Stephanie Metts is a Florida Quilt Museum Board Member who is living in Gainesville, Florida. She is the founder of the Florida Quilt Museum, founder of the Florida Quilt Trail and Owner of the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe which has operated in Trenton for more than fifteen years since its inception in July of 2003. Stephanie started Trenton's Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival over twelve years ago and it has grown to be Florida's largest outdoor quilt festival, now attracting over 7,000 visitors each year. Stephanie has been an avid quilter, winner of numerous ribbons and awards for her creative quilts and a quilt teacher for over forty years.
Kathy Metelica Cray is a Florida Quilt Museum Board Member who is currently retired and now living in Homosassa, Florida. Prior to retirement Kathy was founder and proprietor of Grafton Village Quilts, a retail shop for the sale of antique quilts and textiles located in the small village of Grafton, Vermont. Together with her husband, they were also innkeepers to The Grafton Inn, a historic bed & breakfast consisting of 45 rooms that has been in operation since 1801. Kathy has been quilting for over 25 years and has been involved in the study and collection of antique quilts since 1999. Formerly, Kathy was a member of Board of The American Quilt Study Group and is still an active member of the national Group while currently hosting the Florida Quilt Study Group. Kathy is a member of the Creative Quilters of Citrus County and continues to sell high end antique quilts on a consignment basis. Kathy’s current Quilt Museum Exhibit, “Over the Years”, spans the period from the 1800s thru 1970s.
Teddy Pruett is a Florida Quilt Museum Board Member and a north Florida native now living in Lake City, Florida. She is a quilter and internationally recognized quilt and textile historian. She has recently retired from a 25 year career as a lecturer and Certified Quilt Appraiser. Teddy's quilts, made from recycled textiles and thrift shop finds, have been exhibited in museums, shows, and art galleries all across America. She is also a published writer. Teddy’s current Quilt Museum Exhibit, "Second Hand Story Quilts", is fantastic, filled with clever sayings and rescued worn out things. Visit her website teddypruett.com.
Merri McKenzie is a Florida Quilt Museum Board Member who is living in White Springs and has loved textiles all her life. Her passion began as a small child when she learned to sew from her mother. She grew up sewing doll clothes and later advanced to making clothing. She studied clothing and textiles in college and was introduced to weaving in the 60s at Florida State University. Her interest in weaving led her to further studies at Penland and Arrowmont, two craft schools that were devoted to teaching crafts.
In the early 70s a new position was created at what is now the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs, Florida, where she was offered the position of Artist in Residence, funded by the Expansion Arts Program of the National Endowment for the Arts. In this position she worked with the local community to showcase the community’s regional crafts, which included quilting. She helped bring awareness to the importance of recognizing and celebrating these regional southern traditions, and she offered classes to local residents. This position lasted for 8 years and it was during this time that she developed a passion for examining the traditions of the community, thanks to the influence of Peggy Bulger, the first folklorist to arrive on the scene. McKenzie worked with Bulger assisting in the collection of field work information, and used her interest in textiles to create a traveling exhibit of Florida basketry as well as programs on Seminole traditions, all the while finding ways to highlight the craft traditions of the Suwannee River Valley. She went on to work with the Florida Folklife Program for several years before moving on to a teaching position with the Suwannee County School system, teaching Home Economics and directing the Culinary Arts Program for the vocational center.
After retirement Merri’s interest in textiles was renewed and she joined the American Sewing Guild along with several other art organizations. Her interest in quilting was sparked in 2014 after being asked by Stephanie Metts, owner of the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe to attend a luncheon for Suzi Parron, author of Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement, to learn more about starting a Florida quilt trail. She could not attend the meeting, but the mayor of White Springs, Dr. Helen Miller, was able to go and represent the community. This event marks the exact moment that the White Springs Quilt Trail came into being. A year later, 2015, saw the dedication of the first two quilt blocks at the Adams Country Store. Twenty blocks were added the following year and a map was created to be available for tourism.
McKenzie continues to support the traditions of her community of White Springs as well as pursue other interests related to textiles. Merri and her sister, Celeste Beck, together own Goatfeathers Studio, a mixed media and fiber art studio dedicated to the exploration of all manner of textile creativity and experimentation. Together they are teaching workshops and producing trunk shows, incorporating their love of textiles and whimsical point of view.
Merri McKenzie has a Master’s Degree in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Janet Moses is a Florida Quilt Museum Board Member and a Florida native currently living in Lake City. Janet is an Award winning Artist and Muralist. She is known for her unique Primitive Folk art. Janet's five quilt block mural, which is part of the Florida Quilt Trail, is painted on the south side of the Florida Quilt Museum wall and spans over fifty feet.
Janet was born into a family that loved art. She grew up with grandparents and a mother who encouraged her creativity. She was only thirteen years old when she received a high school scholarship to study art, and she graduated at age sixteen. It is no coincidence that she was given her first “real” art kit the same year she received her scholarship. It was a gift from her Mama, who thoughtfully suggested she try painting on the walls, even back then. These early experiences helped her grow into her practice of painting scenes of the traditions we love so much.
As a young girl and teenager she loved “old things” and recycled curiosities. If it didn’t move she painted it. She was in her early twenties when she opened her first shop in Branford but her gypsy ways were already in place. This was the first of many studio shops and over the years she has enjoyed living and working in High Springs, White Springs, Madison and Lake City. She is constantly on the move and travels to art shows all over the southeast showing her painted windows and other re-purposed pieces.
Janet Moses has always loved textiles, especially vintage quilts, so it is no surprise that she has become involved in the Florida Quilt Trail. She first met Suzi Perron, author of Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement, when Stephanie Metts, owner of the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe in Trenton, invited her to a luncheon to learn about this exciting new concept. Janet was commissioned to paint a mural of quilts on the south wall of the Florida Quilt Museum in Trenton, Florida and this was the start of the many quilt blocks that Janet has created. The community of White Springs was soon on board and Janet painted all of the quilt blocks for the White Springs Quilt Trail. She has painted quilt blocks for Madison, Lake City, and High Springs with orders and interest continually increasing as the Florida Quilt Trail slowly makes its way across north Florida. Through her paintings she is able to capture the essence of many of the vintage heritage fabrics that make our memories of quilts so dear.
As an artist who sees every day as a new beginning she practices her lifelong philosophy that life is about moving and change. She lives a life surrounded by the textiles she loves and other vintage ephemera. The Blue Goose Studio in Lake City is where Janet currently works and resides when she is not having conversations with others about the Florida Quilt Trail and participating in craft shows throughout the southeast. You can contact Moses through Facebook or visit her at the Blue Goose Studio in historic downtown Lake City.