Thanks for the Memories

A graduation, a marriage, birth of a baby, a new job, a move to a new town are all things that are reminders of where we were when we look back and remember. This past week-end brought back many memories of my career as a quilting teacher, designer, author, and most especially a part of Quilts, Inc.

In 1976 when I first interviewed for a job with Karey Bresenhan, owner and President of Quilts, Inc. I had a one-year old baby on my hip. I also had a 4-year old and 8-year old at home.  Karey wanted me to teach in her shop projects using the quilt blocks I  had learned from her mother,  Jewel Patterson. I accepted, and the rest is history. My family and I have grown up with quilting being a major part of our lives.

The Murrah Family 1976

The Murrah Family 1976

Starting to work for Karey Bresenhan in 1976 has expanded into 37 years of International Quilt Festivals and Markets all over the United States, Quilt Expos for 20 years in Europe, and most recently the Texas Quilt Museum.

All of these accomplishments were dreams of Karey’s that she turned into a reality with the help of a dedicated staff of long-time employees. Many of those have come and gone, but many have stayed for the long haul. It’s been a life-time of adventures. In 2014 Karey and staff will celebrate the 40th birthday of International Quilt Festival.

Quilts, Inc. Staff 2012

Quilts, Inc. Staff 2012

On Saturday, August 31, 2013 many of those long-time staff members were present to help Karey and Maurice Bresenhan celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary. The festivities started with champagne at the Texas Quilt Museum which is located in a pair of beautifully restored, historic 1880’s buildings in La Grange, Texas.

Texas Quilt Museum

Texas Quilt Museum

After a little mingling and greeting, family and friends were seated to witness the renewal of Karey and Maurice’s traditional wedding vows under two Double Wedding Ring quilts. You could hear a pin drop as the officiant started with “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, to witness and bless the reaffirmation of the marriage covenant of holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate established by God.”

Renewal of Vows

Renewal of Vows

After the ceremony, the guests departed for the Bresenhan ranch which is about 10 minutes away. We first went to their house for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served on the deck and in the house. The Texas evening was nice and the lighting and setting were enchanting.

On the Deck

On the Deck

But we hadn’t seen anything yet. The Creativity Center, where we hold our monthly leadership meetings, seminars, and Quilt Camps, was transformed into a Cinderella wonderland. The draped ceiling with twinkle lights, the red table cloths,

Creativity Center Transformation

Creativity Center Transformation

the plethora of family and friends’ bridal portraits with red and white vintage quilts,

Red & White Quilt & Bride

Red & White Quilts & Wedding Portraits

Red & White Quilts & Brides

Red & White Quilts & Brides Portraits

and childhood photos of Karey and Maurice placed on all the tables with their beautiful table settings were a feast for the eyes. Everyone was in awe.

Lovely Table Setting

Lovely Table Setting

Great music was playing as we all entered, and then came the Bride and Groom. What a beautiful couple.

Maurice Bresenhan & Karey Patterson Bresenhan

Maurice Bresenhan & Karey Patterson Bresenhan

Among the very special guests were Karey’s cousin, Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, who is Executive Vice President of Quilts, Inc. and her husband, Carlos Puentes, whose company has provided our enrollment system since 1995.

Carlos Puentes & Nancy O'Bryant Puentes

Carlos Puentes & Nancy O’Bryant Puentes

Willie Hart, who was in charge of Quilts, Inc. Show Operations for more than 20  years, is now VP of Special Projects. She does huge banners of quilts photo-shopped on buildings  for our shows.  She printed and mounted all of the photos for the Anniversary Celebration. Gene Reynolds, CPA, and owner of the company that has taken care of our accounting for many years, was among our Quilts family.

Gene Reynolds & Willie Hart

Gene Reynolds & Willie Hart

Bob Ruggiero, Director of Publications & Public Information who has been with Quilts, Inc. for 17 years, was the DJ for the evening. He played mostly tunes from the ’60’s for our dining pleasure and then for dancing. That’s me with Bob. I’ve worked in the Education department for Karey since the beginning. I am VP of Education and Administration.

Bob Ruggiero & Me

Bob Ruggiero & Me

In the last 10 years, we have added many employees who are coming up along beside us long-timers. Marvin Paz has worked his way up to assisting Ruth Polanco in Show Operations. Pokey Bolton came on board almost two years ago as Chief Creative Officer. The company is changing and growing, and lots of new things are on the horizon.

Marvin Paz & Pokey Bolton

Marvin Paz & Pokey Bolton

After a scrumptious meal catered by Bistro 108 and dancing, we adjourned to seating outside the Creativity Center to watch a fabulous display of fireworks in the Cow Field.

Those who spent the night were  treated to Sunday Brunch in the Creativity Center after beverages under the oak trees. I enjoyed seeing Trix Buhlmann-Epple from Switzerland for the week-end. Trix has worked with Quilts, Inc. Special Exhibits since we started doing shows in Europe. We couldn’t do without her.

Chatting with Trix Buhlmann

Chatting with Trix Buhlmann-Epple

With the celebration completed around noon Sunday, we drove out of the ranch and back home with many more magical memories of Karey Bresenhan and Quilts, Inc.

Leaving the Ranch

Leaving the Ranch

May you have many memories of love, loyalty, and faith.

Your friend, Judy

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12 Responses to “Thanks for the Memories”

  1. npenry@suddenlink.net Says:

    What a WONDERFUL celebration!

    Like

  2. Lesley Riley Says:

    How wonderful! Congratulations to Karey & Maurice. Thanks for taking us along on this extraordinary event.

    Like

  3. Barbara black Says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful event!

    Like

  4. Kathryn Tennyson Says:

    Oh what a surprising and lovely share. Thanks so much. Kathy Tennyson

    Like

  5. Suzanne Cude Says:

    What a beautiful email & great pictures of you & others at the anniversary celebration. Thanks for the memories!

    Love you, S

    ________________________________

    Like

  6. Mary Says:

    I loved this blog, but I can’t miss saying I loved the one with Suzanne too so I could get a glimpse into what you two are doing on your sewathon.

    This blog was special because of the old photo of your family–it looked familiar to me. AND the party pics were spectacular!! What a celebration for such a deserving and handsome couple. Do you know I still have (somewhere?) the magazine article that was published on the quilt store when you first worked for Karey. I have to dig that out. I remember the pictures were beautiful.

    You are an amazing special cousin. Thanks for sharing your time with all of us out here.

    Hugs, Mary Jane

    Like

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