I'm just going to say it. I'm going to just say it flat out and damn the consequences. I may be shunned and become a social pariah for the rest of my - OH, WAIT.
I really hate going to Quilt Market.
"But, Megan," you say. "How can you possibly hate meeting your quilting idols, being surrounded by so much eye candy, and receiving the love of GenQ/Bitchy Stitcher fans every day? Have you no soul?"
Yeah, I know. For a lot of people, all of those things are wonderful, and the networking opportunities are endless. I do enjoy looking at the fabrics and patterns and I did meet some really great people. But for the love of all that is good and holy in this world I was just never meant to be put in such close proximity to so many people for so many days in a row. By the end of the first day, I was so done, and I was actually praying for a major gastrointestinal event so that I would have an excuse to lock myself in a room and be alone for more than a minute and a half. I simply do not have the gene/gland/section of medulla oblongata that causes other people to walk into a room that is stuffed wall-to-wall with total and near strangers and go "WHASSUP, MAH BITCHEZ? IT'S PARTY TIME—WHO'S GOT THE EASY CHEESE?" Instead, I just feel a constant sense of dread and unease, and the stress makes me feel constantly ill. Yes, I know it's pathological and weird, but this is what events such as this are like for extreme introverts. (NEXT TIME, ON EXTREME INTROVERTS, MEGAN RESORTS TO HIDING HER HEAD INSIDE HER OWN SHIRT)
This is not to say that I don't like the people I went to Market with. On the contrary, I like them all very much. And I did have some great times with them over the course of the weekend. My roomie Bev must absolutely be my roomie on all future Market trips. I want to be her when I grow up, she is that awesome. She is friends with our editor-in-chief, Melissa, and comes to Markets to help us out in the booth, which she is excellent at. Woman can charm. She used to be a color commentator for car racing for ESPN back when women did NOT do that sort of thing, and I would pretty much give my left nut to see some footage of her work. And Tracy Mooney is just a pure pleasure to be around, despite the fact that she is tall, gorgeous, and built like the proverbial brick shithouse. There are few other people I'd do this with/for:
Nor are there many other people I'd go to a sex-n-hookah shop with when I'm already so tired I can barely see straight. This was directly across the street from our hotel:
A 24-hour smoke and porn shop. Naturally, we had to go. And naturally, when we walked in, another group of quilters was walking out. NO ONE CAN RESIST THE ALLURE OF GIANT DILDOS AND SEX SWINGS AFTER DRINKING ROBERT KAUFMAN'S FREE ALCOHOL.
And I know what your next question is: did I buy anything? Sadly, no. For one thing, I was truly exhausted, and one simply cannot purchase filth without a clear head. Also, the TSA has suddenly started rifling through my checked baggage. When did this start? I've never had my suitcase lock taken off before, never seen one of those "TSA was here" notes tucked into my stuff. I certainly don't need some bored government inspector getting his dirty mitts all over my brand new leather restraints. And, as usual, I just couldn't really afford anything. I mean, I suppose I could have bought some Dick Tarts or something, but yawn—been to that sex shop, bought that.
So, let's see. What were some of the other highlights?
1. Stuff. I know most people come home from Market with way more stuff than I had. For one thing, I couldn't go to Sample Spree (and frankly, Sample Spree is a total mystery to me. Everybody says that they only let certain people in, like the buyers for quilt shops, and then everybody and their grandmother shows up the next day and says how much they bought.). And for another, people just don't give me things. Again, other people? They go to a booth and say, "Hi, I'm from Generation Q Magazine," and suddenly they're all "Oh, my god, here, take some fabric and some books and some patterns and wait lemme look in my purse I might have some mints or an unexpired condom!" But if I go to a booth and say, "Hi, I'm the Creative Director of Generation Q Magazine," I get The Look. The look that goes, "Uh huh. And I care about this because...?" And I'm lucky to get a post-it note with a website scribbled on it.
Still, I managed to come home with some cool shit. For one thing, I won a collection of Aurifil embroidery thread from Bari J at Schoolhouse, and then I won a set of Christmas embroidery threads from Presencia.
The swag bag from the Fabric 2.0 party was pretty sweet, and also included some magazines (ours included) which I cannot seem to find at the moment:
But the absolute best thing - and right now, for me, there is not much better than embroidery stuff - was this:
Carla Crim is truly one of my idols because her patterns are Just. So. Good. We became acquainted when I reviewed one of her patterns for GenQ and found out that we lived in relative proximity. Sadly, before we could actually meet and hang out, she and her family moved to upstate New York, but in the meantime, she had promised me a copy of her book, and she had one for me at Market! And even without the book, it was a blast to meet her and find out that she really is as cool as you would imagine somebody who is Just. That. Good. would be. She is definitely someone I will look forward to seeing again. (And I'm going to be reviewing this book more in-depth in the next few weeks.)
2. People. I amy not be a people person, but I did have some great moments with actual human beings. I got to meet these two ladies:
Those would be Kelly Biscopink on the right and Andie Johnson on the left, and they have written a new book called Modern Designs for Classic Quilts. I saw their Schoohouse presentation, and then was able to chat with them a bit in our booth later, and they were just very easygoing and funny, and I really hope we get to work with them in the future.
Of course, I saw this freakazoid:
That damn woman spotted me in the hallway during Schoolhouse and actually tackled me. TACKLED. As in ran to me at full speed, jumped on me, and threw us both to the fucking floor. I seriously love her.
And I got to meet the great Sam Hunter live and in the flesh:
Sam has become one of those great friends I've never met (until now, obvs.)—somebody I truly adore and respect whom I have only known through email, facebook, texts, and phone calls. She's also a kick-ass quilt designer. Go buy her stuff.
And there were a few people—not many, mind you, but a few—who stopped by the booth to meet me, and that was just so, so wonderful. I'm sure the reality of meeting me is something of a disappointment, since, you know, the introvert thing, and I just feel so tongue-tied and awkward and I think people expect me to be just the way I write and I can be, but only after I've known you for a long time, not at first, and especially not when I'm tired and overwhelmed and missing my family so much. So if you stopped by, and weren't particularly impressed, blame my faulty genes/glands/medulla oblongata. And if you stopped by—thank you. You made me feel really good.
3. And of course there were the booths and all the fabrics and just the way booths were decorated. Sadly, almost all of my pics were taken for GenQ and I can't use any of them until they have been picked through for the GenQ Market posts this week. And there was so much that I didn't manage to get pictures of, because I was truly overwhelmed by it all.
Still, I came away with even more excitement about my newest obsession: embroidery. I worked on two special projects before I left, so that I could literally display my new obsession on my person at all times:
A cameo! Out of french knots!
This is a cuff bracelet made from wool felt. I drew the vine freehand with a water soluble marker and used a quarter to mark the outline for the flowers/buttholes. These are both projects I hope to perfect and possibly share with you in the future if anybody might be interested. Sadly, no one noticed them, but it's not like they were easy to see. Still, I'm proud of them and I feel like embroidery is going to be a big part of my life for a while.
I'm sure there's a million things I've forgotten, LIKE THE FREAKIN' HURRICANE, but it is way past my bedtime. Plus, my eyeballs are totally sore and bloodshot from the embroidery I did all afternoon. You guys, it's like I'm cheating on quilting with embroidery. It's awesome.