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A Quilt Editor's Nightmare!

19 Feb 2010

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and when that happens, I can’t sleep. So last night I took a Tylenol PM and had a dream that was rather Tim Burton-ish.

In my dream, I volunteered at a major quilt show to help hang quilts. (And this was not an established quilt event company, this was something from the dream world). The quilts were to be hung in multiple halls, and I was assigned to a hall that looked like a barn: dark wood walls, low lighting, faint odor of hay, and a little drafty. I knew the people who worked at the event company, and after they greeted me kindly, I donned my white gloves and said, “Put me to work!” They all snickered and the volunteer coordinator looked at me slyly and said, “Here, Pokey, why don’t you take this one and hang it over there,” pointing to a far, dimly lit corner.

The box that had the quilt in it was rather heavy and unwieldy, and when I opened it, it really was a nightmare: a box within a box, within another box, within yet another box, taped within an inch of its life, and packaged in a sea of peanuts. Plus, there was a cooler in the box, filled with dry ice, a carton of milk, a jar of chocolate sauce, and a bottle of Kahlua.  In addition there were three carefully wrapped hand-blown glass sconces with instructions that said, “Be careful! These glass sconces are hand-blown by the quilt artist and are the embellishments for the quilt.”

The quilt itself consisted of four bright orange quilted panels that were stitched onto an organza and cellophane base, which was shaped into ruffles and pleats, then burned at the edges to seal.

The instructions for hanging the quilt read:
1. Puff up, shape, and press the ruffles and pleats if necessary, being careful not to scorch the plastic and organza base.
2. Dip the rims of the hand-blown glass sconces in the chocolate sauce, then fill with the ingredients for White Russians.
3. Shape the cellophane in a fashion that is reminiscent of waves in the ocean, being careful not to crease the cellophane wrapping.
4. Press the organza in case it creased in places during shipping, but be careful not to burn or melt the quilt.
5. Carefully shape the handmade wire brackets that are to hold the hand-blown glass sconces, then gently place the sconces filled with White Russians into the wire brackets.
6. Don’t spill chocolate sauce onto the quilt.

A little frustrated and overwhelmed with the challenge ahead of me, a fellow volunteer offered to help me out with this task. As we were working I stepped out for a minute to make a phone call, and when I came back, the fellow volunteer gleefully pronounced that she was finished and we could go back to our housing. I looked quickly over my shoulder, noticed that the quilt didn’t look quite right but it didn’t really register what was wrong until we got back to our bunker. (Yes, you read that correctly: at this event, we didn’t stay at a hotel, we all slept in a bunker.)

I sat on my cot and it finally registered what this fellow volunteer had done to this quilt. Instead of following the quilter’s instructions, she splattered the quilt with the chocolate sauce, burned areas of the quilt with a lighter, scrunched up the cellophane and punched it in place with a staple gun.  And if one looked closely, buried underneath all of that scrunched up and stapled cellophane was a twenty dollar bill, which after some thinking, I realized was the $20 return fee for the quilt.

I then thankfully woke up.

Needless to say, I think I’m going brave another sleepless night and do what I usually do around 2:00 a.m.: watch “Lock Up” on MSNBC.  At least that’s a little less nightmare-ish.

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on 19 Feb 2010 8:34 AM

Pokey, you have one creative subconscious! That's definitely a nightmare that only a quilt lover would understand.

on 19 Feb 2010 8:45 AM

oh my oh my...that is just hilarious!!  ;)  a dream that is truly priceless!!  xo

on 19 Feb 2010 8:58 AM

I think you should try and make it! :-)

ToniMitt wrote
on 19 Feb 2010 9:00 AM

Yikes!  I think I would've woken up screaming!!  I'm sure you're happy it was only a dream...only a dream...only a dream...

on 19 Feb 2010 9:03 AM

You should write scripts for Hollywood--"Nightmare before Qilt Show" coming soon to a theater near you!

on 19 Feb 2010 9:11 AM

You have very elaborate dreams Pokey!  What a crack up.  I think you've been working a bit too hard.  However come to think of it - maybe you should have a "The Stuff of Nightmares" reader challenge!

on 19 Feb 2010 9:24 AM

What a riot!  I finally found someone with as elaborate dreams as me!  I don't sleep well either!  Sometimes I can get back into a dream and see where in the world it was going.  Hope you get some rest tonight!

robbieklow wrote
on 19 Feb 2010 11:10 AM

That is a very elaborate dream you have going there Pokey. And I'm impressed by the details you remember.  If that ever starts happening in real life, drink the white russians  first, then stagger over and remind them you are too short to hang quilts in an efficient manner. Then hickup really loudly and belch. Oh, and lick some of the chocolate off your fingers. That will seal the deal, although they won't want to work with you again.

If you are up at 2am, that's 1am my time. I'm usually still up, but not verbal, but I can ichat.

PatG26 wrote
on 19 Feb 2010 12:51 PM

That dream would make a wonderful journal spread

Pokey wrote
on 19 Feb 2010 4:53 PM

Your comments are cracking me up. And I swear I was only on Tylenol (nothin' drugs, prescription or otherwise!)

I tend to have rather vivid dreams and I try to journal about them from time to time, but this time I just poured it all out on my blog because it was too funny to keep to myself.

But I admit I am afraid to go to sleep tonight...

pjb987 wrote
on 19 Feb 2010 6:48 PM

I'm sure that somewhere in there lies the next QA Challenge!

on 19 Feb 2010 8:03 PM

Oh my goodness - that is way bizarre! But I do think you need to be drinking a White Russian before you go to bed tonight! ;-)

kathy211 wrote
on 20 Feb 2010 5:38 AM

That is so funn!

on 20 Feb 2010 4:20 PM

Okay, two comments (now that I've stopped laughing):

1. a psychologist once told me that there are studies that show that really creative people often have very vivid dreams. Where typical people can tell you the plots of their dreams and basic descriptions, creative people will tell you how things smelled, felt, tasted, etc. in amazing detail. Your dream is a perfect example.

2. I started having occasional sleeping problems when I turned 40, especially when I was very busy and/or stressed, with a lot on my mind. I took Tylenol PM for a while, but a pharmacist told me that I should just take the active ingredient added to the Tylenol if I wasn't in pain. It is the same thing as Benadryl (25 mg. of diphenhydramine hydrochloride). It is much cheaper than Tylenol PM, too. DISCLAIMER: I am not a health care professional...

MellyT wrote
on 22 Feb 2010 4:43 PM

Pokey. This is a fantastic dream.  I am glad your helper did what she did because hanging a piece just should not be that complicated. I am glad you woke up too because Tim Burton now needs to hear what you have to say.

Lori S. wrote
on 4 Mar 2010 11:13 AM

This cracked me up because I can see myself in your nightmare! I feel so chagrined!  I've only been quilting a little while, and got my first piece accepted into the IQA Celebrate Spring show - just sent it in a few weeks ago and I totally over-packed it.  No, no peanuts or glass ornaments, but too big a box, too much paper cushioning, too much bubble wrap:  the paranoia of the totally inexperienced and nervous first-timer.  (Plus, a Fed Ex store employee who didn't know how to make a smaller box from a larger one.) So, people like me are the ones who populate  your nightmares!  Sorry .... ;-)

She-Quilts wrote
on 7 Mar 2010 11:53 AM

This is too funny!!  I can't believe you remember all that when you awaken.