I finished up the binding on this Denver Broncos quilt today, it’ll be in the mail tomorrow to my nephew. Last week was his 9th birthday and I had hoped it would be done in time but it’s just a tad late. He’s a Broncos super fan, so I know he will love it, even if it’s belated.
I sent the quilt out for long-arm quilting, which has a fun football motif. I kept the patchwork simple and used tonal fabrics to accent the logo fabric. The back is a different Broncos fabric as well.
I also did a paper-pieced pillow to match. I hope he loves it. Even if it is a little past his birthday.
This is my post for Craftingcon.com for Star Wars month. I made my son this jacket he obsessively requested since he made his first inquiry about 3 minutes after the Force Awakens ended when we saw it in December. He adores Finn (Who Doesn’t?) and has been fashioning his own “Finn outfit” by folding in a collar of a flannel shirt and dressing all in black underneath. Points for Creativity. He really does love his new jacket, this is just his “serious Finn face.” He’s been running around the house yelling, “I’m in charge, Phasma! I’m in Charge!”
I’m Jen, a life-long nerd, crafter and sometimes-blogger at just-joshin.com where I share my quilting and sewing hobbies. I participated in Craftin Con Avengers and Ghibli. I love fandom and geeky inspired sewing, especially for my kids.
My family is Star Wars obsessed, so it’s no surprise that we saw The Force Awakens opening weekend, and then again a couple more times that month. As we walked to the car after the first showing, my son requested that I make Finn’s jacket. He’s asked about a thousand times since December, “Is my Finn jacket done yet?” But the honest truth about my craftiness, if I don’t have a hard deadline, it probably won’t get done. So when Crafting Con Star Wars month showed up in my feed, I knew I could finally get Finn’s jacket made for my son. Only five months after his first of thousands of requests.
Finn is such a great character, he’s funny and charming and loyal. It’s no wonder my son adores him. (Plus, John Boyega is so adorably likable and a huge Star Wars nerd like us. If you haven’t watched the Force Awakens extra features, you should, it’s great. My favorite thing was watching John Boyega geek out about seeing the Millennium Falcon the first time on set, like a kid in a candy store.)
I used the Ollie Bomber Jacket pattern from Sew a Little Seam as my starting point, though I admit to straying from the pattern almost entirely. I bumped the size up to 10, even though my kiddo is in about a 6-7, since the pattern is designed for fabric with stretch, which mine didn’t have, and because I don’t want to make this again in 6 months when he has another growth spurt! I sort of winged it on the construction so it doesn’t follow the pattern at all. I skipped the collar entirely and replaced the ribbed cuffs and waistband with plain cuffs.
I found faux gold leather on fabric.com that was pretty close to the color/texture of Finn’s jacket in the movie. I am usually a pretty straight-forward cotton woven and jersey knit girl, so I didn’t know what to expect, but this sewed up pretty well with a leather needle in my machine. I couldn’t find a good red accent online so I went to my local fabric store and found some home-dec microsuede. It was a little too fuzzy and not really worn/weathered like it needed to be for this project. (And believe me, my son had very specific criteria for how this jacket should look.) I ended up trying something a little crazy but it worked. I spread regular old Elmer’s school glue onto the microsuede in a thin layer, and then ironed it to dry and set the glue. I used a teflon sheet over the glue and it worked perfectly. I didn’t anticipate ever washing this jacket so I am not that worried about the glue washing away, though I suspect it would wash right out.
Most of the work was in the details. It was very important to my son that it not zip or button and didn’t have a collar. The shoulder and sleeve trim was the most intensive, essentially I cut long strips of the leather and created pleats manually while feeding it through the machine, first one edge then the other. Then I made some narrow piping and attached it to the edges so it could be easily turned under and top stitched.
The final little detail was in the buckles. They are just plastic belt buckles from the fabric store but they look similar enough to the original they passed the test of my 6-year-old’s discerning eye for detail.
Needless to say he was ecstatic he finally got his Finn jacket. He wants to wear it to school and to bed and every day forever. When we dropped by Jakku (why does everyone want to go there!?!?) for an after-school photo shoot-slash-battle with a Storm Trooper, he requested I also take photos at Maz’s place, inside the Millennium Falcon (I assume I will have to build it, I’ll add that to my to-do list…) with BB-8, Kylo Ren’s ship and of course Starkiller Base. It’s a Star Wars themed Give a Mouse a Cookie thing here.
(I didn’t make the Storm Trooper costume, as modeled by my other son, and yes, I know it’s the wrong-era trooper, but we do what we can here on planet earth to keep the peace in the brotherhood.)
The #maythe4thMQS swap I hosted has gone pretty smoothly. For the most part, people have all shipped on time, checked in and the quilts they’ve made are nothing short of amazing.
I had one swapper contact me and let me know she had a family emergency and she was concerned she wouldn’t be able to ship on time. I told her not to worry, family always comes first. And I stepped in and made this little Droid-inspired mini quilt in her place.
I used the Quiet Play patterns for the droids and added the text with my embroidery machine. How cute are R2 and C3PO?
I had a little fun practicing with my free-motion quilting and in addition to swirls, I added stars, which was something new.
When Fandom in Stitches announced the X-Files Quilt Along to correspond with the X-Files Revival in January, it rekindled my long-dormant X-Files obsession. I had watched all the original X-Files episodes in college, but hadn’t watched in a long, long time. In preparation for the revival episodes, I started binging on the originals on Netflix, starting with the Pilot. I remembered why I loved this show, it’s just so great. (And despite the gigantic cell phones, it has aged well.) The characters are amazing, it’s funny and touching and dramatic, sometimes all at once. Of course, I ended up watching while I was sewing, all the way through start to finish, then started over again at the pilot, as any insane person would.
I finished the quilt top and sent it out to have it quilted, I am so glad I did. I couldn’t have done this kind of work on my home sewing machine, and I love the honeycomb pattern. (Because Bees!)
I cannot even put into words how much fun I had with this quilt. I started with the Fandom in stitches patterns, which were a mix of paper piecing and embroidery. (Though I admit to not being thrilled about hand-embroidery, so I did it manually on my sewing machine.) The embroidered blocks include Mulder and Scully, Skinner, Cigarette Smoking Man, a Grey Alien, The Lone Gunmen, and a tiny Doggett and Reyes. The major paper piecing patterns from the original are the large text blocks “Trust No One” and “The Truth is Out There.”
When I started looking for fabrics, I happened upon a couple fabrics that just seemed perfect. I found a great combination of aliens and science, just like the X-Files. I added in the hexagon fabric (and later the hexagonal quilting) as a nod to the bees storyline. Throughout the quilt there is UFO, DNA, scientific equations and honeycombs, all in the black/grey/lime/teal scheme.
After the initial quilt along, people submitted additional patterns, so I added a couple to my quilt, including the X logo from the credits, and the taped X from Mulder’s window.
A few months ago I decided to organize a mini quilt swap of my own. It was a Star Wars themed quilt swap, with the shipping dates just before the Star Wars holiday, May the 4th (be with you!) You can see all the incredible mini Quilts on Instagram with the hashtag #maythe4thMQS (Seriously, how amazing are some of these quilts!)
I had 3 volunteers who helped me organize, so we were each placed on another team so we could participate in a blind swap. Then something crazy happened. One of my very favorite quilt pattern designers, Kristy from Quiet Play, signed up for my swap. I am a super Quiet Play fangirl so I was beyond excited. Then she started making all sorts of Star Wars inspired paper piece patterns for the swap, which was even cooler. Then something EVEN crazier happened, I got my partner assignment and guess who I was assigned to make a mini quilt for? Yep, Kristy. So. Intimidating. Plus, all those crazy cool patterns were totally not an option…
She requested a mini quilt for her son’t Star Wars room, so I decided to do Applique the main characters from The Force Awakens, Rey, BB-8, Poe and Finn.
Personally, I think BB-8 is pretty much the cutest thing ever. I adore him. Rey, Finn and Poe are such great new characters, I thin they made a great quilt.
I did some wavy line quilting to make the sand look more like sand, and added some lines in the sky. I haven’t really used appliqués for creating a scene in a mini before but I can see myself doing it again, I mean how cute did they turn out?
The backing I just did some basic Star Wars fabric, and bound it with some Force Awakens text fabric.
I did a special label, also with the embroidery machine, which was something new for me too.
Before I sent the package off to Australia for May the 4th, I decided I should include something just for Kristy (since the packages was largely for her kiddos.) so I used her mini Death Star pattern and did a fun little rainbow twist and put it together as a zip pouch.
Since the package needed to ship to Australia, I tried to find fun, lightweight extras for her kids, so I ended up sending Legos, stickers, tattoos, pencils and a couple small toys. It arrived on May the 4th, so the timing was perfect, and most importantly, Kristy loved it! (Whew, since I was totally sweating making something for someone who’s work I admire so much!)
I made this cute little Husky quilt as a donation for my sons’ school fundraising auction. Their mascot is the North Star Huskies, and the school uses the #northpride hashtag on all their Twitter activity. I found the pattern from ProtoQuilt onCraftsy. I used the From Blank Pages Alphabet, also from Craftsy, (affiliate links)
I did a simple polkadot background and even used my labels (which I never remember to do!)
Hopefully this little guy will raise some money for the boys’ school.
I went through my new partner’s Instagram posts and Pinterest boards, and she had said she loved Brave. I found this pattern on misha29.com and did it in triplicate. As a mom of twins, I have become accustomed to doing everything twice, so three wasn’t too bad. There were so many pieces in their eyes, they took forever! But totally worth it! I mean, how cute are these guys?
Their noses and mouths were stitched on afterward.
I used this arrow fabric for the backing and border to round out the theme. My partner loved it. I am glad I did something just for her based on her preferences and it turned out exactly like I had hoped.
I sent this little guy off almost a month ago now. It was for a Hogwarts Mini Quilt swap. My partner had requested something that was more indicative of Harry Potter without being too over the top. I used two patterns from the Fandom in Stitches Project of Doom Bookcase. I figured the books and the glasses would be obviously Harry Potter if you know the series, but could also be “Oh, cool books” if not.
For the backing fabric I used this fun Cotton and Steel potions fabric.
I did free-motion swirly quilting in the background areas, which was done with texty low-volume fabric.
I hope my partner liked it, I never heard from her. I love this mini though, and maybe some day I will get around to doing the full Harry Potter bookcase. (In all my free time!)
I finished a Disney mini quilt swap recently and had not one but two partner drops. The first partner dropped early in the swap, so I got a new partner assignment and stalked her Instagram feed for ideas. She had tons of Disney posts, but the one I really liked was a photo she had taken at Walt Disney World standing in front of the castle during the Wishes fireworks. I decided to use that as my inspiration.
Once my mini was done (and it was no small feat, it was crazy detailed paper piecing.) I looked back through my partner’s feed and discovered that she hadn’t posted even one progress shot of making her mini, and even more troubling, she didn’t really have a single crafty or sewing post, which seemed odd. I contacted the swap organizer and she contacted my partner who admitted to having dropped long ago, but the organizer didn’t get a message. Boo! Needless to say, I wasn’t going to send this to her, if she wasn’t fulfilling her end of the deal. So I kept it! And I love it. It’s on my wall above my sewing machine and it’s a perfect little piece next to a photo from our first trip to Disney World with the kids.
(I was assigned a third partner, the person this partner was supposed to be creating something for, and I made her something completely different. )
The Paper Piece pattern was from Fandom In Stitches. The pattern is by Daphne Seymour. It finished about 20×20” but I added a little extra at the top for the fireworks.
The fireworks were done with my embroidery machine. They were adapted from a castle/fireworks design and I moved them around and reversed them so they were more varied.
I quilted around the edges of the castle and then straight line quilted the background and the bottom of the castle.
For the backing I used firework fabric I have had forever that I am sure was a remnant but it was perfect!
This past weekend as I admired my growing collection of mini quilts and there was a little tiny dead spot on the wall in need of a tiny quilt to fill it. I have a couple pineapple quilts pinned on my Pinterest boards, which I thought would be a fun TV-show swap tie-in in case I ever had an opportunity to pay homage to the show Psych, has the Pineapple in-joke thing. Somehow, despite a ton of other things on my to-do list, I sat down and started cutting tiny scraps of yellow and green to make my own sunny pineapple quilt.
The squares are all 2 inches, and I used scraps I had on hand, most of which weren’t much larger than 2” anyway. (proof you CAN use all those tiny, hard-to-part-with scraps! I looked at a couple pineapple quilts for inspiration and sort of winged the pattern. It’s only four half-square triangles in yellow, and 8 in green. I could have gone nuts and done the whole thing HST, but I decided simple was better. I think the entire thing took me about 45 minutes to piece, so it was instant gratification.
I just simple, straight-line, perfectly imperfect diamond quilting, and all-told it was about 2 hours with a break in between. It’s about 9×13” total, which is smaller than my usual mini-quilt dimensions, and probably shouldn’t count toward my 52 quilts, but you know what? It’s my project and I love my Pineapple Quilt so I am counting it.
Plus, I think it fills the empty spot perfectly and it’s right above my sewing desk with some of my other swap minis. The Harry Potter quilt is from Linneypooh on Instagram from a swap last year, the 3 circular quilts are my skinny-mini from RuthieWindSong, the Disney Dudes is from rnbobbiejo and Wall-e is from Mightypigeon_art, it just arrived as part a Pixar swap this month. I made the sewing machine last summer from the awesome Quiet Play pattern. This is my second mini quilt wall, I filled up the area above my shelves. Obviously I need a bigger sewing room at this rate!