hard core quilt

The Craft! (Not Witch or Space) // AKA it’s a stitch-up…

Following on from my previous piece (two months ago, sorry) about learning crazy new skills for your own satisfaction, I want to draw your attention to a peculiar human behaviour that you’re probably suffering from as I write. It’s those two occasions during the year when we feel a hurried need to learn something.

the art of knitting

One is at the start of the new school year in September when the ‘pencil case and notepad’ switch clicks on in our heads, and we have a sudden urge to peruse WH Smiths for new stationery, and the other is right now. This feeling is an inbuilt, primal drive to seek enlightenment, betterment, and possibly change our lives for the greater good. It lasts for approximately two weeks.

The publishing industry are well aware of this, and have a name for the phenomena they take full advantage of; ‘First issue only 99p.’

Yes, you know the thing of which I speak.

‘Build a scale model of Hitler’s Bunker! Step-by-step over the course of nine years, we’ll send you a single brick each week as well as a miniature dead Hitler (naked, and anatomically accurate in full HD), plus a magazine bursting wide open with interesting stuff about sexy things, sexy whatnots and sexy historical facts! First issue, only *99p.’

*normal price £13.99

Bastards!! Automatically, you want to do something, put your fingers to use now that Christmas is over and the remote control is virtually redundant once more.

‘I could make that, it’s a piece of piss’ you think to yourself. Don’t be fooled.

‘If not that then how about building James Bond’s car? Complete in 2,238 parts, with a driver’s side door that both opens AND closes (once only).’

Are you insane?? The ACTUAL fucking car doesn’t have that many parts!!

‘Ok, so cars not your thing? Why not build models of supermodels? Make paper dolls depicting eminent members of the Russian mafia? Knit an organic burial plot? Build your own forge??? Crochet a time machine with Stephen Hawking – FIRST ISSUE IS ONLY 99 SHITTING PENCE! JUST DO SOMETHING YOU’RE USELESS AND EVERYONE HATES YOU!’

Now then my dearest friends, an admission. Here I am telling you not to fall for it… and I’ve gone and fallen for it. Like Juliet for Romeo, Heathcliff for Catherine, or the elderly for tartan printed tins of shortbread and boxes of tissues in the car.

hard core quilt

You may be surprised by what I’m about to tell you. Since I was quite young, there has been one thing I’ve always wanted to make but never knew how.
That thing is a patchwork quilt.
This is a side of myself that I rarely show. The side that gets a flurry of delight at the thought of buying a pie dish, or of making a tea light candle holder from antique looking jam jars found at the car boot. Yes.
So lo and behold there I was on January 1st, just sitting and minding my own business watching something on television… and it happened.

A smiling woman appeared, sewing something very pretty accompanied by soothing yet authoritative female tones.

“Make your own patchwork quilt Chrissy!”

My ears pricked up like a rabbit. She didn’t actually say my name, but she may as well have, it’s the THING I’ve always dreamed of making! THE THING!

The Art Of Quilting

I instantly fell in love, not hearing the familiar old first issue only 99p line, my head and heart were too busy lusting for that quilt. I saw myself wrapped in it, all completed – with not a stitch dropped or mistake made, my family and peers applauding in awe as I walked down a catwalk made of elegant, expensive material. WANT.

I knew it had to be mine. Up to this point I’d avoided the ‘January learn a skill week-by-week’ minefield, so this was my time. I vowed to get a copy the very next day, this would prove more difficult than I imagined.

For 10 days and nights I searched! Well, one afternoon in town I went to two shops and neither one had a copy. Curses!
Once more, technology came to my rescue as I discovered I could order it online. AFTER signing up for it I read the small print, as is my ridiculous and careless way.

Apparently I’ll also be charged for ring binders at a cost of £5.99 – as and when they become available, for the handy storagement of my magazines. I then worked out (with a calculator of course, maths and I acrimoniously parted ways long ago) that in total the quilt will cost me £390 to fuck up. I mean, make.

So… we’ll see how long this lasts shall we, as I’m free to cancel at anytime. I have a feeling that my patchwork quilt will go as far as a patchwork napkin. But it’d be MY napkin that I made, and I’d get such satisfaction wiping the caviar from my lips with it.

I was going to suggest and that a few of you sign up for the patchwork quilt thing, and we could become ‘quilting pals’, but this cheesy feeling passed quickly and I was back to my normal self. Anyway, I’d ruin mine, get angry and then try to sabotage yours with ‘helpful advice’. It’s probably for the best that we don’t. Let’s not spoil what we have by allowing needlework to come between us, I know I’ve already changed in your eyes as it is.

Sew long for now.

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