The Cincinnati Quilt Project

Click on a section of the quilt below to read about the
person who helped stitch it. 


The Windblown block is a simple triangle-based pattern. The name conjures a mental image of an organized set of fabric pieces shuffled around by a summer breeze. The lighthearted, simple pattern is perfect for beginners.

Thomas and Lauren Boeing

Zinecinnati Organizers

The Boeings are responsible for creating Zinecinnati, the local organization that welcomes zinesters, alt comix creators, poets, self-publishers, and book/paper artists from all over the Cincinnati area. Zinecinnati is a place intended for these creators and artists to meet one another, experience one another's work, promote their work, and share ideas and stories. We spent our time together talking about the logistics of Zinecinnati, what it’s like to be responsible for selecting artists for a public show, and their own personal creative practices.
G: Now that we're recording, can I get you two to tell me your names, your pronouns, and why you think I asked you to be here today?

L: Do you want to go first?

T: You go first.

L: Okay. Lauren, she/her and because we have been so fortunate to do the Zinecinnati amazingness/ mess/ love.

T: I'm Tom, Boeing, he/him. We do things for a community that is a pretty big, but it needs a little bit more attention or love.

L: Yeah, that's a cuter way of putting it. It's such a labor. A love labor/ mess. Certainly.

G: That is why I wanted you to, to be part of this project. I'm not exclusively talking to people who do community projects, but it is a big part of this. So why did y'all start doing that.

L: Man, I guess it was mostly because we went to stuff as artists and also just as people. What's the word I'm looking for? Civilians?

T: So we would go to events, sometimes we would have tables, sometimes we wouldn't. And we saw that there were a lot of people from Cincinnati at these events. But as far as we knew, there was never an event like this. Small press and stuff. There was some book shows, like Books by the Banks that got some self-published artists to be there, and sell their stuff. But there wasn't really much else. There was no event like that in Cincinnati. We started asking around to see if there would be interest and then the Cincinnati Art Book Fair happened. And it was great. It was really well attended. We wanted to do something similar because it felt like their stuff, although there were plenty of zines and of plenty of alternative comics people there it had clothes makers and stuff...


G:Yeah. You're not going to max that.

L: Oh no. Like I don't think people would be very upset to go twice a year versus once.

G: Right. So aside from organizing all of these events, you two also produce your own content, right?

L: Yes. You can go first. Yours came first.

T: Yeah. So I started making mine in college. I had wanted to make comics, but I was kind of going more the traditional comics route, I guess. Which is the kind of glossy paper superhero bullshit thing, you know? So I started doing stuff in college. Then I took a class at Columbia that I liked. It was a drawing for comics class and Chicago was a pretty big comics and small press sort of place. Zines included. There were a lot of things going on there. And so one of these teachers that I had had us do a final project, which was an alternative comic. And I never done one of those before. I've never drawn my own stuff before. So I started doing that, or at least that was the first one. And then after that I wanted to do more, but I didn't really have the motivation cause I graduated and then I had a hard time finding a job, so I was just kind of slumming it. I didn't make anything new. But I decided to make another new thing. And when I did, I wanted to put it in a show somewhere. I started looking around for small press shows and things like that. There were a bunch in Chicago. The other closest one was Columbus. I applied to that one and had a table. And then from there I got inspired by everybody's comics and zines and pamphlets and other things there that. I was like, 'wow, I could do this. I could do more, I could do this more often' and I could go to a couple shows a year and have more things. So that's kinda what I did and I haven't really stopped.

L: I mean I really just got into it because I started going to these kinds of things with Tommy and then I was like, 'this seems fun. I want to do that. I could do something like this. I've got things that I would want to say, this is really cool'. And I like interacting with people, just as, you know, not an artist, just a participant in that activity. And then I was like, 'wow, I really want to be a part of that'.

G: So have you just never learned to sew? Have you never wanted to before?

T: Nope. Which is silly because my roommate in college is a seamstress. She creates costumes.

L: This is why I didn't assume you didn't know how to sew cause I was like 'Oh surely Jerica taught him at some point'. I can't imagine him watching her work so much and not.

T: Which is silly cause she would just be sewing shit on the couch while we're watching TV.

L: I know this is what I'm saying.

G: Why didn't you ever ask to learn?

T: That's a good question? I just didn't want to.

L: I would say laziness is like the clear answer. Laziness.

G: There are no wrongs in the learning process.

L: True. It's true.

G: That's okay. This is all about sitting down and having conversation. Imparting wisdom and hopefully,

T: Teaching me how to sew?

G: Teaching you how to sew. Hopefully you will at the end of this be better than you are at the beginning. That's all we can ask.

L: That can only be true.

G: I mean, crafts are hardcore and you have to suffer for your art.

L: They are! You do. I mean, I think people who have things that are sewn, hand-sewn, they don't realize how much blood literally goes into there.

G: That is true. So have you two been working on any new content recently?

T: Fuck.

G: I don't know if you're upset with the question or if you just fucked up the knot again.

T: It's the damn knot.

L: Honestly, adults learning how to sew should be a YouTube channel. I would watch that to death. It would be amazing. I learned how to sew as a child. I didn't have these words to express my intense distaste for what was happening.

G: I mean, I gotta say, I've taught at least three adults how to sew this week. But your experience is the most fascinating so far.

T: God damn it.

G: It's not usually this colorful.

L: This is what old ladies do. You can do it.

T: I'm going to need a new thread because there are so many knots. I'm getting closer. I'm getting closer to the thing.

L: But to answer your question, I've been working on this idea for a long time. I've taken baby steps towards actually working on it. I'm still kind of storyboarding it, you could say. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're not going to understand at all what I'm saying. But did you ever read these like Amelia books from American girl? They were like little journals. But it's basically going to be more style like that with a lot of texts and little doodles. It's going to be the story of my family. So I want to start like with my dad's side and tell the story of my great grandmother and my grandmother escaping from North Korea and moving to U S. Then I want to tell the other side of my family's story, which is like in super rural Missouri. I'm working on that. And then also I want to make another Kimchi Babe for Zinecinnati. But I don't know if I truly am going to have time. Usually that's one of those things I can rock out just because they're a lot less serious number one, and number two, the way that it's structured actually is more stream of consciousness to me. So it works. And so those are almost current events in my life. And this one is like more of an epic thing. So I'm just taking my sweet fricking time. But yeah, that's all that I'm working on as far as zines. And then I'm also working on a knitting project. Right now I am knitting a little baby lovey. I dunno if you know what I'm talking about. But those little blankets with a head on them. For two of our friends.

G: I think those are really creepy.

L: I get it. I fully fully understand because the concept is strange. I don't remember those being a thing when I was a young child because then I feel like I wouldn't have had the space to be separate from them and be like, 'wow, those are creepy'. But I remember my cousin having one growing up and its name was pink baby, so not an original name. It was a pink rabbit and it just was so creepy. It wasn't small. Like the ones now are more of a handkerchief sized blanket. It was long, like the size of a child's nightgown. With a large head attached. It was creepy. It was very large. It was as big as she was at the time. But yeah, anyway, I'm making them for these babies of people that we know. But it's more because I'm trying to get better at knitting and this is a harder project and a scarf.

G: That'll be fun. You'll have output. And always like making something for someone else.

L: Right cause then it's fun the whole time you're thinking about them or whatever. And one of our friends knows that they're having a girl. So I'll just be thinking about her when I do it. And then the other friends don't know what they're having.

T: Well, I'm working on a longer form comic than I've ever done. I started it last spring, around June. It's also my first digital only that I've ever done. So I'm only using the iPad for it. It's my first long form story that is about a guy that decides he wants to be a detective. So that he doesn't have to live in real life. He can kind of live in this fantasy place where he's a detective and he's working on cases. He kinda takes these small cases that end up blooming into stupid things. So it's mostly funny, but he's like really depressed. It is kind of sad, but that's kinda the way I like to do things- cute and a little bit sad. So I'm working on that. I had started last spring. I was doing it in a way that I did like at one time, but I ended up not liking very much.

G: The style?

T: Well, the character designed are staying about the same. I colored them differently. They kind of had this watercolor sort of feel to them and it kind of looked cool for a while. But then I don't know if I just got lazy or what, but at some point it didn't look as good. And so I stopped doing it. I started over from scratch. And the style is more consistent now in each page. The colors are just, a black, white and a gray tone. So it kinda of feels more like a detective noir sort of thing.

L: Yeah, like one of those little dime store sort of pulp things.

T: Yeah so I'm doing that. I want to print some of it at some point. But I don't know when I'll have it ready to be in a place where I'm like, 'wow, this is the end of, a chapter' or something. So that doesn't really have an end date. Other than that, I'm really not working on anything. I did start doing little carving guys, little stamp guys. Speedball has these fake, kind of easy, woodblock things to carve and they're just rubber and then you just carve them. Then you get a little ink roller and you then you press them like a stamp. They're really neat. They're really easy. I started playing with those, but that's also slow going. It's fun though.

G: And you're making a garden?

T: Yeah, I'm making a garden. My dad made the garden.

L: I was going to give you credit for participating. Following instructions.

G: You don't feel you can take claim to that garden?

L: I mean not the construction part of the garden. You might be able to claim of some of the vegetables.

T: I'll take claim of all of the vegetables. You're not going to water them. You don't water anything.


L: I learned how to sew with a napkin. My aunt gave me a needle and a napkin. I don't know if this is an accurate memory or just my brain has made up a story, but in my memory my aunt is cleaning and she's like walking around the house cleaning, and then at the same time kind of giving me instructions, yelling them across the room and I'm sitting at the dining room table just sewing. She's just, I don't know, cleaning out her closet or something. I don't know if it's real.


L: I'm sure it was because I was driving her inane and she was saying 'here, sit down'. I've learned how to sew at her house. I learned how to tie my shoes. Jordan taught me how to tie my shoes. Obviously didn't do a very good job because I've recently learned that maybe I'm not good at tying my shoes cause I always have to re tie them. Like I always double knot them and then Tommy was making fun of me. He was like, 'Oh double knot your shoes, like a child'. And I was like, 'well I just didn't want to retie them'. And he was like, 'what do you mean they don't stay?'.


L: [talking about sewing] I don't know what scientists it is, but one scientist said that if you cut infinity in half you could be cutting infinity in half forever or something. That's how I feel trying to get these knots to join.

T: Are you working on anything good? I mean other than this? I feel like this must be taking up an awful lot of time.

G: This is an awful lot of time. But my friend Luke actually just started a group zine. It's called the Work is Play Administration and we put out our first issue last month. We just submitted for second issue last week. So it's going to be like every other month.

T: Whoa. That's a lot. That's great. How are you guys distributing it?

G: Through Instagram. So you should go follow Work is Play.

L: I think I did.

G: Well I'm sure that they follow Zinecinnati. So maybe you saw them. But the first prompt for the first print was 'manifesto'. So there's some pretty fascinating content in that one, I would say. It's so convenient to have to do just one page and then all of a sudden there's this whole zine.

L: Yeah. That is the ideal effort to output ratio. Wow.

G: It's wonderful. And you get to see different ideas. It's so great. I highly recommend doing that. A group effort is so much easier.

T: Did your buddy that puts it all together, did he apply for a table [at Zinecinnati]?

G: I don't think that they have yet. I will let them know.

T: They can be on the waiting list. I mean we've already booked a bunch of people, but I just, I was trying to remember.

L: Maybe that's where I heard of it? No, because you would remember it too.

G: Well it just recently started. It happened because they actually put on a gallery show a couple of months ago. Last summer they put on a gallery show where all of these people who are now involved in the zine made some sort of sculpture. And it all interacted. So it looked like an office, like a very boring business office. And each different object was made by a different person. Then they just decided that it was a lot of work but we still want to see the ideas of all these different people. So how about 2D art instead? So that's how that worked out. It's going really well and I think that is just showed me a whole different aspect of what this can be like. Cause, as you guys know, if you're working on a zine by yourself, that shit can be frustrating and take forever.

L: And at some point you're just like, 'wow, I really don't want to even talk about myself anymore'. It's all burnout and you're like, 'wow, I need to go into the world'. Even if it's just to go to the grocery store.

G: Exactly. It's so different to this new zine that we've been working on because you get a meeting every time one comes out, you see how your friends, you talk about the content together, and then the covers we've done are just kind of a collage of sketches on the topic. So to create the cover, you're in the room with all the people and you're talking about all the content and it's just so different and it's really lovely.

L: It's like you get to live the zine.

G: It is. Do you kind of find that community when you attend the events versus just working on the content?

L: Yes, I think actually working on and doing the events is the secret draw. Nobody even is fully just making art to make art. They're like, 'Oh, can't wait to make art and then talk to other people about it'. It's like finally somebody is asking you questions about your personal thing that you put all this time in. And everyone's just there to ask questions about your thing or talk about other things that you think are cool. Or Their process or whatever. You're around people that know things that you might have had a question about when you were working. Like, 'Oh, this was a really inefficient way that I did this. What do you do? Because clearly you're doing it a better way than me'. And that's 99% of the joy.

G: What's your favorite zine you've seen this year?

L: There was this really cool zine when we were at Space last year. There was was a guy, he was a student from Chicago, I want to say. I can't remember, but I do remember he wasn't from Columbus or Cincinnati. He had all of these cool objects- like folded paper to look like objects. He had one that was a toilet bowl, so it had a lid and it opened. And then the story, it was a comic and it was kind of like the story of, I don't remember if it was like a dead fish or something that was flushed down the toilet and what happened in the sewers. And so it folded out but it was like a spiral. So it was like the toilet bowl opened and then the whole thing kind of slinky style opened. And then it was also a comic.

T: He ended up winning stuff for Space this year.

L: Yeah. I mean he deserves it, it was very cool. He had one like that and I don't remember what the other shape was, but it wasn't also a spiral. That one I think was like fold, fold, fold, fold where it zig-zagged out. Yeah, it was very cool. I think the other one was something where it was different turns, almost Escher-like. It was very cool. It was amazing. His booth was so unassuming and there are so many people that are always doing the most with their booth. And it was like not that at all. It was such a neat thing and you could have just walked by it. I mean I didn't even find it until the last day. It's a two day thing and I didn't even see him until the last day. He was literally at the row behind us, our chairs were inside the same space and I didn't even see it til the last day. I could have 100% missed this. I'm very glad I did not.

T: There was this one this guy did last year. It was kinda like a sketchbook style zine. He took pages from his sketch book and he would ink some of them. And so some of them are polished and nice. And then the rest were just kinda drawings, but the way that they were photocopied, they didn't come through all the way. It really looked hand done. They were all Halloween characters, Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy. They were kind of in a silly way. Like Dracula was in his pajamas, in his coffin, the whole thing. He called them something funny. They were like 'something spookies'. It was cute. It was funny. I thought that was really, really smart. Really fun.

G: So what is it like to have to be the people to organize that and to kind of bring down the hammer sometimes?

T: Oh God, it sucks turning people away. It sucks getting in fights with people. This year was obviously only our second year, so we had more people apply this year than we did last year.

L: Which is the the dream. I mean like, caviar problem number one.

T: Right. But we had to turn people away this year. It wasn't a process that I necessarily believe in or want to continue using as far as how we had determination. Because we didn't know if we were gonna ever hit our number anyway. So we didn't really plan to have to turn that many people away. And we did. We had to turn away maybe 10 people.

G: What is that like?

L: Sucks. Don't recommend.

T: Right. Because like everybody does different stuff.

L: And I don't want to feel like, 'Oh, I'm choosing this because I think it's better'. That's dumb.

T: No, we're not a juried show. I don't ever want to be, but also it's clear that the festival registration, like that kind of first come first serve thing-

L: Also sucks. Like that was not a perfect setup.

G: So you don't have just that first number of people who sign up. It's everyone sign up and then you pick who gets in.

T: Yeah and we didn't pick totally discriminately. Like we tried to to be fair and be like, 'okay well we know that this person does something different than this person and we've got a lot of people that do comics', which is fine but we got to diversify a little bit.

L: Then we wanted to make sure we picked people that it was their first year. We wanted to have some returning faves and then also give some people a chance.

T: Like last year we had a lot of people who spread the word about the show and really helped out and things like that. And obviously we didn't want to turn them away because we're still-

L: Because you don't want to alienate your main peeps. And we also had people that we had to turn away last year. I mean less people but still.

T: But only because they applied after the deadline. I mean then it's just the number of people that we've committed to.



T: Right. We didn't turn anybody away really. We didn't say, 'thanks, but no thanks'. We just put everybody on the waiting list because people drop out all the time. And there's this one dude who struggled applying last year.

L: He didn't struggle applying. He got accepted, he never paid. We emailed back and forth a million times. And then he just kind of dropped off the face of the earth and then didn't say anything. And then this year he-

T: He applied again and he got put on the waiting list-

L: Because we had people that applied the first time or other whatever.

T: Right. And when we sent him the email and were like, 'Hey, thanks, but due to so many people, we're going to have to put you on our waiting list'. He replied and he was like, 'no, I'll never apply to your show ever again'. Okay. I mean I get it but...

L: He's like, 'you guys suck. I waited forever and blah, blah, blah'. And I was like, 'okay, well I'm sorry'.

G: That's really uncomfortable. Did you deal with that in any way or was that the end?

T: We just the pretty much just left it. At that point there is no reasoning with that. So it wasn't worth it. We had another person who got put on the waiting list this year and there were people that sent us emails and were like, 'why was he rejected?' Well, he wasn't rejected. I mean, we didn't reject anyone. We didn't have enough space. The fact that these people were emailing me- I was like, 'wow, okay. Shoot'.

G: He kind of set his friends on you.

L: Basically. It was just kind of strange. But that's really the only truly yucky part of organizing is having to deal with that. And the whole process of having to choose.

G: Do you normally like the day of an event?

L: Love, love that. I just like thrive off of that. Probably adrenaline junkie level of it. I love the day of, I love the organizing details part of it. I love trying to get tables, blah, blah, blah, sponsorships. Like that kind of stuff is fun to me. Basically every other part of it is a dream. Once you get past the gross parts like turning people away.

T: The bigger space this year really turned out to be great. We're at the Art Academy. They are letting us use their space totally free.

G: That's amazing.

L: That is a game-changer.

T: And last year, we probably sunk almost $2,000 into this show. Just to get it running and have the posters and everything. Yeah, everybody had to pay table fees, but I didn't want to make it expensive. So table fees for sure paid for the venue and for some of the things.

G: What else is there?

L: Food.

T: Yeah, we did food last year and that was a mistake. We have the website and I didn't want to use a garbage website, so that costs a little bit of money. Posters too.

L: And then also, I don't know, this isn't really monetary value, but it is in that 'time is money'. We hung up all the posters ourselves. We drove all over the place and went business to business like 'Hey can I hang up this poster?' Blah blah blah. And we had a bar tab last year too, that was nice. I mean it was very reasonable.

T: It was cheap as hell. It was perfect. But it also wasn't great cause The Mockbee's got two tunnels.

L: It divides the room.

T: Divides the room. And then people, like their credit card readers and shit wouldn't work cause it couldn't get signal down there.

L: Parking is heinous You have to think about all that crap.

T: And we have to order tables this year cause the Art Academy does not have them. So that's an added expense. But since we're not paying for the venue-

L: It's so minimal in comparison.

T: Right. The tables really shouldn't really cost us too much. Posters will always be a cost.

L: We're trying to do more merchandise this year too, which is its own special hell. I mean I like it, I'm also hype because that's the thing that makes it a real event to me.

T: The table cost will cover, probably the posters and some other incidental things. But as far as the tee shirts go, that's probably something out of our pocket. It was not like they go bad. The library already reached out to us and they were like, 'do you have any merchandise that you could donate to some little event thing' that they have.

L: Like as a prize or whatever.

T: And we didn't, but now we will have something that we can just give people and it's not a lot of money.

L: And it just kind of helps get the word out about it.