AAQCSATX is proudest of the sisterhood it has created and maintained over the past five years. Support and encouragement are embedded in all that they do for and with one another.

Creations

Kathy Thompson and Julie Milam have been laughing their way through a successful four decades at the fabric and quilting store Creations in Kerrville, TX. They attribute their longevity to their humor and their beautifully balanced skill sets.

Cynthia Vaughn

Cynthia Vaughn’s practice demonstrates that a little ingenuity and improvisation go a long way. Her 28-year journey through quiltmaking has been filled with serendipitous turns, unexpected friendships, and, most recently, an emerging nonprofit.

Irene Roderick

Irene Roderick makes large quilts inside a very tiny Austin home. Squished into 280 square feet is a generous design wall that is the centerpiece of her improvisational process. Her quilts are lively, almost abstract, pieced, and painterly works of art, and she is known for somehow piecing the thinnest, curved lines. Working with fabric has been a real joy to this lifelong painter and sculptor.

Las Colchas

Former college friends Francine Pons and Toni Reyna celebrated 40 years in business last summer with Las Colchas, their quilt shop in San Antonio. Offering unique classes and curated, cultural fabric prints, Las Colchas is thriving during the pandemic—just like it has throughout the last four decades. Despite all of life’s struggles, Francine and Toni have been there for each other, and quilting has been a peaceful haven for them both.

Ima Hogg

Ima Hogg spent her long life saddled by a name that made some people snicker (and then, there was the unstoppable myth that she had a sister named Ura). But this daughter of a Texas governor grew up to be one of the most prominent and beloved philanthropists in her home state. Along the way, she was famously generous to her favorite causes, music and mental health. Much less known is what she did for quilts as a collector and donor.

Kristi Schroeder Larson

Kristi Schroeder Larson, the popular designer behind Initial K Studio, has pivoted her business from quilt patterns to needlepoint patterns, after suffering from a major medical trauma. While coping with recovery, she used needlepoint as a way to process her feelings. Read more in Issue 22: Texas Hill Country.

Rosie and Kathleen McCrady

For 20 years, Kathleen McCrady hosted “Quilt Study Days”—for free—from a building behind her Austin home. One of her most ardent students turned out to be her daughter-in-law, Rosie deLeon-McCrady. The two adore antique redwork. They have a stunning collection of this timeless art and priceless memories of family vacations that always included a pit stop for quilts.

Kathy York

Kathy York has found inspiration from many sources over the years as her art has grown. Though her quilts are more abstract, they always have meaning to her. Personal stories are woven into a mix of bright colors and neutrals. Today, she leans more into modern quilts and enjoys the repetitive act of quilting because it allows her to think deeply about what she’s making.

Spike Gillespie

Radio guest, political commentator, knitter, restaurant owner, meditator, wedding officiant, painter, and quilt author are merely the tip of the iceberg of the many talents of Spike Gillespie. From her home on the Tiny T Ranch outside Austin, Spike is still stretching her talents and has plans to add yet another gig. Read about how this prolific columnist and writer became the author of three quilt books.

Laura Preston

Vacilando Studios bridges Laura Preston’s love of seeing the world with her passion for creating quilts and goods that are both beautiful and accessible. Here, she reflects on her journey into quilting, how she started her business, and her hopes for the future of quilting.

Posy Lough

For more than 35 years, Posy Lough has provided needlework kits for gift shops at historic sites and national parks across the US. Her tagline is “preserving our story in stitches.” In her own words, read about her inspiring community and how she got to Texas as fast as she could.

Storybook Quilts

“Storybooks and Quilts to Go,” sponsored by the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild, has lent picture books and coordinating quilts to local teachers and librarians since 1999. Over more than two decades, their list of books has grown, and the program continues to flourish.

Liz Porter

For decades, Liz Porter and her business partner, Marianne Fons, brought the love of quilting to millions through their public television show, books, and magazines. Today, Liz is happily retired in Austin, gardening, golfing, and teaching her granddaughters how to sew. She’s also making lots of quilts, and in her Quiltfolk interview, she shares how her own love of quilting is stronger than ever.

Stacy Hernandez Pyron

Stacy Hernandez Pyron thought that when her family’s quilt shop closed, her career in the quilt industry had ended. Life, however, had other plans.

Leslie Tucker Jenison

In her first career, Leslie Tucker Jenison worked for 20 years as a labor and delivery nurse and never got tired of the primal intensity of birth. Over a long career in quilting that has led her to many styles and techniques, she has found ways to keep working with the focus and potency she craves. She’s created the quilt studio of her dreams in her San Antonio home and showed Quiltfolk what she’s making there and why.

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