Sunday, April 3, 2011

Busted

It was three years ago this month that I started my Blog called Barn Quilt Memories. I was excited about what I saw. I was excited about finding something new and I felt compelled to spread the word. It has been a fun and enlightening experience. In May of 2008, I started a social network called Barnquilting.ning: A network for those involved in the creation, construction, support, inspiration for or enjoyment of the Barn Quilt Arts Movement. Today there are 374 members and 580 photographs posted on the sight. This too has been fun, enlightening and enriching spiritually. For a time, I thought that I could make money by creating a store at Caf├ęPress.com called the Barn Quilt Shop, and I invested in getting a license to do business in North Carolina as Barn Quilt Memories, LLC. I never made a dime. Looking back at my expenses I would have been well advised to invest my money in something else, but I do not regret the time spent being passionate about what I have called the “Barn Quilt Arts Movement”.

Life is about passion! We need to be moved spiritually. I was excited about Barn Quilts because they expressed the sense of community that seemed to me to be lost, hidden or not appreciated as we all dashed through the countryside at excessive speed. It was much more than a design and a splash of color in the wilderness. I have been jaded by the color and flash of Madison Avenue and Techno-Advertising but the Barn Quilt still speaks to me of collective interactions, and touches me on a personal and familiar level. Maybe it is the thought of the quilt owner or artist sharing something with the world that has been tucked away or folded with love in a private space. Maybe it is the story of family and connecting with the history of passing generations. For whatever reason, an increasing number of us are touched by this artistic vision and the way that it brightens our lives.

Now is a time to change my tack. It has become necessary for me to focus all of my energy (and money), on survival. I can no longer continue to pay a monthly stipend ($19.95) to Ning.com to maintain the Barnquilting web site. If anyone else would care to take over, please let me know by April 10th. My e-mail address is Barnquilter@gmail.com. This may not seem like a big burden, but it is currently above my means to pay. I will continue to maintain the Blog at Barn Quilt Memories. I hope that there is always a means for this community to share information. Starting out on your own, or the first Barn Quilt hung by a group can be daunting without the shared experience of others to help guild the way. I do suggest that each and every community Barn Quilt Trail have a web page hosted by a benevolent organization (county co-op, rural development, travel & tourism board or art committee), and have 1) some sort of communal mission statement, 2) a map, preferable with pictures and stories, 3) shared experiences and best practices.

It’s good for the soul, and good for the community.

Barn Quilts are Art .