This all started over Thanksgiving. Shopping the JoAnn Black Friday sale, my mom stumbled upon some Walking Dead fabric right before our number was called at the cutting counter. We had no idea what we were going to do with it, but we knew that we had to have it. Three were cotton prints, one was a flannel (the latter of which I haven't used yet). I'm not exactly sure when the idea for this baby came to me, but it was sometime during the making of my wanderlust quilt (around Christmas) that I thought about doing something similar, using a quote or catchphrase combined with a visual symbol of each person.
I eagerly started crowdsourcing ideas from my parents (both loyal fans) and friends, though I will say that I already had quite a list of ideas going (more ideas than what made it into the quilt, actually!).
I wanted a good representation of all of the main characters, or as many as I could get. Some were easy to think of (Michonne = katana, Rick = sheriff's badge, hat), and some proved much more challenging.
[Rick's badge, Michonne's katana, and poor Carl, copied from a design found here.]
Re-watching the New Years marathon certainly helped come up with more good quotes. Rick and Carl ended up over-represented, Lori got left out (spoiler alert: I was so happy when she died!).
[More Rick, asking the important questions. Daryl's wings and best quote ever. Maggie's quote coupled with what she's (not) afraid of - she doesn't have an easily recognizable symbol, does she?]
There are a few designs that I just think are kind of brilliant and/or particularly well-executed:
[Sign on the tree Daryl and Andrea found, along with a (grim) noose that I really like the look of. Rick's pistol, with the "Python .357 very intricately made (better up-close). Carol's revolver with some pretty flowers.]
Another favorite: the map leading to Terminus, with the same handwriting as is found on the signs. And, drum-roll, please...a signed logo square (more on that in a minute)!
That's right, as soon as I found out about Walker Stalker Con Chicago (Feb. 21st), I knew I had to finish this and take it with me. The deadline was pretty tight. I had 20 squares to finish embroidering, interfacing, squaring up, and then the back to create.
The back...I am really proud of. I got the idea to blood-splatter it, how fitting is that? My first idea was to use some fabric dye and really get in there and splash it around. But where to do it? I wanted to hang it over the fence, but my yard was covered in three feet of snow - not very practical. Then a friend suggested doing it in the shower for easy clean-up. Great idea in theory, but in practice? I ended up with dye in my nose (for DAYS afterwards), bruises from slipping and sliding in the shower, dye splattered on everything in the bathroom, and when I washed the fabric and all was said and done...I had a blotchy pink sheet. Sigh. So much for that idea.
Luckily, I found some good fabric paint, and after some trial and error, developed a method to my madness (involving some painting and some really fun splattering).
Now, back to the con:
I met T-Dog (a.k.a. Irone Singleton), who gave me a HUGE hug and signed my quilt! He was such a sweetheart, spent several minutes with each person in line, had conversations with them, and seemed to really care what they were saying.
I also met Daniel Thomas May (Allen, one of Tyrese's group) - before things got too crazy we were able to have a nice convo with him. I apologized that I didn't have a square for him, but he was still impressed, ha. He actually asked me if he could take a picture with me and the quilt!
I also chatted for a bit with the actors who played Jackie and Jim. They admired my quilt, but no autographs or pics because I was feeling cheap (who knew cons charged so much for that stuff?)
Finally, Jay Bonansinga, author of the Walking Dead novels, first admiring, and then signing, my quilt. Turns out my friend knew him!
I also had to include a shot of my favorite group of cosplayers - these people were seriously impressive:
[Daryl, Beth, Maggie, and Glenn]
All in all, it was a pretty fun day. I caught lots of people admiring my quilt, pointing, staring, and some even asked me where I got it...to which I proudly got to say, "I made this!" I handed out a few business cards, and am even thinking about offering custom designs on Etsy (though I never have much luck with sales!)
And, if you're still with me, some more close-ups:
[Rick encouraging Lori to have hope after Carl was shot, because instead of talking about horrible things when he woke up, "He talked about the deer." Beth's best quote, along with the instrument she used to take her revenge. Shane's necklace with Rick's quote (because Shane didn't have any good, short quotes). The prison, and "pulling together."]
[Can't remember whose quote this was, but that brain is seriously impressive. More Daryl, because you can't have a Walking Dead quilt without a crossbow. The group's motto (when they can follow it).]
[Herschel's quote and crutches. Glenn's "walker bait." And of course, baby asskicker.]
This turned out to be a pretty decent stash-bust. Almost 3 yards of Walking Dead fabric, a huge king bedsheet (which I'm counting as 4 yards), and some interfacing and batting I had on hand. The only thing I bought for this was the fabric paint (and dye, whoops), and the bias binding. I really got my nerd on with this one, and I love it!
*Edited to add: I'm now taking custom orders! Visit my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ForWhoItsFor