I made a Glee quilt. And I freaking love it.
So, I am (was, now that it’s over) a big fan of the show. And I have a good friend who is also a big fan. She and I have had great fun over the last few years, rehashing and analyzing every detail, being delighted by things we loved, and even going on some show-related adventures and meeting a few members of the cast.
She and I got to talking about making a Glee quilt, some time ago. At first I laughed it off, but pretty quickly the wheels started turning in my brain and I wondered how I would do it. (What my friend didn’t know, as she helped me brainstorm along the way, is that the quilt was for her.)
My goal, honestly, is that at least 90% of the population would look at the quilt and have no idea what it was about. I didn’t want it to actually say “Glee” anywhere. But for that minority who really loved the show and would recognize tiny bits of it in an instant, I wanted it to be incredibly obvious.
I started by making a list of things that were big visual markers of the show to me: iconic costumes, that sort of thing. And then I tried to figure out which ones I could turn into blocks that would be less obvious to the casual observer. I wanted them to be zoomed in, abstracted, or minimalist. Just a slice of the actual thing, but enough that it’s easily recognizable to fans.
I drew them all on graph paper and then more or less made it up as I went along, piecing them together. The only thing that had an actual pattern was the star – I used a free paper-pieced one, though the first one I tried had an uncooperative center seam that caused me to scrap it and start over. (Each block is 10″ finished, the whole quilt is 52×70″.)
Just as no two quilters make the same quilt, no two fangirls would necessarily pick the same images that I did. This certainly represents some of my favorite moments and characters of the show, but also the ones that, visually and logistically, worked the best when trying to create them out of fabric.
You as the viewer can make your own judgment, but I feel like I absolutely accomplished what I set out to do. To me, this quilt screams Glee. But I’m hoping that non-watchers wouldn’t really see it.
As I nearly always do, I gave myself fits about how to quilt it. Not for the first time, I wish I had the creativity of a great longarm quilter. But alas, my brain just doesn’t seem to work that way. Ultimately I used my walking foot to do wavy vertical lines and I’m pretty happy with it.
And the binding, oh, the binding. This might be my all-time favorite binding. I always always love using stripes, and who doesn’t love a bright, happy rainbow? It’s joy, personified. Or, you know, joy on fabric. Whatever. I love it.
At any rate, I am incredibly happy with how this turned out, and my friend is on her way over right now, so I can’t wait to surprise her with it.
For those who want to know, here’s a list of what is represented in the quilt:
Top row (L to R) – Kurt’s suit in “Love, Love, Love”; The Lima Bean logo; Blaine’s suit in “Love, Love, Love”
Second Row – Red and yellow roses from “Asian F”; Purple Piano from “The Purple Piano Project”; Dalton Academy uniform
Third row – Cheerios skirt; Slushie; Kurt’s outfit from “Born This Way”
Bottom row – Finn’s football jersey; Rachel’s gold star; Rachel’s coat from “New York”
Back – Dalton Academy staircase ceiling, with roses falling from “Love, Love, Love”