Thursday, September 29, 2011

The P.T.B. Quilt in Pictures

Yesterday, the quilt I made for the reader who gave me a plane ticket so I could go see my brother just after his brain surgery last year was delivered to its forever home.

From The Bitchy Stitcher

From The Bitchy Stitcher

Do you see what I mean about Lisa's quilting transforming it into something beyond just a mere quilt? She made it special, which is exactly what it needed to be for my PTB. (sadly the sun would NOT come out all weekend while I was trying to photograph it, and I just couldn't get the exposure right - thus the dark pics) (Okay I just photoshopped the exposure - maybe that's better).

It feels very, very good to close this particular circle. And even better knowing that I have people like Lisa and the PTB (and you, sweet goodness yes, all of you) on this journey with me.

I will get back to being funny at some point, really. But right now, I just feel like hugging everyone I see. Except that guy at the grocery store who called me "Sir." Him I want to kick in the nuts.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thank you

Today I interview myself about the calendar on Generation Q Magazine. As I would expect of me, I manage to insult myself, then storm off in a huff, then return when lured by Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. There's very little that I wouldn't do if Reese's cups are involved.

Soon I will have actual quilty stuff for you to look at as my Plane Ticket Benefactor's quilt is FINALLY finished (but you can't see it until she gets it) and I am binding George Jr. as we speak. That's right. I am typing and sewing AT THE SAME TIME.

So far the calendar has raised $740 in the first week of its release. That is is incredible, since my goal—and I assumed it was a long shot—was to raise $1000 by Christmas. And I know that is because of all of you who were so excited about the project, who gave me advice and encouragement, and who bribed your men into posing for it. I've been saying this a lot and in a number of different places, but it bears repeating: thank you. We made my brother laugh—which is what I really hoped to accomplish—and I have had an insane amount of fun. That would have made the whole project worth it, even if we hadn't raised a dime.

So again, thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Q.S.M.A.S.B.C. is ready!

(Go here to learn how the QSMASB calendar came to be.)

I need a drumroll. Or some trumpets for fanfare. SOMETHING. Because the most awesome of awesome days has finally arrived. The 2012 Quilter's Shirtless Man and Spicy Burrito Calendar is done and available to purchase NOW.

The price is $19.99, which means I will get about $5 per calendar. And until September 23, you can use the code OKTOBERFEST305 to take 15% off your entire order at (and it won't affect how much money comes to the fund - Lulu takes the cut from their profit).

So, order up all your Christmas gifts ASAP so your friends can thank you for this:

and this:

and especially this:

(FYI - we had 14 men and 12 months, plus some of the photos I got were either in the wrong orientation (i.e., vertical instead of horizontal) or were a bit too out of focus or too small to use as a full page shot—so some guys had to share and didn't get a month all to themselves. But I wanted to get everyone who sent in pictures to be in, so this was the best solution while also keeping the pages and thus the cost of the calendar down as much as possible).

A big, big thank you to all the guys who stripped down and manned up to make this calendar possible. A big, big thank you to all of you who have been so excited about it and given me the encouragement to make it, especially those of you who had to do god only knows what in order to convince your men to let you photograph them.

And once again, thank you to everyone who has ever come here, laughed, and decided to keep coming back. Thank you for reading my stuff at GenQ, for having fun with me on Facebook, and for being the best friends I've never actually met in person a girl could have.

Again, here is the link to where you can purchase the calendar and don't forget you have until September 23 to use OKTOBERFEST305 to get 15% off your order. You can also preview the entire calendar there.

(ALSO - international people! I have heard that LuLu charges outrageous shipping overseas, but I can't confirm this. If you try to order and they want to charge you a million bucks—or marks or euros or whatever—and you can't swing it, email me. If I need to, I'll set up a Paypal system so that you can pay me, and I'll buy them and then mail them to you myself. Might still get pricey with being shipped twice, but I'll do the best I can for you.)

If you want to tell people about the calendar and where the money is going, you can send them to this page, which will be my official QSMASBC page until I come up with something better.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Your monthly dose

My latest humor piece is up today at Generation Q. And have you noticed that I've been putting these things out MONTHLY? Quilter's Home was bi-monthly, so, you know, I had time to paint my toenails and stare off into the middle distance until inspiration finally hit, but now these slave-drivers that I work with are all addicted to how all of you go over there every time I have a new piece up and shoot up our stats and leave tons and tons of comments and make us all attractive to advertisers and whatnot, so now I have to actually put on clean underwear and brush my teeth and act like a normal human being and produce work on a regular basis. I liked being a big ol' sloth. I also liked not having to be so aware of how my menstrual cycle was affecting my creativity.

Back when I was an optician, I had this customer, whose name I should dutifully hide but her name was the same as a southern state where they grow lots of peaches, but like I said, privacy and all that, so lets just call her Idaho (no, you da ho!). Anyway, Idaho was a gigantic pain in my ass because she was one of those rich, self-centered, entitled people who thinks the world revolves around her and justifies it all by announcing every ten seconds that she's a Christian. You know, I've known a lot of Christians of various stripes in my day, and many of them were capable of practicing virtues like humility and charity, but this one? She would say things like, "I prayed about it really hard and God told me that He wanted me to have a new BMW." I AM NOT KIDDING. And this woman spent INSANE amounts of money in our shop, so it wasn't like I could go, "NO, I'm pretty sure God wants you to suck up your pathological need for a flashy car and give that money to somebody who HAS NO FOOD." Nope, I had to nod my head and smile and ask if she'd be using her AmEx or paying cash today.

She was roughly 8 or 10 years older than me, which put her in her early 40s when I was in my 30s, and not only did she torture us almost daily with tweaking her eyeglass adjustments by mere microns and her contact lens prescription by degrees too small for ophthalmic instruments to actually register, apparently she also did this to her doctor with her hormones. Her hormones for peri-menopause. Her hormones were so in need of constant adjustment she had her poor doctor on speed dial and would call her at all hours to discuss how many milligrams up or down she needed to go in order to be able to function normally. NEWS FLASH, IDAHO: IT WASN'T THE HORMONES.

Naturally, I thought she was full of shit. But then I hit 40 and I started getting my period every two weeks. And then it would skip three months. And then be normally spaced but so heavy I'd wonder if it was possible to need a transfusion just for a really heavy period. Then after about a year of this, it all just went back to normal. Except now, I'm not normal. I am a raging bucket of mad, evil, murderous thoughts for one week before my period starts. Everything pisses me off. I get boiling mad over everything, and I can't write to save my life. Then, my period starts and I have four or five days of relative normality and then, for the next two weeks, all I can think about is sex. IT'S VERY DISTRACTING.

So, now I feel like maybe I shouldn't have been so hard on poor Idaho. Though, I do hope that, like me, she was plagued by naughty thoughts all the time and had to talk to God about it. "Honey, I've been praying about it a lot and I'm pretty sure God wants me to do it with the repair guy on top of the washing machine until neither of us can walk straight."

And what does that have to do with my humor column? Um, nothing really. Except that it is what I manage to do in between wanting to kill everyone in sight and being a middle-aged degenerate.

Oh, and come back on Wednesday. I'll have an announcement that day and I promise it won't have any links you can't click on at work (unless they have a no-burrito policy).

Friday, September 9, 2011

Actual quilting news! Alert the media!

So, do you guys remember ages and ages ago, when I first found out that my brother had brain cancer and I was desperate to go see him but I couldn't afford it and a reader gifted me a Southwest plane ticket? At the time, she said that what she wanted in return - someday - was a quilt, which is of course perfect and doable and then I nearly killed myself trying to come up with a pattern. But eventually I did, and then it needed to be quilted, only I certainly wasn't going to ruin it with my own personal thread vandalism, so it had to go to a longarmer. But those bitches want money and I never have that much at one time, but then suddenly I did because I wrote a bunch of QH articles and they actually paid me for them (after many emails and veiled threats) (and speaking of which, they STILL owe me for the last issue. grrr) So I sent it off to Lisa in Kansas and said "Do what you will." I love Lisa because I can just send her a quilt and say, "Have at it," and when it "speaks to her" (apparently, sometimes this involves alcohol) she quilts it and it transforms from some crappy little thing I made to a magical fairy quilt with super powers and psychic abilities. (I also love her because she sent me pictures of her boyfriend naked. Just remember that if you ever want to suck up to me for any reason.)

She just finished my Plane Ticket Benefactor's quilt and it is currently in the hands of the U.S. postal system, and is due to arrive at my door TODAY. I just finished cutting my binding strips, but I also have to cut and sew a hanging sleeve. It may take me another week or two to finish, but it's coming, PTB, it's really almost done! I'm going to hold off on pictures until I mail it to her because it tortures the poor girl so when she can't read the rest of the post because she wants the quilt to be a surprise. And you are going to be SO SURPRISED.

I have also been working on a baby quilt for a friend who is due in November, and it's possible (not probable, but possible) that I may get it done before the child is actually born. Laura is one of the most colorful people I have ever known and I wanted her little girl to have something just as colorful. I've been dying to work with the Terrain line by Kate Spain for Moda and so I grabbed a layer cake as soon as they were released (yardage still isn't available yet - more grrrrs) and made this:

Still needs a couple borders and then I probably will try to quilt this one myself, since it's a manageable size.

And because I know not all of you are on Facebook, I should share with you what I posted last night. A preview of the cover of our calendar (click the picture to see full size image):

ISN'T HE AWESOME? Don't you just want to run your hands through his hair and then give him a big hug? AND HE MADE THAT QUILT. FOR HIS WIFE. Seriously, I don't think George Clooney's naked ass covered in chocolate could make a better cover than this.

I am going to be using for the printing and the distribution, so you will be able to buy it directly from their site. That way, I don't have to worry about running out or - more likely - printing too many and having a bunch of calendars leftover. If they sell well enough and the feedback is good, I may look into doing pre-orders next year and having them privately printed.

Normally, I would try to sign off with a good zinger, but my Dayquil is kicking in and I am high as a kite right now. Thankfully, I can breathe again and I don't feel quite so much like day-old roadkill, but it's hard to concentrate on—ooooh, burrito!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This blog is only marginally about quilting anymore

So, okay. First, I'm just sittin' around scratchin' my butt when my whole damn house started shaking. It felt like some big gigantor thing had grabbed my house and started trying to get the loose change to fall out. I then spent the rest of the day explaining to people on Facebook why I thought an earthquake was cool without referring them to this post. (I still keep my bloggy alter ego a not-so-well-kept secret from most people).

THEN I have to fight all the crowds at the grocery store for batteries, PopTarts, and water because we were in the path of a major hurricane. Now, hurricanes have come through here before, and though I think my parents thought that we needed to board up the windows and head for the high ground, we really just needed to be prepared for power loss. And sure enough, the lights went out at 10:30 Saturday night. They didn't come back on until 5:23 am on Wednesday. If it had been just me and David, we would have had a grand time. The weather was cool; the Kindles were fully charged and the grill was fully functional. There was nothing to do but eat cheddarwurst, read trashy books and take naps. And if it it had been just me and David we could have taken some adult naps, if you get my meaning. But that is not possible when you have two kids who are too old for naps themselves and too bored to shut up about it. Harper had been praying on Saturday for the power to go out because she likes to play with flashlights in the dark. I've told her I'm happy to give her a flashlight and lock her in a closet, but she doesn't seem to think that's good enough. By Monday, she was ready to chew off her own arm, such was the depth and agony of her boredom.

We had burritos for dinner Saturday night as the storm was just starting, and we had thoughts of trying to get David's picture with the winds howling behind him, but it never worked out. Fortunately, you people all came through and we have a grand total of 14 burrito-totin' dudes for our calendar. Now all I have to do is the design and layout, which shouldn't be TOO hard, but I'm expecting a volcano or a large meteor next, so that could delay things somewhat. My goal is to get it done in time for Christmas shopping, because you know you want to get ALL your friends a bizarre, nonsensical calendar featuring lots of hairy Buddha bellies.

And I know you are all dying for a preview, so I'm going to give you, from time to time over the next few weeks as I work on production, a little taste of what's to come, just to whet your appetite. I should probably save this for last, but because I love you all so much, I'll give it to you now.

That's it. That's all you get. Stop begging; it's unseemly. And yes, sadly, this is the only bare butt I received, though I do suspect many of the boys were going commando under their quilts (or kilts as the case may be). Probably in anticipation of the various favors their significant others had promised them in exchange for posing. You're welcome, gentlemen.