Today is Small Wonders Wednesday, and that means there are parties happening all over the world, many which begin at dawn and last for three days. The Small Wonders festivals draw 100,000+ people at a time and there are vendors, concerts, and dozens of food trucks. None of this is true, but we’re working on it.
Nope, Small Wonders Wednesday means giveaways, contests, prizes, things like that, all related to a beautiful line of fabric featuring archival prints from the Civil War-era to the Depression-era, from the 1870s to the 1970s and back. The line is Small Wonders: all small-scale prints that are as irresistible as that bag of Dove chocolates in your desk drawer. The first group is “World Piece” and features tiny icons and prints representing those continents/countries on cotton fabric. You can get the fabric at your LQS or online at many fine online fabric retailers.
All the fabric in the world won’t do you much good if you don’t have a beautiful sewing machine, though. Well, you could win one. We’re in the first month of the Small Wonders BabyLock Quilt Contest. A BabyLock Lyric is yours if yours is the winning quilt — and you get a bunch more really, really great prizes for that 1st place spot. But if you’re runner up, you’re still showered with prizes. The 3rd place winners get goodie bags, too, so there are opportunities for winning all over the place. Entries opened January 1st and will close March 31st. Entries are coming in, but you’ve got plenty of time to whip something up. Win or not, you will have a great time playing with the fabric and you’ll have a quilt at the end of your efforts.
I’m in Door County and will stay for about a week. There are many fun things to see and do up here. The last time I was at our family’s lake house there was a wedding taking place. There are no weddings going on right now because a) no one is engaged and b) hypothermia is real.
Washington Island is cold this time of year. Right now it’s five degrees outside. The Island has a year-round population of 660, which means 660 people don’t think a winter this cold and snowy is that big of a deal, though I think the number is misleading: there have to be some folks who take off for Daytona Beach for, say, the months of January and February. They’d still count as year-round, probably.
But cold and the ice make beautiful air and beautiful pictures, and that I’m here at all proves I like that air and those pictures a lot. When a bright sun shines off a subzero Lake Michigan and you’re on the puffy couch, with tea, counting swans, you don’t mind that you have to wear two coats later and pull on actual long underwear if you want to go on a walk.
Today, I fell through the ice on the lake and that was not great. When I say I “fell through the ice,” I mean that I fell through the ice. And when I say I fell through the ice, I meant that I took one step, then another step, then fell through the ice. I was not submerged. But I went down and I felt water. I was walking on the table rocks at the shore and, like an idiot, pranced over to look at a plant completely encased in ice that looked like glass and did not picture in my mind what the ground is like when it is not covered in ice, itself: big rocks with lots of spaces between them. In the summer, water is flowing around these rocks. Ergo, in winter, ice around the rocks. Ice that will surely be varying levels of thickness.
I’m okay. No blood, just sputtering. And don’t worry, I wasn’t alone. Claus was with me. When he heard the crash-splash, he ran to make sure I was okay but he didn’t come too far out on the ice. He could see I was going to make it. And I did; I made it back into the house and then I made minestrone and everything was fine.
I got a gift from a relative today. It’s a spiral-bound book made from my paternal grandmother’s recipe collection. Venita died several years ago and had amassed many recipes over her homemaking years in Houston, TX. That the recipes have been compiled is very sweet and it was a kind gesture to send me a copy. There is a problem, however.
These recipes make me violently ill. I’ve been through this 200-page book twice and can’t find a thing I would even consider making in my kitchen. These are not mysterious and delicious knäckebröd recipes brought over from the old country; there are no inked-in notes from my grandmother’s grandmother, warning against too much salt or suggesting a helpful whisk technique. That would be a mazing. No, this is a compendium of recipes lifted straight from the pages of Better Homes & Gardens and similar magazines published between 1950-1979. Here’s what that means:
Apricot Cheese Salad — that’s gonna be cheddar Fruit Cocktail Mold — contains hard-boiled egg and pimento Hot Turkey Salad — includes crushed potato chips, grated onion, and “squirt of Tabasco” Crunchy Veg Casserole — with frozen cauliflower and 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
An astonishing number of these recipes call for olives. Green, black, stuffed — just when you think an appetizer is going to escape the olive treatment, ohp! There it is! Also included in the book are menus. These are records of all the foods served at various luncheons and gatherings my grandma attended. It’s incredibly sweet that she kept such records. It’s also deeply depressing. I’m sorry, but I cannot read these menus without a tear rolling down my face for a generation of women who would’ve loved to be working on the Human Genome Project but instead were making sure they got tips for Loretta’s ham loaf before they left the living room. Why, here’s a menu now:
Menu #15 — Bridge Luncheon at Sandra’s
1. Chicken Salad
2. Potato Salad — large leaves around inside of bowl. Tomato peeled and opened like a large flower in center on top of salad
3. Avocado gelled salad in mold
4. Layrered Jello — in square pan. Layer of clear Jello on top, then diet cream cheese (pink color), then layer of clear gelatin
5. Fruit salad
6. Egg salad in Knox gelatin — in loaf — very good
7. Salted nuts
8. Coffee and punch
That’s three instances of Jello. I know: I live in a country so wealthy I can afford to make fun of food; my disdain for my dearly-departed grandmother’s recipe collection is (almost) as gross as the celery-and-macadamia nut “ring mold” on page 59. I have shame. I also have a moral dilemma. Do I keep this book? I do not want it. I loved my grandmother. But I do not want this. What do you do with a gift that doesn’t fit, is supposed to be imbued with sentimental value, and can’t be re-gifted?
Wait a minute… Do any of you want it?! I’m serious! It would be really cool to send it to someone who is into ’50s and ’60s food! There have to be people out there who like it, even in an ironic way. I’d be so happy to send it to you if you’ll use it. Please email me. First-come, first-served. So to speak.
Fall Quilt Market is the biggest trade show of the year for the 4 billion-dollar-a-year quilt industry I accidentally started working in five-and-a-half years ago. It’s a Quilts, Inc. production and it is intense. Here’s what people do at Quilt Market:
– Wear their Sunday best
– Write business
– Take meetings
– Booze (Not at the level of a pharmaceutical sales rep convention, but there’s a little drankin’ and aren’t you surprised? Mm? Quilters drink liquor? Scandal?)
– Go to dinner
– Make deals
– Take names
– Chew bubblegum
– Break hearts
So really it’s just another day in the life of a quilter who took her/his hobby to the Next Level. Hey, speaking of Next Level, this Quilt Market is a big one for me. Maybe the biggest one yet. For years — years! — I’ve been circling a dream project and for months — months! — I’ve known that the dream project would launch next week but I’ve been sworn to secrecy. At this point, the pain of withholding the thing is almost physical.
Do you want to know what the big project is? Do you? Are you ready to freak out? Are you ready for totally amazing, fully incredible, head-slappingly gorgeous images to flood your cerebral cortex? It will all happen so soon! I’m the world’s worst secret-keeper; if I wasn’t in fear of mucking up the whole thing for me and the brilliant company I’m working with, I’d just out with it.
But maybe I could tell you something else. Maybe I could let a different cat out of the bag. Maybe I could finally tell you the other secret I’ve got. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. Here goes: I’m pregnant. No, no, no. That’s not it. I’m not pregnant. Let’s see, what was it… Oh, right:
This weekend I met hundreds of sweet, talented quilters at Meissner’s sew/quilt haven in Sacramento. Generous stacks of my book, Make + Love Quilts: Scrap Quilts for the 21st Century, went quickly, especially when you consider everyone in the shop was drooling over the newest BabyLock machines and waiting for my mom to come out of the bathroom so she could sign their first issue of Love of Quilting.
The good news is that there are books left! I’d love to sign a copy of Make + Love for you and send it to your house/apartment/yurt. The bookstore price is $22.95, but I’ll give you for $20, plus $5 shipping and handling. Yeah, it turns out to be about the same amount of money, but it’s signed. Can’t get that on eBay! (I hope.)
The book is my first and includes 12 original scrap quilt patterns for bed-sized quilts and a lot of sparkling content. You get full instructions, tips, and various extras in the book, including this quote from Marilyn Monroe: “It’s not true I had nothing on. I had the radio on.” I’m serious, that is in my quilt book. You’ll see.
Click on the Make + Love Book tab on my website. Scroll down and you’ll find a PayPal button. You don’t need a PayPal account to buy the book. Click the button! PayPal will give me your shipping address. Please let me know who to make the book out to if the name is different from the person paying. I will get books out as soon as I can; my goal is within three (3) days of ordering, but with my travel schedule, be kind. I’ll let you know if it will be much longer than that. Books will be sent media mail.
Isn’t it nice to buy something not through Amazon? If you haven’t done that lately, give ‘er a shot.
*If you live in a country that is not the USA, I’ll happily send a book, but we have to get together on shipping. So put a note in your order when you click it to me.
To the number of friends I need to return calls and texts from: forgive me. Feeling poorly then mustering the will to still get out and do things with my friend before he leaves has me stretched a thin. I will repay you in cups of coffee shared in an air-conditioned cafe. It is so blinkin’ hot and humid here everyone is constantly wet and warm to the touch. It’s sexy, really.
Yesterday, I spent time at the National Museum of the American Indian. Between that visit and the visit a few days ago to the Museum of American History, my patriotism looks like it’s been taken into a back alley and been given a lesson with a baseball bat.
Here’s a definition for you:
patriot (n.) A person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors
I’m on board with the “prepared to defend it against enemies” part. If Country X tried to invade my hometown of Winterset, IA., I’m on the next plane to Des Moines and I’ll be taking that baseball bat with me, thank you very much. I could not understand how someone would choose not to defend their home against someone who wanted to take it. There’s pacifism and there’s pacifism.
But Dictionary, you usually solve all my problems and this time you have not. This is not helpful, Dictionary: “a person who vigorously supports their country.” Dictionary, either you’re being vague or the word “patriot” (and “patriotism”) is problematic. I think it’s the latter, Dictionary, but don’t go anywhere, yet.
I support democracy as a concept. I support the idea of state’s rights and federal rights. I vigorously support freedom of speech, the freedom to assemble, definitely a free press, etc. But to “support [my] country” is impossible. Straight up, no chaser, support my country? No way. That would imply blind faith. It would imply the end of inquiry. It would imply I’m not reading the news. It would imply that everything I saw yesterday at the American Indian Museum about white settlers’ merciless cruelty toward and ungodly ruin of the people living peacefully in what is now Winterset, IA (for example) was justified and played out just the way it should’ve played out. I don’t support that. I reject that and need to excuse myself to go vomit. Am I still a patriot?
Perhaps being a patriot means questioning all of this, being an active participant in the discussion of one’s national culture or national identify. But that’s not what you said it means, Dictionary, and in a few days I’ll be at Monitcello and there are slave’s quarters there, so.
A major selling point for my apartment here in the Kennedy Warren building was its proximity to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, otherwise known as “the zoo.” The sweet leasing agent who showed me around the place said, “So the zoo’s your next door neighbor, which is coo. If the wind is right, you can hear the zebras.” She barely got the word “zebras” out before I said those three thrilling/terrifying words:
“I’ll take it.”
And the zoo really is immediately next door. There is no high-rise, no cluster of homes to the east because the zoo is there. I have been through the zoo many times and still haven’t seen all the animals; pandas are apparently agoraphobic, the reptile house is always closed, and sea lions are lazy, I guess. When I do catch an animal out at meal time (zebras eat a lot of hay) it’s thrilling; like any other sensitive person, however, it bothers me to see a wild animal behind glass. I’m still not sure how I feel about it all, especially because of what happened the other day. What happened the other day is that I heard a lion roar. And roar. And roar.
Have you ever heard a lion roar? A real-life lion less than 200 feet away? I’m sure National Geographic specials viewed in HD with movie theater-grade sound does a decent job of it, but it ain’t the same. The duration and the start of a real lion’s roar might follow the MGM lion’s script, but what a digital lion can never create is the deep, vibrate-your-chest, subwoofer bass at the bottom of the roar and it’s not coming from speakers. It’s coming from that animal, right over there. Think breath. Think chest cavity. Think communication across miles.
If someone asked you to tell them what you know about lions, without question you’d say that the lion is “the king of the jungle.” When you hear a big, big lion roar, those words will actually become true for you. The lion is the king of the jungle without question. Nothing can do what that thing does. Nothing sounds like that. There’s nothing as strong, nothing as beautiful, and nothing as terrifying, either — that sound is designed to make you run.
I haven’t told anyone this story from the road trip yet because there is shame involved. It’s a tad longer, but stay with me because it’s got a great payoff.
One night in Utah, I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. This was not unusual, so before lights out, I had done my preparations. That night was a sleep-in-the-car night, which meant that once the seats in the SUV were released and the make-shift bed was made, I put my flip-flops, Handi-Wipes, and fluffy roll of TP into the cubby in the passenger-side door. On the hook above the window, I hung my hoodie and the car keys.
When you are inside a locked car and then try to leave it, unless you first unlock it, the car alarm will sound when you open the door. You must then stab your fob’s “Alarm Off” function, sixty times to get it to stop. When we camped in the car, of course my friend and I locked up once we were inside. This meant that in the middle of the night, when I would get up and go to the bathroom (read: bush), I would have to locate the keys in the dark, make sure I unlocked the car, then exit. Exiting, by the way, was a Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus clown car routine: I squeezed out the door and essentially did a sommersault onto the grass.
We were in a public park that night, so the spot I found was near the public bathroom facilities. I say “near” because the facilities were locked up at sundown, something I found out when I tried to open the door. Okay, no problem. The lights inside the brick structure appeared to be motion-sensored, so I jumped up and down and got the lights to go on, which threw light onto the grass behind the building. It wasn’t a lot of light, but it was enough to “go” by, heh, heh. So I went. Because it was 3am and there was only a dim light by which to see, I covered up my…visit with leaves and sticks and earth matter with every intention — this is important — with every intention to clean everything up in the morning. I respect my National Parks! Bleary eyed, sleepy, with grass in my hair but much relieved, I tumbled back into the car and went to sleep.
In the morning, I looked for the keys to unlock the door before Claus and I got out and made tea. No keys. Not under the sleeping bags. Not on the floor by the seats. Not in the front. Not in the back. We were trapped in the car. If we opened the door, the alarm would scream and, not having keys, there would be no way to turn it off. It was getting really hot inside that car. We finally determined that we could open the car doors because the dashboard screen said, “No fob detected,” which, considering the situation, is the best example of a “mixed blessing” ever.
We took a deep breath and opened the doors. No alarm sounded. The keys were nowhere. They were really, really nowhere. I combed the park, convinced I had sleepwalked the perimeter in my pajamas and dropped the keys. Claus looked under the car twelve times. We looked for an hour and then I began to cry. Those keys, impossibly, were Gone. Do you know how much it costs to get a replacement key for a rental car? Both cell phones were dying. This was a bad, bad situation. Oh, and one other thing: I looked many times around the makeshift bathroom area I had created at 3am. Not only were the keys not there, but my bathroom, such as it was, was not there. I didn’t have to clean anything because there was nothing there. No paper, no leaf cover. Someone had cleaned.
I called the Park District. Had someone been by? Had they found keys at XYZ Public Park near Zion?? I was going to clean up! Please! Don’t judge me! And okay, judge me, but did someone find keys for heaven’s sake?? Nothing here, they said, but you could talk to the police. I was patched to the station and I blubbed the story to the officer there, that I have a condition that makes me have to poop all the time [sorry] and I have to go in the night, and was it at all possible that a Park District person came through, saw that there was an…incident, and cleaned up and maybe found car keys nearby?? Somehow??
There was a silence. Then:
“Well, I’ve got your keys,” the officer said.
I almost fell off the memorial stone slab I was sitting on. “You do??? You DO???” I flapped my hands at Claus. “You have them?? But…but how? Oh, god… Someone found my… Oh, no, oh no…” And I began blubbing again that I’m not a bad person, that I’m a law-abiding citizen (mostly) and, “I’m so, so sorry that –”
“First of all, you can’t be campin’ in the park,” he said. “And yeah, the guy who does the bathrooms over there found the mess. He waddn’t too happy ’bout it, either. Stepped right into it. He found the keys in the grass there and brought ’em over to us. I can get ’em over to you in about an hour when I’ve taken care of this other thing.”
I wept. I told the officer that I would pay any fine he’d slap me with and would enjoy paying it. He said that wasn’t necessary. When he brought the keys I again begged him to let me give him money. He declined and said it was all no big deal and to get along, now. I think he took pity on a girl who had slept in a car and had to poop in the middle of the night.
Later, Claus said that in the early morning, he had heard what he thought were two men arguing. We figure it was the cleaning guy, shouting and hollering when he discovered the situation. I’ll have you know from then on, I did not wait until the morning to clean up any bathroom area I created. Turns out there are these things called flashlights.
My Facebook page seems to be down. I have sent an email to Facebook, but ironically, Facebook does not have an actual face. My filled-out online form may be swimming in the Facebook Sea. Until someone who is not a robot gets back to me, forgive me for the non-updates.
For now, enjoy the above photo of a house being packed up. Do you know what I did today? I packed up my house. My move is in two phases: move my things to my new place (Phase 1) and fetch my belongings from Chicago (Phase 2).
I’m very good at packing these days. Tomorrow night, I sleep in my treehouse. I sleep to wake to a view of the Klingle Valley. I wake to boxes to unpack, yes, but I wake to sunshine. I know, because I checked the forecast.
Goodnight, box. Oh, and the Facebook page. I’ll get to is as soon as I can, and that’s a gay-run-tee!
I hung out with my new friend Carla last night at a cafe where everyone was way, way cooler than I will ever be. Carla and I were jamming on quilt world trends and interests. Carla is a proficient quilter and, in my view, has her finger squished squarely on the pulse of the Internet as it relates to quilts, quilters, and quiltmaking in America in 2015. I am not good at keeping up on all this because I am not good at keeping up on voicemail, let alone what hot UK designer is doing with partial seams. I’m not proud of it, but at least I know who to ask.
The conversation turned at one point to my own position in the quilt blogosphere. (I didn’t bring it up, please note!) It was uncomfortable to hear that in Carla’s estimation, I could do a lot better with sharing my quiltmaking process, the projects I have going, the day-to-day life I have as a person who regularly works with fabric and thread.
“It does seem that your projects sort of emerge when they’re done,” Carla said, munching a pear from her salad. “People like to see process. They want to know you better as a designer, I think, as a fellow quilter.”
Thus, a picture of my sewing table. My sewing table is also my table-table. I have no other table in this furnished apartment and it’s a good thing, too: to have a second table just for breakfast, say, I’d have to stack it on top of this one and then where would I put my washer and dryer? What you’re looking at up there is a fresh crop of fabric purchased in Kansas City; materials from the class I taught at the DC Modern Guild a couple weekends ago; my sewing machine; a candle that should not be there; flowers from my friend Jason that are very nearly dead but so beautiful I can’t toss, yet; and under all that, my mat, seam ripper, rotary cutter, a pattern I’m drafting, and previews of art for my upcoming fabric line.*
My design wall is directly behind the table and there are several things happening there, too. If PaperGirl were a vlog and not a blog, I would show you a full tour of my sewing area, but PaperGirl is not a vlog, will never be a vlog, and while we’re on the subject, I will never say “vlog” out loud, nor will I ever write it, ever again. Humans are capable of making good choices, as it turns out, and not allowing “v*og” into the vernacular is proof of this.
In the months to come, I plane to do a bit more curtain-drawing in this manner. There are big projects afoot and I’m champing at the bit to share about them. But don’t be surprised if one of these days “PaperGirl Too” pops up and Pendennis and I take you through how to make the quilt perpetually on my mind.
My apartment search began downtown, but I soon realized that in Washington, you get a lot less for your money downtown than in Chicago, far as I can tell. For about $2500 or so, you’re going to land roughly 600 square feet. (This is a lot of money for not a lot of feet, in case you haven’t apartment-shopped lately.) As is typical in an urban area, the further out you get, the more feet you get for the money, so explored the neighborhood of Cleveland Park, just a few metro stops from where I live now. I like the neighborhood — lots of trees, a popular main drag with intriguing cafes, an old movie house, and a sewing machine shop! I found a few buildings I liked and had an appointment to see them.
But I got turned around. I was headed the wrong direction on Connecticut Avenue and that is one long, diagonal street — not a great street to be on if you want to mix up your east-west because you got a long way to backtrack, girl. But sometimes what we think is bad is good (and vice versa) — and I’m pretty sure it was good that I got lost because I walked past a building that took my breath away. Let me describe it to you.
The building is massive. I have learned there are 429 units in the Kennedy-Warren and that it was built in the 1930s. A fountain burbles in the center of the cul-de-sac, producing this tall column of water that falls onto itself and into the pool. The building is Art Deco, so the lines are long and the details are graphic (I’m not sure that’s a very good way to describe Art Deco but it’s true, anyhow.) The color of the stone is blonde and there are so many green trees all around the courtyard that I felt like I was in a garden.
“Woooooah” I said, and wandered in.
A doorman opened the door for me and I walked into this head-slappingly gorgeous lobby. The interior of the KW is a throwback: it’s a slice of the past, chrome and sea foam green, chandeliers and settees. Wood. A mezzanine. I was looking around, mouth open, and sort of floated to the front desk. I asked if there were units available in the building and the lady said, “Yes, I’ll call the leasing office.”
Fast forward. I go with the agent to see a one-bedroom. 800+ square feet and not as expensive as downtown. The floors are wood. I’d be on the 10th floor. The cabinets in the kitchen are all the original ones from the 1930s (repainted, clearly.) The building is immaculate. And as I mentioned in my last post, my windows look out over (and into, practically) the Klingle Valley below, which sits directly beside the building; it’s also close to the zoo, which is appropriate for me, I think. The leasing agent gal said that when she lived there, she could hear the bleating of the zebras when the wind was just right. Zebras, people. Zebras.
Oh, and the building has a bar in it. Yeah. A bar-lounge. And there’s a movie room where they play classic movies once a month. There’s a ballroom. And my favorite room so far is the South Lounge, which is decorated like your cool, bachelorette grandmother’s living room. There’s an Art Deco pool on the 11th floor. There’s a patio on the roof. And did I mention zebras are my neighbors?
I applied and was approved. There’s a month of free rent for new tenants, which is good. When I went the other day to turn in my deposit and my lease, I went to look at my unit again and I just stayed in that empty place for a little while. It was quiet and full of light and I knew I had made the right choice, at least for now.
Look, it’s another move. And it’s gonna cost money. I’m bringing my stuff from Chicago. It’s real, and it’s on. But my sister’s wedding comes before the move. That’s the focus now — the wedding is Memorial Day weekend, which is basically tomorrow — and at this point, after this year, I have the tiniest belief that things tend to work themselves out.
I must confess a strange sense of embarrassment when I the surgeon told me he saw a small gallstone on my CT scan. Aren’t gallstones what obese men in their late fifties get when they eat cheeseburgers all day, watch SportsCenter and smoke Pall Malls? My brain also connected “gallstone” with “kidney stone” and boy, I’ve heard some horrific stories about those things. Really, any time a doctor says the word “stone” in conjunction with the words “inside” and “your,” you’ve got some thinking to do.
When I got home and stopped barfing, I read up on gallbladders and what can go wrong with them. A person can get gallbladder cancer, but this is extremely rare. (There’s a terrible, terrible joke here, barely: Q: What did the gallbladder say to cancer? A: “What am I, chopped liver?”) No, it’s mainly just gallstones that afflict our gallbladders. But why and how? First, we have to understand what the gallbladder is for: it does stuff with bile. That’s it, that’s all I can tell you. It’s not important. Well, it isn’t! You can have your gallbladder removed, so how important can it be? Your honor, I rest my case.
Still, you don’t want things going awry in there, and then things do. Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid. Considering that my guts are made of cotton candy and popsicle sticks, that I would have a digestive fluid problem isn’t a huge leap. Many people have gallstones; most people don’t know they do and don’t have to know because most gallstones are small and harmless. They form for various reasons and yes, one of the reasons is having high cholesterol due to many, many cheeseburgers and no exercise, Pall Malls, etc. But some gallstones form because…well, why shouldn’t they? Don’t judge a gallstone for wanting to live. Gallstones are just like you and me.
My friend told me this morning that he had a terrible time with his gallbladder and nearly had to have it removed; he avoided this in the eleventh hour thanks to medicine and fluids. He did say the pain he experienced was the worst of his life. He passed out and he’s no fainting goat.
I have zero symptoms, though. I think I’m one of the people who will never have to deal with my stone (I like to refer to it as my little “gallpebble,” thank you.) If they have to take it out, though, I ain’t scurred. Actually, it would be kind of exciting. Taking out my gallbladder would increase the number of organs I’ve had excised from three to four. If you count tonsils and four wisdom teeth, now I’m getting to be a real conversation piece. Oh, and there were a couple suspicious moles removed a few years back. Hm. Parts of my body are just flying off into space, aren’t they?
Tomorrow we examine (in words, in words!) my cyst. What nerve! What gall!
This dream involves tiny little kittens drinking milk (see above), ships with wee flags flying, and very small dots and chits and needles and spools printed in blacks, blues, and reds on yards and yards of snow, oyster, and cream-colored cotton fabric. In short: I want to design a line of conversational prints and shirting prints for quilters. Definitions:
Conversational prints: also called “I spy” fabrics; any fabric printed with a small-scale, recognizable picture in it, such as cats, dogs, gondolas, paperclips, etc. — something you might strike up a conversation about, as in “Hey, is that a tiny pegasus on that fabric?”
Shirting prints: cotton printed with small, usually simple figures. Typically grounded in whites (or, with a white or off-white background.)
Brothers and sisters, it’s killin’ me! More than anything in the world, more, even, thanonemeelliondollars, t’would be my heart’s delight to design a Mary Fons line of conversational and shirting prints for quilters. Because I love them. I use them. I seek to find them.
Conversational prints and shirtings with darling design, they delight and inspire. They feel like a surprise. “Oh! Look at that little kitten drinking milk!” converts to, “I love this quilt!!” There’s a quilt in my book called Whisper that is made of conversational prints and shirtings. So far, I have heard more people say Whisper is their very favorite quilt in the book. I’m not surprised at all.
So I’d love to curate my very own line and share my love with all my fellow quilt geeks. But I can’t. and it’s okay, at the end of the day, because it’s for solid reason: I’m a magazine editor.
I can’t have a line of fabric with a fabulous, incredible, amazing fabric company because then the other fabulous, incredible, amazing fabric companies that advertise in the magazine I edit will rightfully be annoyed. In publishing, “annoyed” quickly leads to “see ya later” vis a vis advertising and sponsor support and this is bad for everyone (me, fabric company, consumer, etc.) So for now, no fabric for me and, painful as it is, I understand and respect the problem. I’m not whining. For me to do fabric, I’ll either have to stop being an editor, or we’ll all have to start living in a world where media and advertising are not interrelated and interdependent. Neither of these options seem terribly likely. And that is okay.
Until something changes, my quilting friends, do this for me:
1) please send me any hot tips on great conversationals to me — I’d love to do some shopping
2) post your favorite conversational prints (and shirtings) on my FB page — that would be so fun!
3) keep quilting, no matter what fabrics make your “favorite” list