for the boy · self-less sewing

Darth Vader Quilt – Handmade Christmas Gift

Each year, it gets harder and harder to surprise Drew with an amazing Christmas gift. I love handmade gifts because they are typically kind to the wallet but still have a huge impact. Back in October when I was searching ideas for our anniversary, I thought about making Drew a quilt. Since I only had a week for that occasion, I decided to make the quilt for Christmas, leaving me plenty of time to research and make.

Since I have so many fabric swatch books for bag making, I thought it would be fun to make a scrappy fabric quilt, with all darker colors, in a geometric design. I started looking up a lot of quilt patterns, but nothing jumped out at me. Thankfully, when you start researching a topic on Pinterest, other pins magically appear and that’s where I found the Darth Vader quilt pattern.

Darth Vader Quilt - Trish Stitched

Drew loves Star Wars (personally, I never got into the movies) and I sent him a secretive text message asking if Darth Vader was cooler than R2D2 or a storm trooper (because there are quilt designs with them as well). Obviously he chose Darth Vader, and I started combing through my stash to use up any fabric I had.

Darth Vader Quilt - Trish Stitched

I am not a quilter. I’ve made one quilt, and swore them off. But this quilt seemed like a good second quilt since it was just a bunch of squares. I had almost all the fabric in my stash, and only had to buy a little extra silver and the actual Star Wars print for the backing. I even had leftover batting from another project.

Darth Vader Quilt - Trish Stitched

This quilt came together very easily. The cutting was pretty time consuming, but it was a calming process. The original pattern is for a lap quilt, and since Drew is 6′ tall, I added a few extra lines on the top and bottom for a little added length. I also decided to only actually quilt the grey area, making Darth Vader “pop” a little more.

Darth Vader Quilt - Trish Stitched

My local Joann’s only had 1.5 yards of the Star Wars fabric in stock, so I had to add extra material on the sides to fit the entire backing.

Darth Vader’s details were made with bias tape, and was the most nerve wrecking part. Thankfully the diagram for the pattern was great, and it all worked out. To make it easier to sew (and instead of wasting time pinning) I marked the outline with a water soluble pencil and lined the tape up as I sewed. This technique worked really well.

Darth Vader Quilt - Trish Stitched

Darth Vader Quilt - Trish Stitched

Darth Vader Quilt - Trish Stitched

I finished the quilt on Christmas Eve at 10 pm. Drew fell asleep watching tv and I ran downstairs to wake him up asking if he wanted to open presents that night. I couldn’t wait to give him the quilt! He said yes and I gave him the quilt unwrapped!

He loves it! He couldn’t believe that’s what I was working on and how much time went into it. He has yet to decide if he’s going to hang it or use it!

Darth Vader Quilt - Trish Stitched

Darth Vader Quilt - Trish Stitched

Quilt Pattern from Shwin & Shwin

Star Wars Fabric from Joann Fabrics

Drew can also be really great with gift giving and I received a Kitchen Aid Mixer! After squealing with excitement, I asked him if he got it on sale. Since it was half off, I had no problem keeping it (those things are expensive!).

A few other items I made for the holidays:

Christmas Stocking! I asked Drew to come shopping with me and let him pick out his own fabric. Can you guess who’s is who’s haha! I found a free pattern online, and used the tutorial by Meredith from Olivia Jane Handcrafted.

Trish Stitched

And a Tree Skirt! This was the first year we had a full size tree and I made a simple tree skirt for the bottom. We borrowed Drew’s parent’s fake tree and half of the bottom lights are broken, so the whole thing doesn’t light up. We said we would fix it before putting the ornaments on, but didn’t get around to it before Christmas Eve. So our decorations weren’t perfect, but the tree skirt looked great! (I since added ties)

Trish Stitched

Trish Stitched

Whew! Only took a week after Christmas to post about my holiday makes! Not too shabby!

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My First Quilt- A Wedding Gift

 When Drew’s sister and her fiancé got engaged, I thought I would make them a wedding gift. A few months later, she asked me to be a bridesmaid so yes, I would definitely make them a gift! I planned on making a quilt about a year ago. I started a ton of research then but after I couldn’t find a suitable pattern or fabric collection, I let the idea go.

My First Quilt- A Wedding Gift

A month ago, around the same time I was working on the Sparkle Dress, I found The Nomadic Tapestry by April Rhodes. I was simply looking at fabrics when this lovely little quilt crossed my eyes. The size was smaller, like a lap quilt, the perfect size to take on picnics or hikes. The fabric, fun and stunning – colors of adventure! Which is perfect for them! That night I ordered the fabric.

My First Quilt- A Wedding Gift

As this was my first quilt experience, it was also my first experience only needing 1/4 yard pieces of fabric. Did you know that most online fabric stores DON’T let you order just a 1/4 yard? It’s a half yard minimum! I found a fabulous little etsy shop that had all the fabrics I needed in stock and was willing to do a very complicated custom order for me. (I totally recommend Heather’s shop if you are in the market for fabrics)

My First Quilt- A Wedding Gift

I had two weeks to make the quilt, and finished the hand binding just in time to take it to my parent’s farm for a photo shoot. Following April’s instructions, the project was a breeze. It was a very long process, but kind of calming. Quilting is really just straight seams and careful placement of fabrics… at least this quilt was.

My First Quilt- A Wedding Gift

My First Quilt- A Wedding Gift

The actual quilting part was left up to the maker, as the pattern didn’t tell you how to do that. After a little google image searching, the easiest quilting pattern I knew I was capable of was diagonals (diamonds?). I don’t know if it’s a little too distracting from the fabrics, but I do like the result.

My First Quilt- A Wedding Gift

I also had a few photo shoot interruptions, but I couldn’t be mad cause they were all so cute! Although, I did have to run to take the quilt off the fence because I thought the sheep would eat it. And the cat… well, who doesn’t want to see an adorable kitten?

My First Quilt- A Wedding Gift

My First Quilt- A Wedding Gift

My First Quilt- A Wedding Gift

I’m happy this project came together and it is something I am proud to give to the couple! Their wedding is this Friday (thankfully neither follow my blog so I am able to share this before giving it) and I’m excited to be part of their special day! It is also the very first time I will get to see Drew in a bow tie and I can’t wait to see how freaking cute he looks! I have been wanting Drew to wear bow ties for years.

I don’t know if I will make another quilt anytime soon. I didn’t have time to make my sister a quilt for her wedding, so when she starts popping out babies, I’ll make quilts for them. I really like quicker projects and apparel has more instant gratification. Have you tried quilting? Which do you like better, apparel or quilts?

My First Quilt- A Wedding Gift