Often times, most of the hard work in quilting, is calculating quilt measurements, cutting out the fabric and sewing up the quilt top. Knowing this, my husband had the fabulous idea of doing a two-fer for the next quilt. We really liked this idea, and, you may have noticed, we ran with it. You have seen some “twin” quilts in previous posts, and are likely to see more.
I have a nephew graduating from college, and my husband had a friend getting married, both of whom are big Star Wars fans. The idea was for a Death Star quilt for each of them. I had lots of help with creating a master template (40 inches diameter), cutting out the template and cutting out the fabric.We kept track of the pieces by putting them up on the design wall. I was glad for the overall 8 foot width to hold both of these:
I had never done curved piecing or appliqué before, but as the internet has a wealth of information, I just did a little research and got sewing. I learned some things along the way, made some mistakes, and got some things right. I was afraid that the back of the Death Star would be a mess with very heavy quilting and lots of starts and stops, so I quilted it with just the front fabric and a 40 inch square of batting. I added the backing later and just stitched in the ditch to attach it. I needn’t have worried as the back turned out very well. So on the second one, I added the central batting, the backing (which I rolled up and out of the way) and quilted the Death Star first.
I later added in the surrounding batting (hand basting in place) and front fabric to the quilt, turning under the edges of the Death Star to “appliqué” it to the rest of the quilt. I used every pin in the house to pin down a 40 inch appliqué!! The backing is a Star Wars proprietary fabric to complete the look. I used a swirl pattern to echo the pattern of the surrounding front fabric.
All was edged in black binding. I used Kona Cotton Roll Ups to save a little time cutting fabric. Every little shortcut helps! I had found numerous examples on the internet, but drew heavily on this design by quirkygranolagirl. I saw this on both quiltsofafeather and Hannah Cody’s Pinterest Page. I hadn’t looked back to see that she had had credited this back to quirkygranolagirl. So I just forged ahead and did my calculations and made a template and sewed it together. (Are you seeing a pattern here with my other quilts?!) One of the things I love about quilting, is actually the math, and how to change and adjust to my desired specifications. So now that I am posting about it, I needed to researched further to cite the work correctly. I now see the generous offer to share the free pattern and instructions on quirkeygranolagirl’s site! Here are more views of the progress.
The quilting details were probably the most challenging aspect, but also the most fun. We looked at images from the above mentioned sites, as well as photos from the films, to develop our own idea of how the death star itself should look. I was trying to evoke a shadow effect, with the idea, that the death star itself is being lit from the upper right.
Of course, the salient feature of the death star is the laser array. It is what makes it immediately recognizable to people of a certain age, and proclivity! My husband drew the pattern for me to quilt, with heat sensitive markers, and a couple of round household items.
In many ways, these two are the most ambitious quilts I have yet undertaken. With stopping and starting, and a few projects in between, the two quilts took over a month to complete. The curves were the most difficult aspect to do, and I don’t think I’ll tackle a curve pattern like that again anytime soon. I feel good about them, though, and like the finished products.
The final word, will have to come from our recipients. The first quilt was gifted to friends on their wedding day, today. The wedding was great fun. My husband’s friend is a committed nerd culture cosplayer! All the guests were asked to come in costume. My husband and I went as the painter Frida Kahlo, and her lover Leon Trotsky. The bride and groom changed into Harry Potter regalia for the reception.
The second quilt will go to our nephew as a gift for college graduation. I feel like I can safely post this, because there is no way a college boy is checking out his aunt’s quilting blog!