Empty Bobbins: How I Met My Husband

Empty bobbins are moments in life where we pause and reflect.  It’s like when your bobbin runs out in the middle of a project, and you have to pause everything you’re doing to reload.  Here’s one such reflective moment.  This is a recollection on how small moments can have unforeseen effects.

Our story begins in July of 2000.  I had just gotten on to the campus of Berry College for my freshman orientation, and I was excited to be spending the next four years on this gorgeous campus.   Berry College has what’s known as “The Berry Bubble” where the outside world seems to get cut off, and our sense of community was so strong we could go back to older ways now considered dangerous, liking giving rides to other students when we didn’t necessarily know one another yet.

I guess that bubble-effect is immediate because I slowed down and offered a lone guy, clearly a new freshman like myself, a ride to the buildings where orientation was to begin.  It was July, after all, and even in the Appalachian foothills the heat was profound.  His name was Jonathan, and we spent the rest of that afternoon chatting and getting acquainted with the campus and our peers.

The first week of classes, he was still about the only guy I knew on campus, and my roommate had met him, too, so she and I decided to be brave and visit Jonathan over at the boys’ dorm.  I’ll admit, the boys’ dorm was a unique experience, and before my college years were up I’d have a lot of memories there – some innocent and some not: my first time getting intoxicated (1 of 3 times in my entire life), my first D&D game, realizing I’d forgotten a music performance there, staying up all night watching movies in the lobby, and even learning how to do a 3 point haircut.  But it all began with that first trip to visit a friend.

My roommate and I ventured up to that top floor, reserved for freshman, and found Jonathan’s room, door wide open to anyone who wanted to stop by.  That’s Jonathan to a tee – open, friendly, and one of the nicest people I know.  He still is, by the way.  Top-notch dude.  There I also met his roommate, and it wasn’t long before that roommate and I started talking.  But that relationship didn’t last much longer than our freshman year, and it was definitely for the best.  One good thing that came out of all this was that I met his friends, affectionately known as the computer kids.  You see, I was a music major, a group notoriously close knit and always nose-deep in a practice room.  I didn’t have a lot of the same classes as these guys because of rehearsals and private lessons.  Most of my core classes were early in the morning – not so for them and anyone else who could manage it.

I met the computer kids, and through them, my junior year, I started going to a LARP (Live Action Role Play).  Yes, it’s geeky.  If you’re judging and raising an eyebrow right now, then you have permission to go and step on the nearest Lego.  I got the last laugh, as you’ll see by the end.

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Anyhow, through this LARP I met some of the most wonderful people who are my dearest friends to this day.  These friends decided that I would make a good match with a guy named Herb.  So they told a white lie on one side and a white lie on the other, and eventually he and I went on our first date.  I had just gotten out of an engagement and had no interest in dating, and he wasn’t “on the hunt” for a girlfriend.  That meant it really was the perfect scenario because neither of us was feeling pressured or pressuring the other.  It was a relationship built on a foundation of not being too serious or pushy, and that has become a trend with us.  This kept our wedding from turning into something other than a celebration and union (no stress or over-the-top displays), and holidays are pretty fun because we don’t get too wrapped up in the presentation of it all.  And we’ve kept that same idea throughout our marriage (10 years and counting) –never take yourself too seriously.  Always be able to sit back, breathe, and laugh about it and about yourself.  Fourteen years since our first date, ten years since our marriage, two children, two cats, a dog, and a house later – I’m still head over heels for this tall, bearded guy who surprises me with sour gummies when he goes to the store.

It’s funny how life works, though.  I always wonder how my life would be if I hadn’t stopped that day back in July of 2000 to give Jonathan a ride.

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One Halloween the kids wanted to go as old people, so Herb and I decided to bust out of letter jackets and be our high school selves.  So. Much. Fun!

Oktoberfest

 

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Inspiration – Just like Marriage

Ten years of marriage

 

Rey and BB8 Wall Quilt

This is the wall quilt I was working on in tandem with the Luke’s Last Sunset quilts.  Both are from the same roll of fabric.

This one was pretty straight-forward as far as technique goes.  I didn’t end up using any gold thread or satin like I have in previous ones.

I did change out the thread as the colors changed, though.  So that was fun.

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What’s Next for Rey?

Han Solo, Rey, and the Importance of Nobody

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Made by Runi BB8 Dress

Luke’s Last Sunset Wall Quilt

Due to the popularity of the Star Wars quilts, I started thinking about what other silhouettes I wanted to do.  It turned out I still had a couple of Star Wars ones I wanted to try out before moving on to other images.

I wanted to do the Rey and BB8 silhouette from The Force Awakens first, but I ended up working on another one in tandem after seeing a picture a friend bought online of Luke’s Last Sunset from The Last Jedi.  I remembered choking up in the theater when I saw this shot, and the symbolism was NOT lost on me.  So I looked online and found this screenshot.

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I traced it as best I could and then got to cutting up my orange, maroon, and dark purple fabric into strips.  For the original Star Wars quilts, I used 3.5″ strips because I was aiming for a twin-sized quilt.  For this one, a friend suggested I go smaller, and I agreed, considering this was going to be a wall quilt.  Much smaller.  I ended up going with 2.5″ strips and was pleased.

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I knew I’d cut a lot, and after rolling it all up and making the strips, I ended up with enough strips to make SIX wall quilts.  So I decided I would make two of the Luke quilts and two of the Rey and BB8 quilts.

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They were arranged and sewn together.  Next step was to cut out the silhouette.  I opted to use gold crepe back satin for the suns to give them extra luster and make them stand out against the orange fabric.  I even ended up running some gold thread over the suns as well.

 

 

I liked the way the final results look.  Happy with this one.  The final step was to add a hanging sleeve.

Related Blogs and Posts:

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Mentors, Mirroring & Failure: When Star Wars Grew Up

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My other hobby…

Occasionally I like to raid used book stores with the zealousness of a Norse Invader on the British coast. But it isn’t just any old book I go for. I like the good stuff. The Norton Critical editions.

And today I hit a gold mine! Normally I’ll haul in one or two. But today resulted in a whopping EIGHT Norton Criticals of varying ages.

I also snagged some other goodies as well.

These are going to look so pretty in my classroom.

Sloth Quilt

I finished the sloth t-shirt quilt, and it was so fun!  Originally it was supposed to be a lap sized quilt, but my friend said something that’s music to my ears.  She said, “I trust you.  You have complete artistic freedom.”  Most of the time when folks tell me this, they get way more than what they paid for.  There’s something irresistible about having a clean slate for creativity!

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For this one, since I had 10 shirts, I decided to play around with a similar layout like the Berenstain Bears quilt and make the squares staggered.

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My friend said her favorite color, among many of them, was apple green.  Well for me there’s one color above all that compliments apple green – a very texture unbleached beige.  I suppose it’s like the hay element in my mind.  Anyhow, I found a nice quality unbleached muslin, complete with texture variations, to use alongside the apple green.

My friend did mention she was a very tactile person, so the backing needed to be more than a simple cotton quilting.  I looked around and settled on a green flannel-backed satin.  I love the sheen it has, and the feel to it is cool and sleek – perfect for tactile folks!

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The light here is terrible!  Fabric with lots of sheen never seems to look good in pictures. 

I loved making this quilt and expanding on my normal format for t-shirt quilts.  It’s a great example of why I tell folks don’t worry about not having enough shirts to make a bigger quilt.  I can always play around with the layout.  This one, using 10 shirts, was originally meant to be a lap quilt and ended up being a full-sized spread!

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T-Shirt cushion – quick make

A smiling sloth says it all!

Lots of quilt finishes – cute sloth quilt pictured!

 

 

 

 

Mommy-Son Pictures

The boy and I decided to get some mommy-son pictures made, and I wanted to bring something that was important to both of us.  So I brought the Star Wars quilt I made him.  This was the prototype for the other Star Wars quilts I made.

I like how they turned out.  Miles over at Portrait Innovations did a great job!

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