Thursday, January 30, 2014


I hope you came for a picture show!  I finished my TARDIS II quilt this week (see the first TARDIS quilt here).  Because the Spoonflower TARDIS panel is no longer available, I designed my own--so this quilt is entirely designed, pieced, and quilted by me.  The only thing I outsourced was the Police Public Call Box sign--it is from this etsy seller.  Eventually I'll figure out the best way to make that for myself too.

The final size of this quilt, after washing, is 39" x 71".  I used two layers of Warm and Natural for extra weight and texture in the quilting.  I used Aurifil #2740 (royal blue) for most of the quilting on the TARDIS.  The border quilting is done with Gutermann #116 (medium greyish), the quilting on the Police Box sign is done with Superior So Fine #411 (black), the yellow quilting on the light is Aurifil #1135, the quilting on the door sign is Gutermann #22 (cream), the Gallifreyan panel is done with navy from Connecting Threads thread.  I used Aurifil #2605 (medium grey) in the bobbin--it plays so nicely with everything!

This was a commissioned quilt, and they only wanted one Gallifreyan panel, and no angels in the windows.

That reads from the bottom, counter clockwise "wibbly wobbly timey wimey" in Gallifreyan.

The Gallifreyan takes at least an hour per panel, and the angels even longer.  This quilt took 34+ hours, including designing it, so I was glad to only do one specialty panel!

I appliqued the blue strips on--next time I will piece them into the quilt.

In the other four panels I quilted a wood grain pattern:

The door sign I printed myself from this photo onto a muslin, and set it using Bubble Jet Set:

The dividers on the light are quilted on using a navy and royal blue thread:

I bought all of the fabrics at Joann's, as I had a very tight timeline to get this finished.  The back is Kona Navy, the binding is Kona Charcoal (which I had on hand), the border is a Robert Kaufman fabric, the main blue of the TARDIS is a Legacy fabric (I think?) in Bright Blue.  Joann's in-store blue selection is lame: navy or baby (candy?) blue.

Here are some detail shots of the back, I love how well the quilting shows up on the back!

My son "helped" with photos and insisted on being in a few.  Had I known this in advance I might have put a red bowtie on him, ha!

This quilt is being shipped off tomorrow to it's new home.  It's the first quilt I've made for someone I don't know, and it's weird knowing nothing of it after it leaves here.  Ah well, best of luck in your new home, TARDIS II Quilt!

The label is from TagsToGo on Etsy.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WIP Wednesday: TARDIS II wrap up

I finished the quilting on this Sunday evening--so excited!  I am on schedule to finish by the end of the month, yay!  
Lots of threads to tie off and bury.
Lots of threads to trim on the back.

Now I'm just waiting for an hour of well-lit alone time to trim/square it and then put on the binding!  And then wash it...and I am very nervous to do so with my first ever printed panel (the door sign) that I forgot to prewash after printing it.  I did use Bubble Jet Set on it, and after it was pieced in I made a second sign to pre-wash and see if the ink would hold.  Here's the results:

All are printed on a muslin.  Left: No Bubble Jet Set, pre-wash.  Middle: No Bubble Jet Set, after a hand washing.  Right: Pre-treated with Bubble Jet Set, hand washed in warm water, with soap.

Fingers crossed that the one in the quilt washes just as nicely.  I should have it finished to share on Friday!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sewing with Certainty: Showcasing Your Work


This post is a part of Quilty Habit's series and link up on Sewing With Certainty.  Almost everyone else has mentioned being a part of a guild as a big part of showing off their quilting work--but until today I'd never been.  This morning was the first time I remembered there was a meeting, got a babysitter, and actually went.  I won a year's membership by getting first place for my Lone Star quilt at the state fair last year, and Tula Pink is doing a trunk show in a couple of it was time.  Anyway, it was pretty boring.  And I was most definitely the youngest person there.  And I still feel exhausted and like poo from this cold I've had for over a week.

I have gotten an awesome amount of support for this quilt, thank you!

But I went, and I even brought along my recently finished F.C. quilt for show and tell.  I asked the president if it was okay, and she said sure, then gasped, and then said maybe not to read what it said.  Ah...well that's okay.  I just told everyone it was in memory of a friend that died from cancer at 27.  I think only the ladies at my table actually read it (and half of them were delighted and in awe of the quilting--"Where did you learn to quilt?"  "The...internet?").

My Lone Star quilt got a lot of attention from fellow online quilters!

So, how I do I showcase my work?  Well, I started with just sharing what I made on Facebook with friends and family.  But as I started reading more quilting blogs and using people's patterns and tutorials, I wanted to share with more people.  So I started a blog--something pretty small and simple to share what I was working and display my finished quilts.

And it stayed pretty small until I started getting involved with various linky parties about a year ago.  Since then I've gained a bunch of new followers, found a bunch of amazingly talented bloggers that inspire and encourage me, and I've actually made some quilty friends!

This quilt went viral on Christmas eve after a nerdy FB page shared it.  

So this blog is where I showcase my work, share ideas, and get amazing feedback.  This blog is how I am an active part of the online quilting community.  I love this community, and I so appreciate all of my followers and the comments I get!  Thank you for being a part of my community!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fuck Cancer [Quilt]

I hope y'all aren't offended by the word fuck.  If you are, then I suggest you stop reading the text now and only skim the photos...or just go read someone else's blog today.  I'm not going to tiptoe around it or offer any apologies.

But I'm betting that nearly everyone has been affected by cancer in some way.  This is my F.C quilt that I've been designing for many, many months, and finally putting together over the last month.  It was my way of dealing with the pain I've gone through of losing a best friend to cancer in November of 2012.  And then my husband's uncle in July 2013.

You might be thinking, "Why would you put that much time and effort into something with such an ugly word?"  Because fuck cancer, that's why.  Same answer for any other questions you have.

My friend that died was named Jessica--we'd know each since we were kids, and had been pretty close friends since the age of 15.  Just before my husband and I got married she started dating my husband's good friend, so we often went on double dates.  We'd go months without seeing each other and then hang out and nothing had changed.  When I went through a very dark time after my son's birth (you can see the resulting quilt here), she was one of the very few people that genuinely listened, cared how I felt emotionally and validated my feelings and experience.  We didn't always agree on things, and we often did things completely differently--but there was never judgement.  She was one of those friends.   

As I was taking photos of the quilt, the wind suddenly died down and I watched a snowflake land on the quilt.

When I told my husband, he said maybe it was Jessica telling me she liked the quilt.

She was diagnosed with stage IV Ewing's sarcoma (a pediatric bone cancer--at age 26) in December, and died in November.  The last several months were incredibly painful for her, and extremely difficult to observe.   I'm still sad and angry about it.  Fuck cancer.

These threads are glorious.  I figured if I was going to top stitch down the binding I might as well use the big thread.

I used entirely Aurifil thread--the lighter color is  Light Jade (1148) in 28wt and the dark is Jade (4093) in 12wt.  I bought a large spool of each and did not hold back!  And wow do I have a lot left for another project (yay!).  I used a 50wt in light grey on the back, simply because I have a cone of it.  Also I love to see quilting on the back:

The fabric was given to me by my dad's then-girlfriend, who also died of cancer in 2012.

I chose the froggy fabric because a couple of the frogs from the fabric were in her Prayer Quilt that I made, and I consider frogs to be her totem animal--they always remind me of her.

The small tag is from TagsToGo on Etsy.

I used this pattern for to make the carpenter's star, changing the color blocking to get the effect I wanted.  The font is Freebooter from  I specifically chose a fancy font that might be hard to read for some people (especially my 4 year old son, haha...not ready to explain how the word fuck applies to something that I want to die).  I used water soluble stabilizer to transfer it to the quilt.

It measures 22" square.

I used two layers of batting--one of warm and natural and one of some high loft poly I'd found at a thrift store.  I spray basted the whole thing together and had a lot of issues (due to the double batting, spray basting and larger threads) with the threads breaking and skipping stitches.  Finally I switched needles--from a universal 80/12 to a topstitch 90/14--and things went significantly smoother!

I used Kona Ash and Kona Charcoal, and a bunch of my favorite fabric scraps.  

I didn't quilt on the scrappy pieces so they would really puff out.

I was really hoping to have this finished by her birthday on the 19th, it is.  But this is how our gifts always went--days, weeks...months late.  It didn't matter though--it really was the thought that count.

Fuck cancer.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Quilting update

I've been working on both the TARDIS II quilt and the FC quilt this week--both of which I hope to have finished within a week and be able to share here.  Here's a sneak peak of the FC quilt to hold you over:

Now the TARDIS II quilt:

I started with straight line quilting in the ditch.  Note to self: piece together the windows/panes--do not leave until nearly last to applique them on!

The back.

 I had a lot of FMQ issues on both quilts--and it turns out for mostly the same reason: two layers of batting and lots of spray basting.   My usual fixes didn't work, and after having the needle skip around and thread break a bunch, I finally found a blogger than mentioned that heavy spray basting can cause skipped stitches.  Finally an answer!  Then I knew it wasn't my machine, and decided to finally try a larger needle--a topstitch 90/14.  And things have been going much, much better (though still not perfect)!

It skipped 7! stitches here--and this is when I finally said enough.

I had been planning to just quilt this one exactly the same as the first TARDIS quilt, but there are enough differences that I've had to figure out new quilting in some areas.  On the border I've tried three different threads:

Light grey, dark grey and black--which one do you like best?

And wasn't happy with any of them--my husband suggested doing a looser quilting pattern so it doesn't cover or distract from the stars and swirls on the fabric so much.  So my plan is to try that using the dark grey...but I'm still not sure.  :-/

Anyway, here's how it looks today--hoping to get the other four panels done and then work on the border.

Nearly done quilting the body!

 Okay, time to get back at it--I really want it to be done by the end of the month!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

TARDIS Quilt design

This is an update to my last post on designing a TARDIS quilt, and shows the progress I've made with the quilt itself.  I've been editing the design as I've been putting it together--it is far from perfect, but it is a good starting place if you ever want to make your own!

**This design/pattern is for personal use only!  I do not own the TARDIS image, I just want to share my process from one fan to another!**

The finished TARDIS is actually right at 70" tall.  The number to the right are the measurements to cut the fabric pieces.  The numbers ON the tardis (or in parenthesis) are the finished sizes of the corresponding pieces.
Here's the detail for the panels and the light
This is the design for the background/border fabric to make a quilt top that is about 42" x 73"--just right for 2+ yards of fabric on the back!  All the numbers are how big the fabric needs to be cut.  The very bottom piece I made 3" tall and the top corner pieces are 19.5" x 10"
Here are the fabric requirements again:

Here's the TLDR:
2+ yards for the back
2.5 yards for the medium (main) blue
About a half of a fat quarter for the light blue border on the panels
Less than 1/2 yard for the dark blue (it looks almost black in the photos)
Less than a 1/3 of a yard for the panels and police box sign
1 yard for the background

I bought all of the fabrics at Joann's.  
The back + darker parts of the TARDIS = Kona Navy
Binding = Kona Charcoal (which I had on hand, I would use black next time)
Border is a Robert Kaufman Stars in Black
Door panels + Police Box sign border = "basket weave" by Legacy Studio in Lake
Main blue of the TARDIS =  Legacy Studio in Bright Blue
Police Box sign is from this Etsy shop
The lighter border fabric on the door panels were a lighter version of the basketweave I already had (sorry, no info)

Here's how I put it together:

I made the panels first and added mitered corner borders, then added the strips between.

Adding the side strips.

Adding the top strips and then the side strips

Then I pieced the police box sign in with some of the blue fabric from the panels, turned the edges and appliqued it on.

I used a large stitch just to hold it in place since I will go over that line again when quilting.

Then I started sewing the border fabric on--started with little blue pieces on the sides of the tardis and the main sides, then the roof strips, bottom strips, the light and surrounding, and then sewed it all together.  It probably sounds more confusing than it was--I will take lots of photos next time (which will be in a few months, if you want to wait that long)!!


In total it took about 7 hours to put together the quilt top--designing the quilt took at least that long too!  I've basted the quilt already and will get started on the quilting soon.

If you make a quilt with this pattern I would love to see it!  I'll post updates to the pattern again after I make it again and post a link here.