If there's one thing a community theater needs it's money. It costs a lot to put on a show and when you figure the average season is five or six shows it adds up pretty quickly. Ticket sales only cover a fraction of the expenses. One way my theater brings in more funds is through raffles. Every show we sell raffle tickets for donated prizes. Cabot Cheese is a standing sponsor of ours and we are so grateful for their support! I've been wanted to donate a quilt to be raffled but I have this little procrastination issue... I think that's been covered before. Anyway, I decided this would be the year and "The Full Monty" would be the show. It's the season closer, it's a musical, and it's about guys who strip to support their families. What else is more quilt worthy?
So here are the two issues I ran into: what kind of pattern/fabric to represent naked men and, with precious few quilting dollars, can I afford the batting I need because I have little right now. For a pattern I was thinking a "strip" quilt would be perfect. I figured most patrons wouldn't know it was a strip quilt, but I would, and that would be my own little inside joke. What fabric? I looked at some online--and there are some novelty prints that feature scantily clad gentlemen-- but realized I really couldn't afford enough of it and I'm not sure that our older patrons would want a quilt with such a print anyway and thus would not buy tickets. The little old ladies that are watching the show are enjoying the men's performances, but drape 'em over their rockers 24/7? Maybe not. So I had to go with something I already had. I decided I wanted to play up the love stories ingrained in "Monty" (since that is what the show is really about) and I found a "Curio" charm pack from Moda's Basic Grey line. Hey--I'm sure some folks are coming to see the show because their 'curio'us about the strippers, right? And the colors/prints are very romantic. I only had one pack, though, so it had to be a small quilt. I was able to buy a bit of the solids for borders and a neutral print for a backing. I was also able to piece remnants of batting together for this smaller size and I added some vintage lace I had stashed away. It's not a strippy quilt, and it's only lap sized, but "Monty's Curio" is just right for a quick picnic table topper. I paired it with a basket containing crackers, some pretty wine glasses and 2 bottles of Naked Grape wines~ a perfect basket for a romantic getaway. The prize has been well received, ticket sales are good and next week someone will win Monty's Curio. Whether they keep their clothes on while enjoying it... well, I don't really want to know!