Quilty, My Quilty: The Last Taping Approacheth (For Me)

posted in: Chicago 2
If I had a nickel for every time there was a screenshot created of me mid-sentence, I would be very wealthy and would then pay to have them all removed from the Internet.
If I had a nickel for every time there was a screenshot created of me mid-sentence, I would be very wealthy and would then pay to have them all removed from the Internet.

When my St. Louis-to-D.C. flight landed late last night, we taxied on the runway; once I fetched my luggage I taxied on home and then I taxied my batooski right into bed.

Tonight and tomorrow, that’s all we got in Columbia’s District before heading onto Chicago to tape twenty-seven episodes of Quilty in three days. That’s just how good we are, brother. The days are long but the days are good and this time, they’ll be extra hard and extra good because it’s my last shoot. Many of you know now that the magazine is closing but they’re keeping the show going and I’m sure the person they put in the host position will be fabulous and do a far better job than I ever did; it’s my sincere desire that this is precisely what happens.

In St. Louis, I met so many devoted Quilty fans. It’s hard to leave. It’s really hard to leave. If I think about it too long, I feel wistful and sorry. But there are projects on the horizon that swoop in and take that maudlin business away and that’s what I grab onto. I can’t talk about anything, yet, because nothing is final, yet; counting chickens before they hatch is like, the worst job you could ever, ever want. Tedious, stinky, and you’re probably gonna be wrong.

I’ll just do the shoot this weekend and go from there.


Fly, Point, Shoot, Cut, Print: Quilty, Season Five

posted in: Work 0
It's a great show.
Quiltyworld. It’s like Disneyworld with thread and no rides. 

The only way to keep warm when I fly into Chicago on Wednesday is to come in hot, so that’s just what I plan to do. I’m finishing up preparations for the Quilty shoot and things look good from here.

We load into the raw space on Thursday. The shoot begins on Friday and will go three days. We’ll be taping the first half of Season Five for 2015. There is a new Quilty show every week online at QNNtv.com. We don’t take holidays off, so that’s a full 52 episodes a year. We tape 26 episodes at both shoots to fulfill that number.

I come up with all the content, I direct and oversee any demo materials that I don’t I personally sew myself; I select guests, write motion graphics copy, and host all 52 episodes, as well. (Guests are frequent, but they’re never on the show on their own — my goofy mug is there every time, for better or worse.) Every episode I plan has to coordinate with Quilty magazine, as well, and all of this is like herding cats, except that the cats are covered in grease and once you actually catch them, you have to give them eardrops.

Maybe it’s not quite that hard. But it’s tricky, is what I’m saying. It’s complex.

Listing all my duties and making teaching quilting on camera sound like the Human Genome Project is perhaps causing you to make a face at me. I don’t blame you, but wait, because I’m not finished.

All that I do is a drop in the bucket of all the things that must be done to make Quilty, both the show and the magazine. The man- and womanpower behind the shoots is epic. Not in terms of numbers — we have a core team totalling six, including me — but in terms of technical expertise and logistical slam-dunkery. Our unit is a machine at this point because we have made lots of mistakes over the years and this has made us better at our job. Quilty is antifragile.

The magazine has far more hands on deck than the show. A magazine, even a bi-monthly quilt enthusiast magazine, has its own nervous system. Limbic system. Subway system.

If you are a Quilty fan — especially if you’re a fan who has been with us from the beginning — you’re not really a fan of the show. You’re a fan of the work. And people do the work. So you’re a fan of the people. And that’s very sweet.

Thank you.