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What do press deadlines and rock concerts have to do with quilting?

20 Mar 2011

Question: What do quilting editors do when they just sent their newest and biggest issue ever (101 Patchwork Projects) off to press, it's St. Patrick's Day weekend, and they live near Boston? They go see the Dropkick Murphys at the House of Blues, of course! 

This past Friday night some of your trusty Quilting Arts team, Helen Gregory, Lindsey Murray, and myself, hoofed it down to the House of Blues across the street from Fenway Park to listen to the Boston-based Irish punk band The Dropkick Murphys. No self-respecting Bostonian (who has even just a smidgeon of Irish blood running through their veins), doesn’t turn up the volume and do an Irish jig when they come on the radio.

We had tickets for the floor, which is general standing only, and were thrilled when we secured front and center placement... much so that Managing Editor Helen became Manager of the Mosh Pit!

The place was absolute insanity and filled with riotous energy. Young Irish step dancers who looked about eight years of age performed alongside them for several songs, as well as a gaggle of bagpipe players who assisted for a few tunes (and I think is responsible for my loss of hearing in my left ear). Everybody was jumping up and down, dancing, singing along, and in the below shot, you'll see the band grabbed as many guys from the audience as possible on stage to sing to all the girls. (I'd mention the song title but I can't because it has profanity in it. Just think of an alternate ballad version of "Kiss Me, I'm Irish.")

Now here's where it got deliriously exciting for me. About three hours into the concert (there were not one, not two, but three opening acts), I was worried that the rumored appearance of a very special guest was not going to happen. But then the lights were dimmed and one of the lead vocalists, Ken Casey, brought his grandmother Peg onto the stage.

A little background: On their latest album "Going Out in Style," there is a song called "Peg O My Heart" dedicated to Ken's two grandmothers, both named Peg. It just so happens that Bruce Springsteen makes a guest appearance on this track. For those who read my letter from the editor from time to time, or perhaps caught my blog about taping Series 500 of QA TV you may know I'm just a tad fanatical when it comes to Bruce Springsteen. So imagine my excitement when Ken announced that he needed a little help singing to his grandmother, and just who was the one person who could help him?! (By the way, I'm pretty sure I can hear my obnoxious "wahooing" in the background of this video since the guy who took it was right in front of me):

All in all a fantastic time, and a great way to celebrate sending an issue to press. With Bruce closing his three-song encore by assisting with "I'm Shipping Up To Boston," a song that is as much a Boston anthem as The Standells' "Dirty Water," and is played at Red Sox games when relief pitcher Jon Papelbon runs onto the field, I couldn't help but think that Opening Day at Fenway will soon be upon us.

And with it...SPRING--something that Lindsey and I are very eager for!

Even though I have temporarily lost my hearing and my voice, and think I'm going to lose about five toe nails due to so many 200-pound Irish boys from Southie stomping on my feet, it was well worth it!

I do have a concert quandry, though, that I'm hoping some of you quilters can offer some advice. Lindsey and I each bought a concert t-shirt, and the front looked cool enough, but we didn’t turn it around to see the back.

Now these are all very fine sentiments symbolized on an Irish Claddagh ring, but spelled out on a rock-n-roll t-shirt?! I don’t think so! Lindsey and I are going to figure out how we can either paint, screen print, discharge or stamp it, or add some interest twist. If you leave me an idea, I’d be grateful, and in thanks I'll pick one person to send a stash of green fabric to!


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sewcalgal wrote
on 20 Mar 2011 12:43 PM

Sounds like a fun time to me.  Beautiful green fabrics too. Certainly would help make a cute spring theme quilt.


on 20 Mar 2011 2:00 PM

what an adventure after a big accomplishment!  Way to celebrate!  

I'm thinking definitely some thermofax screen printin.  How can it NOT have your guitars on it?  I know you will make them beautiful!

Jeannie EVH wrote
on 20 Mar 2011 2:03 PM

Oh, you can have so much fun with some thermofax screens to illustrate the words. Loyalty - screens of your dogs, love - an Irish knot heart, ....... Once you start, you won't notice the original back. Have fun!

LindaS@41 wrote
on 20 Mar 2011 2:21 PM

Oh, I think those three words can be worked into a rock concert t-shirt really well - for example LAUGH INSANELY, LOVE ROCK, LOYALty TO ROCK, etc! :)

Surely you can arrange a unique statement for yourself based on that idea?

:) Linda

on 20 Mar 2011 4:36 PM

I think you should screen print "Editor's at Play" over the top, at an angle and then add a few shamrocks for good measure.  Have fun!

jabotquilt wrote
on 20 Mar 2011 8:13 PM

sounds like the perfect feelings of a dog to his owner... can you put some paw prints all over it, with shiva or fabric paints or both?

DinahT wrote
on 21 Mar 2011 7:50 AM

A scattering of Claddaghs in shadings of Greens.


gjeneve wrote
on 21 Mar 2011 9:56 AM

How fun after a big job finished.  I was thinking maybe a screen print of Bruce and then some words about the night.   My stash is seriously short of beautiful green fabric.     Gjeneve

ealake wrote
on 21 Mar 2011 11:48 AM

I don't have a suggestion - I just think it's so cool to have quilters, et al go to bars and concerts!!!

on 22 Mar 2011 9:38 AM

It sounds like you ladies had a great time after all the hard work.  I look forward to seeing the new magazine hit the stands.   And ... green is my favorite color.  I know what you mean about wanting to disguise those words.   How about creating a stencil out of freezer paper or similar with a design that echoes the ones on the front of the T-shirt, and then screen printing or using paintstiks to stencil over the letters to make them fade into the background?  you could also screen print over them with a color similar to the T-shirt background and then stamp or stencil or screen print over that.

Look forward to seeing the final product.  Have fun.


Jody Johnson wrote
on 24 Mar 2011 11:29 PM

Stamp different shapes onto the back that are representative to Ireland. What should you use for the stamps? Potatoes, in remembrance/acknowledgement of the Irish potato famine.

charlieanne wrote
on 26 Mar 2011 9:21 AM

I'd like to see some "Jackson Pollack" style splashes in green, white, gold, orange/red, whatever - you could stuff it with newsprint and fling textile paint off of brushes at it...

GiGi13 wrote
on 26 Mar 2011 9:42 AM

Why not fussy cut the nice parts and 1/2 moon shape them on the front of your quilt?  Thank you.

Wendy Soby wrote
on 6 Apr 2011 8:59 PM

Use the original Cladaugh(SP?) design to paint around the 3 words

W soby