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Friday, April 20, 2007

 

Review of The Quilt Show with Ricky & Alex


“It’s a new day” is the slogan for “The Quilt Show,” the much-anticipated online television show co-hosted by Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson that premiered on April 2.

Now that I’ve had a chance to see both the first and second episodes of The Quilt Show for myself, I think the slogan fits. For twenty-first century quilters, this show represents a whole new way of looking at the quilt world. A new day indeed.

Certainly, the new show has provoked some grumbling. People used to watching Alex Anderson free on HGTV’s long-running show Simply Quilts don’t see why they should have to pay to watch her on their computers. Quilters who don’t have the requisite software or high-speed connections are miffed they can’t watch her at all. And a certain number of those who have viewed the initial shows gripe that there isn’t nearly as much emphasis on tricks, tips and new techniques as Simply Quilts.

But I found both shows refreshing, amusing and inspiring. They made me feel good to be a quilter, and they did provide some useful tips and concrete how-tos. In the five years I’ve spent researching a new book on the quilt world (The Quilter’s Catalog: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, due out in the fall from Workman Publishing), what has amazed me most is the breadth, depth and sophistication of today’s quilt world, and that’s part of what this show captures.

I love the personalities in the quilt world, not just the quilts, and The Quilt Show gives a different kind of close-up showing not just what Ricky and Alex can do with a sewing machine, but also their senses of humor and personal passions. Alex’s natural goofiness and warmth never got fully communicated during Simply Quilts: this format unleashes her. Ricky, of course, is always effusive and informative, but this show gives him another venue for reaching thousands of quilters at once and using his multiple gifts simultaneously.

I love the diversity of guests and activities, with quilter Joe Cunningham demonstrating his basting techniques, then picking up his guitar for a duet with Ricky on piano. I like the sense of being taken behind the scenes, as when Ricky toured the offices of Quilter’s Newsletter magazine in episode 2. And I like that audience members get a chance to ask questions of the guests.

Like Mark Lipinski’s new magazine, Quilter’s Home, The Quilt Show is about quilting as a lifestyle and not just the fine points of tools and technique. For most quilters I know, it’s the allness of quilting that keeps them satisfied, not just the craft and the fabric, but also all the relationships and associations, the history of quilting and the story behind a particular quilt. I hope that quilt history will be among the future topics of this promising show.

Finally, although there are still some bugs being worked out technically, I love the technology used by The Quilt Show. It’s wonderful to be able to watch the show whenever I’ve got the time, and to pause it when the phone rings, or fast forward if I want.

I’m excited to watch Episode 3, which debuts soon (April 23).
If you go to the show’s website, www.thequiltshow.com, you can get all the specific details of how to subscribe to the show and when various episodes air.
signed, Meg Cox


Comments:
I agree that it is unfortunate that Alex Anderson now chooses to charge for her Quilt Show. There are many avenues available to the quilter, and for many of us, paying to see this show will NOT be one of them.
From a Retiree looking forward to some years of having time for quilting.
 
I am also a retiree and on limited income. Will not be paying to see this show. Also very disapointed to fine many quilting sites that require a fee to get the full benefit of what is offered.
 
My first visit left me with feeling this is another version of a "Talk Show" ... Lots of audience clapping, pointless chit-chatting about one non-quilt-y thing and another, personalities of the guests appeared more important than quilting. I wanted to see techniques, stitches, fabric, sewing, even though I've seen them before.
 
I agree, as a retiree I am on limited income so I would rather spend my "little" money on quilting items instead of something to watch on the internet. I used to look forward to watching Alex Anderson's shows each and every morning on the tv.
Now there is NOTHING on tv for quilting or sewing.
 
I don't have a problem with Alex Anderson having gone to her new venue. It was HGTV that chose to not renew her contract. Perhaps if more quilters had protested then, we would not be having to pay for her show now. The only place on TV that I can find a quilt show now is on public television.
 
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