Monday, April 29, 2013

TARDIS Quilt Beginnings

If you're unfamiliar with a TARDIS--it is the British police-box-time-machine from the Dr Who television series.  This is a commissioned quilt from my brother's girlfriend, Andrea, but I am pretty excited to be working on it!

Early on I found a cheater TARDIS on Spoonflower, and Andrea agreed to it.

Took about 2 weeks to get here, sheesh!

I liked the cheater quilt idea for a few reasons: it was faster, simpler, and would be fun to quilt!  But it wasn't until after we ordered it that we started really talking about the back of the quilt.  And the idea of densely quilting the TARDIS went out.  Andrea wanted a Starry Night inspired back, from the season 5, episode 10,  which I haven't seen yet.  In the episode Van Gogh paints the TARDIS into his Starry Night painting, which you can see here.

So I started with some sketches, and it quickly became apparent to me that fancy quilting on the front wouldn't complement the back:

Top left: basic sketch.  Top Right: trying to figure out how to translate it into squares and HST.  Bottom left: trying to figure out scale.  Bottom right: scale and grid of blocks. 

As I was working on the small scale sketches, my husband inquired about what I was doing.  I explained and complained about issues I was having, and he suggested making larger, scrappy-esque hexagon blocks like on the rainbow quilt.  After thinking about it for a while, I realized that that style of piecing would give the quilt a nicer swirl-y feel, while also adding a lot of texture (which was seriously lacking when compared to the real Starry Night).

So I worked on a new sketch, with general colors and scale (the blocks will be a vague interpretation of this):

The blocks will be 10.5" x 11" finished, making a nice full sized quilt about 84" x 88" (minus quilting and first wash shrinkage).

So last week I decided to practice my paper piecing on a mini-TARDIS for the back of the quilt (I used the TARDIS v2 pattern from this site.):
The TARDIS is about 6".  

I know I said I was done with paper piecing for a long while (it can be rather frustrating, especially with small children constantly distracting you!).  But then I found the pattern maker's tutorial for paper piecing, and things went so much smoother!  Something about the paper folding and fabric positioning finally made sense to me!  I had no issues putting together the mini-TARDIS (aside from forgetting the 4th window, oops).  The only thing I don't like about that little TARDIS is the missing light on top.  I've since turned it into something more functional than an unfinished quilt block, and added a little light to the top.

So far it's been kind of slow going.  I kinda burned out on quilting after my rush to finish the SquarePants quilt last week.  In the meantime I've been making a bunch of zippered pouches though!  I got my order of 30 zippers from ZipIt today, so I'm ready to make some more!  I will post them soon.  :-)

29 comments:

  1. I have GOT to figure out paper piecing -- that Tardis is cute!

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  2. Nice! That should be pretty great! I so love sketches and thought patterns. My favorite art pieces in the museums are ALWAYS the pencil sketches. I keep all of mine in a hard back wide spiral bound book. I drag that thing all over the world and back and really enjoy stepping back through it from time to time. One day - I'll show some of it on my blog, www.theboredzombie.com.

    I've always been partial to this version of the tardis quilt too...
    http://ehyde.deviantart.com/art/TARDIS-Quilt-136051819

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  3. Wow, I've got a few friends who'd love to get their hands on this. Can't wait to see more of it.

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  4. That pieced tardis is INSANE. You are amazing.

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  5. Love the paper pieced block. Nice work.

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  6. Your pieced TARDIS is amazing - I love the way you have it floating.

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  7. Good gracious girl! That is small! My proverbial quilting hat is off to you!

    Love seeing how the creative process develops for you!

    This is going to be so cool!

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  8. This is going to be a very fun quilt. You should check out http://wipgirl.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/doctor-who-stitch-a-long/ who is all into Dr. Who at the moment and been testing out patterns :-)

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  9. I love the tardis block and I can't wait to see this completed! It looks like it will be amazing.

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  10. So cool! I'm a huge Dr. Who fan so I can't wait to see the finished design

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  11. Love. Love. Love. Can not wait to see the finished top.

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  12. This looks really awesome. My famnily has been on a major Dr. Who marathon and even right now, my daughter caught the picture and asked for a "blue box" of her own. I guess maybe I'll have to learn to paper piece. I also really am jelous of the whole cloth Tradis. So cool!

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  13. Wow, Renee! I love this post - even though I have no idea about the TARDIS! Really enjoyed seeing your sketches. I once thought of making a great big paisley print quilt and had the same trouble with squares and hst's. They don't swirl very good, do they? I am going to start following your blog. Have a feeling I'll enjoy seeing what you've done already and what will come next!

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  14. Renee... May I suggest you allow other options for following your blog? If you need help adding, let me know.

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  15. Awesome paper piecing! And loved seeing the creative process behind the scenes.

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  16. Wow. That mini Tardis is super impressive! I'm excited to see how this shapes up. I haven't tried paper piecing yet, it's on my list.

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  17. Wow it is coming along nicely! I give you a lot of credit. I am currently scared of paper piecing!

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  18. A Tardis panel!! Brilliant. :D I really love your concept drawings. This will be a super fun quilt.

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  19. This is so cool - can't wait to see the finished result!

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  20. Wow, lady. You have some skills! Your quilting is amazing. I'm just venturing into free motion. And your paper piecing is fantastic. How you do any of it with those little ones around is beyond me! Thanks for your friendly comment on my blog. Nice to meet you.

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  21. What a fun quilt. I can't wait to see it all finished!

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  22. I love your ideas for the starry night background. I can't wait to see it.

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  23. I just didn't get this whole TARDIS thing until I read the links you provided. I haven't heard of it before either. I have heard of Starry Night before. LOL This will be wonder when you get it finished. And I agree you need the light on top.

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  24. This is coming together wonderfully! I really enjoyed reading about your designing process :)

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  25. That TARDIS quilt (cheater style) is soo the way to go :) I'm so excited for your Starry Night quilt!

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  26. Thanks for the heads up on the cheater quilt! I've ordered one to create something for my husband's birthday.

    I'll be following your TARDIS journey, and am excited to see the Starry Night quilt!

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  27. Stopping by again - I just popped over to Spoonflower and was amazed by how many Dr. Who themed prints they have - I may have to buy a few one of these days. By the way - the Van Gogh episode is one of my favorite.

    I also wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Liebster Award - I know these little awards can be silly but they are also a lot of fun. I really enjoy reading about your really neat projects and I just wanted to spread the word. Here is my post about the Liebster: http://goosiesmom.blogspot.com/2013/05/goosies-momaccepts.html

    Enjoy!

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  28. That Tardis is so fabulous! Well done with the paper piecing!

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