Quilter, author to open quilt exhibit at Oren Dunn

By The Associated Press

TUPELO – Lisa-Marie Sanders found quilting so strange, she called her book “Quilting with Aliens.”
“I knew nothing about quilting. I didn’t grow up with a quilt. I didn’t even have friends that have quilts. I was raised by wolves,” she joked in a phone interview with the Daily Journal.
Her mother-in-law suggested she try quilting, and her life hasn’t been the same since. After all, she said, she was trained as an accountant, a far cry from being raised as an artist.
“I fell in love with it,” she said. “(Quilters) have a whole language. They actually use the term UFO, for unfinished object. I didn’t know how to thank my mother-in-law, and I’ve always been a writer, so I wrote this book as a thank you note.”
Sanders now designs her own patterns and has had her quilts displayed across the country. She’s bringing her love for and knowledge about quilting to the Tupelo Oren Dunn Museum. This month’s exhibit is “Quilts and Their Stories,” a collection of quilts from Northeast Mississippi families. Sanders’ work will be on display, too, and she’ll be on hand to speak about her experience in quilting and to sign copies of “Quilting with Aliens.”
The history of quilting and quilters’ communities are part of why Sanders fell in love with the art.
“Part of what I loved about it was learning from (my mother-in-law). Quilting is a lot about mentoring, too. It’s historically a woman’s craft, and it’s a communal kind of effort,” she said.
Though quilters may use the same pattern to make a quilt, their finished pieces will always turn out differently due to different tastes and styles in quilting, so it’s a very unique art form, Sanders said.
The artist hopes to pass on a few life lessons in her discussions about quilting.
“I tell people my story and I encourage them to take risks in their life,” she said. “My first reaction to quilting was yuck, and then I turned that yuck into a yes, and that opened doors and created a series of events I could never have predicted stepping into. My work and career are so business oriented, technology and reports and meetings. But to see something visual, to make something you can touch and feel, that’s exciting.”

Quilter, artist and author Lisa-Marie Sanders’ events at the Oren Dunn Museum
Today: 9-11 a.m., signing her book “Quilting with Aliens.” Will return to museum at about 1:30 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m., Park and Recreation Building, Sanders will speak and give a demonstration, followed by a book signing.
Saturday: Book signing; group visits can be reserved by calling (662) 841-6438.
Sanders’ demonstration on Friday is free. Admission to the Oren Dunn Museum is the only cost for other events.
The “Quilts and Their Stories” exhibit will run at the Oren Dunn Museum through Nov. 12.