Jane Grayson

By Cathy Skrypek

Recently I was asked how well I knew Jane Grayson and if I would write an article about her. It took me a moment to think about how long we have known each other. Jane and I met about twelve years ago at a quilt class at Calico Quilters only to discover we lived “across the street” from each other. Small world! Our friendship grew as we worked on our first Olympic Project quilt and then our second. Our quilts were presented to the Olympic Committees in Brunei Darussalam and Guinea. Anyone involved in quilting in Georgia knows Jane as an excellent, fun-loving instructor and has benefited form her tips, techniques and classes. Behind that smile and high energy level is a fascinating history.

A native of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Jane earned her degree in nursing from the New England Deaconess School of Nursing about the time husband Bob was stationed at Fort Devens. Before long, they met. Married in 1953, they were soon stationed in Okinawa with a six-month old son. Within three years they were stationed in Helsinki, Finland and three years later in Athens, Greece. It was 29 below when they left Helsinki and 55 degrees when they arrived in Athens. How’s that for flexibility? Another tour took the family to Quito, Ecuador for two years then Bob was assigned to a post in Vietnam.
Bob retired from the Army in 1970 and attended computer school. Soon he was working for the government in Fairfax, County, Virginia and Jane returned to the working world. She became an operating room nurse at Fairfax Hospital and in six years was the Director. Are you surprised? Almost fourteen years ago they visited son Larry in Cumming and decided to move. Today they live in the same house they bought after that visit.

Since 1987, Bob has volunteered at the library, the Sheriff’s office, the literacy program and Baptist Medical Center, Cumming, where he manages data base information and his computer skills are very much appreciated. Jane used her OR nursing skills when she volunteered at the same hospital. Today she is involved in the community service aspect of the hospital. In January 2001 she was elected treasurer of the gift shop. They want to keep active and involved in the community.
In her spare time, when not visiting with two-year old grandson Paul, Jane works at Quilted Hearts in Gainesville. She is an avid quilter and teaches classes. Jane belongs to the Piecemakers Quilt Guild where she served as Treasurer for four years, was a recent member of Cumming Sunset Quilters where she served four years as Vice President and taught many techniques to improve our skills, and is an active member of the Georgia Quilt Council where she recently served as Physical Assets chairperson for four years.

Every serious quilter dreams of a quilting room or studio, a special place to work. Together Bob and Jane built her Quilting Shack, a stand alone building five feet from their back door. The shack was two years in the making and is a large room with all the comforts required to exercise her creativity, i.e. three Bernina sewing machines, shelves and cabinets for her fabric, library and works in progress, a microwave, refrigerator, sink and four large conference tables.

Her vital interest in new and varied techniques is displayed on the walls and beds in her home, as well as the samples at Quilted Hearts. She is disciplined and has the wonderful ability to stay focused and on target to finish projects while mulling over and thinking through her next project(s). She generously shares her knowledge and, in her successful ABCs of quilting class, has introduced over 130 new quilters to our wonderful world of quilting.

This is my friend Jane, and I am proud to be her friend.

February 2001