Friday, September 30, 2011

Send Pelvis to Denver!

I have no words. Wait, no, I have a few...
My husband, Pelvis Costello, has been invited to announce at the WFTDA national tournament this November, but we can't afford the cost of the flight to Denver. New Hampshire Roller Derby heard about this and decided that they want to help send their pal to the big show, because holy crap, they're wonderful people.

Please take a moment and hit up their fundraising link here. Even donating $1 would be a big help. Please spread the word, too. The more people who know about this fundraiser the better!

NHRD, you are amazing friends. Thank you so much for doing such a kind thing for my wonderful, sweet man.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

France? C'est bon!

Getting my hands on this square was no easy task. I emailed the Bloody Riot Girls of Renne, France asking if they would be interested in submitting a square to the quilt. What followed was an exchange of emails translated by Kitty Twister, who has a degree in French and was willing to put it to use for a good cause. I was extremely grateful for her help, as I'm a product of my culture and thus only speak English fluently. Well, English, some useful phrases in Japanese (toire wa dokko desu ka?) and a string of colorful insults in Italian (thanks dad).

The piece they contributed was well worth the the email chain. Anyone who works with yarn will know that this clearly took its creator some time. It's gorgeous! Thanks Bloody Riot Girls for making such a wonderful contribution, and for putting up with my inability to speak your beautiful language. If anyone else in France wants to contribute a square, please let me know!  What do you think, Paris? Bordeaux? Orléans? Metz? Tolous? I know there are more....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wish List (edited because WHOA the formatting was nuts!)

When I started this, my goals were to get squares from other leagues. I reached that goal pretty much right away thanks to Zsa Zsa GaBoom from Kansas. My next goal was to get a patch from a league outside the US, and that wish was granted by Roisin Roulette of the Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames. Then I wanted a square from a country that spoke a language other than English as its primary language, and Gotherburg's Julia Ruth Ninja decided to rep Sweden. Just recently my biggest dream came true when I got a package from Australia. With each new goal comes a new one, and I apparently need some new goals.

I figured I'd start by calling out some friends, friends of friends, and some of my favorite leagues to watch as a fan.
If you're not mentioned here, don't feel left out. I stopped writing when my lunch period was over, so this list is just a small sampling of the people I'd like to see on the quilt:

Pelvis Costello (no more excuses, husbandman)
Lady Oshun
Reverend Al Mighty
Dee Stortion
Dumptruck (you promised, dude)
Georgia W. Tush (you are too adorable not to have a square)
Hayley Contagious (wife!)
Three Day Bender (perhaps a "Bender Knows Best" square?)
Baby Fighterfly
Hearty Break-fist
Day-Glo Divine
Philzie (do our rides together mean nothing, buddy?)
Shelby Bruisin'
Ir8 Pirate
Slam I Am (come on, skater sister!)
Chicana Bruzya
Ivanna B. Vicious
Rita Rulebook
Filthy McNasty (thanks for the leggings!)
Ophelia Bonesbreak (perhaps with a pug?)
Ina Infirmirary (wait... I hear it's "Crafty" now?)
Val Capone
Slay D. Bug
Bobby Narco (you said you'd represent the anthem singers, man!)
Annie Cockledeux
Craisy Dukes
Plastic Patrick
Ivanna Clobber
Justice Feelgood Marshal
Dolly Rocket
Suzy Hotrod
Bonnie Thunders
Demanda Riot

I'd also love squares representing any of the following derby organizations and/or vendors. Derby has blossomed into such a rich culture, and so far the quilt largely represents specific people. Let's get the groups in on this:

Derby News Network
Roller Derby Inside Track
Bruised Boutique
Wicked Skatewear

...aaaaand there's the lunch bell. There are so many more people, leagues, and groups I'd like to see included. If you are one of these people or know them, please help me make sure they have a place on the quilt.

Wish list

WHOA formatting issues! I'll have to go back and re-write this from scratch. Here is a photo of my dog for you to enjoy while you wait:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mass Maelstrom

Central Mass Roller Derby's men's team may have my favorite team name ever: the Mass Maelstrom. I loved Edgar Allen Poe as a gloomy teenager, I think whirlpools are neat, and was afraid of Charybdis "coming to get me" when I swam in large bodies of water as a little kid. Plus, I like the "male" pun they've got going on there. I'm glad to see CMRD represented on the quilt, as they're BDD's neighbors and I love them like whoa.

Also, this patch is gorgeous. The photo doesn't really do it justice, so you'll have to take my word for it. It's a faithful representation of the team's logo, down to the details on Thor's hammer and his "I'm coming for you next, jerk" hand gesture. Uber Wench has this to say about her creative process:

When Peter Rottentail asked me to do a square for the Mass Maelstrom for the derby quilt, I accepted, but I wasn't sure how to proceed. I've been playing roller derby since September, 2009, and in the real world I repair ancient bookbindings, so my first instinct was to make a leather collage. I brought a copy of the Maelstrom logo to my bookbinding studio and began to contemplate it. After an extended and largely inactive contemplation period, and an unsuccessful attempt to execute the leather idea, I decided to branch out a little with my materials.

Once I let go of the all-leather concept, the square came together very quickly. The viking's head and helmet are leather, his torso and hair are fabric. I cut "MASS" out of a batik fabric, and hand embroidered "maelstrom" onto the same fabric beneath it. The fist and hammer are very detailed in the logo, so I just printed them (on paper), cut them out, and pasted them on. I drew the blue background swirls onto the fabric with colored pencil and permanent marker. Then I sat down at the sewing machine, stitched the blue backing fabric into place and then "drew" with my sewing machine, adding lines and accents, and reinforcing the temporarily pasted attachments. 

I love the different textures in the square, and the way that diverse materials create a united whole, just like the Maelstrom: different players sticking together to make one cogent team!

Thanks Uber Wench for making this killer block! I'm glad CMRD is represented now. We've covered three leagues in Massachusetts, but there's another one left unrepresented. What about you, Mass Attack Roller Derby? You want in?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dreadmeat? Really?

I spent way more time on this
than I care to admit.
Every once in a while I do a google search for "roller derby quilt" to see what's out there, and I find a few gems. I somehow missed this article back in February. Skip down to the bottom and you'll notice that the author refers to me as "Dreadmeat." As my dear friend Hayley Contagious would say, really bro?

He links to the BDD site and quotes lines from Maude Forbid's profile, so he's seen the BDD website. Also, I definitely said that thing about hitting people with my butt to some reporter somewhere, so he's sorta kinda done his research. I'm completely mystified about where the name "Dreadmeat" even came from.

I did, however, find a few sites referring to raw food diets for dogs, a band from Auckland, NZ, and some kind of reggae steak recipe.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Australia! Hooray!

One of my biggest hopes when I started getting contributions from other leagues was to get a square from a reeeeally far away place like Australia. I'm psyched to say my dream has come true! Master Maniac, an official from Towns Villains Roller Derby sent me this square all the way from Townsville in North Queensland, Australia. It was so exciting to get an email from my husband simply stating "your Australian package has arrived." I've never gotten mail from the other side of the world and it totally made me feel special and important.

He found out about the quilt through an interview I did at Uproar on the Lakeshore. "As HorrorBelle, TVRD League President, calls me a 'Derby Nerd' I was watching the interview you did with Uma Plata on Bout Derby and you mentioned during that interview that you didn't have a Patch from an Australia League. So I took that as my cue to get all arty and crafty and make one to send to you."

Even better still, Master Maniac kindly shared news of the quilt with other leagues nearby. I've gotten a lot of web traffic from Australia every since, and even a few "how can we contribute" emails too. I would love for this square to get some friends, so if you're a skater from any league in Australia, New Zealand, or the surrounding areas, please contribute a square!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A fundraising square from Bitchez Bruze of PVRD

Some time ago I was at a Pioneer Valley Roller Derby bout out in Western Mass, and Bitchez Bruze gave me a shirt to use in the quilt. Months later a friend handed off some camo fabric for the quilt, also courtesy of Bitchez. It's taken me forever, but I finally paired the two to make the patch you see to the left. Thanks Bitchez!

The shirt comes from a fundraiser PVRD did a while back. They screen printed these shirts and raised over 5K for the American Cancer Society. PVRD has several survivors on the league as well as a number of skaters with family who have fought cancer. It's great to have a memory of this for the quilt for all those who play derby who have also battled this terrible disease.

PVRD is participating in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life again this year. Here is their donation page if you would like to chip in a little to help find a cure, and here is the event page on PVRD's site if you would like to see their black and white charity bout on Sunday, May 22 at Lossone Rink at Williston Northampton School.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Help find Lil' Paine's skates!

Help us get home!

These were stolen from the Boston area from Lil' Paine, one of the coaches (and rockstar jammers) of the Boston Massacre and a dear friend of mine. As you can see in the photo, they're custom gold and white 595 reactors with narrow dubs wheels. If you see these skates ANYWHERE they are likely hers - these are a custom job and are very distinctive. They cost a LOT of money and she's a school teacher like me - it won't be easy to just get another pair!

Please email with any leads!! Please share this photo and repost this message to all of your social networking accounts so her skates can get back home. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Want some quilt merch? Of course you do!

I'm working on a fancier site with a shop and such, but until that materializes I figured I'd repost the merch info to satisfy those of you who have been asking me where you can buttons and patches and the like. I have plenty to go around and other designs in the works as well.

Buttons are $1.00
1 inch round buttons

Stickers are $1.50
2.5" round stickers
good for indoor and outdoor use

Patches are $5
3" round, iron-on patch

If you want one of these before I finish setting up a little online store part of the site, email me at rollerderbyquilt (at) gmail (dot) com. I accept paypal and will ship anywhere. Customers pay shipping and handling.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Derby Quilt on display at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center

What's this? Another quilt show? How excellent is that?

Come see the quilt at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center from April 8-July 29. The reception is this Thursday, April 14, from 6-9PM.

Here's the card for the show. Please spread the word and come to the reception to eat our cheese and drink our wine. I'll be there (not on skates, boo) and I'd love to say hello.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Detroit Derby Girls

Photo by the Mad Hatcher
Craftsmanship appears to be the theme lately. I have yet another extremely well-made square to show off, this time from the Detroit Derby Girls.The Mad Hatcher sent me this wonderfully complex block representing the wealth of diversity in her league. She phrases it far better than I could, so here are the deets in her own words:

"I choose this particular kind of block that is very heavy in piecing.  I wanted to do something that has many small pieces with very different types of prints because one the coolest things about Detroit Derby Girls is the immense variety of backgrounds represented by our skaters.  We have skaters who are teachers, students, unemployed, graphic designers, lawyers, retail management, waiters, doctors, and so on.  And we come from a number of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, as well as different socioeconomic backgrounds.  We all have different approaches to  skating and derby techniques, to training, to eating right and practicing derby skills.  But I also wanted all of those pieces to be unified by similar colorways: red and black, our league colors.  Because at the end of the day, we work hard to figure out what makes us work best as a league, to capitalize on the overlaps.  So, that's the narrative behind the block!"

I love this square both because of its meaning and its gorgeous piecework. I'm going to have to step up my game if I want the borders around these new contributions to look half as good as the blocks themselves. Nicely done, Mad Hatcher!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

ECE Team Goth

I had ample time to dig through my giant pile of clothes while our new bedroom closet was being created. The pile got progressively smaller with each day of having to sleep next to, around, and even under all of my refugee clothing, and I found several shirts that were too full of derby stank to ever wear again, ever. My "team goth" shirt was on the top of the pile, both because it smelled like death and because it resembled a burnt dishrag. How did I find the armholes in something THIS shredded?

If you play derby in the northeast, you have heard of the East Coast Derby Extravaganza. If you live under a rock and/or call any other region home, it's a three-day festival of derby awesomeness in Feasterville, PA. The Philly Rollergirls put this on annually, much to the joy of all who attend. There are sanctioned WFTDA bouts, bouts for B Teams and mixed teams like NERD, and challenge bouts based on themes like Mario vs. Luigi, Robot vs. Godzilla, and Goth vs. Hipster.

I represented Team Goth and had an absolute blast in a way that only goths can. Before the bout we sat around putting on spooky makeup and shredding numerous layers of fishnets. During the bout we played hard and looked awesome in our all-black outfits. After the bout we cried tears of joy because we won. For the rest of the weekend we hung out in the pool and at the side of other bouts, because ECE helps people make insta-friends like that.

If you're anywhere within driving distance of ECE, consider checking it out. It's an incredible weekend, even if you're just watching the action.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

DC Rollergirls

Back at Eastern Regionals, I overheard the DC bench coach, Potomac Ripper, giving a moving pep talk to the DC travel team. After tweeting about how it made me cry (shut up) someone retweeted it and he found out. He came over, we chatted, and after a while conversation turned to the quilt. The next morning I found a DC Rollergirls shirt on my table, and I was all kinds of excited.

It's been kicking around my studio for some time, looking for an appropriate background. After the box of Derby Skinz scraps came I foun the solution. There were juuuuuuust enough small pieces of silver-on-blue stars and red and white holographic stripes that I could cobble together this fancy little flag representing the colors of the DC All Stars.  I'm thrilled that my machine was able to handle the four-way stretch material, because I've never quite gotten the hang of working with that stuff.

Thanks Potomac Ripper, and thanks Derby Skinz for helping this square look all fancy. Go team us.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Holy crap! Sweden!

When I first started getting squares in the mail, I fantasized about getting contributions from other countries. When I got my first square from Canada, my ambitions spread overseas. After someone hooked me up with a square from the UK, I hoped to one dat get a patch from someone representing a country that used any language but English as its official language. I'll need to find a new dream, because Sweden has answered.

Julia Ruth Ninja of Gothenburg Roller Derby sent out this square to represent the West Coast Bombshells. She used a great combination of materials, including carefully cut and stitched leather. My mother was all over the corset-looking piece on the bottom, especially. I have to say I agree.

Thank you so much Ninja! I'm thrilled that derby is branching out, and even more thrilled that the quilt is starting to show how far it's reaching. Who's next? South America? Asia? Down under? Let's get on that, people.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stage 2 (I can't believe I'm doing this again...)

They look so sweet and innocent
I've been carting around this one big, awesome section of the quilt for months now. Whenever I exhibit it, people always ask the same question:

"So is this the whole finished quilt?"

It certainly looks finished. It's ten feet square with lovely finished edges, and it has enough different blocks that it could be considered "done" to someone who is less enthusiastically ADHD than I am. However, my answer is always the same:

"Oh HELL no. I have twice as much at home in my studio."

I've been collecting blocks quite steadily since the first gallery show and there's no way I'm stopping now. I counted my pile o' squares the other day and it looks like I have just enough to make another 10' x 10' section. My poor hands are already screaming in protest. My knees and back too. Sheesh.

Thankfully I have a back-up sewing machine (thanks mom!), tons of extra material (thanks Derby Skinz!) and plenty of floor space now. This should be a VAST improvement over my process last year. Looking back, I have no idea how I survived working on our coffee table and sewing in that tiny shared study.

This will probably ruin my chances of ever getting the whole quilt into a carry-on ever again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Motherly Love from Suburbia/Connecticut: Part 3

Last but not least, this is the third block from Lynne McDonald, the derby mama and quilter with mad "skillz," as my students would say. This piece represents the announcers of Suburbia Roller Derby, Sam Handwich and Stew L. Sample. Sam Handwich is Lynne's son and Awol's boyfriend. I kind of love this roller derby family.

A key part of the design is the memorial patch for Maddie, Sam's dog. Lynne included an article about Maddie, who died tragically when she was still quite young. In Lynne's words, "I included a memory of Sam's dog, Maddie, on his block because during her short life she became a loyal fan and friend, attending most bouts with Sam. The girls on the team grew to love Maddie as much as we did."

Thank you so much Lynne. These blocks are absolutely GORGEOUS, and the details in the designs are so personal. These serve as impressive records of these wonderful people in your life, and I promise to take good care of them as they become a part of the quilt.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Motherly Love from Suburbia/Connecticut: Part 2

Ready for more spectacular craftsmanship? You'd better sit down. This one is fierce. Lynne made this for Awol, who is dating her son, Sam Handwich. She skates for both Suburban Brawl and the Botoxic Avengers along with Lynne's daughter, Taryn Limbs. The design on this one is just killer, and the syringe appliqué looks even better in person.

Next week, part 3. Hooray for prolific quilting roller derby mamas, eh?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Motherly love from Suburbia/Connecticut: Part 1

This is part one of a three parter, because this is clearly too much quilting skill to smash into one entry. Lynne McDonald is a proud parent of a rollergirl and a skilled quilter to boot. She blended these two loves into three stunning blocks, and in her words "I don't know anything about roller derby, attended only a few bouts (and kepy my eyes covered for much of it), but I do know about quilting.

Lynne, I can certainly see that you do. Goodness me, look at that craftsmanship! Please click on the photo to the right if you don't believe me. Simply gorgeous.

She made this first block for her daughter, Taryn Limbs. She's skated for both Connecticut and Suburbia, and her teams are represented in the corners of the quilt. I'm absolutely enamored with the amount of information on this piece - teams, dates, leagues.... it's a gorgeous record of her daughter's experience so far.

Next week, part 2.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fist pumps!

My friends from Jersey have informed me that the quilt is now legit. Thank you Doom Hilda for repping New Jersey's newest derby league. She sent in this lovely square showing off the Jerzy Derby Brigade league's logo and one of their two teams, the Corporal Punishers.  Rock on, Doom.

The quilt may be legit, but it's far from complete. I mean, how can it be without any of the other Jersey leagues represented? Jersey is a small state blessed with a ton of leagues, and I'd hate for the quilt to inaccurately represent this state teeming with skaters.

What do you say, Garden State, Jersey Shore, Shore Points, Hellrazors, South Jersey, Skyland, Psycho 78's.... am I missing any? You want in or what?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I love Derby Skinz

It looks like a drag queen threw
up in here.
Nasty Niss, I love you to pieces. At Derby in the Burbs, she was kind enough to offer to send me a pile of scraps to use in the quilt. Shortly thereafter she sent me this box of stretchy, holographic awesomeness. It was a very, very good day.

The photo doesn't adequately show the size of the box, which is jam packed with  every pattern you see on the site. The strips between the quilt squares in the next section (yes, NEXT) will be all kinds of fancy. Also, the color of the strips will more accurately reflect the colors we typically see on the track, as everyone who is anyone wears these things.

Thanks Derby Skinz, and thanks Nasty! I can't wait to play with these.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Derby in the Burbs

Remember how I said that Meredith from Suburbia Roller Derby made an even better square than her previous contribution? I finally got around to taking photos of it to show off. It's worth clicking the photo on the left to view it full size. Killer embroidery, eh?

Any news on the derby name, Meredith? Thank you so much for making such a gorgeous piece, and for agreeing to part with it for the sake of making sure Eastern Regionals 2010 was represented in the quilt. Between you and an upcoming quilter, this next section of the quilt will look quite sophisticated. Nicely done!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Interview on

Uma and Tim form interviewed me about the quilt during Uproar on the Lakeshore, and the video is up. Click on the photo to the left to view it.

Thanks you guys for taking an interest in the quilt! I was dead serious about that nudge to all you Aussies and Kiwis out there. ;)