Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sew Good, Part III

Dewey enrolls in a high-priced quilting symposium in order to expand her quilting skills and maybe win the respect of the traditional quilters at her shop, Quilter Paradiso. The Sewing-by-the-Sea Symposium seems to be the perfect choice for a place to mix business and pleasure. Located in Asilomar, CA where her older brother Tony has recently been transferred as a park ranger, it's an ideal spot to work and play a bit at the same time. She gets to reconnect with her oldest brother, enjoy the ocean air and learn a bit more about creating an art quilt. Plus she gets to rub shoulders with some of the big names in the quilting world and make some contacts that could help business.

All is not going well. Dewey resents the conference's organizer, a quilting star named Mercedes Madsen, who is part artist and part Simon Legree. Dewey leans more toward the Simon Legree view, whereas most of the other quilters adore the hard-nosed organizer. Mercedes confiscates all cell phones the first day and only allows quilters to use the pay phone in the evening hours. Plus attendees are to stay on site for the entire week, 24-7. No visits to the local tourist trap town, no mochas or pizza stops in the town, no shopping, no exceptions. Of course, this does not set well with Dewey, who has to break the rules the very first evening at the conference by sneaking out to call her boyfriend Buster. She gets busted by Mercedes, however, and banished to her quarters. She makes a coffee date in town with her brother for the next day in spite of the rule forbidding quilters from leaving the premises. On her way back, she brings a man she met in town who had been looking for his wife at the conference. When they arrive, to Dewey's surprise, Mercedes pulls a gun on the man and orders him off the premises. It seems he is a spouse abuser and Mercedes refuses to allow him to see his wife.

Things only get worse when Dewey joins Tony and a group of quilters for an early morning tour of the park. Bored by the lecture Tony is giving, Dewey leaves the group and wanders off by herself. She sees a woman standing atop a very dangerous boulder. No one is around to help either of them and the wind keeps her shouts for help from being heard by Tony or the group. When she glances back toward the woman, the rock is empty, as if the woman had completely disappeared. Dewey rushes as best she can over the treacherous rocks to the spot where the woman had been standing and peeks over the edge. The crazy quilt cloak the woman had been wearing was floating atop the water below and the woman's body was nowhere in sight.  It appears the woman has committed suicide.

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