The Yellow Daisy Festival Online Market begins on Tuesday, Sept 8th. In anticipation of this, I’m making some posts about the quilts I have ready to go. Each day I’ll feature two or three quilts and tell about their process and what I like most about them. These and other quilts can be found in the Quest Quilts shop on this website or in my Etsy shop.
These quilts were made originally just to be children’s quilts, but as I finished up I realized there was enough fabric left over to make a smaller version for a doll or teddy bear. It was a lot of fun trying to make sure I had the proportions correctly scaled down so it would look like a convincing miniature. I’ll admit I’m very proud of the way these turned out.
The llama set came when I bought some llama fabric on a whim at a Black Friday sale. As I was looking it over, I really wanted a pattern that would do it justice. One of my favorite things to do when making these ready-made quilts is to experiment. I tried a pattern I’d been meaning to try for ages – the disappearing 9-patch. It’s a neat pattern that can give a quilt a busy and whimsical feel, and I felt that it would compliment the llama and cactus fabric perfectly. Scaling it down for a mini-quilt was a fun challenge, and I think I nailed it.
The dinosaur fabric was bought at the same time as the llama fabric if memory serves correctly. I really liked the colors and detail in this fabric, and I couldn’t figure out a way to cut it to where the pattern was emphasized. I’d run in to this problem once before, so I decided to do the same style. I went with long horizontal cuts and set them off with a mixture of colors and widths to make sure it wasn’t too tidy-looking. The other fabric is dinosaur footprints, and I decided to use it as a sort of buffer for that middle section, giving the pattern a nice visual stratification. I actually had fun scaling the little color strips down for the mini-quilt.
When I made these, I was envisioning some child toting it around and tucking in a doll, teddy bear, or other stuffed animal beside them at nap time. They’re meant to be used and loved and are easily washed on cold and dried on medium in your own home.
The name comes from those times when you’re in the middle of a project and your bobbin runs out. You have to pause what you’re doing and reload. While you do that, you have a moment to just sit and reflect. This little commentary that follows was from my old blog and details a trip to DragonCon in 2014 when my daughter was 3, almost 4.
I’ve gone to DragonCon on and off over the years. I love it when I go, but I find I can tolerate crowds less and less as I get older. I just don’t want to deal with it much anymore unless I simply have to. If I go to DragonCon at all, it’s now on Sunday. That being said, this year my family is sitting it out, but many of my friends are going. It’s a blast to see what all they’re up to!
One year I met Nichelle Nichols!
Bruce Davidson was super nice.
Of course, the best part of DragonCon, or any Con, is the people-watching, and boy did it not disappoint. One of the first costumes I saw was a lady with a sizable Toothless the Dragon draped across her shoulder, her arm carefully hidden in the neck and operating the head. She was very nice and patient, too, as I held my 3 year old close. Toothless tried to nuzzle my girl, but she was having none of that; she was quite content admiring from afar. She’s her mother’s child after all. And this Toothless-wielding lady wasn’t the only person who took special time with my kid.
It’s easy to relegate cosplayers into a group of people vying for attention, usually in Anime getups, and on one level you’d be right. They do dress to get attention. But on another level you’d be completely wrong. They dress for attention not so much for themselves as for their craft, the costume. And in that craft, they act more like a model for their pride and joy – those costumes they spent weeks, and sometimes months, making and crafting, paying attention to minute details only a select few will truly appreciate. (I have a lot of friends who are in to cosplay, and sometimes I forget I’m not actually part of that subculture. I’m just privy to it.)
Back to my daughter. She didn’t appreciate the Tinkerbell cosplayer’s sewing, makeup, or hair. Her appreciation was of a much more sincere type, and the Tinkerbell cosplayer was worth every ounce of admiration. You see, my daughter didn’t see someone dressed as Tinkerbell. She saw the One, the Actual, The Tinkerbell. And that Tinkerbell was amazing. She squatted down to my daughter’s level, something dangerous considering how many people were rushing past, and spoke with her as Tinkerbell would. My daughter informed her of her own pink wings, and Tinkerbell, without missing a beat, says, “Of, course! Because you’re a flower fairy. I’m a tinker fairy….” My daughter was totally in the know of the world of Pixie Hollow, so she was just enthralled. And me? I was so happy that this lady understood how important this moment was for my daughter. She could have just paused for a quick picture and gone on with her day, and my daughter would have been happy at that. But no, she took the time to talk and make the moment real for a child she didn’t know. I don’t know how many times I mouthed “thank you” to her as she chatted, but I still think it wasn’t quite enough.
And most of the cosplayers my daughter was brave enough to approach were just like this. Even a younger girl, around 8 years old I guess, dressed as Princess Unikitty, was patient and returned the hug my daughter gave her. A group recreating the Pixie Hollow fairies actually came back to their spot when they saw my daughter standing timidly at the edge of the crowd, too shy to walk up. They waited and waved to her, and she finally drafted another friend of mine to take her to them. (What? Mom’s too lame to go with you to Pixie Hollow?) They all took their roles seriously in that they knew how much it would mean to the little ones there, wading through thousands of people, to see them.
So in a way, I suppose this is a thank you letter to the wonderful cosplayers at DragonCon. Thank you for your craft, thank you for your patience, and thank you for making my daughter’s favorite characters come to life for her.
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 from a moment when my daughter, now seven, was two.
As a parent, one of the best things ever is getting to introduce all the cool stuff from your childhood to your kid. So one Saturday evening, I took a chance and busted out The Last Unicorn. Any kid from the 80’s remembers this film, and I was a little concerned that the Red Bull would frighten her. I was right about the Red Bull, but after her initial fright, I think she even liked him. She certainly talked about the Red Bull for a long time after that – and not in an anxious way, more like an old friend.
Anyhow, so we got to the end of the film, you know, where the unicorns all are freed and come running out of the sea (spoilers!). There’s a chorus, and by this point you’re super invested in the fate of the unicorns and stuff. So was my two year old. I watched to see what she’d do once she got a load of all the unicorns instead of just the one.
The moment was worth it.
Her mouth parted, and she was barely breathing she was so excited. She finally whispered to me, “can I sing?” Of course, I told her to go for it. Now, she didn’t know any words, so she just sang long with the notes as best as she could. But each syllable she muttered was an attempt to join in on the magic.
It was the magic that comes along with forgetting you’re sitting on a couch and that an adult is nearby.
It’s the magic that comes when you completely let go of pretension and just savor the moment – whatever moment that may be.
It’s the magic of everything around ceasing to exist except the story in front of you.
Somewhere along the way, we become too aware of our surroundings and forget how to do this. But kids, they know how to do it instinctively. And in my kid’s joy of singing along with the unicorns, I, too, forgot for a moment I was sitting on a couch on a Saturday evening.