In my other life, I’m a language arts teacher. Today is the beginning of Spring Break, and I’m celebrating the best way I know how. I’m getting together with three other friends for a crafting weekend!
I’ve been looking forward to this so much, and I could barely concentrate at work today – which put me on equal footing with my students.
I’ve made kits for sewing, bought new rotary cutter blades, a new iron, and I’ve found my favorite coffee creamer.
I cannot wait to see all my friends and sew!
My obnoxious goal for this weekend is to complete all eleven kits I’ve precut.
This was a Father’s Day commission. I’ve never really been into sports unless I was actually on the team, so I had no qualms about making an Auburn quilt or two. I’ll admit it was a good thing I didn’t care or have any loyalty to another team because I was up to my elbows in orange and blue for a long time. Right after this commission I had an order for a Detroit Tigers quilt, so MORE orange and blue.
It was fun, though, because these quilts had a lot of “trash talk” shirts, and I chuckled at more than one of them.
I also had some baby clothes to try and work in – a couple of hats and a bib along with a pair of shorts and a couple of baby shirts. I was able to do it with the help of fusible interfacing and invisible thread.
One of the quilt was my standard size and sashing look. The first row, second from the bottom, was a handkerchief, and I used the back of one of the other shirts and made it into a block.
The other one took a little more thought because it was what I refer to as “jigsaw”. I spend a lot of time working on my graphic paper pad for the jigsaw style because everything has to fit together just right.
The backing for the jigsaw quilt was fun because we decided to split the back between orange and blue. I kept my usual method of fold-over binding, so the binding is also duel-colored! I also did my usual loops and swirls quilting pattern.
This is the last episode to compliment episodes 1, 2, and 3. Thanks for sticking with me!
At this point, both the Luke and Darth Vader quilt and the Rey and Kylo Ren quilt were ready for my mid-arm quilting machine. On the original one I made, I had quilted a very close pattern because of the different fabrics I’d used. The quilt has a nice “hand” (the weight and how it hangs) and works wonderfully, so I decided to keep a good thing going.
You can see here the details and tight horizontal swirls pattern I used.
On the original quilt, my son chose the backing and picked a blue mottled stars and sky fabric. It looked awesome but was among the more expensive fabrics. For these, I went with a simple black to help tie together the silhouettes themselves to the overall look of the quilt. With so many blue variations, the black was needed. I also liked how you could see the impressions of the characters on the back.
Here are the final results.
I had originally wanted to wait and begin selling these at my next craft show, but I decided to go ahead and place them on Etsy.
With Luke and Darth Vader taken care of, it was now time for Rey and Kylo Ren. They presented a unique challenge because, while there were lots of images from which to choose, I couldn’t find many that translated into a silhouette well. One would have a good profile, but the body wasn’t in a good position; another would be missing the feet but everything else was perfect. In the end, I picked a couple of pictures where everything was right except the head, and I imposed a different picture’s head onto it, adjusting for size, etc. I really wanted Rey’s specific hairdo included, and I did NOT want a silhouette of Kylo Ren’s hood up.
Just like the other one, I traced the images from a projector onto paper, and then I traced them again onto the Pellon 805 fusible interfacing.
These figures had a lot more detail than Luke and Darth Vader, and they took longer to cut out. Not to mention Kylo Ren’s interfacing did NOT want to peel off properly.
If you look carefully, you can see where I’ve used a lot of pins on Kylo Ren. I decided Kylo Ren in fabric form was just as aggravating as Kylo Ren in the cinema form. *But we all love and adore Adam Driver in this house!
After this, there’s lots of ironing and sewing with the zigzag stitch as I attached them to the blue strip background. Somewhere in here I added lightsabers and had a needle break on my sewing machine. A piece of it flew towards my eye, and I’m grateful for such trivial things as eyelids. Mine worked just as it ought and kept my actual eye from being hit. Yikes!
Almost there! Stay tuned tomorrow for the final episode.
After sewing all the strips together for two twin-sized quilts, I had to get to work on the silhouettes. The Luke and Darth Vader ones were easy because I still had the silhouettes from the original quilt.
The key to making these quilts is to use the 805 Pellon fusible web interfacing. I traced the images onto the interfacing, pinned them to the quilt, and then I ironed away.
It’s strange. When the 805 works like it’s supposed to and peels off properly, you get fabric with an entire side of glue that’s ready to be ironed onto another piece of fabric. For these, some of the spots worked correctly, but I had a lot of areas that simply didn’t want to cooperate. This is where I had to go back and pin again. The fusible interfacing to there to ensure everything stays put and doesn’t shift while being sewn down.
The next step was the cut out the figures.
I like to use gray for the lightsaber handle and satin for the lightsaber blades. I had considered several other options before settling on satin, including glow-in-the-dark fabric. But I couldn’t resist the sheen of the satin and liked how it “popped”. I ironed the lightsabers on right after the figures were situated.
I used the close-set zigzag stitch and my duel-feed foot to trace around my figures and make sure they were secure. After Luke and Darth Vader were ready, I moved on to my newer silhouettes: Rey and Kylo Ren.
A while back I wanted to use up some of my blue fabric from my fabric stash since the drawer was overflowing. My son had recently asked for a Star Wars quilt, so I decided to take care of both challenges at the same time.
Fast forward to the fall of that year, and I am participating in a rather large craft fair – one of the largest I’d done. I find out my booth is on the corner, and I panic because I simply can’t have the side of my booth be the backs of the quilts hanging up on the inside. I needed something to hang on the outside of the booth, but I’d sold a couple of quilts on Etsy that would have done the job. I ran upstairs and asked my little buddy if I could borrow his Star Wars quilt for the show. He’s such a good sport and didn’t hesitate to agree. I placed it on the outside, and the visibility was excellent.
When I placed his quilt up, I expected it to gain some attention, but I wasn’t prepared for how much attention it would garner. My booth neighbor behind me said that everyone who passed by her booth was talking about the Star Wars quilt. I had several people ask about what it would cost to make one for them since I had a “Not for Sale” tag on my son’s. I joked that if he wasn’t in charge of my end-of-life decisions I could have sold that quilt three times that day. So it seemed a no-brainer that I would make one to sell after that show.
It didn’t hurt that I still had a lot of blue fabric left over from previous projects, gifted to me, or rescued from remnant bins. The first thing I did was to get out all the blue fabric I intended on using and placed it in the order I wanted.
After that, I cut them all into 3.5″ strips.
From there, I sewed the strips end-to-end and rolled them up on an empty tissue holder. The final radius of that roll was 4.25″.
There’s not much new in the quilting world in regards to techniques, but I *might* be the first person I know of to use what I call the “chair technique”. I had my husband video the beginning of the process.
From here, I sewed together the strips into pairs so as to make organizing easier.
It was here I realized I had much more than the original twin-size quilt goal. In fact, I had exactly enough strips cut to make TWO twin-sized quilts. I laid everything out and then picked up every other strip segment; this helped in that my strips were still going in order from lightest to darkest, allowing the silhouettes to be mostly in the lighter fabric.
I decided that I would make one with the original Luke and Darth Vader silhouettes like I had for my son, but the second one would be linked to the newest film and feature Rey and Kylo Ren.
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:
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.
Hi everyone and welcome! This blog is the partner of my Facebook business page: www.facebook.com/questquilts. Here I plan on discussing my favorite hobby, quilting, and all the facets of it that make it such a beautiful art form. I’ll also document projects and such as I explore new methods and create designs.