Sunday, January 6, 2013

Free To Be, You And Me?

Chances are, if you are a child of the seventies, you remember this.

Free To Be...You and Me was a project by Marlos Thomas and the Ms. Foundation. It was released as an LP (that's a record album for you young ones out there) and then as an After School Special.  It was packed with songs and stories by a laundry list of all the top stars of the day. Seriously, you can't believe the names on this album; Alan Alda, Cicely Tyson, Carol Channing, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, just to name a few.

The purpose of the album was to promote equality and tolerance between the sexes and to break down some of the established gender stereotypes of the time. Basically, girls can rule the world, and boys can play with dolls. It's all good!

I went to an all girls school that had some pretty progressive teachers. The album and its message was fed to me like mother's milk. I think it made my parents a little nervous, but they were troopers and played along. (Until the day I came home from school with my nose in my copy of Our Bodies, Our Selves and told my mother it was one of my Biology textbooks. Poor Mom, she still hasn't recovered.)

I come from people who like order in their lives. I hesitate to call them controlling, because that word has insidious connotations that don't apply here. But, let's just say that order, and balance is important to their sense of ease. Very, very important. I always felt that I was different, though. I was all about live and let live, following one's bliss. Free To Be, You and Me.
Until this happened.

quilted ... now to find some binding :) #scrappytripalong
Trudi- Quiltingprolifically

The Scrappy Trip Along blew up my Instagram and Twitter feed. The pictures pretty much blew up my brain as well. Resistance, as they say, was futile.. I have done my my share of Quilt Alongs. I really love them. They are such a fantastic way for the quilting community to come together for some laughs and support. This one, though, just seemed to sprout up organically into the universe. 
Brenda, from Just A Bit Frayed is leading the charge, and the Queen of Scrappy, Katy from I'm A Ginger Monkey is on board as well. You can find the tutorial here .

So, as I was saying, pictures of these wondrous scrappilicious quilts kept popping into my feed. Like this one:

close up
By QuiltIt
I mean, they just went on and on! It took me about two minutes to decide to join the revelry. I have always been drawn to scrappy quilts, I just love them. But for some reason (which is now totally obvious to me) I have always put scrappy in my "someday" category, never at the top of my "must do" list. So, I jumped right in with both feet and made this:

 And then I made another one exactly like it.

 I was so proud. I loved my fabric choices, my points matched up to perfection. I was on a roll.
But then a tiny, slightly raspy, little voice whispered in my ear. I looked over and there on my shoulder,was Marlo herself.

 She said, "Oh, Mary! That is lovely! Look at those perfectly matching blocks. They are like twins looking in a mirror. So cute with the polka dots and matching solids. But, Mary, and I mean to give you no pressure at all, but, didn't you say you wanted to make a "scrappy" quilt?"
Before I could answer, Richard Nixon appeared on my left shoulder. True story.

He didn't whisper. He shouted, "Scrappy? SCRAPPY! Knock it off there, Marlo. She isn't the scrappy kind. She's a good, solid citizen. Quit filling her head with these dangerous notions of scrappy. Don't you know where it could lead???"

I'm sure you can guess where it went from here. Yeah, Marlo and Tricky Dick climbed up my hair to the top of my head where Marlo showed just how scrappy she can be by putting Dick in a sleeper headlock until he went *poof*.  Then she stomped her foot (which kind of hurt) and said, "Make the quilt YOU want, Mary!" Then she went *poof* too.

Well, I wanted to make a scrappy quilt. I really really did. But while Marlo had won the battle, she had not, apparently won the war, because Dick wouldn't leave me alone. I stood in front of my fabric stash paralyzed. I really, truly did not know where to begin, and Dick was hissing at me, "You don't understand how colors work together. It will all turn to mud, MUD I say! You have to be artistic to make scrappy work, and you, sister, are no artist. That's a good thing! Artists are dangerous, subversive types. You are not now, nor have you ever been scrappy. You, you are a good girl. You model good, orderly behavior for your children, so they will become good, orderly citizens too."

What will Mary do? Who will win this battle for the scrap bin?
Stay tuned!


  1. Mary, this post is priceless! I have been thinking about making this quilt too...but with more order. LOL! Can't wait to see how this story ends!

  2. Ha ha... you got me to laughing along with you (I imagine you laughing as you wrote this.)
    The magic of scrappy is that it will NOT turn to mud. You don't have to be an artist to do it. In fact, the more colors and designs you put into it, the better it will look. The only thing that really matters is value contrast. (light against dark against light......)
    Go for scrappy now, you can do it. You don't believe me? Ask "That Girl" she will tell you I am right.
    Diamonds, Daisies, Snowflakes,
    That Girl
    Chestnuts, Rainbows, Springtime...
    Is That Girl ! you remember the theme song now?

  3. Oh Mary you are a classic! Good luck with it - I await more on your adventures with anticipation.

  4. What a hilarious post! I actually came here from Erin's (dog under my desk) post about reattaching the zipper pull and now I have to subscribe. I have wanted to join in the scrappy trip too but I just am overwhelmed right now with other projects. Plus I love the quilts I see, I am just not sold on it being my style yet. :) Good luck I will keep a watch out on blogger and IG for your progress!

  5. I love your 'demon and angel' dialogue! I have them often myself. As free spirited as I tend to be, I also had trouble at first. I tried to blame it on the fact that my so-called stash is pathetic. In reality, I was trying to control it too much! Like Gene said, focus on lights and dark and it will come together - it worked for me :)

  6. The list of artists who contributed is amazing, Michael Jackson in the 1970s and Diana Ross among others. I know that the 1970s was truly the first decade of female empowerment. I completely understand the type of thinking that just does not allow for figuratively throwing a can of paint against a wall and making it work.

    PhD by Publication