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Friday, April 17, 2009


Goddess of the Last Minute

Goddess of the Last Minute: Laughter and Lessons from an Uncommon Quilter
By Robbi Joy Eklow
Voyageur Press, 2009
Hardbound, 224 pages
Retail: $18.00

Reviewed by Lynn Holland

First, let me say that I have been reading things written by Robbi Joy Eklow for probably fifteen years now. She used to amuse those of us on the Quiltnet maillist back in the mid-90s, in the day when the internet was not yet in every household and iPhones were only seen in sci-fi movies. I can still recall her tales of her husband’s Toronado and her adventures with art quilting. I remember my delight seeing her name on her nametag (along with Robbi herself) one of the years we both attended Paducah. Certainly I have been a fan of hers for quite some time, and although I haven’t read any of her columns for Quilting Arts, I know she has quite a following.

However, I have to admit: I was prepared not to be thrilled with Robbi Joy’s new book “Goddess of the Last Minute.” Not for any substantive reasons, of course. My negativity was provoked more by the title, since I have instant doubts about anyone who self-proclaims as a goddess. Yes, I realize many women do this. No, I am not required to refrain from gagging when they do it.

So, with this unfortunate mindset, I began reading her latest book. I whipped through two or three essays, then tossed the book into my car when I needed to clean up the bedroom for my cleaning lady. About a week later, (since I had not yet needed to clean up the car for the car wash), I found myself getting out of the same car to go to a doctor’s appointment. In the past, I have taken knitting or handquilting with me into the waiting room, but since my physician’s office has become increasingly efficient, it has hardly been worth getting out my equipment, finding my place in the pattern, and then having to stuff it all back in my bag when my name gets called. Furthermore, more than a few stitches have been dropped when, in my hurry, point protectors did not get put on firmly enough. As a hedge against boredom if I had to wait more than two minutes, I grabbed up Robbi’s book and took it with.

Thank goodness.

That day, the doctor’s was not doing its usual clockwork routine. An hour past my appointment time, someone came “just to let you know we are running behind.” Really. Since I do not wait well, things could have been beyond tense. Thankfully, I had brought someone with me to pass the time: Robbi. Her two hundred entertaining pages were almost as good as having an old friend with me. She is a very entertaining author who is as honest about her shortcomings as she is about her talents. Her detailed though not laborious descriptions of everyday things provide visuals that are almost as good as YouTube productions. You may experience self-recognition in her essays, too. Multiple drawers of rotary cutters? Yup. Manic single color-obsessions? Uh-huh. Collections of things that don’t have major purpose? Well… Buying strange stuff on sale because it’s such a great deal? Surely I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Many of her essays are about topics other than quilting. She covers diverse issues such as working at home, the writing process, airplane etiquette, technology competencies (and lack thereof), fashion attire, waffle making and care and feeding of spouses.

Of course, this is not meant to be serious literature. It is meant to give the readers a break, maybe a sense of belonging to a group of people like you, people who have finally figured out that being perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and really isn’t much fun. This book is a wonderful present for a friend, a relative or even for someone who’s hard to buy for but needs to lighten up.

And I owe Robbi some serious thanks. Normally, if I had to spend multiple hours in the doctor’s waiting room, building security would be called. However, I was able to stay controlled and keep my problematic blood pressure in check thanks to her amusing prose. Serious unbroken time gave me a chance to really spend time with her book and indirectly with Robbi herself. Next time I see her in Paducah, I will ask her to autograph my book. Although I have to admit it’s hard to think of someone who spends all day in her pajamas as a goddess, to me, Robbi Joy is the Goddess of the Long Wait.

This post has been removed by the author.
I'm assuming the comment above this one is spam...

In any case, thanks for saying all those wonderful things, except for the doubting of my title part. On the whole, I have never had a nicer compliment. Thanks! And I'm glad I helped you pass the time.

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