Earlier in the year, I came across Quiet Play‘s paper piecing patterns and knew that the [free!] Star Wars themed patterns would be perfect Christmas presents for Nik’s brother and nephews. I also bought the “Striped Star” pattern from the same shop, not wanting to force my sister-in-law into having a Star Wars pillow of her own but wanting to have somewhat of a theme. 😉
And so, I present to you, “Star Wars and a Star.”
I chose these particular colors because I wanted the pillows to match the Twister quilt that I made them in 2013. (I still need to make one of those for my family!)
AT AT for Andreas
Millennium Falcon for Alex
Tie Fighter for Luke
Striped Star for Nikki
The quilting plus the many pieces from the paper piecing meant that the front of the pillows were fairly uncomfortable. So I backed the pillow covers with flannel strengthened with Pellon SF 101 (my new favorite interfacing) and used invisible zippers along the bottom seam. This made for a warm, cozy back and will hopefully extend the life of the paper-piecing front too.
My flannel stash being what it is, I only needed to buy the blue. 😉
A few thoughts about my process, the technique, etc. for those interested:
1. I love paper piecing but I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into when I decided to sew these particular patterns. The AT AT in particular had some super teeny tiny pieces. But once I got into the rhythm of sewing them, I really enjoyed the process and the final product. And now that I’ve conquered these, I know I can paper-piece anything.
I should have included something for perspective to help you understand how small those pieces are. The quilted squares are about one inch square, so that should tell you that each one of those “feet” took forever!
so many tiny pieces to rip out
2. I had no idea how long these geometric patterns would take. Making these four pillows ended up being my full-time job for a couple weeks (albeit the most fun full-time job I’ve ever had!). I did the bare minimum needed to keep my kids alive and fed and just kept sewing. If you are considering the patterns, just be sure to factor in more time for completion than you think you need.
another process picture – so you can see how the AT AT was slowly assembled.
3. Generous quilty friends are the best. Back in November, I put out a plea for scraps to my friends at the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild, knowing that my stash of scraps wasn’t even close to sufficient for this project. They delivered! I’m so grateful to everyone who contributed scraps, and especially to Nancy, who gave me a whole set of shimmery charm squares, which were so fun to use!
4. What is paper piecing anyway? This blog post gives a pictorial overview but basically, you sew fabric to the back of a paper pattern and the paper gives enough stability to allow for sewing tiny shapes and awkward angles. I learned how to do it at the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild Carolyn Friedlander workshop in April and right away, I knew it was a technique I would be glad to use again and again. 🙂
Blurry pillows because immediately upon receipt the “good guy” had to fight the “bad guy”! Ha!!