Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine

Comprehensive Cumulative Index

 

Foreword

by

Cuesta Benberry

Quilters Hall of Fame Honoree

     One may wonder why twenty-nine years after the magazine’s end, a comprehensive cumulative Index to Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine has been compiled.  Due to the astounding technological communication advances of recent times, it is now de rigueur for large bodies of historical data to be organized in a cohesive format for easy accessibility by scholars.  While the concept of indexing is not a new one, in the past most often the technique was applied to subjects considered more in the realm of the scholarly or of academe.  Fortunately today as a result of millennium-age thinking, quilt history has been accorded the designation of being a scholarly subject.  Thus Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine with its early, almost prophetic emphasis on recording quilt history topics is appropriate material for indexing.

   Within the past two and a half decades the number of quilt history researchers has risen exponentially.  In this heretofore scantily investigated quilt history field of study, innumerable scholars are now vigorously seeking information in diverse avenues.  Among the multiplicity of sources consulted by the historians in their quest is the out of print quilt periodical.  And so there is a demand for copies of Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine, out of print since the mid-1970s.

   Another compelling reason for indexing the contents of Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine is the periodical’s pioneer contributing role in that mid-20th century phenomenon -the quilt magazine movement.  During the first six decades of the 20th century, few quilt books were published, and of those few, most quilt books were out of print by the late 1950s.  Almost unheard of at the time were magazines solely devoted to the subject of quilts.  Fueled by a desire to communicate with other quilters, there arose a grassroots movement – the publication of so-called quilt magazines.  Those first efforts were home printed, frequently mimeographed, essentially quilt pattern booklets, issued by various women and sold by mail order subscriptions.  The program developed over a decade as the little publications that bore scant resemblance to what we know today as quilt magazines were issued for varying lengths of time.  It was not until the late 1960s that the first authentic quilt magazines were produced.  And it was at this point with the inauguration of Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine, the threshold was crossed, resulting in an innovative publication that rightly bore the appellation “a real quilt magazine.”

   In fall 1969 Pat Almy (Patricia Almy Randolph), Sapulpa, Oklahoma, edited and published the initial issue of Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine.  Pat’s primary objective was to publish a true quilt magazine, unlike the so-called quilt magazine booklets available during the previous decade.  It would be the contents of her magazine that would distinguish it from its predecessors.  She was determined that her quarterly periodical would be professionally printed, and most certainly would not contain pages and pages of unrelated quilt patterns.  Instead quilt patterns were to be placed in a meaningful context.  Any quilt patterns printed were to be illustrative of accompanying articles, or needed to be unified by a specific theme.  Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine featured quilt history essays, articles written by regular columnists, quilt articles written from a regional perspective, news accounts of current-to-that-time quilt events, reports of important quilt collections, book reviews, quilt poems, quilt exhibitions, state and county fair quilt displays, exchange and round robin columns that fostered communication between like-minded quilters, letters from readers, space for readers’ questions, and quilt-related cross-word puzzles.  In each issue, Pat, the editor wrote a newsy, introductory open letter to her readers entitled “Editor’s Notes.”

   An array of quilt authors, quilters, collectors, and designers contributed to Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine.  On its pages appeared articles by writers whose by-lines were Dolores Hinson, Cuesta Benberry, Maxine Teele, Letha Rice, Mary Borkowski, Hazel Carter, Helen Ericson, Mildred Saffell, Kammie Hung, Georgie Feasel, Lola Meyer, Leona Rhoades, Irene Goodrich, Joyce Auderheide, the sisters Livia and Lena Moses, Ruby Hinson, Dorothy Milliner, Mary Conroy of Canada and others.  Several of the above listed authors are now deceased.

    As an example of the fruition of a unique concept – the publication of an early magazine solely devoted to quilts, Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine is a valuable reference source.  Pat Almy Randolph’s citations in Index to Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine provide researchers with access to a significant amount of quilt history information included in the magazine’s issues from 1969 to 1975.

Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine, Sapulpa, Ok (1969-1975)

Cuesta Benberry

St. Louis, MO

There are no printed copies of Nimble Needle Treasures Magazines available as they have been out of print for a number of years.

 However, you may now order  the CD, which contains complete copies of all 24 issues of Nimble Needle Treasures Magazine for $29.95 ppd. An Interactive Index is included on the CD with the magazines at no extra cost.

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