“There Are Two Kinds of Quilters.”

posted in: Day In The Life, Quilting, Work 34
My practice square from this afternoon. It ain't perfect, yet, but so what! I love applique! Photo: Me.
Messing around with a little practice needle-turn this afternoon. It ain’t perfect, yet, but so what? I love applique! Photo: Me.


Over the years of being around quilters, hearing quilters’ stories, and telling my own, I’ve come to believe that for those of us who come to quilting later in life—by that I mean people who did not grow up sewing and making quilts—there are two paths that lead us to the quilting life: joy…or pain.

Think about it: happy events like the birth of a baby, a graduation, or nuptials are perfect occasions for the gift of a quilt and indeed, many quilters point to such an occasion as the reason they got started in the first place. The baby quilt is such a popular rationale for a person’s first quilt, we in the business like to joke that it’s “the gateway drug.

Intrigued? I hope so!

That’s an excerpt from my latest Quilt Scout column, which went up today. My friend and colleague Rhianna — named after “Rhiannon,” the Fleetwood Mac song, how awesome is that?! — at Quilts, Inc., said it was her favorite column I’ve written so far. Thanks, Rhi.

Click over and read the full piece if you like, then swing back through the ol’ PG and tell me: How did you come to quilting?

However it happened, I’m glad you’re here.


Patriot Gift Shop.

posted in: Uncategorized, Washington 1
Detail, Pueblo Indian garment. Photo: Me
Detail, Pueblo Indian garment, National Museum of the American Indian. Photo: 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.