Monday, April 21, 2014

Emerald Improv Quilt

I spent a good part of this past weekend putting the finishing touches on this improv quilt for a co-worker. I was inspired by this crib-size quilt from Etsy.

I really liked the concept of only using three colors and making imperfect shapes of varying widths. I pretty much threw the rules out the window in creating these shapes and played with uneven, mis-matched edges in order to achieve the look; which was quite a challenge and actually more work then if I would have done everything matchy-matchy. Yet, the final result was definitely worth the extra effort.

As my quilting lines would be fairly simple, just "organic" straight-lines running horizontally across the quilt, I wanted to add some interest in the thread color. I found a great shade of Gutermann variegated thread in shades of green/emerald. It is hard to see in the photos; but on the quilt, the variegated thread adds a whole other dimension that would not have been there had I chose to use a matching thread color. This is the second time that I have used variegated thread in one of my quilts [the first was STAR'D], and I really like the look.

While the quilt's design lines are very vertical, the reason I chose to quilt horizontally was honestly because the thought of quilting super long lines of variegated thread vertically did not appeal to me...too much room for error, starting and stopping, etc.  

As for the fabrics, I only used three colors of Kona Cotton - Jade Green 1183, Pond 200 and White 1387. Jade Green makes up the majority of the front, while Pond is the focus of the back. The only other fabric addition was my label and just a hint of Pearl Bracelet from Lizzy House.

Untitled, 2014
Measurements:   60" x 82"
Quilting:  "Organic" horizontal lines approx 1/2" to 1" apart

One of the things that I love about working in an improv manner, is that I can change my mind at any time. While my original plan was going to look much more like the inspiration quilt; along the way, the shapes started dictating a different direction and I went with it. I am very pleased with the result and while this quilt is a gift for someone, there was a little part of me that actually wanted to keep it; but I can always make another, right?


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Perks of Being An Adult

Corrin from Oh Hey, What's Up? was talking about the Perks of Being an Adult back in Mid-March to celebrate her Birthday week, and I got thinking...I'm totally going to steal borrow that idea when it's my Birthday.

I'm turning 35 this week (on Thursday to be exact); which puts me right in the middle of my 30's, and while people may have assumptions as to what a 30-something is supposed to have checked-off of that list. I am happy to say that I threw that list out a while ago and haven't looked back.

So, here are the Perks of Being An I see it.

  • Do...Stay up as late as you want.  Bedtimes no longer exist.  Do you want to finish that series on Netflix? Do it. How about sewing the binding on that quilt?  Bring it on.  Want to scroll through Pinterest? Absolutely.
  • Do...Buy and wear what fits, looks good and makes you happy...regardless of the size on the label, the store it is from, or if it is trendy.   
  • Do...Embrace your quirkiness, as that is definitely what makes you -You. Are you an introvert...Great, be That!  Are you an extrovert...Fantastic, be That!  
  • Do...Eat whatever floats your boat.  You no longer have to get an A+ on that test to warrant a special treat.  If you want to grab something from the cupcake truck, do it.  How about a bowl of cereal for dinner, that's okay too.  How about a big cold glass of milk with every meal, now you are talking.

And my Don't

  • Don't....Wait for someday to do whatever it is you want to do.  While I am still working on following this myself, I have noticed that whenever I was a little more spontaneous, those are the times/things that I have cherished and appreciated the most.

So, tell me what would be on your Perks of Being an Adult list?

Friday, April 18, 2014

St. Louis Comic Con - Wizard World Recap

While the BIG Comic Con is in San Diego each year and is on my Bucket List, an opportunity presented itself earlier this month, and I made a semi-spontaneous decision to attend Wizard World - St. Louis.

My Sister and I had talked about going; but had not make any serious plans, which usually means that it will not happen.  That all changed when they announced that Matt Smith (actor who played the 11th Doctor) would be attending.  I compared ticket prices, and after calling my Sister at work [probably talking way too fast, as I tend to do when I am excited], I ordered two VIP passes.

My Dad, Sister and I went on Friday afternoon (opening day); which looking back was the best decision we made.  We had no schedule, so we could spent all the time we wanted walking around, looking at the vendors, seeing all of the artists and their work, and people-watching. Wow, there was so much people-watching.

There was so much wonderful artwork to purchase; but I kept to just a few things; a Sherlock print, two pieces of text art, and some window decals (not shown).

Looking back, it was well worth attending opening day since the crowds were small.  If/when we go back, we will definitely be attending the first day.


Saturday was the complete opposite.  There were soooooo many people; but we synchronized our "watches" [iPhones], hatched our plan, and began our day.

First up was the Photo Op, which was very surreal. We hopped in line quite early, wanting to ensure that we could be in, out and onto the next activity.  When the line starts moving, you are asked to have your ticket ready, yourself ready, and then are herded through a curtain with about 10-15 other people. There is a piece of tape on the floor [stand there], a celebrity on a stool [Eeeeee!] and a photographer [Smile!].

It might sound like I'm being sarcastic; but actually from my perspective it was perfect.  There is no time to do anything; but smile...and Yes, even this 34 year old was a little star-struck....can you tell?

Next up was the Autograph.  Oh, the autograph...this tormented me for days. You see, as part of the VIP package I could get one of several generic 8x10's signed, or I could get something unique signed.  I knew right off the bat, that I would want something unique; but what?  My Sister pretty much knew right away; but as usual I was over-thinking it.  Hmmm...where's that pixel quilt (oh, right...wrong Doctor...hahaha).

Much to a lot of people's dismay, I have no plans of making an 11th Doctor pixel quilt; yet that didn't mean, that I couldn't make a small wall-quilt using a piece of fabric he signed. The evening before, I prepped the fabric, taping it to foam core. Yet, the whole time I was hating my decision.

Now granted, I had a few other ideas back when I first bought the tickets; but it seemed too late to put any of them into action...or so I thought.  That's the nice thing about being in an enormous hall surrounded by vendors, you can probably find what you need in no time.

Having survived the photo shoot, the autograph experience was a breeze. My plan is to make a shadow box for this book, adding some of the ephemera from that weekend [wristband, lanyard, etc] and hang it on my wall.

Saturday ended with my Sister and I finally being able to sit down, as we were in the audience for Matt Smith's panel, only a few rows back from the stage.  The panel was quite entertaining as young fans would ask the most adorable questions; yet like everything else, it was over much too soon.


While the decision to purchase VIP tickets was semi-spontaneous, I had wondered when I pressed that Order button if it would be worth it.  I can tell you with the utmost authority that it was worth every penny and more, and not just because we got the photo and autograph; but because I could celebrate that geek-filled weekend with my Sister and Dad.