(ATTENTION: Long blog post with lots of fun and inspiring photos to follow……..)
Spring break arrived the week before Easter for my son in high school but the difference this year was that we were not able to make plans to travel or go somewhere exotic and fun. Most years we plan fun family vacations but this year due to a recent job change for my sweet husband, we needed to stay home. Although a little saddened at first, we all took it in stride and tried to make the most of the situation at hand.
Andrew was particularly droopy in the mouth the first weekend as he lamented the fact that he wouldn’t get to scuba dive this year during spring break. At dinner on Saturday evening, I asked him what he wanted to do on his break that did NOT involve playing endless hours of video games. He thought a minute and then surprised me with his reply. First he said, “Go bowling.” Okay, fair enough. Bowling is something fun we can all enjoy together. But then he added, “Do you remember when I was 7 years old and we made my quilt using the ‘Finding Nemo’ fabrics? Well, as much as I like that quilt, it is really too childish for me now. And it’s small. I’d like to make a king size, Avengers quilt for my bed.” Wow! His response came out of nowhere. I had my iPad with me so I quickly googled the words, AVENGERS FABRIC and right away a large selection of those very fabrics popped up at various online sources. We scrolled through them together and chose two that he particular liked. With just a couple of clicks, 3 yards each of his two favorite Avengers prints plus 10 yards for the backing were on their way from eFabric.com. He seemed pretty excited about the proposition.
When we had his bedroom painted last fall from basic-builder-white, I let him choose the color and he chose a dark teal. A VERY. DARK. TEAL. My inclination was to “advise” him on his choice of color but resisted the temptation to micro-manage the situation. And as it turned out, his choice of color looks great on his bedroom walls. It is very masculine and totally suits him. When we replaced the shower curtain in the Jack-and-Jill bathroom both our boys share, they chose an Avengers shower curtain. Perhaps not my taste, but it looks great hanging there and they both love it. So the idea of Andrew making his own king size quilt for his bed from Avengers fabric sounded like a good plan to me. Especially since it meant him getting involved in something other than video games for his entire spring break!
Even I was surprised at how much Andrew anticipated the mailman’s arrival over the next couple of days. Finally, the package arrived on Wednesday and we got to work washing and drying the fabrics right away. I had to run errands that afternoon so I told Andrew he needed to iron all the fabric to get it ready for cutting. He totally cracks me up. I received a text message from him with the following photo and caption:
“Mom, do I have to iron ALL of this?”
I giggled and replied via text: “Yep.”
And you know what? By the time I got home, there he was, diligently ironing all of that Avengers fabric! He was motivated and ready to go on this project!
Shortly before spring break I got the GO! BIG Accuquilt cutter and although I had already used it and instantly fallen in love with it, I knew this would be a GREAT opportunity to turn a 16-year old loose with some minimal guidance from me. Andrew is more than capable of learning to use a rotary cutter effectively, but I already had a 10″ square die for the GO! BIG cutter and nothing beats the GO! BIG cutter for cutting LOTS of squares quickly and accurately!
Andrew chose a very simple layout of 10″ square blocks for his quilt and I let him “shop” for fabrics in my stash. I had plenty from which to choose. He chose solids and fabrics that read like a solid. Nothing feminine or flowery. Simple, clean, bold, and bright. Then he quickly got to work. Well, to play.
45 minutes later and he was completely done with all the cutting!
I snapped a photo of the time when he began cutting fabrics with the GO! BIG cutter was amazed when he finished cutting all 64 – 10″ squared from assorted colors in about 45 minutes!
They were all perfect, accurate with only minimal (just a teensy!) bit of wasted fabric. When he was done cutting, he asked me if there was any more fabric to cut because he was having such a great time using the GO! BIG cutter. It’s so easy to use and besides, it is a tool! Guys LOVE tools, right? Absolutely!
Then he got busy laying out his squares and sewing them together.
I set up my Janome 8900 machine just for him to use and it didn’t take him long to get the knack of sewing straight seams. I let him decide on his own layout and only offered guidance when he asked me. We had to rip out a couple of seams but for the most part he tackled this project with enthusiasm and determination to do it all by himself. He did all the sewing and pressing on his own and worked late into the night. It only took two and a half days for him to complete the top and when he had finished it, he just beamed with pride. It is just what he wanted. So now the top, batting, and backing are on their way to my friend, Carolyn Archer, Ohio Star Quilting, for her to machine quilt on her longarm machine. We can’t wait to see what great motif she picks out that will compliment the Avengers fabric perfectly. Andrew is hoping Miss Carolyn will use some Avengers motifs in the quilting. Gosh, I wonder if they even have those designs available?
I’ve used the GO! BIG cutter for my own projects, too.
Recently, I needed perfect circles cut for a challenge project I’m working on and in literally minutes I had the most perfect circles cut using the cutter.
I always loved my Accuquilt GO! cutter but honestly, the GO! BIG cutter is a whole, giant step above. It is fast, accurate, and oh-so easy to use. If this amazing cutter can convert me, a die-hard rotary cutting gal, I believe anyone who tries it will be hooked. Trust me. If you’ve never tried the GO! BIG cutter or the GO! cutter before, you need to try it. I’m totally hooked, and that’s really saying something!
So spring break may not have been what we had originally envisioned with travel to a vacation spot but I think it went amazingly well staying right here at home. As Andrew and I shipped off the package of his Avengers quilt top, backing and batting to be quilted he said without any prompting from me, “Spring break turned out to be really fun this year. I have a quilt for my bed that I really like and it was cool doing something with you, Mom.”
High praise to this Mom’s ears, indeed.