Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Quilter's Shirtless Man and Spicy Burrito 2012 Calendar

Okay, remember what I said yesterday about not sending me pictures of your pudgy significant other in his skivvies?

I lied.

Okay, well, I didn't exactly lie, but I changed my mind. Somebody commented that if I hadn't put on the "he's gotta be hot" restriction, she would have totally dressed up her personal man-companion in a quilt and handed him a burrito while she charged up the Minolta. Somebody else mentioned the Starry Night Hollow  quilt calendar, and I thought, well, hell. I can't fulfill my dream of making Quilter's Shirtless Man and Spicy Burrito Monthly into a real publication, but I can make a calendar! Or I can if I can get 12 guys to take off their shirts, drape themselves with a quilt, and hold a nice, spicy burrito (and I mean a REAL burrito, not a metaphorical one, ya dirty minded crew, you).

I took the request to Facebook last night, as many of you know, and at last count we had 5 men willing to participate. One person thought she could get more of her male friends to do it as well if we need to pad the numbers. We need 12 altogether, so I need seven more guys to step up to the plate and take off their shirts for the sake of art (and comedy). So, ladies, flutter your eyelashes, pop open a beer, promise him exotic sexual favors. My own chunk of man-flesh was asleep when I had this lightbulb moment last night, but I will be working on him soon. And I know we have some guy readers out there, so you're not off the hook either, Willy, Joey, and Gene!

Here are some guidelines for taking and sending in your pictures:

1. Take a horizontal shot, not vertical. That will work better for the calendar.
2. You can take multiple shots and send them all or a selection if you want.
3. Use as much natural light as possible. Try to avoid using your camera's flash, if you can.
4. Be sure to send me the full size picture files, not a reduced version.
5. I'll need the beefcake's first name. If I don't get one, I'll make it up.

Twelve men. Shirtless. On, near, or wrapped in a quilt. Holding a burrito. And I'll make a calendar. And it will be awesome.

(And if we get more than 12, maybe I'll make a coffee table book!)

Monday, July 25, 2011

George + double wedding ring + steak and bean = hell, yes.

Last week, I tried to take a few precious, precious moments to actually quilt. Not just write about other people who quilt or make jokes about quilters or edit somebody else's article about quilting—just quilt. And I was apparently so giddy from the very idea of handling fabric that I lopped off a small chunk of my left index finger with my rotary cutter. It wasn't a major injury and it didn't bleed as much as I was expecting, but it did leave a nice flap of flesh hanging off that had to be dealt with. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, so it was fun to open up the wound and show Harper ("COOL!") and torture my husband ("Oh, holy crap, I told you quilting was dangerous...oh dear...fainting now..."). Then two days after that I dropped a wine glass on the kitchen floor and as I was trying to clean it up, I got a sliver of glass embedded in the little finger of my right hand. Next it'll be a rebar through my skull or something. The glass is starting to work it's way out, but is too small to grab with tweezers, so I just go around with my bandaged pinky sticking straight out all the time. Perhaps this is my punishment for being such a big meanie.

Now, when my partners and I were creating Generation Q, I was actually pushing to go in a completely different direction with the magazine. As an editor of a quilting magazine, I get to combine my love of writing and journalism with my love of quilting, but I have long had a dream of combining ALL my great loves into one publication: Quilter's Shirtless Man and Spicy Burrito Monthly. But noooo. We couldn't do that. Too weird, they said. And there was some concern that I would try to sneak in penises. Sissies. Anyway, since I cannot possibly try to start up two publications, I will have to content myself with creating a Pinboard on the topic. (You're welcome, Meg H.) If you have any great pictures of quilts, shirtless men, or spicy burritos OR—and you will be crowned, adored, and festooned with gifts if you find such a thing—a shirtless man holding a spicy burrito while wrapped in or standing near a quilt (and the man has to be hot - so no pictures of Fred in the altogether, please), then please send me the links and I'll post them to the board.

Happy pinning!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Today, my first humor column for Generation Q is up. And while it's not the one I told you about (the one that might make certain unsuspecting readers—ones who aren't quite so used to me—faint from shock and horror), it is pretty funny. And the topic was suggested to me by my own personal husband, thus rendering him officially Worth The Trouble for at least another day.

I hope you like it and I would be truly grateful if you left a comment over there if you do.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


This past weekend, I got Harper a Lego set and she immediately set to work on it. I was pretty proud of her. She had no problems interpreting the instructions, and anytime she had trouble or messed up, she just pushed through until she got it right. Just a few months ago she would have burst into tears and refused to touch it. She was very pleased to reveal the finished product to me and her daddy last night:

Naturally, David and I were most fascinated by the item on the left:

Me: "Look, honey. It's The Little Man In The Boat!"

David: "Hey! I love The Little Man In The Boat!"

Me: "Me too. But it is sometimes hard to find him."

David: "Not for me. I ALWAYS know how to find The Little Man In The Boat."

Me: "I'm not so sure you do, babe."

David: "I'm shocked. Perhaps I should demonstrate my ability to put my finger right on The Little Man In The Boat for you. Like, soon."

This went on ALL EVENING, through dinner, right up until I put the kids to bed. The kids were oblivious and never questioned it, since we were clearly talking about Legos. Talking A LOT about Legos. And giggling.

So, now David and I are trying to plan a weekend away since we have some dear friends who are willing to take our kids overnight, and at the grocery store this morning I was talking to Harper about the possibility that she and Devon might stay overnight at Bella and Sam's so that daddy and I could have some alone time. She asked what we were going to do and as I was talking about going out to eat or to a movie, she blurted out, delightedly, "YOU COULD HELP DADDY FIND THE LITTLE MAN IN THE BOAT!"

"Already on the schedule, kid," I said. "Already on the schedule."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Let them eat layer cake

Holy buckets of sweat, y'all. We finally got the first post over on Generation Q Magazine up last night, with me and Jake trading phone calls, emails and texts until we were both punchy and hyper and next to hysterical. We're working on Wordpress and it's new to all of us, and whenever I have to learn a new interface, there's always these first few moments where it all looks like Sanskrit and I think, "I'll NEVER figure this out." Then, invariably, I figure it out. I guess there's something in me that just likes the drama of going THIS IS STUPID. I'M GONNA HOLD MY BREATH UNTIL SOMEBODY DOES IT FOR ME, even though I like the satisfaction of doing it on my own much more.

If you head over there, please note the logo. I did that. Yep. Me. When I got my first real job as an editor I worked for a VERY small magazine which had a full-time staff consisting of the owner and me. His son was our graphic designer, but he only came in a week or two before we went to print and worked at night with his dad. I taught myself InDesign and enough Photoshop to do layout for the mag and also to design ads for businesses who wanted to advertise but couldn't afford a real graphic designer. So when we were all wringing our hands and wondering who was going to fall out of the sky to magically design a logo for us, I finally said, Well, hell, I'll just give it a go. It was so much fun and I hope I get to do more.

With all of this excitement and work, I haven't had much of a chance to sew. I am currently working on this pattern:

and I'm using a Central Park layer cake for it:

And though I've had the fabric and the pattern for over two weeks now, I've only managed to cut about eleven pieces. Some of that is the GenQ stuff keeping me busy, but it's also my youngest child, who is determined to pick as many fights with me in the course of a day as she can, and it's dangerous to hold a rotary cutter when you so desperately want to throw something. She is the queen of rolling her eyes and acting all exasperated and cheesed off over every little thing, and I've done all that "positive discipline" crap and doesn't work worth a damn on a kid who needs to have a screaming fit in order to feel she's made her mark on the world today. Nothing else works either. Not even bribes. I know this kid, and I know it's a phase, but for the love of all that is good and holy in this world, some days I really want to sell her to the circus.

We took her and her big sister to the Natural History Museum in D.C. yesterday and had a pretty good time. Demon - I mean, Devon - was very patient and calm under the circumstances and we were smart enough to bring a stroller so she could sack out when she got tired. The best part was the butterfly exhibit, particularly how the butterflies would just land on you, not skittish at all.

Devon wanted to see the gem collection and the dinosaur bones. At the gem displays, there was some big-ass diamonds that had belonged to Marie Antoinette, as the little plaque informed us, and we stood and looked at those for quite some time. And as we stood there, people - usually in pairs - would come up and read the plaque and go, "I wonder if she was wearing them when she got her head cut off?" You could have conducted some sort of social experiment - the number of people who made the same lame joke vs the number who didn't because they didn't know who the hell Marie Antoinette was and couldn't pronounce it anyway.

My favorite goober couple was these twenty-somethings who were at the dinosaur bones with us. In part of the display, a set of bones (or casts of bones, really) was laid out on the floor to show how the bones look when they are exposed during an excavation. They even had some handy tools laid out near them to show what a paleontologist in the field would be using to dig up a dinosaur skeleton. And as we're looking at it, this chick walks up and looks at it, then pulls her boyfriend over and says, "Look, this one just fell apart!" They then had a deep and meaningful discussion about the sorry state of museum goers, who probably knocked it over and the poor job the museum was doing in maintaining its displays. And I'm standing there, holding my tongue, and trying not to go HOW DO YOU EVEN GET DRESSED IN THE MORNING?

So it was good to come home and stay up late making something cool on the internet. I hope you'll come over and play with us and I'll be sure to let you know what fun stuff is happening. I will say this: I wrote a humor piece for it and we're all still trying to decide if it's too offensive. I can't help it. IT'S WHAT I DO.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Beginnings

I told you a few days ago that things are not over for me and the former editors of QH, Jake Finch and Melissa Thompson Maher, and I am very excited to be able to tell you today that we are launching our own blogzine: Generation Q Magazine. We go live on Monday, July 11. Here is a description and mission statement from our Facebook page:

Generation Q Magazine is a community of modern and contemporary quilters, sewists and crafters who revel in their creativity and want to share the fun with anyone who will bother to play with them.

Generation Q was created to apply the specific skill sets of a handful of creative stitchy types in a way that intrigues other creative stitchy types. Jake Finch, Melissa Thompson Maher and Megan Dougherty spend their days rooting out the best in the world of quilting and sewing. It's all about the fun factor!

As a blogzine, website, pattern and periodical publisher (print and digital), Generation Q seeks to inspire, delight, challenge, instruct, reflect and report on what makes us creative stitchers tick. Sometimes cheeky, other times insightful, our mission is to entertain and inform the masses, to hopefully convert the most stalwart sewing critics into fiber minions and to ultimately take over the world with quilts. We are GenQ.

This is one of the most exciting projects I have ever been involved with, because we are truly building it with our bare hands. We know there's a whole community out there of like-minded quilters who love to read, have a quirky sense of humor, and have a passion for DIY creativity. GenQ is not just about quilting or sewing, but about people who live to create, and we want to add lots of fuel to that creative fire that is burning across the country and around the world.

Please save the link above and check it on Monday, July 11th. Meanwhile, head on over to our Facebook page and "like" us so you can stay informed about all our developments. (And not to worry - this blog will keep going just like always. I would never leave you, baby. I looooove you.)

Long live GenQ!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A fond farewell

Most of you know that besides writing about my lousy quilting and penises on the internet, I also write for Quilter's Home magazine. Just over two years ago, on the suggestion of one of my readers, I sent in this blog post for consideration, and almost immediately it was accepted. Ultimately, that one wasn't published because it had been on the blog and they wanted "unpublished" content, but I wrote more and they accepted that and a year after I had begun quilting and started this blog I had fulfilled a lifelong dream of publishing my humor writing.

During that initial process of publishing my first article, there was a big shake-up at the magazine, one I've never gotten the full scoop on, and there was a new editor and then she was gone and the founder, Mark Lipinski, left, and for a time it looked as though the magazine—and my dream—were going to die. Then I found out that Jake Finch and Melissa Thompson Maher, who had been managing editor and senior editor before the shake-up, had been re-hired as co-editors-in chief. And they wanted me to write for them. Every issue.

For two years, Jake and Melissa have been my friends and my champions. They gave me feature articles and a second regular column (on sewing collectibles) as well as my humor column and often came to me for ideas and editorial consultations. I even got to copyedit one issue when the regular copyeditor was ill. Had they ever been granted enough of a budget to bring on a real staff, I think they might have actually hired me.

Jake and Melissa put that magazine out every two months with almost no support staff, which, if you know anything about publishing, is a major feat. They poured their hearts and souls into it, and took me along for the ride, for which I will always be profoundly grateful. I think they did a damn incredible job.

The August/September issue, which is now being placed on newsstands and mailed to subscribers, is the last issue of Quilter's Home. I can't begin to tell you how hard it is for me to write that, to make it finally public and to know that the publication I have adored and which gave me the freedom to write what I love is now over.

To everybody who bought the magazine and subscribed: thank you. Your support was vital to keeping us alive for the last two years, but, unfortunately, it was not enough. To Jake and Melissa: thank you for absolutely everything. Your faith in me, your support, and most of all your friendship. I truly love you both.

But it's not over. You can't keep a bunch of smart-ass women down for long. Things are afoot and I will be posting again very soon (I hope) to tell you more about it.

So long, QH.