I have mentioned before my Tony Danza wall quilt. It has been a work-in-progress for a little over two years now. And by “work-in-progress,” obviously I mean I haven’t really started it but I sure do think about it a lot. But I fly out in just two weeks (!!) for the Heather Ross sewing retreat, and then in February Whipstitch has our own sewing retreat, and my Big Plan is to use that time to finish this project that, let’s be honest, has no real purpose in the world except my own amusement. And what else are retreats for if not to indulge, yes?
The idea is based on the Power Phrases that I use in my sewing classes, and that I included in Stitch by Stitch. The first power phrase is “You’re the Boss!” Taking control of your sewing machine and not letting is sass you is core to the Whipstitch way of thinking, but then, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. I want to sew something to reflect that. Enter: Tony Danza. Is it all coming together now?
I’m using the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Patchwork Generator to create a pattern for the whole thing–it’s a great little tool that allows you to upload any image and turn it into a quilt pattern, PLUS you can vary the number of fabrics and complexity of the design.
Upload any image, including one from the Victoria & Albert’s own archives, which are extensive and lovely:
In my case, it was a Tony Danza image I downloaded from Google images. (Do note: I am free to use any image I choose because I don’t plan to sell this piece; be sure to double-check any copyright laws as they might apply to pieces you intend to make for sale or profit.) The uploaded image will display like this:
Then, make your selections: you can crop the image, you get to choose how many colors will be included in the final patchwork (more colors = more fabrics but also more detail, so it’s a judgment call) and how many total pieces (same deal–you get more detail with more pieces, and I might be wrong, but I think only the “advanced” tab gives you the option of triangles in the form of HSTs).
Naturally, I chose 20 colors and “advanced” because I intend this piece to be both big and detailed. From there, click through to find your image has been pixellated, if you will, into a patchable, quiltable pattern.
You’ll also get a by-color listing of how many triangles and squares of each fabric ought to be cut–no counting, just follow their list and you’re ready!
Plus, the V & A give suggestions and links at the bottom of the page for how to get your best results from your project:
Next for me is to match the colors to my Konas and do some fine-tuning–I plan to hand-quilt and embroider some detailing into the finished quilt, so you can really tell it’s Tony (not to mention appliqueing on the words “You’re the Boss!” in curly 80s-style script), but I don’t love how mushed up his mouth is here, so I plan to fiddle a bit with the colors to make his face a little more clear.
Once the fine-tuning is done and the pattern is really ready, I’ll cut out my squares so I can take just the pre-cut pieces with me to Palm Springs! Woot! God willing, I’ll at least have the quilt top done by mid-February, so that I can get well into the hand-quilting and embroidery by Easter.
Tell me: if you were going to “quiltify” one image, what would you choose? Would you use the V & A program to make your pattern?
*Also, I was flattered to have been included in the Sew, Mama, Sew Reflections and Predictions series this month. Check out all the great contributors and posts, including mine! I hope if nothing else, reading all of us chatter about what we love most and hope for in the coming year will get you inspired to think of your own best and worst from 2011. You can even win a prize!