August 2008


Bitten off too much?

Image of Cat Tails QuiltSo after the bomb that was the Superman Museum, I popped over to the National Quilt Museum, which was fantastic.

If any of you are ever near Paducah, Kentucky, I highly recommend taking the detour, forking over the $8, and exploring the museum. It’s incredible. There must have been 100 large quilts on display covering a wide variety of topics and a wide variety of styles.

It was terrific fun, and I learned that when it comes to quilts, I’m a big fan of country scenes, animals frolicking, or abstract geometric designs and I’m enchanted—mesmerized and lost to the world. I didn’t actually care for any of the quilts with people-imagery.

After disengaging myself from the exhibits, I wandered into the gift shop where I bought one greeting card ($2, with quilting on the front, what a bargain!), and something which is bound to become the bane of my existence this fall season.

I’m actually a little embarrassed to admit it, but since I’m a queer male it is probably somewhat self explanatory.

I bought the Cat Tails Wallhanging Quilt Kit.

For $16.95, plus tax, I now have a kit that includes all fabrics, woolfelt, patterns, batting, buttons, beads, embroidery floss, and illustrated instructions needed to complete the quilt. It’s finished size is approximately 13” by 15” (33 cm by 38 cm), presuming, of course, I get that far.

The last time I tried sewing anything beyond buttons was, drum roll please, seventh grade home economics at Smiley Middle School in Denver, Colorado.

That year we had the “wheel” program, where every 12 weeks we would cycle from one set of absurd electives to another as we explored our interests and what electives we would take in eight grade and on into high school. Home Economics was one of the 12 weeks, and we spent 6 weeks in the kitchen and six weeks at the sewing machine—every boy and girl in the seventh grade.

I didn’t care for home economics—I already knew how to cook so I didn’t really learn anything new, and when it came time for sewing, well I didn’t have an eye for that kind of detail. I’m detail oriented when it comes to writing, but trying to poke the needle through in the right spot was tedious and boring.

The same could be said for my interest in shop class (another one of the 12 weeks), where we spent six weeks learning how to draft and six weeks in wood shop, where we were supposed to make, among other things, a large paper clip holder with a wooden base. The shop teacher told us we only got one metal rod to bend into shape and that if we broke it we weren’t getting another. As the class fag, I broke mine, but I was saved by the ignorant substitute teacher who happily handed me another metal rod to bend into shape.

I didn’t open the Cat Tails kit whilst in the States, waiting instead for my return to Weimar, where I had envisioned it as a fall winter project that I could work on for fun.

Now I’m not so certain.

I opened the package Sunday night and sat down to read the directions. I need a sharper, better, pair of scissors—not a problem. Measuring and cutting stuff, not a problem. I think I can even get most of it put together, but then I get to the quilting stage. I need a “quilting hoop” or a “small quilting frame”. I have no idea where to buy such an item.

For now though I will start the project, once I get the sharp scissors.

As well as needle and thread.

Now where do I buy that in Weimar?

7 comments to Bitten off too much?

  • disenchanted

    Damn! Too bad you didn’t open that at my house. I am sure I have one of those hoopie things around here from when I used to do cross stitch (a relic of Girl Scouts and living among country hicks in Ohio).

  • Reko

    I think that it would have been fascinating had the Queer Expatriate ended up as a shop teacher. I’d love to see Adam directing a group of guys in operating a lathe.

  • Ed

    My sister quilts and attends the quilt show in Bloomington every year. This year she dragged me with her and I learned more than I ever cared to know about quilts. There are sewing centers every where. Anyplace they sell sewing machines or thread should have quilting supplies.

  • cocpc

    My wife quilted (in States) for years and did NOT require a hoop or frame until major major projects, as king sized bed spreads. Helps but is NOT necessary.

  • @disenchanted: Oh well… next time I know to think more dynamically. But of course had I read the directions there, it probably would have become a christmas present.

    @Reko: You have the oddest fantasies.

    @Ed: I just need to find one. I actually think I know where one is located… Now I need the vocabulary.

    @cocpc: Thanks for the tip. I’ll try the quilting stage without a frame when I get there. Of course, I have to get there.

  • Jul

    Can you hear me pointing and laughing at you?

  • koko

    i want to make a quilt but don’t have much time.