By Edie McGinnis
There I was, sitting on the sofa with my foot tucked under me, whipping binding to the back of a quilt. I needed to get the quilt down to The Kansas City Star to have it photographed and just had about 3 more feet to go. I needed to get up, so I set the quilt aside.
My foot had fallen asleep, and when I stepped down on it, my ankle rolled over and down I went. Splat! I laid there a few minutes, muttered a few expletives, got up, limped back to the sofa and surveyed the damage. It didn’t look so great, but I went back to work and finished up the binding.
By 4 that afternoon, I was having X-rays taken of my ugly, swollen foot. The good news: It wasn’t broken. The bad news: It was badly sprained. The really, really bad news was that I was supposed to leave for International Quilt Market soon, and the doctor said it would take from six to eight weeks for my foot to heal.
I set my own parameters for making a decision on whether to go. If I could get my shoes on, I would be on that plane. If not, I would stay home.
I missed market.
Kansas City Star Books has been vending at International Quilt Market since 2000. I have been to every market we have been to except one, and that was when my youngest son was getting married.
In my eyes, market is a magical place. It’s where I have learned so much about quilts and quilting. I have watched the trends coming and going and seen the changes that come sneaking in the back door and take people by surprise. I’ve also seen the trends that have marched boldly into the place and said, “You better look at me, because I’m not going to be ignored!”
Market is also the place where I have made so many friends. Friends who know exactly what I mean when I say I breathed a sigh of relief because I got all my quilts made in time to hang in the booth. Friends who share my love of fabric, scissors, antique quilts, new quilts, vintage quilts, any kind of quilt you can dream of or about. They are the people who have given me so many insights into the business and answered every question I have posed.
One of the friends I have made at market is Linda Collins. She’s from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She’s one of those people who is easy to be around and has a great sense of humor. She owns Quilts in the Barn and, right before market, wrapped up a workshop featuring teachers Brenda Papadakis and Patty Harants. Linda barely had time enough to do the dishes before it was time to leave for Houston.
Linda and I had planned to have a leisurely dinner and catch up with each other on Monday evening after market closed. I had to send her a message saying I wouldn’t be able to make it and canceled our dinner plans.
I was disappointed I was not able to go. I whined. I moaned. I complained to anyone who would listen. I even complained to the people who didn’t care whether I went to market. I’m sure it didn’t bother my youngest son, who I had lined up to feed my cats. And I can bet that the cats were happy to have me here to open the can of food every day when they wanted to be fed.
Linda is one of those friends who knew how much I would miss being there, and she took steps to make sure I saw many of my friends, even if it was just in spirit. She enlarged the picture of me that is used as my author photo in the books I’ve published with Kansas City Star Quilts. She toted the picture around and snapped shots of me with friends.
It’s good to have friends! It’s even better when they are the kind of people you can laugh and joke around with, for those are the people you can also cry with and who really get you. Thanks for thinking of me, Linda! You’re one of the best.
Edie McGinnis is an author and editor for Kansas City Star Quilts. She writes every Friday.