Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TARDIS Baby Quilt

My friend commissioned me to make a baby quilt for an expectant grandchild with Doctor Who fans for parents, because she's a hip grandma, and generous one, too!


It was ultimately far cheaper, and much easier for me to just buy a pattern. Craftsy had a nice one called 'Relatively Dimensional' by Hunter's Design Studio. But the thing is that this pattern is sort of life-size replica in scale, and the standard crib size quilt is like 32"x50" or thereabouts. But if you 5/8 scale the entire quilt, guess what finished size it comes out to be?

32.5 inches x 50 inches!


Except for all the math bits... Oddly, fractions used to be my least favorite type of math to do, even though I generally good at the subject. Ironically, now that I sew all the time, I live in fractions. It is the math I use the most.

Anyway, besides my crazy notion of scaling it all down (taking every measurement, subtracting the seam allowance, multiplying by 5/8 and then adding the seam allowance back in), the pattern was easy to follow and execute. Again, I was working slightly off pattern size and therefore materials wise, but there seemed to be no worry of running out. I assume that means their full-scale calculations were also correct.


Being that the expectant baby is a girl, and the pattern recommends a boring grey for a background, I opted to change that bit (All other fabric recommendations were followed and the colors seemed to be good choices), I went with the KONA cottons, which were all available through fabric.com Not sure how hunting for specific ones in a local fabric store would've went).

I went with this Magenta fabric called 'Cosmos'. It seemed fitting.
Also, it matched this great Doctor Who fabric that has magenta accents, which I used for the backing.

The most difficult part of this project were the special panels with wording. The 'POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX' banner and the 'INSTRUCTIONS' notice. I'm sure this would've been much simpler, with the possibility of even ordering the spoon flower fat quarter the designer of the pattern created. However, I went with 5/8 scale, remember?

Therefore I had to use the helpfully provided guides (in the PDF) meant for if you decide to trace the lettering, and scale them down, to you guessed it 5/8 their original size. I also had to reverse the color for the POLICE BOX banner and give it a black background. Several test prints later, I got it to measure precisely the necessary size for a 5/8 scale of the pieces noted in the original pattern.

Now we get to the truly frustrating part of working with June Tailor brand Computer Printer Fabric. (BTW, make sure you read carefully and get the washable kind. I didn't notice until I had already driven home the 30 miles from the fabric store that the pack I grabbed was cheaper for a reason despite being the same brand. Because who would sell printable fabric that isn't washable?! You need to rinse the stuff to set the ink, morons!).

Okay, so after you've ordered the washable type of June Tailor Printer Fabric (that you wished fabric.com had a better brand but you were already ordering fabric and why pay shipping somewhere else when the printable fabric already costs over $3 per page?), you can print out the final (precisely correct to scale) artwork. It prints fine. But this crappy ass brand of printable fabric (which you're supposed to iron for two minutes sans steam) burns when ironed. I've never seen that before. So try again, but remember you only have one sheet left to redo the POLICE BOX, because it took one sheet for the burned one and one sheet for the INSTRUCTIONS panel.

Anyway, print it, carefully iron it. Rinse it. Watch most of the ink wash down the drain. Dry it. Iron it again, sew with it. Finish the quilt. Wash the quilt in abject terror that it will fade further. Dry the quilt. Note how the fabric has faded more. Take out your fabric paints (which you were hoping to avoid the meticulous work by spending $10 on printer fabric) and go over all of the black.

Why is this so frustrating? It is just printer fabric, a concept that can't possibly work, right?

Wrong. I don't remember the brand I got before, but it printed and set fine. Nice rich, dark blacks stayed black. It even had a nicer hand (this June Tailor brand crap was kind of stiff/nasty). Also, it was 5 sheets for $12 or so. I really wish I had kept the packaging. I could've sworn I got it at a Jo-Ann Fabrics, too. And it came in different types of fabric, including silk blends and etc. But our little one only had this crappy brand.


I had enough extra fabric to make a baby dress and bloomers to go with the quilt. Using Simplicity 1205.