Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Laughter Quilt

A lot of stuff has been going on around Chez Megan lately, and I certainly won't bore you with it all, but suffice to say it has involved a lot of introspection, and I know there will be a lot more in the next few months.

Part of that introspection has been to ponder the question: What do I want? What is best for me? The easy answer is chocolate, Dr. Pepper, and the return of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the harder answer has to do with what I want to do with my life. It might look like I have that all figured out, but I don't.

Things are getting clearer, however. And the thing that is clearest is that I want to keep making people laugh through writing. (KEEP TRYING, I hear you cry. YOU'RE NOT DOING IT TODAY.) I think that's why I was put here.

So, I'm going to ask your help with a little project. I want to make a Laughter Quilt, and I'd like to ask each of you to make a block for it. Don't worry! They're small and easy. Like me. Except for the small part. Or the easy. Ok, large, difficult blocks would be more me, but whatever.

Ostensibly, this is a signature quilt, but each block, besides having a name, will also have something else. I'd like you to write on the block something that makes you laugh. Could be, "my kids." Or, "Eddie Izzard." Or, "dick jokes." I don't care if it's dirty, or strange—but I'm not looking for hundreds of blocks that say, "The Bitchy Stitcher." I don't need my butt kissed. Not now, anyway. The Butt-Kissing Quilt is coming later.

I want to make a quilt that reflects how laughter infuses our lives in different ways. When my brother was dying, we spent our last visit together laughing. When my mother was dying, she was still making jokes from her hospital bed. My kids delight me every day with their oddball, intelligent humor, and my husband cracks me up with his dry wit. I love Louis CK and Lindy West and T.R. Pearson and the list goes on and on and on. Laughter lifts. Laughter heals. Laughter lights the dark and restores the soul. And I'd like to celebrate it.

For your block—should you choose to make one and I hope you do—you will need:

TWO 2.5-inch squares of a nice bright print or solid (both squares must be the same)
ONE 3.5-inch square of Kona White (Ok - I would prefer Kona white (that's the Robert Kaufman Kona), but I'll take whatever white you've got. I don't want anybody to not send a block they otherwise would if not for my anal restrctions on color.)

Draw a diagonal line across the back of each 2.5-inch printed/colored  square:

Place the square on your 3.5-inch white square, lining up the sides and corner. Stitch across the line you drew.

Place your second square on top of the white square on the opposite corner and stitch across that line, being careful not to sew over your other square. (Or, you can trim the first square and press open before sewing on the second.)

Trim each corner 1/4-inch from your seam line.

And press your block open.

And there, in that white space, you have lots of room to write what makes you laugh. Please also write your name! And you can make as many of these as you like. Make a few and have your kids or other family members and friends write theirs. The more the merrier - literally! My main request for fabric selection is keep it bright and happy—civil war repros just aren't going to fit in this quilt, so keep the earthy colors for another project, please. (Like, maybe the Butt-Kissing Quilt.) I use Pigma pens to write on fabric—I have also been told that fine point Sharpies work well.

I hope to eventually find someone willing to quilt it with words, possibly the text of something I've written, or maybe a series of classic jokes—I'm not sure yet. Then this quilt will someday travel with me as I visit guilds and other places as a perfect illustration of the power of laughter in quilting and in life.

Please send your blocks to:

Megan Smith (yes that's my legal name and the one on my mailbox)
P.O. Box 1057
Severna Park, MD 21146

EDIT: This P.O. box is no longer good. Please contact me directly for an address if you are sending blocks.

And thank you!!!

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