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Quilting is a Crime of Passion

by

Mark Tiedeman of Quilter's Paradise

There is no doubt that quilting is a passion for millions of people. Unfortunately, though, with the passage of time, certain behaviors emerge from some quilters that may be considered criminal under the Quilter's Penal Code. The worst offenders are the so-called "serial quilters" who commit multiple and repeat offenses. Punishments under the code can be severe, such as solitary confinement with no stash, hanging by a thread, and getting the needle.

Heretofore unpublished is the list of quilting crimes and their definitions. I'm sure that you have witnessed some of these crimes and, of course, have never personally committed even so much as a remote infraction of any of them. (Please note that the definitions for a number of crimes use the term "spouse". For the unmarried folks out there, our apologies ... simply substitute "significant other" for "spouse".)


Crime Definition
Crimes Committed at the Quilt Shop
Aiding and Abetting Bringing an unwitting friend along to the quilt shop and encouraging, goading and egging them on to buy even more fabric than the ample stack you're getting, so that you can truthfully say that you didn't spend the most.
Loitering Hanging around at the quilt shop at all hours of the morning, afternoon, evening and on into the dead of night ... as well as on days that the shop is closed, holidays and during natural disasters when everyone else has been evacuated from the surrounding 10 miles.
Stalking Closely, yet stealthily, following every step of the way around the quilt shop another customer who, unbeknownst to them, has selected the very bolt of fabric that you so desperately crave.
Disorderly Conduct Becoming boisterous, unruly, belligerent and sometimes engaging in a tug of war with another customer while vigorously contesting that last bit of fabric on a bolt.
Trespassing Encroaching on another customer's space at the cutting table with your seven stacks of fabric to be cut.
Identity Theft Using a relative's name, such as your mother, sister, daughter, or cousin, when making a purchase to avoid any possible record of your frequent fabric purchases.
Racketeering Prolonged raucous, rowdy laughter during a quilt class.
Crimes Committed Going To or Coming From the Quilt Shop
Speeding The usual result when you've absolutely, positively have to get some fabric right away, but you're 10 miles away from the quilt shop which closes in 5 minutes.
False Pretenses Telling your spouse that you just have to go to the quilt shop, not to buy, but to help a friend with her project instead (even though she's out of town and doesn't quilt).
Conspiracy Any time you go to the quilt shop with another person whether or not there is intent to buy and whether or not it is premeditated.
Kidnapping Forcibly dragging along your spouse against their will to go quilt shop hopping for long, extended periods of time. If you are the driver of a vehicle when this occurs, a charge of "hijacking" may be added.
Human Trafficking Loading and driving your vehicle with all your friends to go quilt shop hopping.
Violating a Restraining Order Agreeing with your spouse that you won't go within 200 feet of a quilt shop for at least a week, but making it only 35 minutes.
Driving Under the Influence Currently being petitioned before the courts as a psychological disorder and not a crime. It happens among most quilters as they drive home from the quilt shop with an intoxicating feeling of elation as they dreamily ponder the endless possibilities of their newly purchased fabric treasures. Opponents of the petition counter that this condition is far more dangerous than texting while driving.
Wreckless Endangerment In loading your vehicle with the fabric that you purchased, you've exceeded its cargo weight limit. Further, you can't see out any of the side windows or mirrors and, being top heavy with the fabric you had to strap down onto the hood and roof, your vehicle is susceptible to rolling over. However, due to your deft driving skills - or pure, blind luck, as some would say - you make it home without an accident ... hence, making it "wreckless".
Smuggling Considered by most quilters as simply a time-tested technique versus a crime, it's a means of getting the goods from the fabric shop into the house in such a way such that your spouse is completely unaware of it happening.
Feigning Amnesia Confronted by your spouse, who's clutching a fistful of sales receipts from quilt shops all dated in the last 48 hours, you pause, feeling tired and groggy, then respond, "Huh? What? The last thing I remember was getting into the car with my friends [they're all quilting fanatics by the way]. It's all a blur after that. Next thing I know, I'm sitting in my sewing room surrounded by 23 bags of fabric and quilting supplies and you show up."
Crimes Committed in the Act of or As the Result of Quilting or Sewing
Disturbing the "Piece" Cutting a piece of fabric with a dull, nicked rotary cutter in a crooked fashion.
Fabric Laundering Considered a crime by those purists who insist that you should never wash your fabric before using it in a quilt.
Cheating According to some traditionalists, this occurs any time you use a machine for sewing or quilting. However, this definition has changed over the years as technology has advanced. There was a time long ago when the traditionalists of the day took a dim view of those who bartered for thread instead of growing and harvesting their own cotton and then spinning it into their own thread.
Breaking and Entering Repeated breaking of the thread on your sewing machine necessitating that you enter "Sewing Machine School". Upon completing school, the thread breaking incident will be expunged from your record.
Lying Under Cloth* Engaging in the practice of trapunto.
Indecent Exposure Showing a quilt at a juried competition in which the pieces are cut crooked, seams aren't straight, threads dangle everywhere, the points don't line up, and the fabric colors clash and conflict.
Family Crimes
Neglect The pain and suffering inflicted on family members as you engage in weeks-long sew-a-thons.
Littering When your stash spills out of your sewing room and on into the bedrooms, hallways, family room, living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, garage, attic, basement, storage shed, and guest quarters.
Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor Taking a minor, such as your granddaughter, along to a sit and sew with 20 of your longtime quilting friends and keeping her up into the wee hours of the night listening to them regale in scores upon scores of quilting crime stories, adventures and escapades.
Bribery Giving a fat quarter to your granddaughter in exchange for her silence as to what you bought at the quilt shop.
Deprived Indifference** This is actually not a crime committed by quilters but one inflicted on them. It happens when your spouse deprives you of the opportunity to visit a quilt shop and is completely indifferent to your 3-hour barrage of pleadings and entreaties.
Crimes That Defy Categorization
Membership in a Gang Close association with or membership in a quilting organization. In modern times, these organizations are known as called "guilds" and recruit members from territories that they operate in. As members tend to be "crafty", you won't easily spot them travelling in packs on motorcycles on highways, but instead in minivans and SUVs during quilt runs and events.
Insider Trading Participating in a block exchange conducted indoors.
Medical Fabric Fabric that you are allowed, under a doctor's prescription, to keep and use for therapeutic reasons. California became the first state to allow possession of medical fabric with the passage of Proposition 18. It is now legal in 16 states, and you can possess up to 1 ounce at any given time.


*A word play on "Lying Under Oath".

*A word play on "Depraved Indifference".


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