One thing about making t-shirt quilts and memory quilts is that I don’t often get the see the reaction of the actual recipient. I get to see how much the person who commissioned it likes it, but the actual recipient is rare.
So when a customer shares a picture with me of their quilt being loved by the recipient, I cherish it. I’ve gone through and collected some of my favorite pictures from over the years of people loving on their quilts that I made. It’s a good smile for a Friday.
Christmas is here, and I can finally make a post about one quilt in particular. I couldn’t make a peep about it anywhere on any of my social media outlets because the friend it was for was privy to all of them.
While visiting over the summer, a friend joked after seeing my other Star Wars silhouette quilts that I should make one with Darth Vader in the corridor – the scene in both Rogue One at the end and in Star Wars: A New Hope at the beginning. A little while later, his sweet bride sent me a picture, asking about getting it made into a twin-sized quilt in the style I’d done with the others.
Well I LOVED the idea of all that red fabric, and I liked how it turned out as a background pattern for sure. The silhouette was very simple, especially compared to the Rey and Kylo Ren quilt I’ve done a couple of times before. I stuck with my usual style of using crepe back satin for the light saber. I’ll forever love that fabric.
The biggest surprise with this quilt was it was my first time using wool batting. I’d heard of it before, but that was about it. And let’s face it – I live in Georgia. We don’t need wool blankets except for on a handful of days at best. I was surprised at how light it was. In fact, I halfway wondered if it wasn’t actually polyester. I did some research and tried out the “burn test” on a small patch. Sure enough, it burned and singed instead of melted, so it was the real deal.
I made the quilt and then got really scared at the idea of washing this thing. I have sinned against wool in the past, and I was nervous about repeating that mistake. I finally decided I would rather wash it and take my chances with me first before sending it off to my friends. So I washed it on the coldest, shortest, gentlest cycle my washing machine had to offer, and then I hung it out on my back deck to dry. I’m proud to say that there were no casualties in the making of this quilt – cotton, wool, or otherwise.
Hey everyone, I’ve been busy on my other pages, but this one has been still for a bit because I haven’t finished any projects. That doesn’t mean I’m not working on them because…boy oh boy…I am swamped!
I was able to finish my t-shirt quilt commission and baby Flash quilt commission right when school started. Now, I’m on to another undisclosed project, a bookshelf quilt for a church retreat, a Star Wars quilt (or two) for the upcoming craft fairs, finishing my comic book quilt and second guitar quilt. I also have a partially begun other undisclosed project as well as a promised project that hasn’t even been started. Oh, and there’s another t-shirt quilt waiting to be started, but the timeline is very generous, so it’ll be a while before I start it.
Due to the popularity of the Star Wars quilts, I started thinking about what other silhouettes I wanted to do. It turned out I still had a couple of Star Wars ones I wanted to try out before moving on to other images.
I wanted to do the Rey and BB8 silhouette from The Force Awakens first, but I ended up working on another one in tandem after seeing a picture a friend bought online of Luke’s Last Sunset from The Last Jedi. I remembered choking up in the theater when I saw this shot, and the symbolism was NOT lost on me. So I looked online and found this screenshot.
I traced it as best I could and then got to cutting up my orange, maroon, and dark purple fabric into strips. For the original Star Wars quilts, I used 3.5″ strips because I was aiming for a twin-sized quilt. For this one, a friend suggested I go smaller, and I agreed, considering this was going to be a wall quilt. Much smaller. I ended up going with 2.5″ strips and was pleased.
I knew I’d cut a lot, and after rolling it all up and making the strips, I ended up with enough strips to make SIX wall quilts. So I decided I would make two of the Luke quilts and two of the Rey and BB8 quilts.
They were arranged and sewn together. Next step was to cut out the silhouette. I opted to use gold crepe back satin for the suns to give them extra luster and make them stand out against the orange fabric. I even ended up running some gold thread over the suns as well.
I liked the way the final results look. Happy with this one. The final step was to add a hanging sleeve.
The boy and I decided to get some mommy-son pictures made, and I wanted to bring something that was important to both of us. So I brought the Star Wars quilt I made him. This was the prototype for the other Star Wars quilts I made.
I like how they turned out. Miles over at Portrait Innovations did a great job!
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.