Quilt meetings are held at Nix Center Center in Fairhope, Alabama on the 2nd Monday of each Month. Meetings begin:
How we began!
Fairhope Alabama-When Carol Thompson retired after nearly 40 years of teaching, she was a little concerned about what she would do with her newfound freedom.
“I was frantic about how I was going to spend my time,” Thompson said. “I thought about painting or writing, but then my sister suggested quilting.”
Little did she know the extent to which the power of suggestion might influence the next several years of her life.
“I was a horrible seamstress,” Thompson laughed. But, in an effort to come to the aid of her sister who needed help creating banners for her church to hang during Lent, Thompson decided to give quilting a try. “She drew these tiny pictures for me to reproduce in six quilts,” she recalled. “So I started doing my research, checked out about a zillion books from the library, and finished these banners. They actually turned out quite nice.”
So nice, in fact, that she continued to pursue her new hobby to the benefit of family, friends, and pretty much everyone else she knew, who were each gifted with one of her creations.
“I made about 250 quilts that I gave away,” Thompson said. “I’m a very driven person! After a few years I had given away so many, and my family and friends really didn’t want any more, so I decided it was time to try something different.”
Different, in this case, meant taking Impressionist paintings and turning them into quilted wall hangings. Inspired initially by the masterpieces of Van Gogh, “the challenge for me was figuring out how each paint stroke could be recreated in a piece of fabric,” Thompson said. “I had never seen this done before, I just had an idea and thought it could work.” Soon Thompson had reproduced several recognizable works of art, using anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 pieces of fabric for each creation.
Thompson’s hobby turned art has earned her numerous spots in exhibits and shows (she was the featured artist at the Azalea City Quilt Show last spring) and eventually led her to help found the Fairhope Quilters Guild.
“I was surprised that there wasn’t a formal guild here,” she said. “There were some groups who met on a regular basis, but I liked the idea of making it more formal with meetings and minutes.”
So Thompson began doing her research on starting a guild, advertised for membership by posting signs around shops in Mobile and Baldwin counties and taking out an ad in the paper, and soon the guild was born.
“We meet on the second Monday of the month at the Nix Center. It’s a small group, but we learn so much from each other and it’s a great source of encouragement and suggestions.”
Before settling in Fairhope, Thompson grew up in Minnesota, attended Carthage College in Washington, where she met and married her husband, Ken, raised a family, and taught high school English for 36 years. After retiring, she and Ken discovered Fairhope by way of Pensacola, and it is in Fairhope that they plan to stay.
“We love living on the Eastern Shore in Fairhope,” Thompson said. “We love the flowers, live oaks and magnolias, the parks on the water, sunsets on the bay, the variety of interesting neighborhoods, the warm winters, the great places to walk and bike, the friendly people, and not having to deal with big city traffic. This is our home, and we hope to convince the rest of our family to join us someday.”
Article written by Taylor Peyton Strunk, Al.com Contributor, February 26, 2014