Thursday, December 17, 2015

Star Wars Characters Go Home for the Holidays to a Log Cabin Quilt

Star Wars, it's everywhere! Even quilt shops aren't safe! But before you spend $102.48 for a half-yard bundle of SW fabric - consider what you might make.  Last year, I made a pillowcase for a young fan. (I'm abbreviated to SW so you don't get sick of seeing the words.)
It only took about a yard of fabric. I used up all the colorful guess-what-themed fabric. The piece I had leftover was a quarter-yard of this somber print...
So last week, I thought it might be fun to put these gray guys into colorful little houses. Specifically, improvisational faux-wood log cabin houses (thank you, Karen, for the scraps!)
In the quilt world, squares built out from the center by adding strips to the sides are called log cabins. First, I thought I might make each unit into a seperate coaster. Then, I plopped all four of them into the same indigo batik snowflake neighborhood:
Liked it! I also built a ground-floor addition to Darth Vadar's house, to accomodate his scary boss/roomate, the furious-nosed Darth Sidious.*
(Is that Darth Sidious? Corrections welcomed.) Whoever. Here's how the piece looked after quilting with a blue metallic thread (which can't be seen at all without a magnifying glass):
I also added a chimney, and cut a piece from a produce bag as smoke.
(My house-depiction skills have not advanced since 2nd grade. I am sacrificing my self-respect here in order to prove that anyone can do this.)

Because it was so improvisational, there was an unanticipated space (Space!), immediately to the east of C3PO R2D2's house [whoever]. So I imagined an invisible driveway with a vintagey spaceship parked in it, cut from a non-SW fabric. That's a dog in the rocketship window, symbolizing a wookie.
I didn't intend for the piece to look like Christmas/Chanukah, but that's what the snowflake batik accomplished. By now, the whole thing was screaming "winter holidays." A visiting friend took one look and asked me if I was making an Advent Calendar?!

Clearly, the Galactic Rulers wanted this to be a holiday quilt. Imagine, I told myself, that SW characters are going home for the winter holidays to their wooden log cabins, where they live next to each other in the same exclusive gated community. On their planet, by sheer coincidence, seasonal festivities involve trees and multi-armed candelabras.

With an undecorated tree:
With a lit menorah: 
How about a tree, a menorah AND a spaceship?
How about losing the ship, decorating the tree, and using a smaller menorah one the lower left?
After some agonizing, I wound up with a decorated tree and a small menorah. 
It became the perfect present for good friends of mine who love both Christmas and SW, and have friends of many faiths.

Meanwhile, if you are a beginning quilter, you may be wondering how to sew freeform log cabins. Start with your character. Cut him (with SW, it's usually a him) out in a rectangle or square. Surround with housing material - I used 1"- 2"strips from woodgrain scraps. Stitch the logs to all four sides (or just the two verticles, and one horizontal on top, to evoke a doorway). That's Unit I. 

There are a million ways to vary the above directions, altering configurations of the house and the roofs. However you do it, the final step is to stitch the bottom edge of Unit II to the top edge of Unit I. 
If you don't feel like making a SW quilt, support an independent quilter by shopping for reasonably-priced handmade SW quilts on Also spotted on Etsy: dog collars; women's shoes; bowties; lampshades, and much more, all made from SW fabric.  Plus lots and lots of yardage.

Another place to find ideas is at Camelot Fabrics, the manufacturer - a couple of free projects start on this page.

Hancock Fabrics is having a SW sale! (no financial affiliation with any of these places).

What's next? I predict: Star Wars-themed sewing machines, with special effects and climactic music, rising to a crescendo when you press harder on the pedal and/or use your fanciest attachments.

*As opposed to the even more furious, nasally deficient, Voldemort.

P.S. Then there's this. It's literally true:
This is literally true. Sold here. No financial affiliation!


  1. Oh, you are adorable, and sooo on trend!

    1. Adorable and on-trend has been my lifelong quest! Finally!!! Thanks!

  2. Sweet, sweet Cathy. Sigh. The tree is next to R2 D2's house. I love it! It's amazing! And you are fabulous.

    1. Dang, I can't tell any of them apart. Thank you for the correction. You are fabulous and amazing, too!

  3. I love these houses. Now I know what to do with the leftover pieces I have from making a Lego bag and a pillowcase two years ago for a great nephew.

  4. A brilliant contribution to the literature on the intersection of SW,holidays,quilting and popular culture. Made me chuckle with delight. You have such a gift!Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Jeri, you've overstated the situation, but I appreciate it....

  5. This is wonderfully creative! I love your final decision....perfect. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    I bookmarked this for future reference. Your post is a gift to us, so thank you!

  6. Do Jedi light a menorah (and/or tree) by using The Force?
    23rd Century, meet 18th. With a touch of Jetsons thrown in (the not-used rocket with dog).


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