The beast-y quilts: Making It 1×1 “Meet Your Makers”

Who: ME

What: Making It Season 1 Episode 1 “Meet Your Makers”

When: Friday August 3, 2018 (originally aired July 31, 2018)

Where: Ze couch

Why: How could I not?

I’ve been so excited for this show! It combines some of my all time favorite things in one package: the duo that is Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman (Leslie + Ron FOREVER), crafting, reality tv, and watching others compete in timed competition.

But Amelia, you are obviously asking, what is your experience with crafting? How can we, the collective zero people who will read this, trust that you understand the thrill of making things with your hands? I’m so glad you asked. Behold!

A personal history of my experience crafting (mainly with string):

  • Age before 10: lanyards, friendship bracelets, cat’s cradle enthusiast
  • Age 10: learned to do needlepoint–made awesome eyeglass cases and tapestry before eventually giving that up
  • Age 14: learned how to knit–still do this and if you know me in real life odds are good you’ll eventually get a hat, but currently I’m really excelling as a yarn hoarder
  • Age 24: got a Masters in Library Science and bought book repair tools–did I completely repair the ripped spines and torn pages of all 18 of my grandmother’s Passover Haggadahs over the course of two years? Heck yeah
  • Age 26: the dawning of the paper craft era–I own too many fun stamps, embossing glitters, washi tape, STICKERS, and colorful paper that I’m totally eventually going to cut into petals to form the flower collage that exists in my mind

As you can see, I’ve been committed to the art of the craft for some time. Hey Nick and Amy, are you qualified?

In case you can’t read those subtitles, Nick’s says “actor, woodworker, and craft enthusiast” while Amy’s is the more low-key “very happy to be here”. Amy I love you, so you can stay anyway. This brings us to…

The premise of the show:

A group of crafty people compete in two challenges–a “faster craft” that takes 3 hrs and a “master craft” that’s way more hours. The work is judged by not Nick and Amy, and each week the winner receives a patch (like the kinds girl/boy scouts get) that relates to that challenge. People will be eliminated along the way and there will ultimately be one winner that is coined “master maker” and gets $100,000!!!

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No medium dreams allowed! Credit: NBC

We begin with Nick and Amy introducing the show but I already did that, so let’s get to this week’s “faster craft” which is….for the contestants to create a 3-D representation of themselves as an animal. Cue montage of crafters scurrying around the workroom (which is located in a barn for maximum cuteness).

Our first crafter is Amber who’s lower-third says she’s a craft blogger, (she runs the blog Damask Love which I have visited many times for craft inspiration and her tutorials are really easy to understand). Her animal is the unicorn because she’s colorful and fun, and she’s sewing the head, decorating it, and posting it on a board–think taxidermy elk but as a fun unicorn instead.

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 10.28.29 PM.png
That is not how I look sewing. It’s mainly me grimacing and creating horrible knots. Credit: NBC

Amy says her beast would be a dolphin, while Nick thinks his is a slightly shorter left-handed man. I love them.

Next up is Billy, a felt artist, who’s doing a pig with a mullet as an homage to his Boston upbringing. While talking to Nick and Amy he managed to thread a needle like it was no big deal. Very impressive.

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Sports and stuff was what I was originally going to call this blog. Credit: NBC

Jeff is a paper crafter and he’s crafting a bee and some amazing looking paper flowers. I might be in love with Jeff but it’s too early to publicly declare my devotion just yet. Carry on Jeff.

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Oh just say busy! You know you want to! Credit: NBC

DRAMA! Nicole, a woodworker, is ALSO making a bee. Jeff is being supportive of her inner bee and Nicole is returning the favor but I think there’s some simmering animosity buzzing just below the surface (see what I did? Oh words).

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 10.51.26 PM.png
This queen bee is about to kick Jeff out of her hive. Credit: NBC

Jemma is not a bee (phew!) but in fact an owl hodgepodge crafter–meaning she takes found objects/junk and makes crafts out of them. She is currently the most noticeably eccentric person competing, but there’s still time for someone else to take the lead.

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Hey Jemma I do the bad puns around here. Credit: NBC

Now we’ve got Jo, who is a bunny and interior designer. Her mom wouldn’t let her have a bunny growing up so she got her daughter one. I’m not sure what it means that she associates with the animal she was denied growing up–I’ll leave that assessment up to the professionals–but I do like that she’s broken out the papier-mache because in fifth grade I made a papier-mache bunny and it’s important I find a way to make this all about me.

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She huffed and puffed and blew that house down. Credit: NBC

MORE DRAMA! Jo’s balloon popped and in a cutaway Amy tries to stir the pot by remarking how weird it was that Nicole didn’t even flinch at the noise. Like she KNEW it was going to pop. Sabotage!  Nick doesn’t think it’s that weird but I’m with Amy…

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Amy is on the case and will get to the bottom of these shenanigans. Credit: NBC

This might be the most wholesome reality tv/competition show I’ve ever seen and I appreciate that Amy is trying to sully it by throwing out baseless rumors and accusations.

More animals! Robert, a designer and maker, is doing “a loose interpretation” of the human animal that will be expressed through shadow puppet theatre. Honestly, this whole explanation was exhausting and while I “get it” I’m also already over it.

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This shot makes it look like he has a man-bun but as far as I can tell he actually doesn’t. Shenanigans! Credit: NBC

Khiem, another woodworker like Nicole (drama!) is a turtle because he’s moved eight times in ten years and can make a home wherever he goes. No joke, that was both the sweetest and saddest explanation of an animal yet. Four for you Khiem.

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I’m getting Harry Potter vibes from Khiem. If only he was working with wood that was 9 3/4. Credit: NBC

Time’s up! Let’s meet the judges. That’s right, Amy and Nick aren’t picking the winner. Instead, it’s Simon Doonan (Barney’s NYC window display creator extraordinaire) and Dayna Isom Johnson (Etsy in-house trend expert). #1 I love Simon he pops up in basically all the fashion documentaries I watch and #2 um Etsy trend expert is my new dream job.

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Dayna’s earrings are peak Etsy while Simon is busy making two conflicting shades of green and a flowered shirt work. Amazing. Credit: NBC

What are our esteemed judges looking for? Craftsmanship, personal expression, originality, and wow factor.

Here are the crafts, which is your favorite?

(Clockwise starting from top l-r: Jemma, Robert, Khiem, Nicole, Billy, Jeff, Amber, and Jo)



Robert is taking home this patch:

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Sometimes closed captioning says it all for me. Credit: NBC

Robert is appropriately happy about this accomplishment.

Okay it’s time for the “master craft” challenge and they have to make… a two-piece collection of family heirlooms consisting of an unconventional photo album and the maker’s interpretation of a quilt. Both items have to fit together as a collection. Holy crafts that’s hard never mind I can’t be on this show. The “faster craft” animal challenge made me think I had a chance (my animal is obviously a knitted cat wearing glasses sitting on top of a pile of American history, art history, intersectional feminist, and fiction books with a speech bubble either talking about Sister Wives, Meghan Markle, or my myriad anxieties). Alas tis not to be!

Billy is doing a pixilated felt homage to football player Brian Bosworth “The Boz”, on his quilt (Billy used to play football too!) and a collage of family photos on the numbers 55, which is apparently The Boz’s jersey number, as his photo album. That’s so freaking clever and goes together really nicely as collection.

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That is great. Credit: NBC

Jemma’s using embroidery hoops and her mom and grandmother’s pillow cases to create a wall hanging/quilt.

Amber is using her great-great-aunt’s quilt as inspiration and creating a similar pattern out of paper that she’s going to stitch together.

Jo is doing an origami heart photo album–the heart opens up to display the photos inside along with illustrated agate rocks. Her quilt is also in the shape of a heart, made up of different pieces of her job and life with her two kids at the bottom because she loves them from the bottom of her heart. Ugh I can’t it’s too sweet. To cut through some of that sugar she’s including the words “sleep in” because she loves to stay up late (omg me too twins!) and Simon’s response is perfect:

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Sleep in is just sleazy enough. Also, look at Amy’s face as he says this. Credit: NBC

We’re headed to commercial break but right before that Amy tests to see if Nick can name wood types based on smell. He guesses right about cedar and simple pine, but falls short on mahogany because it is apparently scentless.

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That’s what she said. Credit: NBC

Robert, winner of the “faster craft” challenge already has his patch on his apron and is doing a totem pole photo album and wooden quilt that is somehow a tree.

Nicole is going for a wooden geometric quilt with matching geo photo album.

Jeff, admitted busy bee and possible keeper of my heart, is doing a layered photo quilt AND a carousel photo album which features a picture of a person on one side and on the other side, what the sky looked like that day because “the day is beautiful and the moment is beautiful”. UGH that’s so good I love it. Look at Amy she does too.

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Back off Amy he’s mine. Credit: NBC

Amy asks what heirlooms mean to Jeff and he gets all emotional because he and his family no longer have a relationship, and as such, he will get no heirlooms. They couldn’t accept that he’s gay, and I’m just going to post these screen shots here:Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 9.51.59 PMScreen Shot 2018-08-03 at 9.52.24 PM

I have no words.

Deep breathes we have to get back to the show but I am now publicly declaring Jeff is my favorite contestant–not just because I want to hug him but also his stuff is so good (and check out his website for some other amazing stuff).

Khiem is doing some very complicated Japanese wood cutting technique and Amy is concerned that he wont finish in time. He seems confident but I’m also concerned.

Meanwhile Jemma has pricked herself and bled on some of her pillowcase hangings. Oh Jemma.

Prepare yourselves for the finished product!

(all images credit: NBC)

As you can see, Jemma and Robert’s couldn’t be photographed in one frame which is why they are split up. Which is your favorite? I really love Jo’s. Robert’s is also cool. Judges?


Aww she’s so happy.

Steel yourselves because now it’s time to send someone home. Ok, who’s it going to be?

It’s Jemma. All the contestants have tears in their eyes and everyone does a group hug.

That’s the end of episode 1. No joke, I feel like I’ve run a craft marathon of emotions. If you need me I’ll be digging through my yarn bin. Until next time makers!


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