My Son, The Aspiring Anime Artist

We love to encourage creativity around here. So it makes me happy when I see my kids exploring their artistic sides. My 14 year old son has really taken to the Japanese style of cartoon drawing, usually called Manga or Anime.

20140603_anime_1It’s fun to see him sketch and watch the pictures develop as he draws. He sketches with pencil, draws the outline in ink, then colors and shades with professional markers.

It started off with his fascination with Yugioh, an animated Japanese cartoon and card game. He would make up his own cards and draw detailed diagrams of the game playing equipment.

Several months ago, he got a drawing book from the craft store and he’s been going to town with his drawings ever since, enjoying the coloring and shading just as much as sketching the outlines of the characters. He’s studied proportions in detail and isn’t afraid to draw a line and erase, over and over again, until he gets it just right.

anime_2Ryan’s Drawing of a Character from Legend of Zelda

Being the supportive mom that I am, I wanted to incorporate some of his favorite things into a quilt I’m making for him. I’ve recently finished a quilt top that matches the colors in his bedroom. The double chevron design is purely for my own aesthetic pleasure.

double_chevrons_topI then let him pick out the backing, which I’m sure will get displayed more than the front! The sheet we are using isn’t quite wide enough so I will add some extra fabric to the sides.

double_chevrons_backingAs I have been working on his quilt, he has been improving his drawing skills and learning all about the best tools and supplies to use for the job (wonder where he gets that from?)

He has a healthy collection of Copic markers, which are not cheap! I’ve been very proud of him though – he works for us, and uses the money he earns to buy his own supplies.

markersEach hobby has its own set of tools and supplies!

In this drawing, I love how he added a swatch chart, so he knows which colors he’s using when adding ink to his drawings.


I really like this one, too. It’s a character from another show he watches (in Japanese with English subtitles), called Naruto. Just look at all that detail and expression! I really don’t mind that he enjoys TV and plays video games for inspiration (in moderation of course), especially when it leads to such creativity!

anime_3He’s very good at adding details and shading to make the characters really come alive. He’s also becoming fascinated with Japanese culture and even longs to go there on his church mission when he gets older (though of course you don’t really get to pick).

anime_4A current WIP – we all have them!

Although he’s never really said he wants to do this as a career when he gets older, he’s always had a knack for drawing detailed diagrams and schematics, and he’s really good with math. So who knows – maybe he has a future as an architect or an engineer some day. Whatever path he chooses, we know from experience that the joy is in the journey. 🙂


Wip Wednesday – Fabric Stacks and Yummy Quilt Projects

Yesterday I spent most of the day playing with fabric and it was quite delightful! I pulled and prepped (wash with color catchers, damp dry, iron with starch) all of my fabrics for several upcoming projects. First up is my Modern Trees QAL which starts next week.

Modern Trees

Modern Trees Fabric Pull

I chose mostly Kona Solids with one Moda Bella Solids Aqua. I decided to go with a cream solid from Free Spirit as the background because I had several yards leftover after cutting out all the Turning Cartwheels kits. It’s a nice yellowy cream and looks great with the teals and greens.

Cut Squares

Cut Squares for Double Chevrons Quilt

Next up, I cut and marked all the squares for the Double Chevron quilt I’m making for my son. I was having quite a zen moment getting lost in the calm repetitiveness of this task.

Finally, I pulled fabric for Angela Pingel’s curved mini class that I’ll be taking at Sewing Summit this weekend. I chose an older Amy Butler print from my stash along with a coordinating solid. (Surprising that I didn’t go with all solids –  I know!)

Fabric for Curves Mini

Fabric for Curves Mini

The solid will be my focal point with the print as background. It will be a modern take on a drunkard’s path block so I hope my fabric choices will work well.

I’m bringing all of these projects with me this weekend to Sewing Summit in the hopes of getting quite a bit done. I am way excited that there is lots of open sewing time during the retreat. If you are looking for me – I’ll be the one under a pile of fabric trees and HST’s!

Prepping for Sewing Summit and a New Project Start

I’m so excited that I’ll be leaving for Sewing Summit in Salt Lake in just a couple of days. I spent the weekend gathering my supplies and making a list of what to work on so I will be prepared for non-stop sewing fun!

Ryan's ChevronsFirst up on the agenda is this new chevron quilt that I’m going to make for my 13 year old son.  It’s very similar in construction to my Charming Chevrons quilt, with different color placement and larger finished HST’s so it should be pretty simple to sew. I might tweak it a little to fit his twin-sized bed. I’ll probably end up calling it “Double Chevrons.”

We recently cleaned up my son’s room and put up new shelving as part of my sewing space redo. Since I moved his Legos out of my sewing loft, I had to give him more space to store his stuff! He has an electronic drum set that takes up most of his room (yes – I’m that kind of mom!) so we really need to cozy it up a little.

Room decor

DrumsI decided he needs a new quilt that matched the color scheme of his room. He’s into Yugioh, drums, space, and Tron. Fortunately, the furniture and decor in his room blend together in a nice palette of black, blue, grey, and cheddar. I told him that I get to design the front, but he gets to choose the back.

Kona Fabric PullSince I created the design in EQ7 I was able to print it off in color and pull matching Kona Solids to match (one of the perks of having a fabric store in the house).

Yugioh Be SheetI found this fabulous Yugioh sheet online for a song that I will use for the backing (thanks to a bit of google searching).

He was way excited about that.  I get to make a fun quilt and he’s happy with the backing and colors so it’s a win-win!

Next up, I’m going to try my best to finish up my Sunday Sling bag that I started in a class over 2 years ago! Each time I go to a retreat or quilting event I’m so jealous of all the cute hand-made bags everyone is wearing. This is how far I’ve gotten in 2 years, LOL!

Sunday SlingI’m just not into 3-D sewing – I’d rather make nice, flat quilts. But, I decided I better buckle down and finish this UFO so I have something to strut. And besides, if it turns out to be a disaster, I’m sure I can just buy one on etsy! 🙂

So wish me luck as I frantically try to get ready this week. I’ve posted a list of classes I’m taking here and I’ve already heard from a few other blogger friends who are going – it’s going to be great!