The Tardis Droid Quilt

The Doctor has two new companions. Oh Dear!


One of my friends is having a geeklet at the end of August. Because I am completely insane, I immediately started looking around for ideas of what to make. I came across this Tardis Quilt with a Wallace & Gromit Sheep and it sparked some ideas. I *did* have a new sewing machine I was eager to play with more. Both her and her husband are big fans of both Doctor Who and Star Wars, so I decided to mash those two (the Rebel Alliance Citadel Afghan was also for her).

2013-05-18 14.40.59I started with C3-P0 and R2-D2. I found a coloring book picture that I liked and printed it out in pieces as big as I wanted them. Then I used Heat N Bond Iron-On Fusible Interfacing, traced out all of the pieces (and there was a lot of them), applied it to the fabric and cut them out.

The Droids I was looking for!
The Droids I was looking for!

I completely failed to flip the droids’ image over so they would be the same as the coloring book picture, hence why the Tardis opens on the left side rather than the right.

I ironed the entire droid together, then went through and stitched each edge using the same dark blue thread I was using on the rest of the quilt. It was dark enough that it worked.

Next time, I need to figure out a way to secure the beginning and end of the thread better. Some of them started coming loose as I was working on the whole of the quilt. They’ll still hold together so it’s more an aesthetic thing.

After getting the droids done, I used my inspiration as a rough guide and started cutting out lots of rectangles. It was only after the fact that I realized I had no way to attach it to the background piece as I sewed them on. On a whim, I got spray on fabric adhesive.

Big mistake.

That stuff is evil. It gets everywhere. I’m pretty sure that the side of my loveseat in my gaming room is still covered in the stuff. It only somewhat adheres with a hot iron, well enough that I got it to hold while I was sewing. Mostly. It also flaked off and since I wasn’t smart enough to fold over the edges of the rectangles and I 2013-05-19 21.23.05didn’t have fusible adhesive on it, the edges frayed on many of the pieces. A good bit of the cleanup at the end was trying to get as many of the fraying strings as I could and trying to clean off the powdery adhesive that was just outside of the seams.

I’ve since learned that you’re supposed to fold over the edges of appliques. Oops. I didn’t know that before!

2013-05-19 23.02.27After I got all of the applique pieces put on the background piece, I stood back and made some victory noises. Then was time for putting together the backing, the batting, and the top. I used big safety pins to put everything together, and I figured out after I AGAIN did it the wrong way.

The ‘correct’ method is to tape both the backing and the batting down, put the top on, then pin everything. I just sort of laid everything on top of each other and then pinned. It worked, more or less, but I did have a few places on the back where the backing pinched a little. You’d have to look real close to find them.

Once I got that done, I realized I had no idea how to quilt it together, so I set it to the side and made a quick wall hanging using our business logo. It turned out worse than I expected, so rather than being out on the Lobby (the public part of the shop), it’s in my office.

DSCN2263My cats REALLY liked the quilt when it was folded up. I kept telling them it wasn’t for them, but would they listen? Of course not.

This is Kisa (Key-sah). She really liked cuddling with the quilt.
This is Kisa (Key-sah). She really liked cuddling with the quilt.

Transparent ‘thread’ is evil to work with and my sewing machine doesn’t like it. I don’t like it either. It better watch itself.

I ended up going with the same dark blue thread on the top and the transparent thread on the bottom. I started in the middle and slowly worked my way around, binding the entire Tardis. For the background, I used a method I found in a book, just lowering the feeddogs on my machine and zigzag stitching in random areas around. It saved me quite a lot of time as I had originally thought to outline the entire tardis in progressively bigger outlines. DSCN2268

I also made a label that went on the back that says “Made with Love by (me) 2013″ with the embroidery function of my machine.

I had a quilted blanket! I made more victory noises. And then had to figure out how to do the binding on the edge.

For my wall hanging, I pieced together 2” strips to be long enough to go around the edge, stitched it to the front, folded it over and held it together with Binding and Hem Clips (really basic hair clips), then hand sewed it closed. I hate hand sewing. It’s tedious and I’m not very good at it.

For this Quilt, I found a mock method. Basically you cut the batting a bit bigger than the top, cut the backing a bit bigger than that, fold over and press the edge of the backing, then machine stitch all the way around. It saved me SO MUCH TIME doing it that way. I had to handsew the corners so they’d look pretty (and I was surpised *how* well they looked), but that didn’t take very long. I even got it done in time for the baby shower! (I stayed up pretty late the last day I had to work on it. Heh) DSCN2271

Then came the tiny scissors and the lint roller to try and get all of the stray threads cut and gone. DSCN2272

It’s not perfect and I’m not sure if it’s durable enough to be more than a display quilt, but it’s pretty fricken awesome. And my friend and her husband liked it, so that’s what’s important.

You can just make out the Tardis and my HUGE label.
You can just make out the Tardis and my HUGE label.

I learned quite a bit and I’m just crazy enough to try something else equally as geeky.


This was my other 'helper' throughout this process, Kyo (Key-oh).
This was my other ‘helper’ throughout this process, Kyo (Key-oh).

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