Note from the Editor

Have you ever gone through a period in life in which you encounter the same word or idea repeatedly? As if the universe is attempting to tell you something important? (If not, well, please humor me anyway and continue reading…)

Over the last month or so, I have continuously encountered the word “listen.”


It all started with my watching a TED Talk from radio host Celeste Headlee called “10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation.” Headlee begins by explaining that much of our inability to get along as a society stems from our inability to listen to each other. The most fundamental part of having a good conversation, she continues, lies in the ability to listen…to truly listen.

I’ll admit that it really struck a chord with me. You see, I’m what some might call “chatty.” It’s not that I’m the kind of person that likes to hear herself talk. I just tend to, by nature, talk too much and too fast, to get ahead of myself or the conversation, to fill the space, if you will.

My father, on the other hand, was a man of few words. He was quiet and reserved much of the time. He wasn’t a big talker, but he was very much a doer. And he was also an amazing listener. If you told him something—no matter how big or small—you knew he was listening. You felt heard.

As a parent, I aspire to be like my father in many different ways, but the thing that comes to mind most often when I think about his strengths: his ability to listen. I think we could all benefit from being more like him in this way.

While I was putting together this issue of Friends@Festival, I noticed a theme. Yep, you guessed it.

First, there’s the interview with textile artist Lorraine Turner, who also works as an animal communicator. As she explains it, through meditation and genuine listening, she can hear whatever message an animal is trying to communicate to her.

Then, there’s the piece on the psychology of color, and how each color in the spectrum can communicate certain associations, feelings, and moods—which means that the colors one chooses for a quilt can say a lot about the artist themselves.

Finally, in this edition of “Quilts for Good,” we highlight a couple of exhibits that will be on display in Houston…both of which include quilts that communicate the artists’ thoughts and responses to important social issues.

Among the works on display at our Houston show this year are antique quilts dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century, quilts that tell the story of family histories and cultures, quilts that celebrate the “Power of Women,” color, and quilt artists everywhere. They all have a different story to tell, and some may tell a story with which you find it difficult to relate, but I would like to encourage you to listen anyway.

We hope to see you in Houston!

Happy reading,


Rhianna Griffin

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