Tuesday, November 2, 2010

But I aspire to be an above average moron.

Ah, the vicissitudes of the freelance writing life. Getting paid is often the hardest part, after the carpal tunnel from excessive typing and the vitamin D deficiency from never leaving the house. And for me, there's also the part where I get to tell people what I do for a "living," and they're impressed until I tell them I write about quilting. And it gets even better when I tell them I write humor about quilting. They cannot back away fast enough. 

So when the new neighbors across the street moved in this past weekend, I was hoping to put off the "humor writing is TOO a legitimate career" talk as long as possible, but my fool husband is too proud of me to let that happen. As we were chatting with the mom of the family, she asked if I happened to have a needle and thread she could borrow to repair a Halloween costume, and as I went to retrieve it, not mentioning that I have thread and needles coming out my ass, I heard my husband say, "So did Megan tell you all about her quilting?" By the time I returned, she had been primed by his blabbing to ask me the usual polite questions, but she didn't have that same "oh, so you make a little money but you don't do anything important" attitude that most people around here seem to have. Maybe it's because they're from Florida. And later, as we were going trick-or-treating with our kids, we actually had a real conversation about it, and when I told her that my first article for QH was called the Zen of Crappy Quilting, she laughed out loud and said, "Now that sounds like my kind of quilting!"

AND - they have a son my daughter's age and a little girl my younger daughter's age, plus a bonus nine-year-old daughter. That almost makes up for not being paid and not being able to feel my fingertips.

Over the past week, I managed to finish the top for the table runner. I suppose I should know this by now, but I really should beware of patterns that I get free off the internet. They are not always written with the average moron in mind, though they are often written by an average moron. If I were a more experienced sewist (and I love that new word I keep seeing: sewist;  it sounds so prissy)  I would have remembered that applique can cause some shrinkage of the background fabric. As it was, I did not remember that, and as a result, my sashing was all way too big. In most instances, I was able to make it work, but one panel was just too small, so it had to be left out, making this a four-panel table runner instead of a five-panel. 

Now I am attempting to quilt it, which basically means I am teetering on the edge of ruining it completely. I'm starting by stitching in the ditch around all the squares, and it already looks like someone kept bumping into me while I was sewing. I'm not sure what else I can do beyond that which won't look messy and stupid. I truly hope that someday I can approach the quilting of even a small project like this without so much nail biting.


Harper just wanted to use the computer, so I took the opportunity to finish the last few in-the-ditch lines I had to do. I managed to fuck up all four lines in exactly the same way, without ever noticing what was happening. 

This is why I have to write humor instead of "important" stuff. 


Jane said...

I have done that sooooo many times!!!!!!! LOL (just so you know you aren't alone!) And that tablerunner is absolutely beautiful by the way!!!!!!!! WOW!

Norma Riehm said...

You are really amazing! I remember doing the same fuck up myself. It is catchy. Love the runner...it's beautiful.

Norma Riehm said...

I love the table runner. And, I remember doing the same fuck up myself.

Sheila said...

You crack me up. In my book there is nothing more important in this life than laughing. It makes us feel so much better about everything. Your table runner is just beautiful.

Natalie said...

lol I've definitely done that and since I don't have kids yet I can still shock my husband by saying that loudly for seemingly no reason. He turns around frantically to ask me 'what?' to which I reply 'nothing' as I shake my head and dig around for my seam ripper.

I haven't done any applique with a pattern so I am glad you mentioned that the background fabric shrinks. I'll make sure to add a couple of extra inches if I ever try that technique.

Katherine said...

Megan, when you have time and your fingers have recovered check out one of my other favorite blogs... http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com
Leah is a genius but she manages to write so us average morons not only understand but can actually replicate her free motion stuff. I have almost gotten over the stage of ruining all my tops with the ideas and techniques I've found on her site.
Oh and least you didn't sew yourself to the runner...I've done that a few times, now I only sew in tank tops and tight stretchy pants, not the most attractive outfit but it saves on the f bombs and the ripping out.

pippirose said...

(I'm not laughing *at* you--but *with* you).
My intentions regarding sewing often are superior to my patience, hence result.
But your table runner is beautiful!

Marge Gordon said...

Been there done that, too many times to admit. Thanks for making it funny!

Barbara Sindlinger said...

You always make me laugh, thanks for that. As for sewing the back up like you did, I think we've all done it. I usually cut the thread around the stitching and pull out all the loose threads. It usually works without having to undo all the stitching.

Joy said...

Your table runner is fabulous ... I love it ... and as for the stuff-ups - yep, I've done that too LOL.
By the way, sounds like your new neighbour is really great :o). Guessing she doesn't quilt though if she's asking to borrow a needle and thread. Oh well, can't win 'em all ;o).
Joy :o)

Anonymous said...

There has got to be a way of finishing a quilt that requires some of those tucks .... let me know when you perfect it so I don't have to unpick the next batch I create.

Judy B

Beth said...

To me - what you write IS the important stuff.
I appreciate that others continue to make the same mistakes I do - (and are willing to say so) therefore making me feel better about my sub-par quilting :)

Anonymous said...

I'm adding my name to list of doing that when machine quilting. In fact, I did it on the last quilt I worked on this week. You are not alone.

helen-mary said...

The D.P. runner looks gorgeous. If the back is a little 3-dimensional, who's to know?
Sewist is someone who sews. Sewer is where your money accidently falls when you get out of the taxi and try to pay the driver. :-0

Staci said...

Oh, Megan, I did the very same thing just a couple days ago!

Now, this is when you know you are a totally superior kind of moron: When you sew your sleeve to your project!

Not sure I want to tell you how many times I've pulled that! And, to show you I am a true quilting idiot: any time I was faced with a choice of having to cut the quilt or my sleeve because there was no way to separate the two things otherwise, I've always cut the shirt!

Peggi said...

I know EXACTLY where you found the "instructions" for that runner, rofl! And yours is prettier. Aster Manor? Loved that line!

Beware of telling people you quilt. They will assume you sew like a pro and can sew anything, from the crotch in a pair of pants to recovering a tufted chair. Ask me how I freaking know.

I wonder how people would react if you simply told them you "write humor". We quilters are like Rodney Dangerfield - we don't get no respect!

Tsigeyusv said...

I am so glad to know that little tuck (which is so infuriating to have to rip out) happens to the best of us morons!
I keep telling myself these mistakes happen so I can learn from them, only I seem to have to make the mistakes many times before I learn.
I recently got John Flynn's quilt system. I can hardly wait to try it out. I am hoping this keeps my little tucks from happening.
If you haven't heard of it, take a gander. http://www.flynnquilt.com/#

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

I make it a point to screw up each quilt somewhere. That way all my work can be easily picked out in a crowd.


lori said...

Oh I LOVE your attitude and your insight! I so identify with everything...been there, done that, *repeatedly*! ARGH!! I am so pleased to laugh out loud and just understand completely!:-) (I have young adult *children* and their humor usually flies right by me!) Love the colors and pattern of your table runner.

Anonymous said...

Deborah says:

Yes, we've all done it!

The runner does look wonderful. You could always use the 5th block for a trivet/pot holder or a pillow.

And as for sewist...prissy little word indeed. I prefer the term "Needle Wielder!" A little hard to say...some people might actually laugh after saying it, but it's definitely not prissy. :)

Love my security word - phophie!

Diane Elizabeth Apple said...

Hi, Megan -- Love your blog. Your Dad told me all about you. We are friends from the Book Babes (a bunch of women and one token male, and all around heart throb -- your Dad!) I'm an x-quilter turned book and papermaker and wanna-be writer. I am in process of packing up my fabric and maybe geting rid of it(?) So far I'm doing about as well as the people on "Hoarders" getting rid of those dead cat skeletons. BTW, I don't sleep with man or beast either -- took Hubby awhile to get over crying himself to sleep, but he survived and yours will too. Keep it up, kiddo -- Diane

Victoria Paige @ Boutique Uniquely said...

I just found your blog through Sew Much Beauty and I have to say that I am glad I did.

Thanks for the laugh. Now I won't feel like such a worthless dummy when I make the same quilting/sewing mistakes over and over again. I just get pissed and leave the sewing room for the rest of the day.

Glad I'm not the only one throwing around the f word when I sew.

ozjane said...

Hmmm....I like it and I like the idea for some old Dresden's that were made in a swap and they did not know to sew the top on so just cut them to a point. I have used all the good ones in the almost finished Christmas Dresden, plus heaps I made to add to the pile...and that might just be a lovely idea to steal...if I may be so bold.....

Carol G said...

I just almost fell out of my chair laughing and made DH come look at your photos. He hears this and more from my sewing room. It really gets bad when I rip it out and do the same thing over again!!!