Mickey & Minnie..and her pretty shoes

IMG_2910My four year old loves Mickey and Minnie.  He watches Mickey Mouse Club House, was Mickey for Halloween last year.  He LOVES that mouse!  So to celebrate his new bedroom I decided to make a Mickey quilt for him.  That decision turned out to be harder than I thought it would be…

My first issue was that none of the major fabric companies have Mickey fabric, many have Marvel, DC, Star Wars, etc.  But none of them have Mr. Mouse and friends.  I like to buy from my local quilt shop, it’s supporting a local business and they know me there.  But this time around I had to make the rounds at Handcock, Joann, and Hobby Lobby.  Now there isn’t anything WRONG with these stores mind you, but when it comes to fabric, I like certain things, and I don’t normally find them in a Big Box store.  Anyway, I digress, I found enough Mickey fabric to put something nice together.

I took all of my fabric home and the first thing I did was wash it call in cold water with Synthrapol.  I had several reds and was really nervous about them bleeding all over my lighter colors.  The next thing I did, washed them in cold water with Synthrapol AGAIN…just to be sure.  ( I NEVER pre-wash my fabrics….so this was very long a tedious process for me)

Then I dried them and went to the ironing board to get them all nicely ironed.  I set out with a specific pattern in mind, and then changed my mind after making a few audition blocks.  With some input from my friend Donna, I ended up with what I thought was a great looking quilt.

I then showed it to my 4 year old.  He’s response was this, “Well, I just thought Minnie would be in it wearing her pretty shoes.  Because I just love Minnie.”  So it was an easy swap out for some Minnie fabric and we were in business.  (And my son was happy)

Now to get the borders on and then it’s off to Charisma to get it all quilted for me!

I Like Big Bursts!

burstThis is part quilting post, part personal.  I got some bad news last week that my job was being eliminated, and everything I do would be moving to India.  My target end date is January 1st, however if they don’t feel the offshore team is ready to take over, it could be longer but they will give me a 30 day notice once they are done with me.  Then I will be given 8 weeks of severance, and I will be done with my current job.

I’m not a job hopper, in fact I’ve had 2 jobs in the past 20 years.  It’s so difficult to describe how it feels, you worry about the future, paying your bills, finding something else.  You grieve for your the loss of your job, the people you work with, that you spend all of that time away from your family with.  You worry about losing the job that you liked, and were good at.

In many ways having time to plan is nice, but it’s also strange.  You go into work and people look at you then realize you were laid off and then give you “the look”.  The sad, “Hey buddy I’m sorry about your luck” look.  Then people ask you your option on how a process should go, and you want to say, “don’t ask me I won’t be here.”  Anyway, needless to say it sucks, and I’m working through it.

bladeWhich brings me to my next project, “I Like Big Bursts, and I Cannot Lie!”  It all came about around the time I was let go, and I needed something else to focus on, and do with my time, other than worry about my future.  I knew I wanted a large Lone Star, but knowing I had a project coming up that included making another large one with smaller strips, I decided to go for large 4 inch strip sets.  Yes I know, BIG!!  It’s only going to be one star, and I will send it on to my FABULOUS quilter Charisma to have her way with.

I need it to be CHEERY!  Because I could use some cheer right about now.  My original thought was to incorporate a swirl into the design.  However I nixed the idea, as I needed something easy.  Something I could kind of make on auto-pilot while watching shows on Netflix and just get into “the zone”  That spot where you are only worried about lining up the seam, or keeping your fabric evening while sewing strip sets.  I needed that zen I get when I’m sewing.  So as a wonderful quilter once said “Quilting is my Therapy”  And big shout out to Angela Walters for that quote.  More accurately for me, “Piecing is my Therapy” however I’m sure the zen experience is similar.

So now I have an almost completed top, however I could only get 7 slices out of my strip sets, so I will assemble more tomorrow to get the final blade done.  Then I will have to decide the background.  I’m thinking, black, gray, or a black and grey batik…..something a little darker…or I could always just go for a crisp white.  But I think one of the darker colors will work better.

So this will be the quilt, that helps me work through my issues, and hopefully return to my more cheerful self.  It might not be next week, but I’m hoping it will be soon.

Happy Quilting!!!

Lone Star Swirl

swirlSo after my first attempt at a Lone Star, I believe I might have become slightly addicted.  I was just SUPER intimidated thinking about it, and assumed I would fail.  So now having one under my belt, I’m ready for round two!  Now, round one had some hiccups, and everything didn’t work out perfectly (I had a “stubby” blade)  So this time around I’m thinking about doing a “Swirl” Lone Star (however if I decide it’s too much, it might just be a regular Lone Star)

My next big decision is determining the size of my pieces.  I want this to be a really large quilt, so I think I may make my them 3 or 4 inches wide.  Large I know, but it will result in a nice large quilt to curl up under, plus make the center star a bit easier to put together.  (That was probably my LEAST favorite part of the Lone Star)

So I have my new color palette, all batiks, I’m thinking about a black and grey batik background for this one.  But I’m eager to get started on it this weekend!