Sioux City, Distilled.

posted in: Quilting, Tips, Travel 1
"Bing" is for bing cherry, by the way. Photo: Internet
“Bing” is for bing cherry, by the way. Photo: Internet

Greetings from fabulous Sioux City!

When’s the last time you were in Sioux City? Yeah, me neither, but I’m glad I’m here. Sioux City is pretty cool. The downtown makes a good first impression as you roll in with its copper-colored bricks, clocktower, and a few tall buildings. I consulted the oracle* to learn a bit about this town that is almost in South Dakota and almost in Nebraska.

Here are 5 notable things I’ve learned about Sioux City:

1. In 2010, Money magazine named Sioux City one of the best places to live in the world. I can’t find the article but that’s a very nice thing to say, Money, and I’m sure you had your reasons.

2. There is a creek here called Bacon Creek. Not Beacon. Not Macon. Bacon.

3. Try as I might, I cannot stop laughing over the fact that the airport code for Sioux City is SUX. It’s just not fair. Someone, please do something about this. It’s time.

4. The Twin Bing candy your ancestors ate? Made in Sioux City. It even says so on the wrapper. I feel like the Twin Bing is primed for a comeback via the post-hipster set. I can see a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Chicago working a Twin Bing foam into the pork chop dish; I can see an all-natural cosmetics company making a Twin Bing exfoliant.

5. Guess who was born here? Pauline Esther Friedman and her twin sister Esther Pauline Friedman, better known as Abigail Van Buren (“Dear Abby”) and Ann Landers, respectively. Yes! The advice columnists known for the sassy, brassy advice they gave the American people for over two centuries. Did you know those two women were sisters? Twins, even?! And did you know they hated each other and though people said they reconciled their bitter competition at some point, they totally did not? You can’t write this stuff!

And I am falling asleep in this chair, proof that you can write this stuff, but not anymore tonight.

*the Internet

Make + Love Quilts: Scrap Quilts for the 21st Century

posted in: Art, Quilting, Work 5
Dat dere's muh book!
I, libros.

I don’t have any children. But I have written a book. Because of this book, I feel I understand a thing or two about parentage and stewardship, about hard work and real fear.

(Before we get too far along, if you don’t have time to read the rest of this, I completely understand and you can just jump to pre-ordering my book right here and thank you, darling, you look exceptionally handsome/gorgeous today!)

Let’s break down the [MOTHER] is to [AUTHOR] as [CHILD] is to [BOOK] analogy:

CHILD: A moment of conception must occur (i.e., orgasm.)
BOOK: A moment of conception must occur (i.e., great idea.)

CHILD: Blastocyst = cluster of cells formed early in mammal development
BOOK: Outline = cluster of ideas formed early in manuscript development

CHILD: The expectant mother may experience extreme tiredness, mood swings, carpal tunnel syndrome, nipple tenderness.
BOOK: Expectant author may also experience all of the above. WELL SHE CAN, OKAY??

CHILD: Needs a name.
BOOK: Needs a name that will sell.

CHILD: Though each woman’s labor varies, nearly all experience degrees of severe pain in labor and delivery.
BOOK: Author labor varies, but nearly all experience degrees of severe pain throughout the editing process and delivery of manuscript.

CHILD: May arrive diseased and malformed through no direct fault of the mother.
BOOK: Totally on you.

Let us leave the analogy, then, and let me tell you about the book coming out this spring from C&T Publishing. This is not the official book blurb, this is just me, PaperGirl, talking to you.

I wrote Make + Love Quilts: Scrap Quilts for the 21st Century is my book to delight readers, artists, and quilters. There are patterns for twelve original bed-sized scrap quilts, designed by me. There is instruction that takes you through the quiltmaking process, start to finish. There are tips and advice for creating good patchwork and a good life. There are quotes on love from all kinds of folks from Nietzsche to Montaigne to Marilyn Monroe. There is stunning photography of the quilts (gorgeous style shots as well as front and back flat shots of each), the fabric used, and the Quilt Charms I had engraved and stitched on the back.

The art direction is killer. When I was on a phone meeting with the book team in California, I reached for the sky: I told them to “make this book the most beautiful book you have ever made. Ever.” I promised them I’d do my part — and they held up their end of the bargain, I assure you. The book is more beautiful than I even imagined it would be. I’ve cried several times and I haven’t even seen a bound galley copy, yet.

The book costs $22.95 and you can get it right here.

I’ll share more soon. I’m so excited. I think I made a good baby.