Knit a few lousy naked people into a quilt and everybody loses their minds, or, The needle and the damage done

quiltershomeGateHouse — I’ll be perfectly honest. People have been bothering me to write about quilting forever, almost since I started this column in 1962.

Ah, how different things were then. In those crazy trailblazing times, people could expect to sit in their quiet homes and knit blankets, wraps and throw rugs featuring extremely filthy pictures with impunity, and also needles. People weren’t as PC as they are now, not so wrapped up in their little insecurities and moral control issues that they couldn’t say, “You know what, if my neighbor wants to sit up late at night throwing down whiskey shots like they were exploring the Antarctic and knitting highly naked pictures into quilts then that is THEIR RIGHT AS AN AMERICAN, and it might even be their obligation, if we can get this amendment and child-labor law waivers through this term.”

But sigh, how times have changed. These days, even a filthy, sex-obsessed, barrel-scraping rag like Quilter’s Home magazine releases one lousy issue with semi-controversial quilts in it and everybody LOSES THEIR MINDS.

Indeed, the January/February issue of Quilter’s Home (come on guys, you can’t swing monthly?) has sold out in consumer malls and Hobby Lobbys across the land, possibly I don’t know maybe theoretically because it came sealed in plastic, Playboy-style, with the headline: “Shocking Quilts: We Show You The Controversial Patchwork.” (Actual other cover headline: “5 Popular Appliqué Glues Put to the Test.”)

Now if you’re standing up, you may want to sit down. If you’re sitting down, crawl on your belly on the floor because this is the part where I report what was on these Shockers: quilts featuring a gun-toting Jesus, some kind of homage to Viagra and several “Watchmen” worth of ample male and female nudity.

In short, FILTH.




Now, Quilter’s Home magazine believes itself to be some combination of hip and edgy, billing itself as “the only quilting magazine that’s fun to read” on its Web site.

Yeah, I thought the same thing too: It was SO SWEET of this magazine’s grandchildren to set up a Web site for it. (It is run by a gentleman by the name of Mark Lipinski, who appears on the Web site 3,500 times.)

But still, that seems arrogant to me, and in case you have never been in a room full of stuck-up, condescending, ironically full-bearded military-hat-wearing hipster bohemian quilt people, let me assure you, you’d rather be stuck in a suffocating elevator with 12 Pitchfork stringers on TV on the Radio leak day.

But hey, it’s a free country. Make whatever claims you want, Quilter’s Home, and I hope it makes you feel big, because you have no idea what the revenge-obsessed lunatics at American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine are even capable of. They’re supposed to be Turkish. Some say their fathers were German. Nobody believed they were real. Nobody ever saw them or knew anybody that ever worked directly for them, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for American Patchwork and Quilting. You never knew. That was their power. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

Anyway, I imagine the staff at Quilter’s Home did not see this coming when they OK’d their photo spread, figuring the world was ready for a plush throw featuring a wicked-armed Jesus. But they have run smack into the extended raised fist of Joann Fabric and Crafts, which has pulled the issue from its stores after looking none too kindly on the magazine’s aggressive filth, as well as its flarn, flarn and, finally, filth.

Right this very minute, I’m told, “debate” continues to “rage” in “quilting forums online,” which may or may not be the case, because listen, I love this job, and I am extremely appreciative of every single reader who comes across these pieces, but I’m not going into an online quilting forum for you people.

For his part, Lipinski has his defense at the ready. “All the other quilting magazines you see are tea parties, and we’re more like a cocktail party,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “Everyone loves a cocktail party.” Right! My favorites are the ones where you don’t have to quilt during them!

But since this is America, at least until Obama gets his way (am I right, Rush? Bleat twice if you hear me, holla!) let me throw the full weight of my Considerable Media Presence behind you, Quilter’s Home, because this is AMERICA.

Needless, ranting controversy is what WE DO HERE. We made the 2 Live Crew successful! We set the stage for Andrew Dice Clay to appear on “Celebrity Apprentice” — can you imagine what he’d be doing if it weren’t for that? If this is what it takes to make quilting briefly, fleetingly famous, then I am all for it, as long as I don’t have to come to your parties.


About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

10 responses to “Knit a few lousy naked people into a quilt and everybody loses their minds, or, The needle and the damage done

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