“My family loves Star Wars and I wanted a challenge,” wrote Reddit user DanTheQuilter one day when it finally came time to show his creations to Star Wars fans in the community. From the breathtaking shot of Cloud City to the busy skyscrapers of Coruscant, Dan created nine beautiful quilts inspired by iconic Star Wars landscapes and characters, “Upon listening to family talk about scenes from those movies, I thought ‘What if…?’ After looking at many sites and travel posters, I started sewing.”
Dan is a widower and retired teacher living in Texas, and when he’s not crafting quilts, he helps his son care for his three children, “I refuse to ‘kick back’, so I still have an active lifestyle.”
A lifestyle that also involves designing and creating quilts, a long-standing tradition and art. The first attempt was a quilt of Han Solo in Carbonite, but the wrong fabric and strategy didn’t sit right with him, so he moved on with the promise to visit it again in the future. Since then, he’s done the research necessary to perfect the skill.
“I ran across some small pictures and posters (Bespin, Tatooine, etc.), enlarged a few, then made my own paper templates,” he said, when asked to describe the process. “All pieces are hand-made … [And] matching backgrounds and focal points with colored fabric was a challenge. Taking a 12-inch by 15-inch photo (some as small as 3-inch by 5-inch) to create a 4-foot by 5-foot lap quilt (or wall hanging) opened new horizons and visual reckoning.”
And believe it or not, quilting is a good activity for you, both mentally and physically. According to a 2011 study by the University of Glasgow, quilting helps with the cognitive, creative, and emotional well-being of people who practice the hobby regularly.
Some of the tools he uses include a Bernina 830 sewing machine with embroidery arm, colored fabrics that come as close to color in the photos as possible, imagination, and chocolate bars.
“Imagination, spacial ability, and creativity are my best attributes, I guess. I can visualize what an outcome could be,” he said, before shedding some light on the difficulties behind quilting. “Working a project often brings problems which create adjustments to the original idea(s). [It helps to have] a second pair of eyes from someone else who may see it differently or see some flaw I missed because I’ve spent so much time with the project.”
When asked to point out which one he favors the most, he said, “Bespin (or ‘Cloud City’) is my favorite just as it is for other people. I had not expected it would turn out SO bright and beautiful!”
And it truly is a beautiful work of art.
As for what the future holds, Dan wrote, “New ideas pop into my head weekly. My work area has lots scraps with notes, photos to consider, and a busy design wall.”
Of course, he plans to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens later on this year, “[It] looks awesome!”
Here’s hoping Dan creates more of his gorgeous quilts with scenes inspired by the highly anticipated sequel film. Find more of his work over at his Etsy shop.