Episode III – Revenge of the Amish
Okay, so my mom’s been a quilter for a long time, and now that she’s not working full-time she’s had time to start cranking out quilts for everyone in the family. She told me a while ago that she was planning to make a wedding quilt for Rodd and me. About six months ago we had the following phone conversation.
Mom: Joe [her husband] and I were having an argument about your quilt the other day.
Me: Really? How weird. [Joe’s not a quilter.] What about?
Mom: Well, I had planned on making you a traditional-style quilt. But then we saw some Star Wars fabric in a store and he thinks you guys might like that better.
Me: [I can’t figure out what to do! I mean, DUDE, a Star Wars quilt? How cool would that be? But I don’t want to disappoint Mom. So instead I just hyperventilate into the phone.]
Mom: So I’m guessing you want the Star Wars thing then.
Me: Welllll… What if you used the Star Wars fabric but still did a traditional design? That would rock!
Mom: Yeah, that’s what I was thinkin’.
So she started the quilt. I didn’t hear much about it except for the occasional disturbing “I don’t know if you guys are gonna like this…” comment. Apparently she spent the past few weeks pulling out all the stops to get it finished in time to personally deliver it on this trip. Last Friday as soon as we got them and their suitcases unloaded into the apartment, out came the quilt. Quite frankly, we were speechless.
Isn’t that the coolest, evillest patchwork quilt you’ve ever seen? The fabric was apparently printed as a tie-in for Revenge of the Sith, though what they thought people would do with it, I can’t imagine. I took more pictures.Here’s a side view. According to Mom, she hand-pieced the entire quilt top and then used her long-arm sewing machine to do the actual quilting.
This is a close-up of the central star motif. As you can see, she “fancy cut” all of the pieces to center the printed designs within them. (She also said this was a total bitch to do because the fabric wasn’t printed evenly.)
Here is a close-up of the “Vader helmet” pieces. You can clearly see the quilting lines looping all around the printed designs. (I can only imagine how time-consuming that was.) The orange sections are even more heavily-quilted, though I couldn’t get them to photograph very well. She said she used several thousand yards of thread on the thing.
And here are the pieces with the scary, glowing red eyes. It took me about ten minutes to realize that the word “REVENGE” also appears beneath the gothic “Vader.” I told Rodd that every morning when we wake up under this thing, we have to enact the “Noooooo!” scene from when Vader wakes up at the end.
Mom also likes to personalize her quilts in very subtle ways. In this corner, she’s actually worked “Love, Mom 2006” into the actual stitching. Can you see it? Another corner has our names.
All in all, I can see where you’d think the quilt was kind of, uh, disturbing. Me, I love it. Mom wasn’t a huge fan though, so she decided to make the backing fabric something completely different (so that we could turn it over if we were entertaining someone who wouldn’t find a Star Wars Darth Vader “flames of hell” revenge-themed quilt as cool as we do). So she used a really neat print of Chinese cranes against a black background. Also, for the bottom thread of the quilting she used a metallic gold thread that goes really nicely with the cranes.
I think Mom was well into the construction of the quilt before she started poking around on eBay and realized just how much Star Wars items go for. (I discovered this when she stopped complaining about the non-traditional-ness of it and started casually mentioning how many hundreds of dollars people would pay for “this stuff.”) But there’s no way we’re selling this beauty. I’m sure she’d be interested in hearing from anybody seriously interested in commissioning one though, so drop me an e-mail if you want.