We interrupt the trotting out of holiday traditions for a special announcement: My latest Quilt Scout column is up! And I really do need to let you know that because I forgot to do it last week.
You’ll soon see that the column is sober in tone; that’s by design. In the piece, I examine how hard it is to learn things that challenge what we think — even what we love. It happened to me recently while I was doing quilt history research and writing it out for the ol’ Scout helped me cope. Maybe it’ll get you thinking, too.
Anywhoop, I’ll be back tomorrow with Holiday Tradition No. 2.
“There are many misunderstandings about quilts in this country (e.g., they are made with yarn). But one I am on a crusade to correct is the notion that early American scrap quilts were made by women patching together little scraps from anything they could, scrimping and saving every fiber that was leftover after making Timmy’s britches. Not true.
In fact, scrap quilts cannot be made unless there is a lot of fabric available, not a little. Think about it. If you’ve got a quilt with 40 different fabrics in it, you had 40 different fabrics in your scrap bag. That’s not scarcity: that’s abundance.”
Like these two paragraphs? Well, you can read the rest of them over at Quilts, Inc. in the latest Quilt Scout column. If you don’t learn anything (but I think you might!) you’ll definitely see a picture of a bag of my scraps and my feet show in that picture. So, I mean.
But a few weeks ago, I realized my shampoo was terrible. It was also expensive, from a shop that sells fancy French skincare and bath products. They make a lot of products I love — and my mother is such a huge fan she should be making a commission at this point for all the people she’s turned onto the brand — but the shampoo? Poo. At least for me. I kept using it though, because it seemed a shame to throw it out at that price and the bottle was gorgeous. So I kept washing my hair with the poo-shamp. But it finally had to stop. My hair is wimpy.
So to Walgreen’s I went the next day, determined to offset the high price I paid for the poo-shamp by getting some Pert this time around. I figured Pert has been on the market so long (28 years!) there’s gotta be something to it. But when I got to the drugstore and stood in the shampoo section, my soul cried. I hate, hate, hate a big plastic bottle of drugstore shampoo in my shower. Why?
Subliminally, every time I see a big drugstore bottle of shampoo, I envision myself as a freshman in my college dorm, walking to the showers with my ugly plastic bucket of toiletries: pink Bic razor; over-perfumed shower gel from Bath & Body Works; a gummy bar of soap; a toothbrush and near-gone toothpaste tube…and a big bottle of, for example, Garnier Fructis. That bilious green. That ridiculous copy on the back about silk and strength. The enormous bottle itself, enormous because Proctor & Gamble has to get the cost of the bottle up to $6.99 and the stuff only costs $.06 to make, so hey, give ’em a gallon.
But standing there, dreading making my purchase, it hit me: it’s not the product I hate. It’s the container. So… Pour the expensive poo-shamp out of the gorgeous bottle. Fill the gorgeous bottle with Pert. I could consciously fake myself out and be so happy.
And this is just what I did. I went home and did the shampoo shuffle and it totally works. Even though I know the fancy bottle does not contain $20 shampoo, it feels like $20 shampoo because of the bottle. My life has totally changed. Do I need expensive shampoo? No. Do I need to feel happy and fancy in my shower? Yes, because I just do. But I can have both.
Also, Pert is not necessarily a product you need to run out and get.
I told you I’d be sharing some surprises. Here’s the first one:
Beginning this month, I have the honor and pleasure of writing an exclusive, bimonthly column for Quilts, Inc., the esteemed institution that brings you International Quilt Market and Festival each year, making it arguably the central nervous system of the entire quilt industry. I’m happy to report my imposter syndrome kicked in immediately after they asked me to do this, which is really the only appropriate response to something so cool.
I’ve titled the column, “The Quilt Scout” because I’ll be going out and getting information pertaining to every nook and cranny “of quilt.” I wrote a long list of the different things I plan to do with the column, but I deleted it. You’ll just have to see. The Quilt Scout will be a little like PaperGirl, but focused around the one topic, of course, and Quilts, Inc. probably won’t let me tell stories like this, not that I’d try — at least not for awhile.
Look, I was a writer before I was a quilter. I supported myself as a freelancer for a number of years before tectonic plates slid me over into the quilt world. Having my two worlds converge in an official capacity is more satisfying than I can possibly express. It’s no surprise to me that the pieces I’ve been writing and turning in practically write themselves: there’s no friction here, no dragging myself to the computer. I didn’t realize it, but I’ve been dying to write The Quilt Scout for years.
Head over to Quilts.com and sign up for newsletter alerts, or just bookmark the page on your browser. I’ll have an official schedule at some point as to when my column drops during the month. Until then, know that The Quilt Scout is on the case, barely concealing her excitement as she fact checks, combs through back issues of Quilter’s Newsletter, interviews superstars, and chews on yet another pencil.