Member Spot Light

Member Spot Light – Becky Bucci

Becky Bucci at a recent Guild meeting

Providence has played an important part in my life. (Definition of Providence – the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power, timely preparation for future eventualities). I was born in Providence, Rhode Island. From early on I would be guided through life by an unseen hand.

I swear I was born with scissors in my hand and may have even cut my own umbilical cord. I had a passion for cutting out store coupons from my mom’s Good Housekeeping magazines and later from the Sunday flyers. My early training helped when I decided to learn to make quilts, but more about that later.

In my youth I loved to doodle (think Zentangle) and hand stitch. I embroidered on jeans, did crewel embroidery, needlepoint, cross stitch and knitting until I discovered quilting at a show by the Narragansett Bay Quilters back in the seventies. Nancy Crow was the featured artist and I was blown away by her exotic creations. I just had to do this, so the rabbit hole was opened and in I went. Somehow I learned of an in home quilt class that was starting up in West Warwick, RI, by Barbara Barber who was just learning herself.

We used plastic lids to make patterns, and scissors to cut fabric. Ah, my childhood

During this time, I was working at Kmart as an advertising coordinator. I was based in Warwick, RI and executed the weekly flyers for most of the stores in New England. I did thousands of ads and they helped me to become proficient at layouts.

My first bed size sampler quilt was an experiment in torture. I now chuckle when I look back at the agony I experienced when having to select just four fabrics. Now about 40 years later color selection is a breeze because of practice, practice, practice.

My first professional workshop was with Michael James. Many others have followed and i remain grateful for all of the many teachers that shared their knowledge with me.

I moved to Chicago around the same time as Oprah. Her producer was my neighbor’s granddaughter so we met for lunch. There was talk of my joining them for dinners out and about town but it never materialized. I did get to meet Oprah at the fifth anniversary party of USA Today. She was rather shy but gracious.

In Chicago I worked for a very fishy newspaper rep firm. Fortunately, it only lasted two years until I was hired by Gannett Newspapers as Retail Account Executive. My dream was to work for the Newspaper Association of America and they hired me in Chicago with the knowledge that I would move to Northern Virginia within six months. As director of marketing and advertising, I traveled extensively throughout the United States calling on many retail corporate offices, ad agencies and later with the NAA we hosted and attended many conferences and conventions. I established a newspaper literacy program that tied in with movie releases. I enjoyed making the rounds of studios and meeting a wide array of people. While dining at the Disney commissary I spotted Roy Disney across the room.

I went to Chicago with a small box of fabric and some cross stitch supplies. Cross stitch was portable and traveled easily, but I missed quilting and decided after a few years to get back into it. I did start collecting fabric again especially when I had down time during my travels. It was time to open myself up to machine piecing and found a quilt shop in Evanston that offered a. class. I had been a handwork only purist up til then, but knew I could get more done if I could only make friends with my machine.

After 13 years of brutal Chicago winters and two muggings within a block of my condo in Rogers Park I was delighted to move to Northern Virginia. And hallelujah I found Quilters Unlimited with over 10 chapters and 1000 members. I joined two of the chapters, Reston where I lived and Vienna where I worked. I was back in the quilting game and on my way to becoming a better and more prolific quilter.

I was fortunate to be able to retire at 57 and found Wilmington had everything I needed for a happy retirement. Providence brought me here and am so grateful to say I am a member of Quilters by the Sea.

I will be the presenter for our January 21, 2019 meeting and will speak on how quilting led me to become an artist. Hope to see you there. I will have lots of things to show. Please feel free to bring a friend.