Harry Potter Quilt

This was a commission from a friend.  As you can see, she is clearly a Harry Potter fanatic, but so am I!  This was fun because I liked being able to work in all of the house colors.  It was harder than I thought it would be to make sure I had the exact colors.  The reference pictures were so varied.  I remember fussing a lot over the Gryffindor shade of red and the Ravenclaw shade of blue.  It didn’t help that the quidditch robes had some variations from the house colors as well.

The crests were a neat challenge.  I decided to play it authentic and use the crest images from the books.  I printed them out on fabric, ironed on fusible interfacing, and then ironed them onto black felt.  After that I simply appliqued them into the center of their house colors checkerboard.  I was trying to mimic the style of my letter jacket from high school, but if I had it to do over again I might just stick with a simple crest shape for the black felt part.

The Hogwarts “H” in the center was supposed to be simple, but my printer refused to print out the “H” any darker than a medium gray.  I simply couldn’t get it black, so I went in with black t-shirt paint and colored in the H to make it stand out like it should.

By far the hardest and most time-consuming aspect of this project was the quote.  She chose a quote from Sirius Black.

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

The quilter in me was annoyed that the quote had unnecessary words in it, especially as that meant anywhere from 20-30 extra minutes of work for each word.  The English teacher in me was annoyed because good writing is usually streamlined.  All I could do was remind myself that the wizarding world does not have copies of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style at Flourish and Blott’s.  *All jokes aside, the quote is excellent and true as the day is long.  To make the quote, I brought in the stripes of black fabric to my school and traced the letters with quilter’s chalk onto the fabric.  I’d heard hairspray can help keep it from rubbing off, so I sprayed it generously afterwards.  From there, I had to use a light interfacing to keep the words from puckering.  I set my sewing machine to the close zigzag stitch that I like to use when pretending my machine is an embroidery machine.  I traced the letters, taking extra care on the curves.  I used a Calibri font to make sure I had the simplest version of the letters so they’d have a clean look.

My friend had suggested the whole quote be in the Harry Potter style font, but I wasn’t so sure that would look good overall as it would be hard to read, especially with me not using a real embroidery machine.  But I hate saying no, so I suggested we use that font for the quote source at the end.  So if you look closely, you’ll notice that “Sirius Black” is done in a different style font.  I think it turned out well.

As a last surprise for my friend, I decided to try something new with my quilting pattern.  I figured out how to draw a meandering lightening bolt, broom, Deathly Hallows symbol, and wand.  Using them, I had a repeating pattern throughout the quilt, giving an extra layer of meaning to an already fun quilt.  I enjoyed making this quilt, and I learned a lot in the process.

Related posts and blogs:

Jasmin Heaven Blog

Historian Ruby – Harry Potter: A History of Magic

Merv Reads: Why It Took Me So Long to Read Harry Potter Books

Crafting Doctor: Harry Potter Quilt

Disney Princess Silhouette Quilt

This quilt was made as a surprise for a friend expecting her first child, a daughter.  This friend is a dedicated Disney aficionado, and I knew right away I wanted to do something related to Disney.  But focusing on one princess seemed…inaccurate.  This friend loved all things Disney, so I decided to go for several at once.  I sent her a message asking who were her favorite Disney princesses, and she replied back with several.  To her credit, she had to have known I was up to something but didn’t ask any more questions despite my strange messages to her.

I’d seen on Pinterest a quilt with a little boy silhouette holding balloons, and I remembered the balloons being a big part of that Disney World experience.  I decided to go that route.  I purchased several pink fat quarters and made the balloon shapes.  That step was easy enough.  The girl and princess silhouettes took some more thought.

I looked around at a LOT of little girl silhouettes before settling in on this one.  In the end, I picked this one because you could see the cute, wispy pig tails, and it made me think of some spunky girls I’ve known, but you could also tell she was wearing a pretty fluffy and fancy dress.  I liked the balance in there and felt that any daughter my friend had would have a similar dynamic.

The princess profiles were easy to find, but they didn’t want to translate to fabric all that well.  To be honest, there were a couple of points where I thought the girl was just going to have to hold regular balloons sans princess.  It was the lips and chin that didn’t want to work with the fabric and sewing machine, and in the end I took another friend’s advice and simply smoothed out the lips and chin, letting the hair, brow, and nose do most of the defining.  For the most part it worked.  If you look closely, you can see another princess added in for Daddy – Disney’s newest acquired princess – Leia Organa.

Funny enough, one part I was having to focus pretty hard on was the strings.  I couldn’t, of course, have real strings hanging loose.  That wouldn’t be very durable, and this quilt was for a baby, making them a safety hazard.  So I decided to use an extra wide stitch and keep it simple.  I wanted to make sure the strings looked natural and relaxed like they can with actual balloons.  I was relieved when they turned out well.

This quilt was a first for me in another technique as well.  I used a pink bobbin and black top thread while quilting the silhouette.  The backing was such a pretty pink that anything distracting from it would have been a shame, but the black silhouette also needed to stay clean, so I held my breath and gave it a go.  I was so thrilled when I realized I didn’t have to chose between ruining my top or backing!

After all that I quilted it together with a small stipple pattern.  I’m happy to report that the quilt gets regular use!

photo 2
I put the silhouettes of mommy’s favorite princesses on there and included Princess Leia for daddy.

 

Related posts and blogs:

My definitive ranking of [almost] every Disney Princess

Princess Quilt

Disney Nerds

 

Paramedic Quilt

The first thing you need to know about my brother-in-law is that he is a fantastic fellow.  The second thing you need to know is that he is a paramedic (and former firefighter).  The third thing you need to know is that he is incredibly tall.  If I’m correct, I think he’s around 6’7″.  So when he wanted to know if I would make him an extra long quilt for his bed at the station, I agreed.

He asked for a Star of Life pattern which meant only one thing – reverse applique.  I’d never done it before, but that didn’t matter too much.  It was a quick study with the help of a projector. I simply traced it on to the blue fabric, cut out the snake design, placed white fabric behind it, and then I used a close-set zig zag stitch to bring it all together.

One unexpected perk of this quilt was my choice to use a white fabric with a nice sheen for the white base.  I don’t remember why I had that huge cut of satin(?), but I decided to use it up for this quilt.  My sister ordered some ambulance fabric that wasn’t too cutesy and had it sent to me.  I used that fabric to add length to the quilt, especially as it needed to be extra long to suit my extra tall brother-in-law.

The next detail is my favorite.  I added a red border to make sure it had a nice hang on the sides, and somewhere in there I thought about quilting in a heartbeat pattern in the red border!  I had to make sure my research was solid on this because the last thing I wanted to do was quilt in a cardiac arrest into this man’s quilt.  The rhythm ended up being easy enough, and I loved how it turned out.

 

 

Related blogs and posts:

A Paramedic’s Notebook

A Medic’s Mind

Perceptions and Perspectives of a Paramedic

 

 

Stadium Quilts

I know I mentioned “stadium quilts” in a previous post, so I figured I’d go ahead and discuss them.  As said before, the whole idea of a stadium quilt is that it is usually in school colors and is 4’x4′.  This isn’t the usual size of a lap quilt, but the logic was that at 4’x4′ it would be big enough to cover your lap while sitting on those wonderfully comfortable bleachers at football games while also being small enough not to drag around or have folks stepping on them.  Of course, they also happen to be the perfect size for draping over the back of a couch or chair.

I happen to work for a particularly large school system that has over 20 different high schools.  (This still baffles me as I graduated from an area with one high school for the whole darn county!)  That being said, I figured that if I stuck to the basic colors of the local schools I’d happen to catch most professional and college team colors as well.  One thing I know for sure – you Buckeye fans sure do love your Etsy stores.  I probably get more hits on my Etsy store from Buckeye fans than from any other team.

When I decided to make the stadium quilt, I had two goals in mind.  1. Make some smaller quilts to sell ready-made on Etsy as well as at craft shows.  My original lot was around 14 or so.  2. Use up as much of my fabric stash as I could without buying any more except for backing.  I’ve mostly stuck to this, but I haven’t been able to resist the occasional gold or gray since they’re so wonderfully useful.  I’ve also taken to strolling by the remnant bin at JoAnn’s and seeing if there’s any generic quilting fabric that is handy.  The remnant bin and I are now officially old friends.

I also took some time and experimented with a new design – the “split rail,” aka the “rail fence.” I really liked it and had fun using it more.  I also experimented using both cotton backing and flannel.  After all, if the idea was to stay warm during games, then flannel was the way to go.  In addition to my newfound appreciation for flannel, I also found that I simply LOVE crepe back satin.  I used it in a couple of quilts and like the texture and sheen of it.

One color combo I was surprised looked as good as it did was the orange and blue.  For the back of it, I found an orange and white tie-dye style flannel, and it looked great!  I do think the rail fence styles look prettier overall.

 

Related Posts – mostly about using up your fabric stash:

Tierney Creates

Katy Quilts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pipe Organ Quilt

When I found out our beloved organist and music director was retiring, I immediately tried to figure out how to honor him with a quilt.  I did some searching around and landed on this jewel from the Soar Above blog.  It was perfect! I simplified it in some ways and lightened up the fabric because I wanted members to be able to write messages to him.  This also meant mostly quilting in the ditch.

I have a BA in music, so the details on this were very important to me.  I went that mile and made sure the keyboard was accurate in regards to the key placement.    I also got our lead choir member to help, and together we took pictures of his organ setup, including his actual hymnals, his clock, glasses, duster, and his shoes.  I printed those pictures out on fabric and appliqued them onto the organ setup.

On his last Sunday, I presented it to him in front of the church, and his reaction is one that I’m mighty proud to have on film.

I used more blue on the back (in case it was needed for more messages) as well as basic music fabric.  It was hard to find music fabric that wasn’t cutesy, but I did!  I like the contrast of the differing wood panels.

hymns and clock
The keyboard is accurate!

 

 

 

 

 

Related posts:

Hayman Tam’s Photography Blog

Awa on the Road

 

A quilt for me…

As I made quilt after quilt for others, I thought long and hard about what would be in mine once I decided to make it. The occasion came when I wanted to do my first craft show and needed a backdrop. I made myself a queen size quilt of all the different fandoms I had since I was little.

For backing and the sashing intersections, I chose a magenta fabric that was pretty bold and balanced it out with simple black.

Some of the shirts I already had on hand, some were gifts, some had been worn for years, and some were never worn. I had some especially made at the local screen printing place for this quilt.

At every craft show I do, it’s the biggest draw to my booth, and I learn a lot about folks based on which shirt they’re drawn to.

Fandoms include: Dr. Who, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Rainbow Brite, Jane Austen, Wicked, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Firefly, The Last Unicorn, The Princess Bride, My Little Pony, Star Trek, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, DC and Marvel comics, Shakespeare, The Neverending Story, She-Ra, Studio Ghibli, Edward Gorey, Downton Abbey, Daria, Muppets, Jurassic Park, Duck Tales, and Lewis Carroll.

Related blogs and posts:
Precinct 1313

The Questing Geek

The Girly Geek

Kelly’s Ramblings

Meltingpotsandothercalamities

Current projects…

My current situation is strange – much stranger than usual. I have a crafting weekend at the end of March, and last time I spent too much time cutting and not sewing. So this time I plan on mostly sewing. To get a head start, I’ve been making “kits” of precut fabric all ready to assemble. I’m up to 14 kits in various stages of readiness.

Last year I made around 14 4’x4′ quilts I called “stadium quilts”. The idea was that they were all in local school colors and could be used at games. They were big enough to cover a lap but small enough not to drag on the stadium steps. I’ve sold all those, so I plan on making more as well as some traditional lap quilt sizes. I’ve been having fun and trying to use up a fair amount of my stash to boot!

I think the kits are definitely the way to go.  I have already “broken in to” a couple of them.  

Related blog posts:

https://dottiedoodle.blog/2017/12/31/the-splendid-sampler-lap-quilt/

https://claire93.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/finishing-off-my-finishes-january/