Pocket Full of Monsters


Pocket Full of Monsters

August 2020

Patterns for quilts can come from a variety of atypical places. I often notice quilt designs in tile installations. My grandson has a math activity book that has Pokemon characters drawn in grid format, which on seeing it, I instantly saw quilt potential.

At the beginning of the pandemic, my daughter asked me about doing a sewing project with her and my grand-kids via video calls. Since my grandson is currently into Pokemon, I had her send me the Pikachu picture from his activity book, and I then cut the needed pieces from fabric I had in my stash. Each week I would mail them two rows which they would sew together. The pieces were 3.5″ which by placing into two stacks,  fit into a standard #10 envelop. I added card stock on either side of the fabric to add rigidity. My grandson enjoyed ‘decoding’ the pieces each week – sort of like a puzzle, figuring out where each piece needed to go.

When they finished the Pikachu portion, my grandson asked, “what do we do with it now”? He felt that using it as a blanket at that point seemed like it was going to be too rough and scratchy on the back – the seam side 🙂 We discussed using it as a wall hanging, a quilt or a quanket and he decided he wanted it finished into a quanket.

They returned Pikachu to me for adding the borders, binding and backing. Luckily I found the Robert Kaufman Pokemon card panel from Hancocks of Paducah which was perfect for the border! I say ‘luckily’ because before the pandemic, I probably would not have known this particular fabric existed as I rarely purchased fabric online. I would just run down to the local fabric store to get something that worked with my design and I’m pretty sure they would not have had this fabric. In the first few months of the pandemic, running down to the fabric store was not an option. Since March, I have shifted pretty much all of my fabric and notions purchases to online, with trips into my local store being the rarity.

The finished size is approximately 54″ x 60″. I typically tie quankets, but since the Pikachu didn’t really work for this, I instead did a running stitch to outline him and did ties in the border.

 

Onshore Breeze

Onshore Breeze
August 2020

When I can’t sail, I quilt. My husband and I have been sailors for over 30 years, so naturally, when the grandkids came on the scene, we taught them that a nice onshore breeze is synonymous with good sailing. We often say, “Nice onshore breeze, we should go sailing!” Now that they are a bit older, we merely start the sentence, “Nice onshore breeze”, and they finish it 🙂

 

I made this quilt as a gift for my granddaughter’s 4th birthday which was earlier this month. When trying to get ideas for a design, I asked her what her favorite color is (blue, at that moment) and her favorite animal (cow, at that moment). I opted to design around her favorite color, as while I like cows, they were just not sparking much creative inspiration for me.

 

But, I didn’t have much in the way of blue fabric left in my stash (no cows either). With more time on my hands during the past several months, my stash has been substantially depleted. The pandemic has also made fabric acquisition very challenging! I was able to order three jelly rolls – two in a blue colorway, and one in aqua, however getting solid fabrics has been nearly impossible – both online and in stores! Where once there had been a dozen or two of various Kona solids on the store shelves, now there are seldom more than a half dozen. Fortunately, on one of my rare trips to the fabric store in the past two months, they happened to have turquoise Kona fabric. Needless to say, I scooped some up right quick to use for the back. I incorporated the leftover fabric from the front to create a strip down the back, which helped get around the issue of the solid fabric being only 45″ wide and my needing 54″ for the width. Warning for fellow quilters (in case you haven’t already found this out): the jelly rolls were supposed to be 2.5″ wide, however they were not! I am so glad that I checked them before I began assembling. The blue rolls were 2.75″ while the aqua was 2.625″. So, I trimmed the blue to be the same as the aqua.

 

As with the past few quilts I’ve made, I did this using the quilt as you go (QAYG) method. I built the quilt in three horizontal panels roughly 20″ x 54″, so quilting it on my domestic machine was much easier. I kept the quilting pretty simple, doing wavy lines. Because the front reminds me of ocean waves, my intention for the wavy lines was to emulate an onshore breeze across the water.

Aurora


Aurora
August 2020

Back in May, I joined Jacquelynne Steves Silver Linings QAL (quilt along). Each Monday, she would release a new block, for a total of twelve. There were also six  optional embroidery blocks as part of the project. Since I’m not overly familiar with embroidery, I only did one embroidered block. I used a coloring page for the pattern, and did an owl to work with my overall owl theme. Although the group QAL is ending this week, there is still time to download the block patterns here.

The first block was a nine patch, which I fussy cut the center square from scrap owl fabric leftover from my quanket Hooty. The owls are in different colors, including pink, which began my colorway for this quilt. I used scraps for all the pink blocks, and fabric from my stash for the borders and binding. The blocks are 6″ and since the QAL only had twelve blocks, plus the embroidery, I pieced an extra seven blocks to make the finished size 40″x46″ so it can work for a baby or young child.

As I suspect with many people, the pandemic has become a depressing pall over daily life. The hardest thing for me has been the infrequency of seeing and spending time with family and friends. And when I do see them, it’s at a safe social distance, so no hugs 😦 The not being able to plan for parties, camping trips, vacations, etc. is particularly difficult for me, since I so enjoy planning for the next big adventure! In a nutshell, the inability to ‘look forward’ to something concrete has been the biggest loss (for me) as a result of the pandemic. This QAL has been a breath of fresh air during this difficult time, as while it was just a small thing, it gave me something to look forward to each week. 

The name Aurora means dawn. For mariners, a pink/red sky in the morning is a warning of a potential storm. While a storm at sea can be scary, if a sailor uses the scientific knowledge of prevailing winds, along with the fact that a pink/red sky in the morning could indicate a high pressure system to the east, and a possible impending storm, then they can take the necessary precautions to be better prepared to ride out the storm. The pandemic can certainly be likened to a storm, and if we rely on the scientific facts and take the necessary precautions, we will get through this!

This will be donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services for a child in foster care.