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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Canned Quilt

By Jody Worsham, co author "Kin We're Not Related To:

All rights reserved for Cream of Quilt Soup

I entered my chicken scratch quilt in our Piney Woods County Fair Craft Show.   Now what is a chicken scratch quilt, you may ask, and rightly so. 

Chicken scratch is a sewing technique whereby you fill in the squares of gingham print by sewing double X’s over the white squares,  then sewing single X’s and connecting them in a circle using embroidery thread.

 And what is gingham print you ask as if you understood exactly what I just wrote?   Gingham is woven checked material. 

 The quilt is going to be auctioned to the highest bidder at our school’s Fall Festival Fund Raiser in late October, so I thought this would be a good way to get the quilt seen and to advertise the festival.

 I did not expect to place.  I did not expect to win.  I did not expect the unexpected. 

I shall explain.

There are age divisions within the craft show as well as categories.  There was no age division for “Jesus was my next door neighbor” so I just entered as an adult.  “Kin We’re Not Related To” has just been published so if they have not read the book, then my “adult” status would not be challenged.  Category was a different matter.

There was no quilt category so I had a choice of:  A) Cross-stitch, B) Miscellaneous, or C) Specialty Sewing, French Hand Sewing.   I had to register my project before 6p.m.  I waited for all of the other entries to come in before submitting mine, trying to gauge the competition in each category and working up the courage to enter at all.  There were already a bunch of cross-stitch pieces entered and miscellaneous would have me competing with popsicle ash trays and scrapbooks.  That left category C.  

The ladies at the registration table were scrutinizing each entry.  I decided my best bet was to go for Specialty Sewing, French Hand Sewing.  To be on the safe side, I threw in a little French accent.

“Si vous plait.  Pleaze, e vish to enter theeze quilt with zee special cross-stitch in how you say Specialty Sewing for the French.”

They looked at me, at the quilt, and back at me. They huddled together discussing the various aspects of the quilt and my ancestry.  I heard

“It’s a quilt.” 

“No, look at the cross-stitching. It’s cross-stitching.

Yes, but it is a specialty cross-stitching.”

 “Y’all, I don’t think she’s Southern.” 

Then they looked over at me.   I was afraid one of them was going to say “I remember you.  You taught me in high school as well as my daughter and her daughter and my great-great-grandniece,” but they didn’t.  Finally one of the ladies handed me a Category C: Specialty Sewing, French Hand Sewing registration form.  I was in.

The next day while my children were competing in the broiler show, I checked back to see if my quilt had been placed in a good position for advertising the Fall Festival. 

There in the corner of the display room was my quilt with a huge purple ribbon with “SWEEPSTAKES WINNER” written in fake gold letters.  I checked around.  Nobody else had a fake gold lettered purple ribbon.  Then I saw it.  Overshadowed by the loops of the big purple bow was the coveted blue ribbon.


 Maybe they thought, since I was French, I wouldn’t notice.  Or maybe they ran out of FIRST PLACE  CRAFT ribbons.  Or maybe they read my book.

Anyone want to bid on a First Place Blue Ribbon Sweepstakes winning canned chicken scratch quilt?


fishducky said...

VERY funny, Jody!!

Jody Worsham said...

too kind Fishducky!Thanks

Sharon said...

Your note was so funny. So glad you won first place for "canning." Beautiful quilt.

Jody Worsham said...

Thanks Sharon. Enjoyed learning a new technique