For today and tomorrow only, there is a 10% off sale for ready-made items in my Etsy shop.
A while back, I made a wall quilt for my classroom featuring the monarchs of Britain. It helped for when I taught British literature.
Recently, I revisited that idea in the name of Shakespeare. I adore The Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta, and I call it my “happy place.” I wanted to do something special for them, so I bought a book of Boydell engravings from all the Shakespeare plays from his first folio. I also found images of the bard himself, Elizabeth I, the folio catalog page, and the list of principal actors. Using these images printed on fabric, I made a wall quilt. I color-coordinated them by genre.
I used fabric with gold accents, and I used a dull gold thread to quilt a meandering vine pattern.
Needless to say, I’m thrilled with how this came out. I gifted it to the tavern the other day. I told them they could keep it or auction it to raise funds. From my understanding, I believe they are keeping it. Such a high compliment. In the end, it’s a small token in comparison to the joy I’ve gotten from all their shows.
This upcoming weekend is my last show of the fall. To be honest – I’m exhausted. Being a full time teacher and doing multi-day shows over the weekend, in addition to navigating this freaking pandemic and trying to be a decent mom/wife, has really taught me a lot about my own limits. I found them. Actually, I ran into them face first. Color me surprised.
The shows I’ve done have been great, and I’m proud I tried some new venues for sure. I’m going to have to mull over what next year looks like, though. I had hoped to go back to grad school starting this summer, but I think I’ll wait another year. Covid has made for a lot of stress, and adding grad school on top of it feels more like a fool’s errand than a strategic career move. So it’s just delayed for a little while – not canceled.
So what’s the plan for after this last show? Well, I’ll put up the rest of the items not already listed here and on Etsy. I’ll focus on the commissions I have and get them finished by Christmas, and then I’ll slow down and try to make some smaller items.
For those interested, here are the items I have going into the last show.
Stadium Quilt 4′ x 4′- red/white/gray
Shabby chic – brown
Care Bears Quilt
Violin Quilt 1
Violin Quilt 2
Doll Quilts 9x
Dinosaur Doll Quilt
Firetruck Quilt 4′ x 4′
Train Twin Quilt
Rainbow Mariner’s Compass Quilt
Llama Doll Quilt
Rey and BB8 Wall Quilt
Mermaid Doll Quilt
NASA Twin Quilt
Yoga Sloth Quilt
Yoga Sloth doll quilt
Star Trek Quilt
Mandalorian Wall Quilt 2X
Last Unicorn Wall Quilt
Lantern Corps Quilt
African Print Lap Quilt
African Print Doll Quilt 2x
Bookshelf Wall Quilt 2x
Wine Quilt 2x
Quilt measures 61” x 61”
This is meant to be hung on a wall as art. While it would normally also be a lap quilt, the quilted oaths are very delicate. Washing this and using this as a lap quilt will make the oaths fade. To preserve the oaths script on the wall quilt, this will need to be spot cleaned only. Again, this is meant to be wall art.
This is the ideal gift for the Lantern Corps fan in your life and would be great as a birthday, Christmas, or house-warming gift. It would also make a great hanging in a nursery or comic book store!
Also, for guilt-free shopping – the funds from this quilt are going to help pay for my grad school costs.
Lantern Corps Quilt
A while back, I posted about my goals for this year. I figured I’d do another check in since the one from May. Three weeks from now I’ll be at the first of three craft fairs, so this is it. What I’ve accomplished is set, and everything else will have to wait until another time.
- I want to use some second-hand folding shelves I bought online to make a checkout booth. I was thinking about myself as a customer and realized that I really liked it more when the sales person was at a checkout stand. I felt freer to walk around and look. So I’m taking a cue from myself and working on making one of those. Done!
2. I’d also like to get some padded roof pads, so I can place my grid walls there instead of scraping up the inside of my husband’s Explorer again. It would be nice to drive to shows without having grid walls blocking one side of my car. Done!
3. I also need to get a new phone – if I’m being completely honest with myself here. Mine is old, but I’m stubborn when it comes to replacements. Done!
4. Participate in some new shows for the fall 2021. Registered and Ready!
From an artist standpoint, I have a LOT of quilts I want to make and have on hand for shows. Here’s a short list of some of my more creative ambitions.
- Star Wars quilts – lightsaber duels, they just sell too well to not have one on hand. Not yet
2. Mandalorian wall quilt – I had the one I made get claimed before it was even finished! Yes – I made four and have 1 left. I want to make 1 more before the shows begin.
3. Sloth quilt – that fabric is too cute to have gone this long without being made in to something. Done!
4. Hocus Pocus quilt – the last one sold fairly quickly, and it was fun to make something in the “crazy quilt” style. I made 2 – one was claimed before they were finished. I’d like to have 2 on hand before hitting the Yellow Daisy Festival.
5. More doll quilts – they are really fun, and I like the satisfaction of experimenting within a smaller size. Done! I’ll have about 15 on hand, yay!
6. Christmas snow globe quilt – I saw some designs online and am wanting to try my own spin. Not yet
7. Potty Mouth Quilts – I wanted to make a small line of quilts with grown-up words on them. I like the contrast of a wholesome, traditional craft and a vulgar phrase. Maybe something is wrong with me here, but I won’t be happy until I’ve tried it at least once. Not yet
8. Bargello quilts – I made the rainbow and northern lights ones a while back, and I’m geared up to make more. Not yet
9. Mariner’s Compass – I just really like making these. They’re so satisfying. I have one on hand that I made at the beginning of quarantine.
10. I Spy quilt – I have been sorting little 2″ squares for a planned pattern for an I spy quilt with a geometric twist. It’s all bagged and sorted and ready to make.
11. Zombie girl Pin Up quilt – the first one I made was so much fun! Done! In fact, I made 2.
12. Baseball girl Pin Up quilt – the other pin up girl quilt was so fun, I wanted to keep a good thing going. I have the fabric, but that’s it.
13. Crayon quilt – this was such a cute quilt, and I really want to make another one. They are also good scrap-busters. I have scraps pre-cut to the sizes I need, so it won’t take too long.
14. I’m also wanting to possibly make some adult bibs since there seems to be a need for them. I’d make some pretty, but I’d probably focus on making them silly. A little humor goes a long way. Can’t stop making quilts long enough to try, ha!
Other stuff I HAVE managed to do since the May update – Flower Panel Wall Quilts, wine quilts, ASL wall quilts, Lantern Corps wall quilt, African fabric quilt, and The Last Unicorn wall quilt.
I found some batik strips one evening as I was going through a tote of fabric and decided to see what I could make. I thought about what I could do and then settled on the idea of sign language. I sketched an “I love you” sign and heart. From there, I was able to make a matching set of wall quilts.
I believe these have been claimed, but I’ll update this post if I’m wrong.
I’m very happy with how these have come out, and I’m loving the sign language idea and will probably make another set at some point.
This little quilt started off very simple but took a turn for the inspiring.
Let me explain…
When I first started getting together a booth to do craft fairs, I needed some demo quilts to help people see the options for t-shirt quilt blocks and styles. I went to the local thrift store and found several shirts from a couple of the local high schools. I was one block short for one of them when I found a shirt for the Amanda Riley Foundation. It was the same colors as the school, but I wasn’t sure if it was connected. I figured the shirt was cheap enough to take a gamble and I’d look it up when I got home.
Turns out it was connected to the school in a big way. Amanda had been a student there, very involved with the school, when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. She fought long and hard, but she passed away in 2010. Her parents set up this foundation to help support children and their families as they battle cancer.
To say I’m in awe of this couple is putting it lightly. They lost their child and resisted, what I imagine, is the urge to retreat inward. They saw their own experience and used it as motivation to reach out and support others in similar situations. To fall in love with them and their cause as well, check out their explanation of why they do what they do.
Back to the quilt….
So as I was putting this quilt together, I noticed one of the other shirts I’d grabbed was from the same year Amanda Riley was a student. It was an impulse that made me stop and scan the names to see, but, sure enough, her name was there as one of the school’s peer leaders. I couldn’t believe it!
To help raise funds for the foundation, her school has a Riley Run and Carnival FUN Day. I got a vendor booth at their show a couple of years ago. While there, I made sure to show her mother, Mrs. Barbara Riley, the demo quilt with the coincidental Amanda link. Then she pointed out something that gave me goosebumps. She mentioned I’d gotten her basketball number as well. You see, at the thrift store I’d found a #2 reversible basketball jersey and used both sides in the quilt. So the corners both have the number 2 in them. Turns out Amanda’s number was 22. I had no idea, guys, but her mother saw it immediately.
As I’ve done more shows with more ready made quilts on hand, I started only putting up one demo quilt. I knew what I had to do when I realized I could retire one of the demo quilts forever. I messaged the foundation through their Facebook page and got in contact with mom. I’m happy to say that I was able to finally gift her the quilt earlier this week. I hope it brings her comfort as she and her family continue their ministry to other families as they navigate childhood cancer.
Update – there are a couple of these now listed in the shop!
A while back, I made a couple of Star Wars themed wall quilts. Two of them were Luke right before he became one with the Force and another two were of Rey and BB8. They were well received, and I’d always planned on making another set. When I finally got around to making them, I did another Rey and BB8 but decided to do a Mandalorian inspired one instead of Luke.
It was claimed before it was finished! I love when that happens.
While at the fabric store, I saw a jelly roll that would make for a nice sunset background, so I grabbed it and inserted other colors from fabric at home. I ended up making about eight backgrounds. Four of them were dedicated to more Mandalorian quilts.
I loved the image where he and the Child are looking at one another, so I went with that one. I tried to give the background quilting pattern a “heat wave” effect. I’ve finished one, and it’ll be delivered today. I have the tops of the other three ready to be quilted.
I went to the fabric store for something specific. I wasn’t shopping for random fabric. I didn’t plan for this. Didn’t ask for this. Didn’t look for this.
But I’m oh so glad it did!
I found fabric based on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and it’s precious! Some of the fabric features her quotes, some her glasses, some her iconic collars, and my favorite – her small figure with a crown (a nod to her nickname the “Notorious R.B.G.” which is a play off the Notorious B.I.G., rapper Biggie Smalls.)
I mulled over how best to do justice to this Justice that I’ve long admired, and I finally settled on a sort of “dancing” block where the block is tilted and framed. I was surprised when it turned out to have an almost retro look by the end of it. And I was on a roll, so I made two of them. I have just enough fabric left to do a third at some point and maybe a doll quilt or two.
I think these will do well at the craft shows.
This quilt is particularly personal for me. I’ve loved the movie The Last Unicorn since I was a child. And when I was expecting my daughter, I got the chance to have a chat with the author of the original novel, Peter S. Beagle, at a convention. (We spoke about censorship and The Canterbury Tales, if you must know.) To say this story impacted my love of fantasy is putting it lightly. I owe so much to this film and to Mr. Beagle.
I made this wall quilt as a testament to my own childhood and all those who felt likewise. I used satin on the figures to ensure they stood out from the cotton fabric in the background. The unicorn was tough to cut out and harder to applique down because she had so many small, wavy details that are typical of the Rankin/Bass drawing style. The red bull looked fine, but when quilting I added red thread flames all over him and then went back and added a small layer of yellow thread flames along his back to be similar to the animated version. Overall, I was so happy with how it looked that I made a second one to possibly keep.
The film is much beloved in my house to this day as well. As an adult, I’ve shifted from thinking I’d be the magical Lady Amalthea in the story to identifying more with Molly Gru. In fact, when I heard Molly’s rant about the unicorn appearing to her when she was older and no longer innocent as an adult, I cried. So this story really does keep on giving.
Thank you, Peter S. Beagle, for everything.