Things You Need to Stop Doing (to be a better quilter)

By People You Know


  1. Your Mom 

You need to stop slouching for one thing. The good lord gave you a lovely bosom—stop giggling; it’s a perfectly innocent word—for a reason: to get a husband. Yes, I know you already have one but I never really liked him so he doesn’t count. Also, would some makeup hurt anyone? If you dress up a little, then quilting will feel like a special occasion, won’t it? And then maybe you’ll start sewing in straight lines and following patterns instead of performing improv comedy or whatever it is you’re doing now. You should probably also stop making that gesture at me when I turn my back. I’m pretty sure nice eligible young men don’t care for young ladies who “throw the birdie” at their mothers. 

2. Your Dad

You should stop using the word “stop.” Fortune 500 CEOs all use strategic, forward-thinking words like “bleeding edge” and “pain points”. If you’re going to conquer the world of quilt business management, you should be doing market research. Have you set up your focus groups? Also, you need a clear business plan. I never even picked a piece of spinach out of my teeth without a business plan, and look at me. And how’s your mission statement? What is your vision for the future of this endeavor? What do you mean, it’s just a hobby? Don’t be ridiculous. Be sure to work on your golf swing—I can’t tell you how many deals I made on the golf course. Well, actually, I can. Plenty of time now that I’ve retired! Let me fix you a scotch and I’ll tell you how I closed the Martindale account on the thirteenth hole—hey, where are you going? I don’t think that gesture needs to be part of your mission statement, young lady.

3. Your best Instagram friend

You need to stop copying me, okay? Just because I make quilts from free patterns that are basically  traditional blocks with white sashing, and use fabrics from only one designer because I truly love how much each line looks exactly like the last one, doesn’t mean you can do the same thing and not give me credit for inspiring you. And you do it all the time. If I post a picture of my salad, then three weeks later you post a picture of your pizza and you use the exact same filter! Clarendon is my signature filter, and you never acknowledge me when you use it to show off your food! And it hurts; it really hurts. It’s bad enough that everybody started taking pictures of stuff on the floor with their toes showing—now my best friend whom I’ve never actually met in person is just blatantly stealing my work by placing the same orange flower print in the same corner of the same block as me and not thanking me for it! Hey! You can’t do that. That’s MY rude gesture!

4. That one person in your guild 

You need to stop showing off during Show and Tell, because you are making everyone feel bad about themselves and no one wants to quilt anymore because what’s the point? Just because you can sew in a sort of straight line doesn’t mean the rest of us can, and we know your almost perfectly matched seams are just your way of telling us we all suck and we do not appreciate it. Every time you stand up there displaying something perfectly adequate, I—we, I mean we, every single one of us, not just me—we all just lose our last remaining shreds of self-esteem and have to go write nasty comments on YouTube videos until we feel better. I have taken a very scientific poll of all the people willing to sit next to me and we both—all, all of us, not just me and Gertie—we all agree that your relentless pursuit of competence constitutes harassment and creates a toxic environment at guild meetings. We feel that you should withdraw from the guild entirely unless you are willing to start sitting next to me—US—and teach us how to…Hey! That’s not fair! I can’t get my finger to do that for that long!

5. Your kids

Stop trying to be an autonomous individual with your own needs and look at me. Look at me. Look at me. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Are you looking? Look at me. I CAN DO THAT WITH MY FINGER TOO, MOM—LOOK!

6. Your Significant Other

I don’t actually understand what it is you’re even doing in there, but does it really have to involve all those sharp things? That round business that can cut off a finger or…other appendages…really seems like overkill to me. I mean, you have scissors. And remember that time you actually sewed right through your finger? Did you really need to show it to me? I’m going to be honest with you: I closed my eyes as much as I could get away with when our children were being born, so I’m not exactly keen to get a close-up of your finger impalement. If you stumble out of there with some sort of pin jammed in your eyeball, that’s it. I will die right there in front of you and then who will drive you to the hospital? If you need a hobby, why don’t you try pole dancing? Polly’s wife does it and she says—aw, geez, is there any blood on that finger??

7. Your Actual Best Friend

You need to stop worrying about what anybody else in the world thinks, because you are a freaking miracle and everything you do is magic. Get off of Instagram, get off of Facebook, get in your sewing room and just create because you are essentially Mister Rogers, Georgia O’Keefe and RuPaul all rolled into one spectacular package.  You have amazing hair, an excellent butt, and your quilts are all  happiness in cotton form. If I played for the other team I would totally try to seduce you away from your spouse and worship you the rest of our days with my body, and hell, I may do that anyway because you are just that freaking awesome. The way you placed that orange flower print in the corner of that one block was sheer genius, and anybody who can sew through their own finger and laugh about it later probably ought to be ruler of the goddamn universe. Now let’s go get a massage and a manicure, because, honey, that beautiful middle finger of yours is looking worn out.


Megan Dougherty has been blogging and quilting as The Bitchy Stitcher since 2008. She was the humor columnist for Quilter’s Home magazine and Generation Q magazine, and was also the art director at GenQ for its first year. Her first book, Quilting Isn’t Funny, is available in paperback and Kindle on amazon.comFollow her on Facebook and Instagram

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