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.
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.
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.
This evening I’m featuring my other service. A large part of my business is from t-shirt quilt commissions. I use all sorts of materials and have sewn/quilted fabric as thin as a nightie to as thick as hockey socks. Jerseys, t-shirts, uniforms, jeans – I’ve incorporated them all. I offer anywhere from lap to king size. Take a look at the T-shirt Quilts page for more information.
If you’ve never considered or don’t know where to start when it comes to t-shirt and memory quilts, here is an article I published in my community magazine on tips and what to look for when commissioning a t-shirt or memory quilt. I hope you find it useful.
This is a standard style – nothing fancy.
This is a one featuring borders.
This one features borders with squares at the intersections.
This one features a mixture of sizes I like to refer to as “jigsaw” style.
Here are some of the less conventional styles I’ve used for a more creative slant.
This quilt was fun and a definite break from my usual mold. We divided the shirts into color families. I knew the some of them had rather big designs, and I wanted to make sure nothing “cool” was left out. For some of them, I just cut the central image in half and made sure each was still in. I rather like the crazy-quilt-shadow-box combo.
A fun bonus is that the white section is excellent for signatures! And can I begin to say how much I just LOVE the neat green and gold scroll design on the backing fabric?!
This commission was unique in that it was a memory quilt for a sweet little dog, Munson, who had passed away. His owner was so sweet, and she loved him very dearly as was evidenced by her getting choked up just talking about him. Apparently he had a scarf for every occasion: Thanksgiving, Halloween, 4th of July, Christmas, and many other colors and patterns in between.
After taking a look at them, I realized there were so many variations of fabric and size that my options were limited. The best option to include them all was a crazy-quilt style design. I sorted the scarfs by occasion and/or color and went from there. The owner did give me one t-shirt that she wore, so I made it the centerpiece and worked around from there.
I like that she chose a light blue backing. It reminded me of the sky, and I thought it fitting. This was also one of the first times I’ve added a label onto the quilt. Hopefully I can remember to do it more often.
So here it is – the dog scarf memory quilt. I just love it, and it was wonderful to work with something new.
One thing about making t-shirt quilts and memory quilts is that I don’t often get the see the reaction of the actual recipient. I get to see how much the person who commissioned it likes it, but the actual recipient is rare.
So when a customer shares a picture with me of their quilt being loved by the recipient, I cherish it. I’ve gone through and collected some of my favorite pictures from over the years of people loving on their quilts that I made. It’s a good smile for a Friday.
A dear friend and fellow teacher and church member asked me to make memory quilts from her parents’ clothes. This commission was particularly loaded because I knew some of the back story and had seen at least some of the struggle this family faced.
The father had been through a long struggle with Lewy Body Dementia. As a side note, March is Lewy Body Dementia Awareness Month. For more information about this condition and the fight it involves, click here. Having seen the family go alongside the father in this fight, I knew it had taken a huge emotional toll. The mother’s passing was most unexpected. She was a huge figure in the Agnes Scott College community, and friends who I knew from different circles knew of her simply because they were Agnes Scott alumni. For more information on this fantastic college, click here. So yes, the family and community lost two special souls in a short amount of time.
So when my friend brought in three bags of sorted clothes to make three lap quilts, I knew this commission would need to be perfect. Before beginning this quilt, like many of my memory quilts for lost loved ones, I said my memory quilt prayer and then got to work.
The colors were chosen as an homage to both parents, green for dad and purple for mom. Of course, there are numerous shades of green and purple, so we had to get the right one.
After that was the layout and switching around anything that my friend wanted to shift.
Then I sent one picture of one of the pinned quilts and then a last picture of them all ready and folded up. I like to save the final reveal for in-person. We met up, and I was thrilled at how happy she was. It’s a strange hobby when tears mean a job well done.
She sent me follow up pictures of the quilts as they were gifted to her siblings and one of herself underneath her own quilt. Overall, it was a gratifying commission, and I’m thankful to have helped give a wonderful family some degree of comfort. Love you, Abby!
A while back I received a request to finish a quilt someone’s neighbor had begun years ago. It was a Harley Davidson quilt.
“The shirts are already cut!” he told me. Normally I brace myself when I hear that because it means more work for me. Folks cut the shirts without stabilizer or with no consistent size. But this fella’s neighbor had done her homework! The shirts were stabilized and mostly consistently cut.
He wanted a different type of border than I’d used in the past, but I could see how’d they’d done it easily enough. The original t-shirt quilt he’d seen was in a museum in Florida.
And typical me…it was raining, so I didn’t get a finished picture.
Here are a couple of in-progress ones. You get the idea.
I love the craft fairs and being a vendor at them. They’re fun, and I get to meet lots of different people. But one issue I run in to is that I don’t sell many smaller items. Much of my inventory is higher priced, so I’m learning what shows work for me.
Lots of folks will come by and oohhh and aaaahhh, but if they aren’t bothering to look at price tags, they didn’t come prepared to shop. And if you’re selling larger priced items, you need to find shows where people are prepared to shop. Shows that are focused on something else and have thrown vendors in as an aside don’t often do well for larger-priced items.
So I’ve found that Spring shows haven’t done well for me in the past. Let’s face it – quilts don’t sell well in warm weather. I’d sworn I wasn’t going to do anymore Spring shows, but two came up that I just couldn’t resist giving a try.
One is the Riley Day event, April 27th, hosted by the fine people over at the Amanda Riley Foundation. All proceeds from that show go to support families as they deal with childhood cancer, and the more I learn about the Riley family the more I want to support them. So I figure it’s a win no matter what, and the fact that it would reach my niche client group is a major bonus.
The other event is my biggest event yet – the Vintage Market Days of Greater Atlanta, May 31-June 2. Vintage Market Days specializes in antiques, recycled and up-cycled art and decor, and they have shows all over the USA. My daughter and I went on a reconnaissance visit to the Christmas one, and I thought I might do alright at it. My daughter gave her 8 year’s wisdom and agreed that it was worth a shot. Again, the people attending looked like they might be in my niche client group – folks who liked sentimental items, especially re-purposed ones. So I don’t know how my ready-made items will do, but I’m thinking my t-shirt quilt commissions will fair well.
Since the big event is also inside, I’m trying something new with my booth layout, and I’ll use the Riley Day event to test it out. So here’s hoping the new layout pays off.