Louisa L. Smith

Photos

WI53719-001_a.jpeg
WI53719-001_b.jpeg

Title

Louisa L. Smith

Identifier

WI53719-001

Interviewee

Louisa L. Smith

Interviewer

Joanne Gasperik

Interview Date

8/3/03

Location

Madison, Wisconsin

Transcriber

Joanne Gasperik

Transcription

Joanne Gasperik (JG): This is Joanne Gasperik. Today's date is August 3, 2003. It is 4:45 p.m. and I'm conducting an interview with Louisa L. Smith for Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories project. We are in Madison, Wisconsin at the WQI - Wisconsin Quilters Inc. summer meeting. Thank you, Louisa for allowing me to interview you today.

Louisa L. Smith (LS): You're welcome.

JG: Tell me about the quilt you brought today. Who made it? And what was the origin? And describe it--the meaning of it to me.

LS: Okay. I made the quilt when I moved to Colorado, while my daughter was going through chemo therapy and radiation therapy for breast cancer. It not only gave me peace when I needed it the most, when I stopped crying long enough. But it opened up a whole other side of it because every time I show the quilt now, people tell me their cancer story and it is just--it's like a healing process for me. It was a really important quilt in my life and maybe not the best one I've ever made, but certainly the most meaningful one I've made.

JG: Quilts have a way of doing that. They can help us through difficult times and apparently it helped you through a most difficult time.

LS: Oh, it definitely did.

JG: What do you call this quilt? What is the name of the quilt?

LS: I call it "Ribbons of Hope."

JG: What was the pattern? Describe the pattern and the colors--

LS: Actually I made it up. Because I knew that everybody was giving me the pink ribbons when my daughter was going through this, and I must have about 6 or 7 of different pink ribbons. So I knew I wanted to make a quilt in which the ribbon was an important thing because I think in our society now everything has a ribbon. You know when the soldiers go overseas, you have a yellow ribbon. So I started doodling and I came up with that pattern, just by doodling and having it look like ribbons are flowing across it, the surface.

JG: Yes, they're organza, transparent organza ribbons.

LS: Yes, on top of the ones that I pieced. I pieced the basic one and then I took organza ribbons and went across in the opposite direction, so to speak. So ribbons on ribbons, I guess.

JG: Yyes, yes. So you chose this because this because it had a special meaning.

LS: Yes. As we were sitting at the many places where she would have chemo therapy, I started talking to people who have somebody would have a green ribbon, somebody would have a pink ribbon and before I make the quilt I was sort of asking them what that meant, and really learned a lot, because they are very fanatic about the kind of cancer they go to, obviously and then they would say, 'Well this ribbons means da-da-da-da.' So it could be prostate cancer, it could be lung cancer; they all have a different color. And I didn't know that.

JG: I guess I didn't realize that either. How do you use this quilt?

LS: I use it, actually it just hangs in my house, but I think I'm going to donate it to the place where my daughter had chemo therapy. I'm just sort of enjoying it for a while. But I think it will be a fun place to hang on the wall where they sit for so many hours and have something to look at. That's my hope for it.

JG: [agrees.] Tell me how did you come to quilting?

LS: Oh dear. I think it was in 1975, so the year before the bi-centennial. I had come to America in 1960 and I was always sewing. All the women's magazines had quilts in them, especially for the Bi-centennial, red, white and blue quilts. So I just set out to make one of those quilts, thinking I could just look at the picture and know all the ins and outs of quilting. Of course I was a little surprised that I did need some teaching and some skills [laughing.] So long a round-about way, making all the mistakes at first, I really got hooked. I just got hooked.

JG: Had you done needlework prior--

LS: Lots of needlework. I think people in Europe sort of grow up with needlework at grammar school age. So, yes, lots of needlework.

JG: Well I understand you're born in Indonesia and then you came to the Netherlands as a small child. [LS agrees.] So you were basically raised--

LS: In the Netherlands.

JG: In the Netherlands, your schooling.

LS: Yes, yes. So English is really my second language, yes, almost my third. [laughs.]

JG: Yes.

LS: I don't remember too much of the Indonesian, though just a little.
JG: Does anyone else in your family quilt?

LS: My daughter knows how. I'm not going to call her a quilter, however. I think she leaves that up to me. But I can see where someday she probably would. And my mother quilts. I certainly made sure that I had company. [laughs.]

JG: Oh!

LS: So I've taught them both, I think.

JG: I see, so you taught them.

LS: Yes.

JG: Very Interesting.

LS: That's good.

JG: You said you were basically self-taught when you started quilting?

LS: Yes I did. Because there weren't that many books available then, I don't think, as there are now. There definitely weren't that many quilting classes. I remember learning it at an extension service. And I found that I was actually teaching the teacher. So I knew that I already knew a little more. So I had to look for places by buying books and going out of our little town to find teachers and conferences and stuff like that.

JG: Then, when classes were available, you took classes?

LS: I definitely took classes. Yes, I remember, I think my first major person was Ruth McDowell, I think. I think I remember taking a class from her. And she taught me a lot.

JG: So who else influenced your quilting?

LS: My quilting. Let me see. Certainly Ruth, Jeanna Kimball certainly because I adored her way, her soft mannerism and teaching appliqué. She's a fabulous teacher. I don't know. I think that's about it, really.

JG: And your style of teaching has evolved from what style to the present?

LS: I think I started teaching rather soon, probably a little too soon. [laughs.] I remember people really just asking me, 'Why don't you teach? Why don't you teach?' before I was really ready to teach. I used to teaching quilting classes at my house. Then in 1983, I opened a quilt store. That sort of changed my whole life because for 11 years then I had a quilt store and then you really are more open to everything that's new as a store owner, I think, by going to quilt market. So I grew up quick I think and then I taught more and more and more and more. And then I realized I really didn't want to do the store anymore. I just wanted to teach because there is the ordering and there is the day-to-day.

JG: The bookkeeping.

LS: The bookkeeping, and the making other products sell--

JG: Samples. Making Samples.

LS: So your creativity sort of diminishes, I think. So I sold the store in 1994, so I had it for 11 years. I really taught more and more and more. Really and truly, that's where my heart is. I absolutely love it. I just love it. I love the fact that other people get creative and learn and go home and open doors for them. I think it's wonderful. Very rewarding, I think.

JG: But your teaching subject matter has changed.

LS: Totally. It's more my own designs, rather than somebody else's design. Yes, I agree.

JG: Well you've gone really into the realm of the art quilt, rather than the traditional quilt.

LS: Yes, more and more. Not by choice! It just happened, I think. It's the design part. Once you start designing and changing something or dreaming up something, I think that's what happened. It's just like a rolling stone; you know it kind of gets bigger and bigger. [laughs.]


JG: What is your first quilt memory?

LS: My first quilt memory was a Dresden Plate that I made from that first magazine in 1974. It was red, white and blue in the magazine and I made it in royal blue and bright yellow. Calicos of the seventies. Very interesting. [laughs.] But I love it until this day I love that quilt. It's very special to me.

JG: How many hours a week do you usually quilt or teach? Is it all the time?

LS: All the time. It is. It's around the clock. It truly is around the clock [laughs.] and if I'm home I work at night. So if I'm busy with other things, I really work, I need very litttle sleep, I think. I can really survive on very little sleep. My most creative time is probably after 10 o'clock at night.

JG: Night owl.

LS: Yes, I am. [laughs.]

JG: So how does quilting impact your family?

LS: I think my family, especially now, I think lately when the children are gone, I think my whole life is quilting because my husband is involved with it, my mother is involved with it. [laughs.] You know we have templates at home. We go to conferences together so I think it has become our lives. I really think it has.

JG: What do you find pleasing about quilting?

LS: It gives me inner peace. I can remember, like when my daughter was sick, I can remember way back when I first started quilting, and my father was very ill. I used to sit right next to him and quilt. He used to love it. He didn't have to say a word, because he was quite ill. He would just look at me, and it gave him peace that I was sitting there, and it gave me peace that I had something to do while I was sitting there. It had a purpose and not just sit by his side. I think it gives you--it's a healing thing, I think. I think a lot of women, if they're having problems; it's an 'out.' It is certainly cheaper than a chair at the psychiatrist's office. [laughs.] Well, maybe not. [both laugh.] Maybe not.

JG: The stash is a consideration.

LS: Yes, it's definitely a consideration.

JG: What aspects of quilting don't you enjoy, or are there any?

LS: I don't think so, I don't think so, because I love antique quilts. I love traditional quilts, and I love art quilts. I think I love all aspects of it. I would be just as happy sitting, piecing a traditional quilt as I have sitting up all night, dreaming up a piece of art - quote, unquote. [laughs.]

JG: What awards have you won?

LS: A few national ones. Certainly a couple of NQA [National Quilting Association.] and shows, big shows, not necessarily Houston, that I can remember. Oh, maybe an Honorable Mention here and there. Yes, quite a few.

JG: Do you sleep under a quilt?

LS: Oooh. I do not. [laughs.] I do not. But I do in my summer home. Why is that I wonder? [laughs.]

JG: Lightweight quilt?

LS: Maybe.

JG: How many quilts do you think you've made? Do you keep track of them and do you document your quilts?

LS: I document them. I couldn't give them to you--I make a lot of quilts because I must admit that you can get a lot more wall hangings done than you can get bed quilts done. So it may sound like I produce a lot but I produce smaller pieces. And yes, I do document them. They're all on the computer. I could tell you exactly how many strips and curves, etc. I do.

JG: Do you make them as gifts for people?

LS: Yes, I do. And I keep a lot, a lot more than more than my friends, who are in the same business. I don't really sell my work very often, because I like to use them as a teaching tool. So I really hold on to them, I think, a little bit more than another fiber artist might.

JG: What would you like your legacy to be? What would you like people to remember you for in your quilting?

LS: Oh, I hope I sparked some creativity! I hope that's all they'll say about me, that I made them creative, or helped be more creative, or found out that they could be creative. That would be wonderful.

JG: What do you think makes a great quilt?

LS: I used to say, there are three things about a quilt that I notice at first. One would be the color, and then the design and then the workmanship. So I think a great quilt would be a quilt that would draw you in. If you saw ten quilts hanging there, if one sort of made you go to that quilt first, then that to me is a great quilt: one that makes you want to take a look at it.

JG: So what makes a quilt artistically powerful?

LS: Probably the color and the design. More so than a quilt that gives a message, I think, in my personal life, maybe. I think I'd like it to be, 'I want to look at it.' I want to see something that draws me to it, I think. Yes, that's it.

JG: What would make a quilt appropriate for a museum or special collection?

LS: Maybe the quality. If it was incredibly well made, if it was exceptional in color and construction, I think that would be a museum piece.

JG: Do you think a regular museum, as opposed to a quilting museum?

LS: I was really thinking of a quilting museum. I think in a regular museum, I am thinking more of pieces as fiber A-R-T and then I think the workmanship is not so important. I think the design is more important. So I think those are two different things, don't you?

JG: I guess so. I guess so. It was--depending on which collection you are speaking of.

LS: Right, but I think of our antique quilts, for instance, that may artistically not be a piece of art in some people's eyes, that aren't maybe very well made and have a history, that to me is in a quilt museum more than in an art museum. Am I correct on that, do you think?

JG: Yes, yes. What makes a great quilter?

LS: Hmmm. One maybe that will pass it along to the next generation. Maybe that's what I think of a great quilter, somebody who will teach me or pass along to another generation all she knows from her generation. I would say that's a good quilter. I think it is sort of that message and sharing that attracts me it.

JG: How do you think great quilters learn the art of quilting, and how do they learn to design a pattern or chose fabrics or colors?

LS: I think at first just by taking classes. I really do. I think you learn with each class you learn something, something different. From each teacher, you learn something. Even if you take appliqué classes and you take four different appliqué classes, you pick up something different every time. I think teaching. I think classes are important, certainly in my own way, because I did try it on my own. Now I think sometimes that knowledge from somebody and the hands-on, those little tips open up big doors. [laughs.]

JG: How do you think other than classes, how do you think quilters can be reached and--

LS: Certainly by television now. I think "Simply Quilts" certainly had a lot to do with making that audience a lot bigger than it was. I think our quilt books are so much better than when I started quilting. So, yes, communication.

JG: You have written one book and you have plans for others.

LS: I do, I do, indeed. I just so enjoyed the process and so enjoyed the fact that people came up and said, or quoted things in the book, so I knew they actually read it. Or they said it made life easier, or it made the process easy. I really want to do it again. It was really a great process. I loved it. I really loved it. It took a very long time. I am very slow [laughs.] for me anyway.

JG: But you also were on television?

LS: Yes, I did do "Simply Quilts" and I noticed what an impact it made just from the amount of mail and calls and emails I received. You can reach a big audience that way. I think it's changing quiltmaking, I really do.

JG: How do you feel about machine quilting versus hand quilting?

LS: I think it's just a different process. I am just as much in awe of somebody who can machine quilt very, very well, as I am in awe of somebody who can hand quilt very, very well. I haven't always been that way. I used to think that the art is only hand quilting and I've so changed my mind.

JG: I think a lot of us have. Now we're also talking about longarm quilting.

LS: Absolutely. And that's still an art. You can still be very good at it or mediocre or not so good at it. I still think it needs that artistic spark that makes one long-arm quilter a little better than the other. Don't you think? It's that whole idea about design.

JG: Do your quilts in any way reflect your community or region?

LS: Yes, they do. I have made quite a few, a whole series in fact on Java. And I'm still working on a piece now. So I have one that's called "Java Revisited" and I've got one that's "Images of Java." I think when you're searching for ideas, you go from within and you remember things. It's sort of telling a story. I think quilting is telling a story.

JG: Tell me about those Java quilts. How did you come to that topic and what do those quilts look like?

LS: The quilts are, basically I start with a photograph. A photograph out of Indonesia that my mother has. I will shop with that photograph; I will look for the colors to remember what the place looked like that I grew up in. Then I may just use a simple shape like a one-patch, but I use all those colors. That's how I approach that. It's wonderful. I can have my mother look at it and say to me, 'Oh, my gosh, that's really good,' or 'That's really Indonesia.' Yet I was only maybe eight when I left. So, yes I think it's like anything else in quilt making; it's that history behind it.

JG: Yes. It's a pictorial?

LS: Yes, it really is. It's is telling your story, in your way, even if nobody else understands it. [laughs.]

JG: Do you enjoy batiks more than others?

LS: Not more, but certainly as much as anybody else, that's because they are just so beautiful, and so graphic and in so many colors. It's like having lots more paint to paint with. [laughs.]

JG: Have you traveled back there since?

LS: No, I have not. I would really love to, but I have not.

JG: What do you think about the importance of quilts in American life?

LS: Oh, dear. Well, I think it sort of tells a little bit about our heritage. I used to think quilts were strictly American, as a matter of fact, but I've since then learned that quilts are also coming from other places. [laughs.] But certainly if you look at antique quilts and you if you like antique quilts, and you look at it that way, I think it's a very important history lesson there. So I think it will continue to be that way. People are making quilts about any big event. Look what happened at 9-11 and the most incredible quilts that came out of there. They are certainly telling a story for years from now. You know, and will tell that story. I think very important.

JG: Yes, and in the short time that so many of them came out.

LS: Yes.

JG: It was in a matter of two months--

LS: Absolutely.

JG: That they were done and they were exhibited.

LS: Nationwide. Absolutely.

JG: The prairie and all that, you consider that part, an important part.

LS: I do. I do. I think telling history is an important part of life.

JG: In what ways do you think that quilts have special meaning for women's history in America?

LS: I think that that is in a way our way of telling the story. Even if you think of the Amish, they were only allowed things that weren't quite bright or nice. And they sort of rebelled and that was their expression. I think that's the same with--I have a friend who was in a bad situation as a battered wife. You should see her quilts. It's almost a way for her to break out and tell her story. Bonny Peterson is one in Illinois who certainly tells that story better than anyone. So I think it's important.

JG: How do you think that quilts can be preserved for the future?

LS: We're getting a little smarter. I think we know that if you put a quilt in a plastic bag or in a place where it shouldn't be, that it won't last. I think through education, with people like the American Quilt Study Group, that's what they preach, and your local quilt guild, that's what they preach. I think that eventually we learn what to do and what not to do and we may have a better set of quilts, when I'm long gone, and probably in better shape than some of the old ones we have.

JG: Well, there are two theories, to use a quilt or to preserve it.

LS: Right.

JG: Which school do you belong to?

LS: I make quilts for certain reasons. [laughs.] I think when I give them away I will usually say to them, 'Now this quilt needs to be used.' And I would expect them to throw it in the washing machine and use it, and have Johnny spit up on it. And if I give them a quilt that I think is like an heirloom, I will tell them, you know, 'This is Sunday's best.' This goes on the bed where nobody touches it too much. I think we educate to whoever we give the quilts to, don't you?

JG: We should!

LS: We should. I have antique quilts that I take care of daily that I am very careful about, because they're already old and I want them to be preserved.

JG: So, you have a big quilt collection of antique quilts?

LS: I don't know if it's big. Well, big for me. I spend as much money as I can on them, because I love them. Frankly, most of the ones that I collect are very simple. Really simple, like four-patches and nine-patches. If they graphically attract me then I will buy them.

JG: Are they, a lot of them from the 19th century or from--

LS: Mostly from the 19th century, some from the 20th century--

JG: Early 20th

LS: Early 20th century.

JG: So, they're mostly pieced quilts that you collect?

LS: I have one appliqué quilt that is actually 20th century because it's a Depression Era quilt and I just love it but most of them are pieced. They're my pieces of art. [laughs.]

JG: Is there anything that you would particularly like to bring up in this interview, a message that you would like to pass on?

LS: A message. Well, I think if I would stand on some podium, I guess what I would love to tell quilters is to make sure that they finish an article. I hate to see a quilt be in a bag in a closet somewhere. I'm always encouraging people to bring things to class that they may not like or be unhappy about. That's what I like.

JG: Well, do you have a big stash of fabrics?

LS: Yes! [laughs.] And I'm getting better. I'm actually buying with a quilt in mind half the time, not all the time. But I will see a fabric and I will see in some form or it goes in some direction. So now instead of having boxes of green or boxes of red I will have boxes with a title on them before I [inaudible.] because I can see it going in a certain direction. So actually I'm getting a little better. Because I think when they get old, you get bored with them. So I'm trying to use them, as I buy them. Not easy. [laughs.]

JG: So what is your secret to organizing? Just having a box of colors? [laughs.]

LS: To have it being more specific.

JG: Yes.

LS: For instance, if I'd buy, I may write some symbol on it, like--oh let me think--snowflake quilt and I'll buy specific colors and I actually will then grab that box and work with that where before I'd just say, 'Oh, that's a pretty blue. I need to have that.' And then it just sat there. So I think if I have an idea of what it will become and keep buying with an idea, I am better. I am getting much better.

JG: So you have a big stash!

LS: I have a big stash. I have many undone quilts, but I will get to them. I promise. [laughs.]

JG: What are your plans for, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years in the quilting profession?

LS: Hopefully I am doing exactly what I am doing now. I hope I am healthy enough to do exactly what I am doing. So I would think that the first and foremost thing would be, I hope I can teach. And I hope I have new ideas to teach. And I hope it stays fresh so that I still love it because I think I promised my husband a long time ago if I feel that I am getting stale, I don't want to teach any more. I want to be enthusiastic and happy and love it. And when that day comes, I'll just quilt for myself.

JG: Well, but you've evolved, so--

LS: There are always new ideas that are in the back of my head that I think that will be the next session or that will be the next series. When I do a next series I am already thinking of the next series. So I can teach it. I always do that though. It just really got to me now in this interview. I think when I make something or dream up something I immediately think, 'How can I put this in the class?' I didn't realize that until you asked me that question so maybe I think I am a teacher first, quilter later. I don't know.

JG: A teacher by nature.

LS: Yes, maybe. Maybe. [laughs.]

JG: So can you give us a hint where you might be going with your teaching?

LS: I certainly have ideas for a second book on strips and curves.

JG: Tell us.

LS: There are many, many more ideas. I have many more ideas. I've already started really quilts with that theme, but more, to build on it more. So I'll come up with a second book. I've always loved one-patches. I just really want to finish that book that's been in the making for so long. It's just going to be simple designs, so that people just go from design, from color to design and then to theme and finish. I really think that is an easy concept for quilting and it will be so much fun to teach.

JG: So the one-patch will also be the drunkard's path or--

LS: It would be more--different shapes, totally different shapes. Curvy shapes. [both laugh.]

JG: Well, the book that you have is "Strips and Curves." How did you get to that particular design?

LS: Because I was always working with simple shapes from antique quilts. I always loved them, even at the very beginning of my quilt making. I just played with strips a lot, just doing a lot of bargello and those things. And then I looked at the Drunkard's Path and I thought, 'What would happen?' And then I know what happened. [laughs.] And then you know what happened. [laughs.] It sort of evolved. Sometimes, when you just play an idea becomes your next set of quilts, I think.

JG: Do you feel that you also learn from your students? Do you get inspiration?

LS: All the time! I can come home from a class where somebody made a mistake, and I'm trying to fix that mistake, and all of a sudden, I have a whole new idea in my head. So I guess I owe them big time. Big Time. They're so creative. They don't even know it. They're so creative. [laughs.] They keep me going.

JG: But you're observant to pick it up.

LS: Yes. I think, I hope. And quite often, I do. Or sometimes it could be a rug [inaudible.] Or our wallpaper. It can come from anywhere.

JG: When you travel, do you travel with a camera to--

LS: Definitely, definitely. Because I work from color first. So if I have a shape, I will take a photograph and then take the color of the photograph, so I'm always snapping. I spend a fortune, probably as much on photography as I do on fabric. [laughs.] I bet it's a close second. I bet.
[JG laughs.]

JG: Well, film is cheap they say.

LS: [laughs.] But the development part isn't.

JG: Yes. Is there anything else that you'd like to share with people who are going to be reading--

LS: Well. I don't know. Let me think. I think maybe one important thing we haven't mentioned is that I think if quilters are really interested in their work and they want to get better, I think a critique group or a support group is incredibly important. I work with five or six and sometimes I have another group that's just 10 people. We get together and we're all very creative people. We certainly don't need help, but we just feed off each other. I don't know where I'd be without them actually. It's a real important part of my life. I have two critique groups now. I had one in Boston and when I moved I thought, 'How an I going to live without them?' Then I just found another group of people. I am just so happy and so thankful. We really are good for each other in so many ways.

JG: It's not a guild per se; it's a group of friends.

LS: A group of friends that have the same interests. I maybe not necessarily on the same level, but we give each other information.

JG: Are they all fiber artists?

LS: They're all fiber artists. They are indeed. Some of them are artists in other aspects as well. They might be a painter and she may be a fiber artist as well. But they are so valuable to me, their critiques and their help and their suggestions and their support. Certainly support. Oh, very important.

JG: You inspire each other.

LS: You inspire each other, and you get what I call 'fired up.' You can go to a meeting and think you have just not another idea, and you come back and you just can't go to sleep, you're just so fired up. So I think that's a real important part.

JG: That is a very good point. Very good point. Not just belong to a guild but have a group of friends that you can trust.

LS: Yes, yes. And that give you critique that is true critique. Not to be criticized, but to be helpful. Yes, that's an important part of my life. I should have mentioned that to you earlier. [laughs.]

JG: That's okay. It's never too late.

LS: All right.

JG: Do you belong to a guild as well?

LS: I belong to a guild. I'm very fortunate to belong to a guild which is called the Front Range Contemporary Quilters Guild in Colorado. It's a large guild. They're all fiber artists. I think that's a very important part of my life. I am very lucky. We only meet every other month. So it doesn't become a burden that you have to go all the time, but when you go you come away with so much information. And their newsletter is worth it, too. It is just filled with information.

JG: So Colorado is very fertile ground.

LS: Very fertile ground. [laughs.] Very fertile ground. I am lucky to be part of that, I think.

JG: It's a large group?

LS: I would think it's over 200, easy. They meet in Denver. It's a very good group.

JG: We're coming to and end in this interview. One more chance, if you can think of anything, that you'd like to mention.

LS: I just think that we are so lucky in today's quilting world, if I can call it that, that we have access to so much, to the best fabric and the best products and the best sewing machines. I think we've come such a long way that I think we're going to see even better and more beautiful things in the next couple of years that are just going to blow us away.

JG: And the industry certainly caters to us.

LS: They do. I think they are finally taking us seriously.

JG: I read recently that there are 20 million living quilters.

LS: Isn't that amazing?

JG: Yes, we're definitely a group to be taken seriously.

LS: Definitely. I think so. I think so, and like I said, the industry is, the machines are getting better, and they're actually paying attention to quilters and not just sewers. I think in the next couple of years we're going to see wonderful things, wonderful things. I hope I'll be part of it, that's all I can tell you. [laughing.]

JG: From here, where are you traveling next? Are you going home or teaching some more?

LS: I'm going home briefly and then I'm going to Vermont. I am going to go home briefly and then I'm going to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

JG: But you also have quilt escapes. Is that an annual event?

LS: It is a business that started in Massachusetts. We do take quilters to quilt escape weekends which means we take them three times year to Vermont for a weekend of quilting. But we also take a group to, say Paducah, or Houston, and Pennsylvania. So I get to go on those trips in between my teaching trips. I'm a very lucky person, I would think, [laughs.] which I enjoy. And quite often they're new quilters, so I walk around and tell them what to buy and what not to buy. I just give advice. It's really fun. It's a fun thing to do.

JG: How long have you done this?

LS: Since 1991. A long time.

JG: A pioneer!

LS: Yes, I guess so. Now there are so many like that around. Yes, we were one of the first, I'm sure.

JG: How nice.

LS: Yes. That's nice.

JG: I'd like to thank you Louisa--

LS: You're welcome.

JG: For talking to me today for Quilters' [S.O.S.-] Save Our Stories project. We have concluded this interview at 5:24 [p.m.]. Thank you very much Louisa.

LS: You're so welcome, Joanne.

[tape ends.]

Collection



Citation

“Louisa L. Smith,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed June 23, 2024, https://qsos.quiltalliance.org/items/show/2098.