Every issue of Quiltmaker lists Bonnie Leman at the top of our masthead as our founder. While I never had the pleasure of meeting Bonnie, I am grateful for all that she did for quilting in general and for Quiltmaker magazine in particular. Earlier this week when news came to the office that Bonnie had died, I asked Caroline Reardon, former editor of Quiltmaker who worked for Bonnie for many years, to write a tribute on behalf of QM.
“We have lost a great lady. Bonnie Leman, founder of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine and Quiltmaker, passed away September 4, 2010. She was a petite, modest woman with seven children who, in the late 1960’s, revived the quilting world to what has become a thriving art form rich with innovative products and passionate quilters. She had an acuity for assessing both trends and needs in the quilting world and through QNM gave unbiased voice to all perspectives. Because of her we have more quickly embraced machine quilting, art quilts and computer contributions.
Bonnie was a respected journalist who insisted on accurate information, precise writing and elegant clarity, qualities which have made both QNM (now QN) and Quiltmaker outstanding publications. In the office she guided the magazines’ contents with savvy and finesse, quietly but firmly expressed displeasure when something was amiss, and often sparkled with wise and witty repartee.
Bonnie changed our lives. She enriched us by elevating a home craft to a well respected art form, offered each of us an exciting avenue for personal creativity, and brought international friends together through fabric and design. She was our guiding light and we will miss her dearly.”
former special projects editor, Quilter’s Newsletter
former editor, Quiltmaker
The more that I have read online tributes from those who knew her personally, I am honored that my job is a direct result of Bonnie’s legacy. For all of the quiltmakers Bonnie inspired over the past decades and for the legacy she left to inspire us for decades to come, Quiltmaker magazine is grateful for Bonnie Leman. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family, friends and followers.