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Quilts That Change Lives

I hate that I have been so far removed from this blog, and the Pinstripes to Prison Stripes page, too. But my business is growing at lightening speed, and revenue has to keep coming in. So I eat, sleep, and breathe sewing machines and fabric right now.

However, I had another amazing guild lecture last week. I have visited the Georgia Friendship Guild numerous times for various lectures, and it's another guild that feels like family. Many of them are regular customers, too.

Word got around from my Allatoona lecture about "Quilts with a Story - Option B" last fall, and I was asked to do a similar lecture for GFG. I agreed, but I thought long and hard about this one. The talk at Allatoona was amazing and intimate, but I realized what made me so uncomfortable was that it was so unstructured. Just standing up there talking about myself with no purpose just doesn't work for me.

So I came up with an actual lecture, and it was wonderful! The bulk of my slide presentation, after telling my story, was about the inmates at Angola State Prison, and the hospice program there. They are also quilters.

The rest of my program talks about various inmate quilting programs around the country, interspersed with my own experiences.

One of the most memorable moments was at the end, one of the ladies asked why the men at one prison got to sew for 7 hours, 5 days a week, and the women at a different facility only got 2 hours a week? They were really, really bothered by this. I mean, really bothered.

So much good came from this lecture. The amount of support quilters want to offer always just opens my heart. I couldn't have asked for a better community.

And it turns out I might have a few leads on facilities or places to bring the Grace Before Dying exhibit. This excites me so much! It is on my 2018 bucket list, and this is the first I have felt that it might be possible.

In an amazing conversation with one of my best friends today, I realized I am not alone. Not everyone will be on board or interested in my efforts, but so many people want to help, want to build something great, want to help change lives. That is so motivating, and again, I am so humbled for the chance to be vulnerable.

I have no idea where all this is going yet, but if you would like to be a part of our community and work on any of our programs, please email me at atlantanw@gmail.com.

Andi Barney

Atlanta, GA, USA

©2017 BY ANDI BARNEY

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