2009 Faculty

Linda Carlson, Mexico, MO

Linda will be a judge for our show this year. She was scheduled to teach last year, but had to cancel. We are pleased to welcome her to our staff this year.
Linda will be teaching three classes, all one day classes. One class is Mariner’s Compass – one she was scheduled to teach last year and two new classes, Fly Away to Genius and Two Puzzles to Genius. Although these two pieced quilts were originally designed to use Linda’s line of fabric from Benartex, she is going to make a sample out of other fabrics.

More about Linda
Carolyn: How many years have you been quilting?
Linda: I’ve been quilting since 1974, 34 years. Wow! How time flies when you’re having fun, huh!

Carolyn: What motivated you to start quilting?
Linda: My mother motivated me by saying, “Now Linda, you’re just going to have to find something for yourself to do while John’s in medical school!” I thought teaching elementary school full time was a plateful, but then saw an ad in the paper about a beginning quilting class. She bought the fabric to make the requisite two pillows, one hand pieced and one hand appliquéd, and I paid for the class. The rest is history … culminating in authoring 4 books, an antique 4 block quilt collection and designing fabric for Benartex, Inc.
Carolyn: Where have you traveled in your quilting teaching career?
Linda: I’ve taught from Alaska to Washington, DC, and from Duluth, MN to the Western Caribbean, then everywhere in between. It’s been a wonderful experience to teach eager adults, and even a few children. The youngest, at 8 years old, was with her mother in one of my classes at the AQS Show in Paducah, KY.

Carolyn: What is the most, unusual, frightening, funny, frustrating experience you have had in your quilting career?
Linda: My most frightening experience was on the way home from teaching in the state of Washington on a connecting flight to MN, then on to St. Louis. Somewhere about an hour and a half before getting to Minneapolis, the plane fell out of the sky in what I can only describe as a straight elevator drop! I was reading a book & managed to be so surprised I didn’t utter a sound. The two men in front of me screamed, as did the lady beside me. It seemed like it lasted a long time, but the free-fall stopped just as I was grabbing for the proverbial “white bag”. Many people LAUGHED out of nervous fear, but not me! I was too busy deciding if my seat cushion was damp from a hot flash, or something else! It took the pilot about 5 minutes to come on the intercom. I’ll never forget what he said … “Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no charge for the roller coaster ride.” That’s all the explanation we got, but a friend of mine who was an international pilot said it was either a near miss with another plane, or an air pocket. Since none of the news stations reported a near miss situation during the next few days, I surmised the roller coaster ride was due to an air pocket. This phenomena is not all that rare, but I figure it won’t happen to me again … I hope! The upshot of the whole story is that I had to get on another plane the very next day for the short hop to Chicago from St. Louis. I took an anti-anxiety pill to endure the 2 hour drive to the airport, then another just to get on the flight!

Carolyn: Does anyone else in your family quilt?
Linda: After I got bit by the quilting bug, I taught my mother. She was among the original members of our local quilt guild serving in all offices except Secretary.

Carolyn: What is your birth order? – only child, first, second, third, or ??
Linda: I’m 6 minutes older than my twin sister, Diana, who is co-designer of our “Baby Genius” fabric line with Benartex, Inc. Our brother is 10 years younger.

Carolyn: Where did you grow up?
Linda: I was born in St. Louis, MO, but our family moved here to Mexico, MO when we were four as our Dad was a Nabisco salesman and was given a north/central territory to cover. One would think we had all the cookies and crackers we could ever want, but all we ever got were the broken ones that were damaged enroute from the bakery in St. Louis. To this day, I still use broken crackers as breading and Oreo cookies as pie crusts.

Carolyn: Do you have children – grandchildren?
Linda: I have two daughters, Amy and Meredith. Amy is married and gave us Emma and Jack, two of our “Baby Genius” models. Meredith is living in New York as a photo re-toucher and photographer.

Carolyn: Do you have any pets?
Linda: Although we recently lost Bailey, our black & tan cocker spaniel to kidney failure, on the same day our blonde cocker, Maggie had to have her eyes removed because of sudden onset Glaucoma. Easter weekend was quite tragic for us this year. Maggie is very slowly managing to find her way around our house by being a pin ball with everything in her midst. We just had her shaved to keep her cooler, but left her antennae “top knot” hair long since she uses it to help navigate, and also as a cushion when she bumps into things. Even though she is 12, I had to give her a chance to become accustomed to her handicap because whenever I’d leave on a teaching trip, she would wait entire days by the door I left from. She’s been devoted to me since the day I picked her out of the litter. From the moment I first held her, then put her down and walked away to see what she’d do, she ran to me & sat between my feet. Before she became blind, she would come sit between my feet as I put on my shoes! It must have been a comforting feeling she never forgot.

Carolyn: What is your favorite food?
Linda: My favorite food can be anything I don’t have to cook to anything I enjoy cooking! I’m a confessed “foodie”, but not a food snob. I love Starbucks coffee, pesto, muffelatas, olive salad pizza, pasta and almost all veggies.

Carolyn: What would be on your “bucket list” (like the movie) if you could do anything and money was no object?
Linda: I would be eternally grateful to be able to see the day when a cure for any and all cancers is available to all people no matter where they happen to live. As a Pathologist, my husband says 90% of all breast cancers have no known cause or reason to appear even with the new knowledge that there is a breast cancer gene that has been identified. So that means that most of them are caused by carcinogens in our environment. Saving the earth from toxins and poisons of all kinds is paramount in securing healthy futures for our grandchildren and generations beyond. Finding a cure for all cancers is a beginning, but promoting a healthy environment globally is getting to the root cause of the disease.

Carolyn: Do you have any other hobbies besides quilting?
Linda: Besides quilting, I love to read! If I’m not doing applique’ in airports & on planes, I’m reading.