Quilting is fun! Row by row, or as a big, ugly sleeping bag
July 14, 2018 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Do you like to travel AND sew? Great! Row by Row Experience is an annual collaboration between quilting shops in the U.S., Canada, and some locations in England, Scotland, Germany, and the Netherlands with an annual theme to unify designs, available in four different shapes. There are also some patterns available online and mail-order from past years. Or if you already have surplus fabric, old blankets, or any cloth, you can make an ugly quilt sleeping bag for the Sleeping Bag Project to help the homeless (existing groups are in the U.S., but you can start your own, or maybe just do your own thing).
posted by filthy light thief (3 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Why the name “Ugly Quilt?”

This simple sleeping bag should not have a market value to assure the homeless are beneficiaries.
I love everything about this: making something of tremendous value that doesn't appear valuable, and therefore isn't a target. (Ensuring its value is given only by those most in need of it.)

Zhuangzi tells a parable along the same lines, and it's one of my most cherished:
Zhuangzi and his friend Huizi were walking together, when Huizi pointed to a tree by the side of the road and said, "Here, look at this tree: it's so twisted that you couldn't cut a straight board from it, and so knotted that it would be impossible to work with. No carpenter would even give it a second look. Your teachings are like that tree: big and useless. That's why everybody ignores them."

Zhuangzi replied, "What sort of things would you consider useful? How about a wildcat: brutally efficient at stalking its prey, leaping this way and that; but for all the ground it covers, it's that much more likely to get caught in a trap and die. Perhaps a mighty yak, then: big and strong as a thundercloud, no trap could ever capture it; but if your house was infested with mice, you'd be wishing for the wildcat!

"As for that tree, it might not be useful to a carpenter, but I'd love to relax beside it and take a nap in it's shade. Besides, no axe will ever shorten it's life. If it's 'useless,' then who's going to bother to harm it?"
posted by ragtag at 1:24 PM on July 14, 2018 [7 favorites]

"Oh, my," she gasped, some of those row quilts are not laid out in rows.

I've seen some very cute row quilts, but haven't made one yet, as they look like a lot of effort. I won't call it work.
posted by puddledork at 5:02 PM on July 14, 2018

This post is brought to you in part by my wife. She started quilting last summer, and a year later, she's made 10 quilts, with another three in progress. She started with nine-block quilts, and this summer learned pineapple and lone star. She went to a few local quilting shops with a fellow quilter and picked up some of the row by row patterns. And then her parents went on a road trip, and they went crazy -- my wife has 24 patterns, and her mom has talked relatives into hitting up more quilting stores to expand my wife's list of potential quilts/rows. Some of them do look daunting, but she's pretty excited about a few of the ones she has in her "to-do" list :)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:10 PM on July 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

« Older Legal to drink in several Canadian provinces   |   “Be advised, love passes. Work alone remains.” Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments