Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Hand-made Christmas [Darth Vader]

I don't like Star Wars. There. I said it. When my husband and I were dating at Uni I was dragged to a midnight showing of whichever film it was that came out in 2003 or 2004, maybe 2005.... I don't get the hype. I have no intention of going to see it at the cinema.  But I know a six year old, who absolutely loves Star Wars and loves Lego. So thanks to Kristy @ Quiet Play, his Christmas present was a very easy decision.

Of course, it's impossible to be totally ignorant of Star Wars... I mean I know who Darth Vader is. So I picked the foundation pieced pattern of Darth Vader. Printed it out. Decided it wasn't the most complex pattern I'd ever seen, and then procrastinated. Why is it that even the easiest pattern becomes harder, the closer to the deadline you get?

I tackled it head on yesterday morning. Mia played nicely all morning and by lunch time, Darth was fully pieced. By the end of the afternoon I had a finished cushion! Miracles do happen and all you have to do is get on with it and stop procastinating. I couldn't believe how easily I got this pieced. I prepare quite carefully when I'm foundation piecing: I trace the pattern onto freezer paper first: all the pieces, marking the corners and intersections freehand, then joining the dots with a ruler. I score the seam lines with the back side of my very smart seam ripper (a recent hand-made gift from a relative - isn't it gorgeous?)

I roughly work out how big a square/rectangular/rotary-cutable piece of fabric I need for each piece, I'm generous at this point. Part of me wants to be really stingy and reduce wastage, but the reality is that the whole experience will be much more enjoyable with wiggle room. I then cut all of the fabric for the whole project in one go - this is more time efficient because often I can cut a strip off a fat quart and then sub cut it, rather than cutting each piece individually. And then I match up the paper with the fabric, piling the fabric pieces in the order in which I will need them. And then I simply whizz through the piecing. The tutorial I learned freezer paper foundation piecing from now seems to be a bad link so I can't share, but this was shared recently, and it's pretty close to my process except for the template preparation. This method revolutionised how I foundation piece! And the best bit is, you don't have to tear out the paper at the end.

Back to the cushion: I did some very basic outline quilting, just to hold the layers together, then did another back with a concealed zipper closure! Two in three days! For those of you who haven't read my previous post, this is the tutorial I used! I still don't understand how it works, but it does and it's amazing!

The fabrics are four different Kona solids: black, grey, red and blue, and Pearl Bracelets black on black (do you know how hard it is to find three shades of black?) The backing is more of the red, and I had a red zipper as well. If there's anything harder than finding three shades of black, then it's photographing three shades of black! This is perhaps the best photo of the colours, except the blue.

I'm still not done...


Heather said...

You certainly do work well under pressure. I`m also a procrastinator...

That pillow is lovely. Its something my guys would love for on the sofa in the basement.

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memmens said...

Well done, it's so good isn't it to get something done in a day. I am totally with you on the Star Wars thing, fortunately no one else in our house is interested either! Hope you get all those last bits made!

Lin said...

Nice finish Jennie - a Dr Who cushion is on my list for next year and I have never paper pieced so will coming back to find your link. What a gorgeous seam ripper! xx

Chao said...

The force is with this pillow, I'm an avid fan of star wars as well as my husband who started collecting memorabilia during his teenage years. I think this would be a great addition to his collection.

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