Back to the Electronics

Well, John only sent me one picture of himself wearing his costume.  I’m very disappointed in him.

I wanted at least one picture taken at night when he was all lit up.  But, on the bright side, he claims that he was a big success and he now wants to light up his costumes every year.  It looks like I may have a new job.

As you may recall I have now been inspired to use EL wires and panels in my quilts.  My first attempt is with an EL panel.  I knew exactly what I wanted my finished piece to look like and had a pretty good idea of how to create it.

I began by printing off an image of the moon [1] onto a sheet of paper.  To this I added a face using pencil.  I then reduced the image so that it would be small enough for my panel which only measures 4″ x 6″.

Once I was happy with the way the image worked when the light was on I copied it onto a sheet of Printed Treasures.

The next step was to applique the image onto my background fabric.  I did this using reverse applique so there would be no seam allowance behind my moon to interfere with the light.

Wrong side of applique


Right side of applique

Applique with light shining through it

My next step was to deal with the light shining through the background fabric.  As you can see from the photo even one extra layer of dark fabric was enough to kill it.

My plan was to add the backing and batting with a hole cut away to expose the moon to the back of the quilt.  I achieved this by using Timtex for my batting, cutting a hole in it the size of the moon, fusing the backing fabric to the Timtex, and then turning and gluing the raw edges just as I had done for the applique on the front.  I secured the back to the front with a bit of glue and then using my sewing machine I straight stitched around the outside edge of the moon to quilt the layers together.  I was then able to use my long arm to do the rest of the quilting.

The back of the quilt after quilting

Next I added a pocket just big enough to hold the EL panel.

While I was in the planning stages of my quilt the biggest hurdle I faced was figuring out how I was going to display it.  The EL panel has a 9V battery and a converter box to power it.  Since the box is a little over 1″ thick I knew the quilt was going to have to stand out away from the wall.  Inspiration came Tuesday evening at my small group meeting when Brenda W showed us a small quilt she had attached to a stretcher frame.


Brenda W's quilt

The depth of the frame was wrong for what I needed, but the concept was spot on.  Ken was able to build me exactly what I needed.


Frame front

Frame back

Quilt stapled to the frame

You can easily see how neatly the electronics fit into the quilt and frame.


Finished quilt

I took pictures of the finished quilt both with and without the light on, but they looked the same.  You’ll have trust me that in person the lit up moon glows in a very realistic fashion.

[1]  Yes, John.  I know the moon is tipped at the wrong angle.  I needed to do that in order to get the look I wanted.

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4 Responses to Back to the Electronics

  1. venera4 says:

    Hey, I had a choice. I could dance, drink, and throw beads, or I could get someone to take a picture of my butt. All things considered, I think I made the rational choice….

  2. Luci says:

    I absolutely love the moon quilt. You could do a whole theme around those. How about a rocket ship in the eye? (ala “trip to the moon”)

    • I could do that. I’ll have to keep it in mind.

      The upper left corner looks a little blank to me so I’m thinking of adding some stars using crystals. I’ll post an updated picture when I do it.

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