8-bit Pixel Art Quilt

I was chatting with Emzolv (https://emzolv.wordpress.com/) about blogging and such like and it reminded me that I used to post blog updates on my crafting exploits.  I had not realised that two years had passed since my last post on making Game of Thrones costumes.  On reading back through my blogs I saw that I had promised a blog on my 8-bit Pixel Art quilt (this turned into an epic project and what with moving house I forgot about actually writing the blog).  I did finish the quilt in April last year so I should probably share some photos of it and my experiences making it.

This project started as a way of combining cross stitch and quilting into one project with all the quilt squares being based on cross stitch patterns (or pearler patterns) which were found online.  Phil and his twitch community inspired me to create the quilt and encouraged me to keep going by asking for updates on the patches.  Some people asked for updates more often than others (I am looking at Dave here), but this did help me through and inspired me to finish the quilt.

The patches started off with game characters from my youth such as Sonic and Tails, ToeJam and Earl and Super Mario, and ended with more up to date characters such as Fez, Super Meat Boy and Isaac (showing how twitch has influenced my gaming knowledge).

The quilt was so huge (king sized) that it was hard to get into one photo.  The characters from left to right, top to bottom are; ToeJam, Earl, Sonic, Tails, Bandage Girl, Super Meat Boy, Princess Zelda, Link, Luigi, Mario, Yoshi, Toad, PacMan, PacMan Ghost, Isaac and Fez.  I think the Yoshi patch was my favourite as he looks so happy.

All the squares linking the patches together were from my stash in an attempt to use up my fabric from previous projects (it did not even make a dent!) and I backed it with an old duvet cover (upcycling in action).  As the quilt was so huge I decided that it was easiest to buy a cheap low tog duvet to fill the quilt (as it would have taken a lot of wadding and I did not fancy machine finishing and binding such a huge quilt).  Buttons were hand sewn (probably not a good idea, there was a lot of swearing due to needles being accidentally inserted in fingers) to hold it all in place.  This quilt proved very useful when we moved to our new house in November last year as the heating was hit and miss, and it was nice and warm to snuggle under when watching TV.  It is currently on our guest bed so greets everyone who comes to stay with us.  This was a labour of love and I am so glad that I saw it through to completion (it took just over a year in total from making the first patch to sewing the last button).

Hopefully I will remember to post blogs more frequently again now (especially as I have a craft room in the new house, which includes a desk for typing as well as sewing).  I am sure Emz will also remind me when I have not blogged in while (a friendship which would not have come about if I had not been introduced to her via Twitch by Phil, maybe one day the Yoshi’s Island cross stitch will be finished too).

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A quilting Christmas

Happy 2015 everyone, didn’t realise how long it had been since I last posted about my creative exploits. It wasn’t due to a lack of crafting just a lack of time to write and the fact that I was busy making gifts and I didn’t want to ruin any surprises.

This post is about my quilting experiences. After finally finishing a quilt which I started cutting the squares for back in 2013, when my masters degree took over my time, I decided that it would be a good idea to make quilts for my grandparents for Christmas.  The first quilt was small and basic so I thought I could achieve anything. Although I did learn that hand finishing would not be an option for a larger quilt after I stuck the needle in my finger multiple times!

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My first quilt

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I decided to still keep the quilt design fairly simple for the quilts as I wanted to be able to make them fairly quickly as it was June and I knew it will soon be Christmas! I consulted my quilting book (Learn to Quilt by Sharon-Chambers) and picked the ‘economy 16 patch’ quilt. I decided to do one quilt in autumnal colours and the other in spring colours to tie in with the respective colours of my grandparent’s bedrooms.

So naturally a trip to Abakhan’s in Manchester was needed (if ever I need an excuse to buy fabric) and I was ready to start quilting.  Once I got into a system of cutting and sewing the patches together the top of the first quilt was soon finished (although slightly wonky in places but we call that handmade).

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Since I had managed to over buy on fabric I decided to make the back using the four fabrics which made up the green and purple squares.  I kept it simple and simply sewed four large squares together and the back was done.

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Then came the quilting……I decided the sew the layers together on the machine using a long straight stitch and creating diamonds in the 16 patches.  This seemed to work well considering that I have not got a walking foot for my machine.  There were only a few areas where the fabric bunched on the back (and only slightly).  The scariest bit was probably the binding, but this was made less scary by following the instructions in this blog, http://www.cluckclucksew.com/2013/01/machine-binding-tutorial.html. I also used the pale fabric from the patches to make the binding. Some of my stitching went a bit wonky but I was happy with the result.

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The second quilt was a lot easier and I managed to complete it a lot quicker (although it wasn’t ready for Christmas but I wasn’t seeing my nan until January so it gave me an excuse to deliver it in person) I was even a bit braver with the back.

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Back of the quilt

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Top of the quilt

The quilts were both well received and it was nice to give homemade presents. I am now working on a quilt of my own design based on 8-bit game art. I am really excited about it and will post about it later this year.