Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dream a Little Quilty Dream....

Every time I read my favourite Quilt magazine, I take an extra-long look at the end of the featured patterns, where they show how the quilt would look in a completely different colour combination. I stop, I linger, and I drool. Laura Boehnke earns her living, feeds her family, and keeps the wolf from the door by testing new patterns for the magazine and working them up in various colour combinations.

"She tests every pattern we publish to make sure the instructions are accurate. Her ability to see optional colourways for a pattern makes Laura's work popular with our readers."

Yes. They PAY her to do that!

What I want to know is---Where was I when they were handing out jobs like that? Was I pre-occupied with trying to coax extremely-bored-with-P.E. teenage girls into some semblance of physical exertion? Or helping enthusiastic young mothers teach their howling babies to swim? Or maybe those jobs were on offer while I was busy wiping--- bottoms-noses-tears? Another case of life getting in the way.........

So, since I'm not racing off every morning to my high powered magazine job, I content myself with..........volunteering to select the block for our quilt guild's Block of the Month. Churn dash and nine patches and log cabins and stars are nice classic blocks, but the block of the month is a chance to try something different, something more challenging, something you might balk at making thirty six of, but ONE? Come on, it won't take long, and I promise to give very clear instructions! You pay fifty cents for the instructions and hand in the finished block at the next month's meeting for a chance to win ALL of them. If you win you have the makings of a quilt---and you only had to sew ONE block. Sweet deal, no?

But many of the ladies are elderly. Some have weak hearts. They don't want excitement, and they know what they like. And what they like is "quick and easy."
High-falutin' ideas from whippersnappers are not always greeted with wild enthusiasm.

Hence my dilemma.

Since what I like is adventure, challenge and excitement.[Don't forget, we're talking quilting here.]
I thought about socking them with this,

but didn't want to be beaten about the head and neck.....which the combination of hand work AND circular piecing might incite some of our members to....

This seemed like an unusual little gem,

until I found out [personal experience!] how easy it was to sew together ass-backwards.......

Then I found this, similar but simpler, version.

And liked it so much I made three.

When I ran it by She-who-must-approve, however, she thought it too small at 7" square, and could I make it larger, say 12"or 14"?

So, back to the drawing board, where, having no luck finding a compass, high or low, I nearly strangled myself trying to draw arcs of circles with a primitive contraption contrived from a pin and a pencil and enough thread to hang myself. Don't ask.
Enough to say my strengths don't lie in drafting.

But even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while, and soon I devised a cunning plan. I would take the triangular template from the 7" version and extend the two long sides.... It worked.....I went from feeling very frustrated to smugly patting myself on the back.

Passed it out at the guild meeting last week with the advice to stitch at least the middle by hand. Fingers crossed I won't get any irate phone calls.....

I'd still love that job! Eventually Ms. Boehnke will want to retire to the country to raise rabbits and string beans, won't she? If I send in my resume now, they'll have it in hand when she steps down ....and I can step up..... to dreamland!


StitchinByTheLake said...

I love this post! I feel your pain...I'm president of my guild and sometimes getting some positive responses is like pulling teeth. Best wishes for no phone calls and lots of beautiful blocks. Blessings, marlene

Anonymous said...

I hope for the block selected was well received. Whip out the circle as the alternative, then they'll all go for the kaleidoscope block!

Pam said...

I want to come to your quilting guild! Pleasepleaseplease can you relocate it to Edinburgh for me?

So you used to be a PE teacher? A swimming teacher? Hmm. Very interesting.

Great post.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Send it in!!!!

And I will give you a glowing reference.
And you will get the dream job.
And someone else can be the new upstart in your town.

Loved "...High-falutin' ideas from whippersnappers".... so funny, because it's true!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

meggie said...

Great post. That is the reason why I steer clear of any task where I might be in charge! The only one I want to please is me! Selfish, no?

~ej said...

they're all wonderful! i'm still struggling with sewing a straight line and keeping my knitting all on the loom! :)

Thimbleanna said...

Great blocks Miss Molly! I hope the ladies will like that pattern. I've always wanted to make a kaleidoscope quilt -- I've seen some really beautiful fabric combinations done with it. And good for you for opening that box!!!