Over the weekend my very best friend ever came to the house and we spent beaucoup de time in the studio. One of the projects we worked on is her newest quilt, the R2D2 pixel quilt. We started by using a freebie pixel image from Cory Kerr at corykerr.com. I used cross stitch software to lay out the squares and get an auto-magic count of each of the colored squares required.
Download the R2D2 pattern in .pdf now!
Pattern Note: This is not a complete step by step pattern with yardage counts or how to’s. It’s simply the layout tool we used to figure out how many squares of which colors we would need and where they should be placed. I have a few tips for you in this post as well as a step by step pixel piecing method link from a previous project. I thought some of you may be interested in making one yourself so I’m saving you the leg work of drawing it out.
We didn’t finish her quilt, but we did make good progress, her R2D2 has two shoulders and a half a head. She had great Star Wars blueprint and character novelty prints. We cut those up for the background squares and I gotta tell you – as a non-Star Wars fan – I kind of love it! I’m really looking forward to seeing her finish, should be awesome!
How did we piece it?
Almost exactly like I did the mini-frogger name badge. Instead of starting with 1” drawn squares, we drew 2.5” to finish with 2” square pixels. Tracing paper is really the bomb for this job. I love that you can see through it. It helps with not only drawing the lines, but finding where to fold/sew them. It’s sturdy enough to tolerate the sewing, but tears away a zillion times better than regular typing paper.
Pro Tip: Use a super small stitch length (I used 1.6) and the paper tears away even easier.
Did you know you can by rolled up yardage of tracing paper? It’s perfect for this job. I found it in the drawing section of the craft store with all of the sketch books. It’s pretty darn inexpensive and nice to work with. We used the rotary cutter and mat to cut off the size paper we needed to draw our 2.5” squares.
Tips for working with the pattern
We had two copies of the pixel layout.
The first copy was used to layout the blocks and keep up with which ones had been completed. As we finished a square, it was crossed off. It would stink to accidentally make two!
One copy with the main pressing directions indicated by arrows. The direction the seams get pressed is assuming you’re looking at the back of the square with the top at the top. It doesn’t really matter what direction you choose for the first block, as long as your consistent after you make the choice. With it drawn on the pattern, it doesn’t really matter which block you work on, you always know which way to press your seams.
You’ll notice that both patterns have “blocks” created by the black sharpie lines. The most efficient use of the tracing paper size was columns of 9 2.5” blocks. Since the paper was on a roll, we could have as many columns as we wanted. Heck, we could have run the grid across the entire width of quilt on one long piece of paper and just made five huge rows of 34 columns. For us, it made sense to us to keep the paper square. Since the total pixel width wasn’t divisible by the maximum height we could get from the paper (9), we made two squares 8×9 and two squares 9×9 on each row. The brilliance of not including the sharpie lines on the provided pattern is you can break up your pixels in whatever way works for you and what type of paper you have. You can even change your mind half way though!
Know what else this means?
The studio is now open! It turns out I did an OK job setting it up for multiple people to sew (paint, jewelry, whatever). I’d love for you to come sew with me sometime. If you’re local and interested, drop me a line. Let’s work out a good time!
Update: She finished her top! Check it out!