Hi, everyone—and thank you so much, Megan, for inviting me to share some of my thoughts with your readers today. I should warn you, though, I'm definitely not as funny as Megan! Well, except when I'm playing fetch and suddenly drop the stick and hike up my leg to lick my lady bits. Apparently that's HILARIOUS.
So, first let's address the one question everybody asks me—do you get free treats from fabric manufacturers? I'm afraid the answer is HELL YES I DO! Usually, all I have to do is a blog post or something, and they just throw the bacon right at me. Sometimes they also want to give me a tummy rub, and that does make me feel a little bit cheap and easy, but you try resisting the sweet, sweet sensation of warm hands on your little pot belly. So what if I have to design a quilt around the latest collection featuring insanely large prints and seizure-inducing color combos in return? BACON AND TUMMY RUBS. I'm only canine, after all.
There's a lot that I've had to overcome in my career as a four-legged quilter. Having four legs for one thing. And no hands. But I haven't let that stop me! I think my biggest obstacle has to be my damn human. She keeps trying to banish me from the sewing room, and I know she's just jealous of my success. I can't help it if I'm completely awesome and everyone loves me. Look at my tummy! It's so round and squishy! Who wouldn't give a book deal to a cute little pudge-monkey like me, huh? No, one, that's who! I'M SO GREAT YAY YAY LET'S CHEW THE CORNERS OFF ALL THE ACRYLIC RULERS WHO'S WITH ME YAY!
But no, my human keeps claiming that I don't belong in the sewing room just because I am a superior being who needs to fart next to her and then scramble into her lap for comfort because the sound of my own flatulence scares me. Or because I have eclectic tastes and like to eat my own poop and then lick her face. She doesn't understand that I was educated at Miss Prissy's Fancy Dog Academy and I learned all of those things from a very wise and worldly schnauzer named Rocko. Rocko also humped me incessantly, but that was a small price to pay for his tutelage. If you haven't been to dog academy, you couldn't possibly understand. SIT! STAY! HIKE YOUR LEG UP AND LICK YOUR BITS! See? You don't get it.
So, yeah, some days I just want to give it all up and go into the back yard and bark at nothing until the neighbors start yelling. But then I remember why I got into this business in the first place: the adulation of total strangers. That's why you all do it, right? Well, okay, not all of you. I realize not everybody can be famous like me—I mean, do you have a fuzzy tummy? There's a very simple equation at work here, but let me lay it out for you: Fuzzy tummy + tummy rubs x "Who's a good girl? Who's a good girl? You are!" = UNDENIABLE QUILTING TALENT. Can't argue with that logic, can you?
So, not only should I be allowed in my human's sewing room, I should totally have my own room with my own machine, and I'm sure my good friends at Janome or Bernina or Pfaff or one of those will be happy to sponsor a complete sewing room set-up for me. I will happily take lots of pictures of myself next to the machine with captions like THANKS, HUSKERDUVARNA which will surely result in millions of sales for them! I am SO good at business stuff. And my butt smells nice too.
Being a dog in the quilting industry has definitely been a good thing, even if SOME people (ahem, human) are totes jelly and want to deprive me of my right to pee on fat quarter bundles. I would say, if you can be a quilting dog, definitely be a quilting dog, but if you can't, don't be a quilting cat. Cats are assholes.
And I'm certainly not the only dog out there! I'm proud to belong to a pooch-only guild full of really nice pups. Allow me to introduce you to my friends:
This is our program coordinator, Heidi. I wanted that job but Heidi was all, "I can do it! I can do it! Let me! Let me! Let me!" And then she ran around in circles until she fell over and I said, "Fine. You do it." If she schedules you for a workshop with us and your contract has drool and teeth marks all over it, just know they were put there with a lot of enthusiasm.
This is Jack. He's new, so he hasn't figured out yet that licking the machine, while certainly a really fun thing to do almost anytime, doesn't actually produce any quilting. That's ok; he'll get there. We have treats.
This is JoJo. She's an old-fashioned girl who loves to sew on her antique slant-needle Singer and also refuses to let a guy sniff her butt on the first date. Or the fifth. She's truly an inspiration to us all.
Cocoa is in charge of Hospitality, which, yes, is a thing in our guild. We want our guests to be super comfy, so Cocoa will artfully create a lovely impromptu doggie bed out of any and all available materials. So, keep an eye on your stuff. If you also express a desire to have your face licked until you cry—you do this by existing, of course—Cocoa will hook you up.
Zeus! Zeus was named for the god of thunder and we'll just let you guess why. Despite his, um, frequent thunderclaps, Zeus always brings a festive vibe to guild meetings by dressing up as some damn thing that has no relation to any current holiday or event. This was taken at our June 11th meeting.
This is Scarlett. If you should come visit our guild someday, a little scratch behind the ears and a few "good girls" would not be unwelcome. Despite her accomplishments—just look at that Circle of Geese!—poor Miss Scarlett suffers from a certain doggie ennui. "What does it all mean?" she asks. "Why do we bother? Are we all not just playthings, meant only for the amusement of humans?" Seriously, a tummy rub would do her so much good. And maybe some bacon.
Um, we don't actually know her name. She just shows up with that crown on and peers at all of us over her glasses, sipping her giant Coca-Cola. We've take to calling her The Dowager Empress.
And this is Baxter. He was recently elected guild president based solely on being a snuggly widdle cuddle-bean, but it turns out he's not exactly leadership material. Seriously, I thought I was a nap champion, but Baxter is the Snooze King. And nobody has the heart to wake him up when we need him for something, because his little paws twitch when he sleeps, like he's running after foxes and squirrels, and he makes this tiny "woof" sound that just melts your insides to butter. Also, when you wake him suddenly, he pees everywhere.
We hope you'll visit our guild someday and bring us lots of Bonz and Beggin Strips and maybe some actual bacon. And remember: just because we're dogs doesn't mean we're all thinking about humping your leg. That's only the males.
Big thanks to (in order) Joanie Dorsey, Lisa Pitts Stanley, Brandy Yeager, Theresa Pino, Regina Smith, Nancy Sharr, Laura Lochore, Tammy Khan, and Katie Kohl Welch for taking such great pictures of their dogs and allowing me to use them in this post. Bacon and tummy rubs to you all!