Getting Graphic

Now that I’m officially done writing about sewing machines, I can tell you my favorite story from working there. (This should also give you insight into one reason why I quit.)

About five years ago, not long after my ex-boss was promoted to that position, we were asked to create a piece promoting a new quilting machine.

The features (which were cutting edge and confidential at the time, but it’s okay to share this now) included a needle that could be positioned to let you pivot the fabric, a feeding system that controlled layers of fabric as it went through the machine, and a large, 10″+ work area to the right of the needle (which is a big deal for quilters).

After a couple days of mulling over ideas, my boss ran into my office with a mock up.

I stared at it in horror.

“[Boss]…” I said, trying to word this delicately.

“Don’t you think it’s intriguing?” she asked excitedly.

“What is this?” I asked.

“It’s a teaser question,” she said, adding, “A teaser is when you ask a question on the front that makes you want to open it.”

“Yeah, I know what a teaser is,” I said, annoyed. “But don’t you think this is a little, uh, dirty?”

“What? Why?”

“[BOSS].” I said. “NO. We need a new headline.”

“I don’t see what’s wrong with it,” she huffed as she walked away.

The headline?


A few hours later she brought it to HER boss, who stuttered, “I … I can’t let you do this.”

Then she brought it to our team meeting to ask the rest of the team what they thought. One girl gasped, and her friend leaned over and whispered (in one of those valley-girl whispers that is actually louder than talking), “IT SOUNDS LIKE A VIBRATOR.” The old print shop guys slouched in their seats uncomfortably.

Two days later she came into my office with a cool piece that folded out to a life-sized picture of the machine.

“How about this,” she said proudly, as if she was the first person to dream up this line: “‘Sometimes Size Does Matter.'”

“Get out,” I said, pointing to the door. “Just get out of here.”

This kind of discussion has happened more than once in the last five years. Also, this is the banner she made for our print shop:

Graphic Dreams! C’MON! Why am I the only person who thinks this is hilarious?

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