Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Day at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg.

Just outside of the village center of Cedarburg is the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts. I started my Saturday off selling books for their appearance with Marie Bostwick, who at seven books and counting in the Cobbled Court novels (one takes place in Texas, but it still counts), is taking on the mantle of go-to quilting author from Jennifer Chiaverini while Chiaverini delves further into historical fiction.

While I was there, I chatted with several attendees, one of whom spoke fondly of the original Schwartz Readers Retreat and other book festivals she'd been to. Because she likes to meet up with her sister, who doesn't always have control over her vacation time, I mentioned that there are so many out there that she could probably do a search and find a festival somewhere, no matter when they wanted to travel.

I started searching for this July and found a few. Admittedly some are for self-published authors and others are genre specific, but Bookstock in Woodstock, Vermont has Anita Diamond, Charles Simic, and Billy Collins. I'm going to admit right here that I hadn't heard of most of the other participants. Here's another called the NW Book Festival in Portland. OK, I haven't heard of most of these participants either. I guess maybe she should hold out for Los Angeles, Miami, Decatur or Texas, though two good festivals, Madison's in the fall and Printer's Row in Chicago, which just happened, have a decent selection of major authors.

While I was at the Museum, I viewed the current exhibit on 4-H projects over the years in Ozaukee County. One of the quilts had all the clubs listed--at one time there must have been a dozen. I will note that in my travels around the county that day, I still drove by at least one working farm, but being that it was surrounded by subdivisions, it didn't seem long for this world, alas. 

At the end of the day, I brought back some signed copies of Marie Bostwick's novels for us to sell in bookstore, including Apart at the Seams, her latest. One attendee asked me to hold a copy of each book at Boswell so she'd have an excuse to visit. My one take-away on the cover treatments? It seemed that most crafters machine quilt but all the covers imply hand-sewing. All I saw were needles, threads, thimbles (lots of thimbles) and in one case, some fabric. The newest skipped out on quilting motifs altogether for a country town setting.

What's wrong with sewing machines? Are they not romantic enough for fiction? Our customers go crazy for typewriter images, along with those of quill pens and inkwells, none of which they use. So why don't quilters romanticize the Singer or equivalent? I'll have to ask around. 

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