Humor Magazine

Red Alert: Outsider Entering Quilt Zone

By Dianelaneyfitzpatrick

Red Alert: Outsider Entering Quilt Zone I, Butterfingers McClutzy, am going to a quilters’ festival. I’ve never been so excited to spend four days doing something I know nothing about, surrounded by people who are experts and devotees of this thing that I don’t know how to do.
That’s because I’m going with my sisters. If you read this blog or you remember me, you know I have three sisters who are artistic, skilled quilters, sewists and crafters. When I was little and they told me I was switched at birth (you know, how big sisters do that . . . what? Yours didn’t?) I believed them - as did the neighbors - because I’m the only sister who hadn’t handmade her entire bedroom set, including curtains, hooked rugs, and the contents of the closet. I couldn’t even hem my own bell-bottoms right.
In going to the International Quilt Festival in Cincinnati, I feel like I’m going undercover. I struggled to use my real name on the registration form. The festival organizers might recognize my name as that Laney sister who can’t sew. OK, that might be an exaggeration, but two of my sisters have their photo in this year’s course catalog. It’s possible they used their fame to warn the others about me.
I’m only going because I got a sympathy invitation from the sisters, who didn’t want to have a siblings’ get-together without me. They said I could film the week and put together a documentary. (We do like to plan movie scripts. This is a possibility.) Or I could be the official photographer. (Not sure I want to try to take my big camera into this thing. Those quilters have really strict rules about not touching or photographing the quilts. Quilt festival organizers tend to be on the large, sedentary side with big bosoms and they might kick my ass and break my camera.)
“Or you could be our mom,” my sister Pam said. “Tell us where to meet for lunch, and plan the cocktails.”  Because that’s what moms do. Plan the cocktails.
I went out on a limb and signed up for three classes. I don’t know what they’re saying behind my back, but to my face my sisters are kindly offering to set me up with supplies. I’m taking a class on how to use old blue jeans to make stuff; how to hand piece, whatever the flip that is; and how to appliqué. Again . . . what?
If nothing else, I’ll have some good stories to tell. Let’s hope they don’t involve scissor crimes, sharing needles, or otherwise sullying my sisters’ good name in the quilting world.

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