Sunday, September 5, 2010

Remembering Bonnie Leman

Bonnie Leman 1991, courtesy Myron Miller/LCPQ #74


There is perhaps no more quintessential icon of the late 20th century quilt revival than Bonnie Leman, founder and editor of Quilters Newsletter Magazine.

The quilt world lost a great friend yesterday with her passing. One could easily say Bonnie Leman was THE HUB of the quilt world for almost 30 years. She appeared on the scene in September 1969 with her first issue of Quilters Newsletter and soon left her tracks around the world*. With grace she passed on the baton of leadership at QNM to her daughter Mary in 1996.

Bonnie and husband George built their business together until George's passing January 12, 1986.

Photo appeared in QNM Sept 1994 on the 25th anniversary of QNM. 

Bonnie was inducted into The Quilters Hall of Fame in 1982, the same year she and the family launched their 2nd quilt magazine QUILTMAKER. Click here to read about her induction.

The Leman children in 1972 comprised much of the staff of QNM.
Photo appeared in QNM Sept 1994 on the 25th anniversary of QNM. 

Bonnie passed away peacefully in her daughter's home surrounded by her family. You will undoubtedly be hearing more about Bonnie and the talented Leman family in the coming days as the quilt world salutes and plays tribute to their amazing mother.

The Leman Family in 1994 on the 25th anniversary of QNM.
Photo appeared in Bonnie' editorial in the Sept issue.

Thank you, Bonnie, for all that you did to revive and expand both the art and the history of that great American icon, THE QUILT. Indeed, you helped it become an international icon of the highest caliber.

Thank you, Leman family, for sharing your mother with us for so long. Our hearts go out to you in your loss.

Karen Alexander
Past President
The Quilters Hall of Fame

*Click here to watch a live video interview of Bonnie done by The Alliance for American Quilts' Quilt Treasures project.

PS: The family welcomes comments and suggests that you post them here on the TQHF site for the family to read.

The family placed the following in the Denver Post.

Bonnie Hale Leman, 83, of Arvada, CO, passed away on Saturday, September 4, 2010. Born in Purdin, Missouri on September 28, 1926, to Rex and Laura Hale. She left home for college at 16 and graduated from Park College three years later. She moved to Denver in 1953 and met her husband George Leman while they were both pursuing master's degrees at the University of Denver. She was a mother, teacher and freelance writer until she found her calling in the publishing business, when, in 1969, she founded Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. Through her magazine she helped revive and foster an appreciation of quilts as a great American art form that continues to this day. Bonnie grew her magazine readership to more than 200,000 subscribers in over 100 countries, as well as writing and publishing numerous books and other publications on quiltmaking. She travelled much of the world in the course of her career, made hundreds of friends, and contributed to the growth of the quiltmaking art in many countries. She retired in 1995 to enjoy her children and grandchildren.

Preceded in death by her husband George Leman (1986), she is survived by her daughters Megan O'Gorman (John O'Gorman), Mary Leman Austin (Milton Austin), Emilie Leman, Georgianne Holland (Ted Holland), David Leman, Andrew Leman (Glenn Alfonso), and Matthew Leman (Tara Williams Leman). Her cherished grandchildren include Jerome and Pauline DeFelice; Jessica, Laura, and Eric Bender; and Avery Leman. Also survived by her beloved brother Roy Hale and family of San Francisco; and the Jack and Betty Most family of Carlsbad, New Mexico. A Rosary will be said Monday, September 13, 7:00 p.m., Mt. Olivet, 12801 W. 44th Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO 80033, 303-424-7785. Funeral mass will take place Tuesday, September 14, 10:00 a.m., Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 3920 Pierce Street, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-4942, (303) 424-0402. Reception information will be available at the funeral service.

This just came from the family Friday September 10 and is posted at their request.

From Mary Leman Austin

The Leman family is so touched and grateful for all the kind words and fond memories that have been posted here. It is a great comfort to her family to see that she is remembered fondly not only for her wit and warmth but for all her accomplishments and contributions to the quilt world, about which she was quite humble. Our deepest thanks for your kind thoughts, from all of Bonnie’s family.


nancy said...

She was a tremendous contributor to the quilt world, perhaps more than any other person. My condolences to her family.

Nancy Brenan Daniel said...

Bonnie Leman was a wonderfully warm beacon at the beginning of our quilting revival and QNM helped push us into the era of the art quilt. I discovered QNM before I knew there was a quilting community. My early quilts, then, went into Fine Craft shows in "textile" categories because no one had seen 'quilts' like them. Now those early quilts seem most 'traditional'. Her death has made me realize I need to more forward... again. Many thanks Bonnie! XXXXOOOO

Nancy Brenan Daniel

Lynda said...

Bonnie was the reason that I got into quilting. I took my first class at Quilts & Other Comforts and worked for Bonnie and George at the store or for the magazine until Nancy and I opened our shop Great American Quilt Factory in 1981. She left a tremendous legacy!
Lynda Milligan

Karen O'Dowd said...

Bonnie was my friend, fellow editor, and my "boss" when she made me "International Editor of Quilters Newsletter Magazine with the world as my beat"---her words---and a dream job description, working together to bring quilters around the world together on the pages of her magazine. Happily remembered, sadly missed.

Karey Bresenhan said...

Bonnie Leman was a dear friend and a treasured mentor. I consider her to be the "mother" of the 20th Century's quilting revival. She was a delight to know, with an impish wit and a rock solid work ethic. My world...and our quilting a much poorer place without Bonnie.
Karey Bresenhan
Director, International Quilt Festival
Director, International Quilt Market

FLO_rancher said...

Bonnie's publications will continue to inspire for generations to come.

Anonymous said...

On behalf of everyone at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum, our deepest condolences.

Liz Theaker, Executive Director

Caroline Reardon said...

Bonnie Leman had great style, a gentle presence, and diplomatic finesse while successfully addressing significant issues in the quilt world. Her quick wit was matched only by daughters Mary and Megan and her work ethic was unsurpassed. I am honored to have had her as a boss, a mentor and a friend.

KevinB said...

The QuiltGuy group offers our deepest condolences to Bonnie's family. Thank your for opening doors for all quilters, but especially for including everyone without restrictions. Bonnie will be missed.

Steven said...

Starting in 1989 I subscribed to QNM. I looked forward to every editorial and later on her columns as she wrote like we were having a personal conversation and her stories always made me think or laugh. Also not the least of which was that the arrival of the mail plane in bush Alaska was always a treat and I could spend the winter months planning my next years projects and summer shopping from the many patterns and project ideas. Many a cold, dark and snowbound evening was spent enjoying each issue. A sad day indeed. Warm thoughts to the entire family.

Luana Rubin said...

I never met Bonnie in person, but I feel like I knew her through her daughter Mary, and Quilters Newsletter. In 1990 when I left the fashion industry in NYC and moved back to Colorado, I was looking for a new direction. I found it when I picked up QNM on the local grocery store newsstand and felt a chill go up my spine. I remember thinking "This is IT! This is what I've been looking for!" The result is, and the design work I have done for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Bernina Fashion Show, etc. Thank you Bonnie for inspiring me to join the Quilting Industry.

Anonymous said...

I have recently found a few Quilters Newsletter here in Australia. What a great contribution this lady & her husband have made to keeping alive a great set of skills. Ive lost my own mother and feel sorry for the family's loss. If it is just a little help.... your mother's passion continues to improve people's lives. Making a quilt or receiving one..... a beautiful personal experience.


Anonymous said...

A very big light has gone out in the quilting world. The impact of Bonnie's work is felt by all quilters. Her legacy continues.
Valerie Hearder
Mahone Bay, NS Canada.

Nann said...

Bonnie brought quiltmaking to life for thousands. Traditional, contemporary, and styles in between: she was an inspiration to us all. Moreover, she demonstrated that a woman can be a wife, a mother, and run a successful business! (Remember the Sept. cover photos of her youngest son, who was born the month that issue #1 was published.)

Eileen said...

Quilters Newsletter has been the one constant in an ever changing world of quilting. I loved reading Bonnie's editorials every month, she was the first real voice of quilting for me. God bless Bonnie and may He sustain her family at this time.

Madeline said...

I stumbled on my first Quilter's Newsletter in 1973,and collected most of the rest of them. It was always a great day when it arrived in the mail. I read it cover to cover. There was no one to equal what she did for quilters. I had the honor of seeing one article I wrote published in QNM, and several letters. She touched many and has left her mark. Blessings to her family.

Carter Houck said...

Bonnie was the first and the best in the world of quilting publications, and her name will always stand out for those who are interested in quilts and in people.

Anonymous said...

Quilter's Newsletter magazine has been my favorite quilting magazine all through the years. I love their humble beginning with Bonnie & her family. I'm thankful Bonnie was honored here while she could appreciate it. Prayers for the family.

Anonymous said...

In 1976 I was teaching at a CC in CA and was inspired by the Bicentenial to promote quilting to my classes when I came across my first QNM. I was thrilled to see that Bonnie's magazine was available as there was very little information out there on quilting. I invited the Quiltmobile to come to our campus and George came. I must say
that very few students showed up, but the
ones that did were impressed with the exhibit. I believe that the quilt revolution started in the 70's all because of Bonnie. What a great lady and what a loss for her family and for all of us quilters.

Angie Hodapp said...

I met Bonnie only once, about two years ago, and she was simply elegant. I felt as though I were being presented to a memeber of the royal family, and, in a way, I was. From now until eternity, no historian will study the late twentieth-century quilt revival without coming across her name. Her influence will forever be felt, and those she left behind will forever be grateful for her immeasurable legacy.

David & Peter Mancuso said...

When two complete novices to the world of quilting were shifting their show production business in that direction it was Bonnie Leman, through the name of Quilters Newsletter Magazine who was the first person to lend support to our first quilt competion.
That was over two-decades ago. Over all of that time our respect for Bonnie and our friendship with the Leman family expressed through Bonnie's daughter Mary has grown steadily. We extend to the entire Leman family our sincere condolences and we wish some degree of comfort to them in knowing that Bonnie will remain forever a great pioneer and grand lady to the world of quilting.

Bonnie B - The Quilting Tangler said...

Finding Quilter's Newsletter on the newsstand brought the world of quilting into my home and the homes of quilters across the land. What a great legacy Bonnie leaves for all of us. We share the loss with her family.

Judy Martin said...

Bonnie Leman was my friend and mentor. She gave me my dream job when she hired me over the phone in 1979. She provided a creative and nurturing work environment when I was a young woman who had a big passion for quilts and a thin resume. She taught me most of what I know about publishing. Bonnie had an amazing capacity for seeing the big picture; she was intelligent, demanding, and focused. Brain storming with Bonnie Leman is one of my favorite memories of my years at Quilter's Newsletter and Quiltmaker. My heart goes out to her family. Thank you for sharing your mother with the quilting world.

Judy Martin

Irene Berry said...

Today's quilters all owe a debt of gratitude to Bonnie Leman, but none as much as the lucky few of us who were able to work at the wonderful magazine that she created. Thank you, Bonnie, for everything.

Meredith Schroeder said...

The passing of Bonnie Leman is a devastating loss to the quilting world. There is no doubt she was an inspiration to me as well as many others with her talent and business savvy. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

Kathy Loder said...

My sincerest condolences go out to Bonnie's family and friends. I am truly saddened by the news of her passing. Please find some comfort in knowing that she lives on in the work of the millions of quilters around the world who have been influenced by Quilter's Newsletter and Quiltmaker. Thank you, Bonnie!

Karen Combs said...

My deepest condolences to Bonnie's family and her friends. Her light will continue to shine through the lives she has touched, both personally and through QNM.

Bonnie Leman and Quilter's Newsletter magazine is the reason I started quilting. I remember my first copy of QNM in 1973, reading it while I was still in high school. Upon reading my first issue, I knew I was not alone and knew the direction my life would have. . . I was a quilter.

Thank you for sharing Bonnie with all of us.

Carol Doak said...

Bonnie Leman was special. She was my introduction to all that is quilting. She was a gentle giant leading, inspiring and encouraging the quilt world with her grace and charm. She set such a positive tone for others to follow. I knew Bonnie first through Quilter's Newsletter and later in person. The world has lost as treasure, but I would like to think Bonnie is up in heaven, arranging the stars in a pleasing quilt design. My sincere condolences to her family.

KarenQuilt said...

Posting for Virginia Avery. This is Jinny's tribute to Bonnie Leman


It was with great sadness I learned that Bonnie had passed away. She has such unflagging passion for the quilt world and cooking and other ventures I had begun t believe she was invincible. I first met her in l976 when we both showed up at the quilt conference in Ithaca New York, in August of that year. I already knew about her, and in fact had been reading her four page black and white newsletter for several months--courtesy of a good friend. That newsletter helped to pave the way for my own journey into the quilt world.

The conference in l976 was a turning point for me too, for aside from meeting Bonnie and visiting with her, I met Jean Ray Laury, Michael James, and Beth and Jeff Gutcheon, and we all became instant fast friends--and still are. I was an upstart in the quilt world at the time, and was thrilled that Bonnie took the time to talk to me.
She was her ever-gracious self, though, and even took me around the exhibit of 300 quilts and pointed out features in them. She was really an amazing woman to accomplish what she did while raising seven kids, and she certainly set an example for all of us.

Even after I retired from the quilt world, three years ago, I was invited to join the Robinettes, a small group of quilters who kept in touch by letter. In that group was
Bonnie, Jean Ray Laury, Carter Houck, Mary Penders and Karen O’Dowd. We got
together for a grand weekend with Carter at Charlottesville, VA, and later, Bonnie invited all of us for a weekend at her place in Colorado. It too, was a grand weekend, and a lot of time was spent in the kitchen-eating area, with Bonnie next to the stove turning out her specialties, and the rest of us on the other side of the bar, at the table eating what she cooked and talking up a storm! Her home was charming, as she was, and I remember sleeping on a Murphy-bed that pulled out of a wall, but there was room for everyone.. We met some of Bonnie's family and learned a lot about Quilters Newsletter Magazine, and visited the offices where it was produced.
That magazine today is foremost in the quilt world, full of news and information and opinion and features.

I am ever grateful that Bonnie laid such a sound foundation in the quilt world; it helped me when I was trying to make a name for myself, and many of my fondest quilt memories are centered around her. She was always gracious and generous in her help, and we are all in debt. In short, she was one amazing woman. Bonnie, sure will miss you. With love, Jinny Avery

Featheronawire Sally Bramald said...

Nothing would make me part with my old QNMs from the time when she ran the show. I still go back to them for inspiration.
I used to have trouble getting copies in pre internet days and in the end got my husband and daughter to give me subscriptions for Mothers Day instead of flowers. Not only were those issues valued then, they still are.
My condolences to her family.

Margaret said...

I wouldn't be quilting without Bonnie Leman. Her magazine brought me inspiration month after month. She was a pillar of the quilting world and will be sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

I found QNM here in Australia when I was teaching my first patchwork class and trying to keep ahead of the students. I had been quilting just one term myself and needed all the help I could get. Through the pages of QNM I got to know all the people who have influenced my quilting, brought together by Bonnie Leman. Thank you to her family for sharing her with us, and for your part in supporting her in producing a wonderful magazine.

SandyS said...

Bonnie didn't know me, but through QNM I always felt she and her family were my friends. QNM was a gold mine of information when she was in charge and I read each issue from cover to cover. Bonnie was an inspiration to us all and we will miss her dreadfully. My heart goes out to her family.

Françoise said...

I was saddened by the news, and I hereby wish to present my condolences to Bonnie's family. Being just a quilter from Belgium, I am glad though that she existed, otherwise my life ( and that of many others I am sure) wouldn't have been this fullfilled because of what she did in hers.

momto2wasd said...

She sounds like quite a wonderful woman who will be missed by so many.

lindaschiffer said...

Anyone who thinks one person cannot make a difference should look at what Bonnie did with her life!

She will be missed.


Sharon said...

What a lovely post, I came over via Barbara Brackmans post where many kind words were written. This magazine was life changing for me when I was a new quilter, it opened up a completely different world to me from what other quilt publications were selling, Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I cannot imagine my life without quilting and it wouldn't be what it is without the great contribution of Bonnie. She changed many lives.

Zegi said...

Bonnie and her magazine changed my life. Many thanks to her and her family.
With deepest Sympathy,

CathyK said...

Bonnie and her magazine were always such an inspiration to me. I learned so much from her magazine - always read it cover to cover. Deepest sympathy and condolences to her family and her friends.

Marié du Toit said...

As so many of you already said- through QNM I felt that I found a true and personal friend in Bonnie- here in South Africa- to show me the quilting way. My QNM are my treasures, never to part with. Condolensces to you, her near family, and also to us- it is a great loss for the quilting world!

Anna, Sweden said...

QN is one of my favourite magazines. In Sweden we are not spoiled with the great numbers of quilting magazines that you have in the US, so I was excited the first time I bought a couple of old QNM at an online auction site. I immideatley fell in love with them and have since then accuired a large collection of old and new QN magazines.
Thanks for a lot of wonderful reading and inspiration! Bonnie have left a great legacy and I am very grateful.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie struck the match, that lit the fire, that set the new quilting revival ablaze. For so many years she was the encouragement that could be found in no other place for young and old quilters alike. She always saw quilting as evolving. Her acceptance of "Art" quilts,machine quilting,hand dying and every innovation, inspired all quilters.
We will miss her.

Vivian Ritter said...

Dear Lemans,
My heart goes out to you all for the loss of your mom and grandmom. We all will miss having Bonnie in the quilting world, and we will always be grateful for her incredible contribution.
On a personal level, I am indebted to Bonnie for giving me my career. I owe so much to her for the great opportunity she gave me in 1983 when she decided to take a chance on an unknown. I think the fact that I was a teacher too had much to do with her hiring me. Being on the staff of QNM for so many years was a dream come true.
I feel so privileged to have known this incredible woman. In a time when most of our moms were homemakers, Bonnie was a pioneer who played a valuable role in the great quilt revival, and we are all the richer for her presence in that world.
All the best to Bonnie's family.
Vivian Ritter

Auntie Em said...

As a longtime reader of QNM, I almost felt as if I knew Bonnie Leman. In her column, she came across as warm and caring, like someone you would like to have a cup of coffee with. She will be greatly missed.

Anonymous said...

My memory is of a beautiful summer day in Minnesota. I was watching my children play outside when the mailman delivered the 15th anniversary issue of QNM. As I sat down in a lawn chair, I could not wait to read the magazine. Lunch was late that day. The children are adults now, but the memory of a beautiful day, my children and the joy of QNM are bonded in that moment. Thank you Bonnie

soggybottomflats said...

I made my first quilt @20 years ago. My son, then 10, asked me to make him a baby quilt for his first child. He choose a Trip around the World baby sized quilt, from QNL. I did everything wrong on that quilt. Selvages showing, uneven rows, just horrible workmanship. But, my son loved it because he helped make it. He got to help with the colors and placement. When his first child was born, last January, he wanted THAT quilt. I have since learned how to quilt, reading every issue of QNL I could get my hands on, from cover to cover. I so loved Mary Leman and her family and will miss her deeply. After all, I feel like we grew up together and she was such an important part of my life. Elaine in Texas

Sue McB said...

Quilting Newsletter was the first magazine to which I subscribed, and it guided me in my early days as a quilter. I still have all my magazines from the late 70's to 90's. What a landmark person in the quilting world. My condolences to all who knew her, she must have been a great lady. Sue in Australia.

Grace Marko said...

Dear Leman Family,
Bonnie launched so many to become quilters for life. We pursue our passion, because of her work, encouragement and guidance. From the first issue I bought at the grocery store, I've enjoyed - and kept - every issue since. Thank you for sharing her with us.
Waukesha, Wisconsin

Anonymous said...

i found some QNM's in my mom's stash when we emptied the house. i really enjoyed reading them and still have them up in MY sewing room. i know mom loved them to keep them for so many years. neither of us throw anything away. lol
bonnie will be sorely missed.
JoAn in indiana

grendelskin said...

To the Leman family:

Bonnie left a rich and enduring legacy that has already positively affected generations. How proud you must be!

Sally in CT, USA

Quilt it and Dotty said...

Here in Holland we know Quilters Newsletter too. I got piles of old magazines from a customer, and I turn the pages every day. I was so trilled to see that she started her magazine as a family business. Because I started my business too as a family business; . Friends, mother-in-law, husband, children, they al participate in my business. They make it happen!
I hope that the Leman-family finds comfort in the role their mother and grandmother played in their family as well as in the family of quilters around the world.


Tilburg, The Netherlands

Carol Born, RMQM Board President said...

Thank you, Bonnie, for starting the magazine that was my entree into the quilt world. All of us at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum extend our sincere condolences to your family.

JoAnn Winters said...

Bonnie was a big inspiration for me when I began my quilting hobby 30 years ago, and without her magazine, I would not still be cutting out fabrics and sewing them back together!

Quilter's Newsletter has always been the touchstone for quilt lovers. No other magazine has been able to cover the pulse of the quilt world, from old-fashioned ideas to new, computer assisted technology. Bonnie was able to bridge this huge gap like no other editor. Her inspiration and generosity will be remembered. My condolences to the Leman family...

Godspeed, Bonnie!
JoAnn in Oregon

Joe Cunningham said...

QNM expressed Bonnie's personality in its inclusive, sincere, and knowledgeable approach to quilts. She made it seem like the most natural thing in the world, to have enabled an ever-wider public to take part in the growing quilt world fostered by the magazine. Though I had only the slightest contact with Bonnie, she greeted me like an old friend. I join the many who will miss her.

Allison Gray said...

My heart sank when I read of Mrs. Leman's passing in the Denver Post this morning. I have such fond memories of working at Leman Publications on W. 44th In Wheat Ridge in the late 1980s. It was a privilege to work closely with Mrs. Leman on book projects and to work with the family on QNM. I was in awe of the tiny powerhouse who not only raised a lovely large family but created a great small business and revived a beautiful American craft. She set standards that I have referred to many times over the years. My heart goes out to her children and family.

Anonymous said...

I have looked forward to QNL for a number of years, for the photos, for the stories, and especially enjoyed Mrs. Leman's articles. She, and her magazine, came into my life in the early 80's, and enriched my life. It was the one magazine I kept subscribing to over and over again. Her passing leaves a big hole in my quilting family. {{{((Hugs))}}} to the family members during this time - Mrs. Leman will be missed.
Cleo Miller

Barb said...

I started quilting in 1973 and it was because of Quilters Newsletter that I kept going. Through Bonnie and the magazine I learned so much and met so many wonderful quilters each month. The quilt quilt world has lost a gem.
Barbara Robson in Nova Scotia

Anonymous said...

My first "real" job was as an editorial assistant at QNM. I am proud to have been part of such a quality publication and feel very lucky to have learned from a wonderful group of strong women. My thoughts and prayers are with Bonnie’s family during this difficult time.
-Sara Felton

Cindy Brick said...

I also worked for Bonnie for several years -- and she had a huge influence not only on how I approached quilting and textiles -- as historical 'scrapbooks' of their culture and time period, as much as they were graphic works of art. I am so grateful for her part in my professional life. Thank you, Bonnie -- and my thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Anonymous said...

To the Leman family
Thank you for sharing your mother and Grandmother with us in the quilting world.
Bonnie enjoyed the respect and gratitude of all of us.
The magazine and her contributions introduced me to a world of self expression that has been a great lifesaver for me ever since. (I never got to Art College)
May your memories of Bonnie always bring a smile to your face.
May she rest in peace.
Loretta O'Brien

AnneElizablog said...

I was sad to hear of the death of Bonnie Leman. I discovered Quilters Newsletter Magazine around the same time I discovered quilting, in 1989, when I was a young mother. Quilting was, and still is, my identity, my solace, and my creative outlet. I always enjoyed reading Bonnie's editorial in QNM. One in particular stands out in my memory. She talked about why we quilt. How it can be done both alone or with others. Some of us love the historic aspect of quilting, feeling the connection to our ancestors, visiting museums to look at old quilts. Some of us sew on our fancy machines and use new gadgets and some are content with a needle and thread. was a beautiful article about quilting and I've reflected on it many times over the years. I wonder if you could reprint it?

My condolences to the Leman family. Lucky you, having such a mother!
Anne Brill

KarenQuilt said...

Posting for Hazel McDowell Carter, founder of The Quilters Hall of Fame:

Bonnie Leman had a sixth sense of what her audience, her subscribers, wanted. Her editorials were a first read when a new issue arrived for they told what was happening at the moment in the quilting world. How I treasured each issue. Quilter’s Newsletter was on the cutting edge of the Quilting Renaissance - it grew in size along with the whole quilting phenomenon of the twentieth century.

At my first convention in 1978 I invited all of the editors to attend and gave them the opportunity to take the podium. Bonnie held back but said I must go to the podium with her. She held my hand so tightly I thought it might break. Her comments were to the effect: when she worked here years ago, (for the F.B.I.) she understood the place was run by politicians but now she sees quilters have taken over. The attendees love it! Much later I was so grateful for her assistance during the Smithsonian controversey over the reproduction of quilts from its collection. When meeting with the Director of the museum, he, under his breath, commented several times, “She is a smart lady!”

She was a great listener and could quickly sum up everyone’s thoughts in one succinct sentence. Bonnie wanted to do something for my convention but she was concerned if my attendees would like it. My response was “Oh but ten percent will always be unhappy” to which she immediately stated “That is only on a sunny day.” I use this narrative often during organizational meetings.

She was a great lady! She will long be remembered.

Hazel Carter

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bonnie for all you have done for Quilting for the generations to come . You will long be remembered for all the wonderful things you have done to help quilting,so many young women and men are now taking up the cause. Again Thank you and may you rest at peace knowing you helped so many others God Bless your entire family. Lovingly Cheyenne Renard of Henderson Nevada

Anonymous said...

I was a very lonely mother of 3 small children, ages 1,4,&5, when my Marine Corps husband got orders to Oklahoma City. We ended up renting and living on an 80 acre farm with only one car, and the city miles away. I wouldn't have survived had it not been for Bonnie Leman's QN magazine, which I read cover to cover each month, and her gracious wisdom that I could still be considered a quilter if all I can do is appreciate quilts. We were pretty poor until we could move to a small house closer to the city. I had no fabric stash, and no family background on how to even make a quilt. I learned from QN. I will always remember how her words touched me so long ago back in 1978. And I will always be grateful. Still a loyal subscriber, my heart and prayers go out to your family. Teri Hackett of Bremerton, WA.

James Donald Stark said...

Back in the early/mid 90's I was giving serious thought to quilting when the time or retirement presented itself. Well, cancer took my first wife & life kept me busy & now, my current wife is the one that is taking up quilting & has become the recipient of all the myriad patterns & catalogs I had squirreled away. I loved the Leman Publications: Quilts & Other Comforts catalog. I pulling out my old stack of these, and searching for them on the web, I stumbled across evidence that led me to the conclusion that they are no longer in business which breaks my heart & led me to this site & the unknown background that is apparantly associated with not only the catalog but a plethora of other publications. I am appreciative of any family or organization that perpetuates skills of this sort, even if it is for monetary gain. I get the feeling that here, there was first the love of the craft & then a means to turn that into a living. Well done, Lemans.