Calendar girls featured in upcoming book

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By Tracy Harris

A calendar featuring women wearing nothing but handmade quilts caught Don Dampier’s eye — but not for reasons you might think.
Dampier plans to include the calendar and its creators in his upcoming book “The Quilter’s Quest.”
The calendar was produced by The Gathering Room Quilt Shop in La Grange, and features local quilters posing in different Main Street shops.
None of the photos are revealing; each person is covered with a quilt that both fits the season and the shop setting.
For example, January features an Irish Chain quilt pattern draped over Pam Soto, who is laying on the Irish Rover Too bar with a bottle of whiskey.
Barbara Manley Edds took the photographs.
Michelle Klein, calendar cover girl and owner of The Gathering Room, said proceeds from the 2011 calendar are donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Dampier said he had planned a “Calendar Girls of Quilting” chapter for his book, but hadn’t quite decided on the content when a copy of the calendar arrived in his mailbox.
Dampier and his wife, Pat, are good friends with La Grange residents Cecil and Marcia Crouch. They sent the Dampiers the calendar, since Pat is a quilter and Don was working on a book about the subject.
“It was serendipitous,” Dampier said. “I hadn’t decided how to do the chapter, and lo-and-behold there was a calendar in the mailbox.”
Dampier visited The Gathering Room last week, meeting the calendar girls and listening to their stories about quilting and the shop.
“The calendar has a small-town Americana theme,” Dampier said. “I just think that’s great.”
Dampier said there’s a close cross-over between writing and quilting.
“A lot of the activities they go through to create a quilt are the same that writers go through to write a book,” he said.
Klein said quilters definitely share stories and ask for advice when they’re working together.
And with several quilting clubs meeting at the store and a busy class calendar, The Gathering Room has plenty of opportunities for quilters to connect.
Dampier said the book is nearing completion and should be out soon. For more information on purchasing his book “The Quilter’s Quest,” call (502) 863-9378 or email djdiscoverypress@yahoo.com.

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