Thursday, 11 September 2014

Tardis Quilt - Secret Project revealed!

At last, I am revealing the Secret Project!

This is my best quilt so far, I am SO amazed by how awesome it looks!

I decided to make this when I found the gorgeous background fabric while browsing an online fabric shop. I saw it and instantly thought "Dr Who!" Then I remembered a very lovely friend who had previously asked if I could make a Tardis quilt. At the time I think I'd only made one or two quilts so my response was "No way! That's far too hard!"

I decided to get Googling and found just a few Tardis quilts. I used parts of most of them for inspiration, but mostly I made the pattern up myself. It was actually pretty simple once I had armed myself with graph paper and coloured pens! My first draft was all out of proportion and would've left me with a very oddly sized quilt! So I started again and the second draft ended up being the quilt that I made!

I was a bit worried about how to do the sign on the door of the Tardis, and the Police Box sign.

In the end I found printable fabric for the sign, and used a google image to print it out. This took a considerable amount of time, because I needed an inkjet printer and our main printer is a laser. I ended up using our old printer that hadn't been used for many years. Turns out, that's because it needed an XP computer, and all of ours are Windows 7! Took me a long while to work that out though! Eventually I decided to try Muv's work laptop, which had XP. The printer started up straight away! However, as it hadn't been used for so long all the ink had dried up! I found one of those kits to refill the cartridges and proceeded to squirt some ink in there. After I'd made a fine mess and covered myself in ink, I attempted to print again, and HUZZAH! It worked! I was really nervous that the ink would just come straight out of the fabric, but I followed the instructions to soak it in water and it didn't colour the water at all! Amazing!

The Police Box sign was made using black fabric and Dylon white fabric paint. I made a template using freezer paper and a Google image of the sign, which I resized using Publisher. I couldn't believe how awesome it looked!

Police Box sign and all my pieces cut out and labelled!

At this point I didn't have any of the blue fabrics, but was desperate to get on with it! I had ordered some fabrics online and was really excited when the parcel arrived. However, when I opened the parcel they were completely wrong! I was devastated! I ended up emailing the lovely people at Minerva Crafts and Fabrics with my dilemma, they were more than happy to help and even had a Dr Who fan on hand to ask for her opinion! They sent me a photo of the fabrics I had suggested, along with a different one that they thought would work a bit better! And it certainly did! The fabrics were totally perfect!

Amazingly the quilt took just a morning to piece! I guess the nice big pieces helped with that! The hardest part was the borders around the panels that are on the door, because I'd never attempted a mitred corner before, but they went pretty well!

One mitred corner done, 5 to go!

I decided to FMQ this one, and wanted to try and make a wood grain effect pattern for the Tardis. It went a lot better than expected with only a few problems along the way (I'm not going to point out my mistakes, as that way you won't notice them!) 

Close up of the "wood grain effect" quilting

I then started to do a large stipple on the background. This is where I ran into MAJOR problems! The thread was breaking every 30 seconds or so, which was the most frustrating thing I have ever experienced while quilting! I did everything I could think of to try and solve it. I cleaned the lint out of the machine, I changed my needles, I re-threaded hundreds of times, but nothing made any difference! In the end I decided to try the thread I'd used for the Tardis body, which worked perfectly! So I had to rip out everything I'd already done! Argh! It took 4 hours to do the original quilting, 12 hours to rip it out, and 1 hour to quilt the entire thing with the new thread!

The disaster quilting! See those MASSIVE skipped stitches? Bleugh!

The replacement, easy breezy quilting!

So the only thing left to do was bind the quilt. I got that done with no problems and then popped it into the wash to get rid of the 505 basting spray and to be sure that there were no problems. It's a good thing I did because the Police Box sign decided that it didn't want the fabric paint anymore and large sections of it flaked off! I was distraught! I could only think that I hadn't heat set the paint well enough, so I spent a loooong time with the iron after I repainted it. Luckily that seemed to do the trick and it survived the next washing intact!

How upsetting is that!?!?!

So, it was ready to gift to the lovely Fanny! I wanted it to be a complete surprise so arranged for him to come and visit. I set it up on the guest bed that he would be staying in (along with the matching pillowcases). We got a lovely video of him discovering it, but it's a bit sweary so I won't post it!!

Here it is with the matching pillowcases (with a crack in the universe as well!)

Hope you like it :-)


  1. Yay! The secret is out! Still loving my Tardis quilt, it's been perfect for the summer! Matching pillows are awesome too, and so far I haven't been erased from history by the cracks in the universe so it's all good! :-)

  2. Looks really cool! I can imagine the video of the reveal. Have been looking online for some patterns and ideas to make one for my hubby for Christmas. LOVE the background fabric as it really seems that the TARDIS is in space. Have been debating over a pieced dsign or one with the large panels for the TARDIS. This is definately a great option.