Thursday, September 1, 2011

the quilts of Ann Brauer--Good Night Irene

What an amazing few days this has been. This will be a short note for now. For those who don't know, my beloved studio was washed down the Deerfield River as a result of Hurricane Irene. I can't really bear to go into the details again--for those curious I have been posting regular updates on my Facebook page: If you want you can google me on YouTube--just look for Ann Brauer Hurricane Irene.  Luckily for me I was doing the American Craft Exposition in Evanston, IL and had my best quilts with me. Because the studio floated down the river and came to rest against a valiant maple tree, some of the items I had stored on higher shelves survived. Most importantly for me, the two quilts my grandmother made were dry. Some of my equipment can be salvaged. Some fabric was OK. Much of my stash was lost.

Indeed much of Shelburne Falls suffered very serious damage although we were very lucky that the entire town was not destroyed. The whole community has pulled together in so many wonderful ways. Already the streets are lined with equipment pumping water, clearing streets and helping people put their lives back together. Many businesses are still open including McCusker's,  Salmon Falls Artisans Showroom and many of the businesses on the Shelburne side of the river. The Iron Bridge is now open for pedestrian traffic.

Which leads me to the very good news. I just rented a lovely studio space on the Shelburne side of the bridge. I am right next to Dick and Dianne Muller--whom I have known for almost as long as I have been a quilt maker. I could not have nicer neighbors--and if you don't know their leather work--especially their wonderful handbags--I know you will want to stop by and see them when you visit me. The space is actually really nice with those wonderful patterned tin ceilings and those wonderful windows overlooking the sidewalk.

Sometime next week I hope to begin getting moved into the space although I am sure it will take a while to become accustomed to my surroundings. I will be at the Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton on Columbus Day week-end as usual. If I was supposed to contact you for any reason, please forgive me.

Here is a picture of my new space.

Soon my address will be 6 Bridge Street, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370 I plan to keep the same phone number. As always, if you are coming from a distance do give me a phone call since there will be lots of meetings with FEMA, MEMA and probably others. For now if you need to reach me, you can e-mail me or call me at 413 628 4014. My mail is getting held at the 2 Conway Street address.

And I am sorry but this month I just can't do a quilt of the month. I am sure you will understand.


  1. So glad to hear that your most precious items survived the trip downstream. Sounds like you're well on your way to recovering from this already.

  2. So glad you found such a wonderful spot in Shelburne Falls Ann!
    I'll stop up to visit soon and lend you a hand if you need it.

    All the best,

  3. Wow, I'm so sorry that you have had to go through this! But, it's great that you are getting so much support and that your people are OK. Your new space looks wonderful! I can't believe your studio just floated away.... How bizarre is that? Glad you were able to salvage what you could. Kudos to your spirit!

  4. Ann, I can't even imagine the feeling of having your studio just washed away... I am glad that you are safe, that most of your work and treasured heirlooms were rescued. Also glad to hear that you are starting anew. Sometimes disaster brings along something good. Warm thoughts to you and the Shelburne Falls community,

  5. I'm so sorry to hear this - what a great loss. Your personal loss and the community's losses too.

    But I'm glad to hear you're starting afresh already. Looking forward to seeing what comes out of the new space.

  6. Wow...what a story! My mother's name was Irene, and it's been interestting hearing that name so much with the hurricane.

    Also, I did a quilt called "Good Night Irene" some years ago for the IQF series "I Remember Mama" - it was all about my mom, and there were lyrics from the song on it...

  7. So happy to hear you have a new studio space! As a follower of your blog, I was dismayed to hear you were affected so much by Irene....joni

  8. Thanks everyone for your good wishes.

  9. oh unfortunate to lose much of your stash and so fortunate for some precious items to be saved. wonderful that you already had a new studio to go to. best of luck in getting all the EMA'S to help out. ;D