In 2002, I painted a Harry Potter-inspired mural in my daughter’s room. While creating the mural, I added things that I thought might be found on a Hogwarts bookcase, including Crookshanks, an owl, a crystal ball, quills, the Sorting Hat and, of course, textbooks.
In 2004 or so, I learned to design paper pieced patterns and very shortly thereafter began work on My Magical Lens, my first Harry Potter-inspired quilt. It’s a small quilt made entirely from 5″ blocks I designed myself.
Because I was designing and piecing and working and still making loads of other things all at the same time, I didn’t finish MML until 2007, when I showed it for the first time at Phoenix Rising, a Harry Potter conference in New Orleans.
I continued to craft and design and grow my abilities as a designer. Somewhere in there, I signed a book deal and later had it canceled. Not long after, I turned back to fandom for love and support, which is a great way to heal a broken heart.
The idea to create a bookcase quilt based on the one I’d painted in my daughter’s room had been in the back of my mind for a long time and I desperately needed some craft therapy.
I realized right away that I’d already designed many of the items I’d want to include for My Magical Lens. What I’d need to do next was to figure out how to incorporate them.
I learned to use EQ7 in 2010 while designing the PoD. I started with a picture of the mural and grew the quilt one 10″ block at a time. I thought, and still think, that it’s less daunting when broken into manageable chunks.
By the time I’d finished the design and the individual block patterns, I had decided that there was nothing I wanted more than to share the quilt with my fellow Harry Potter fans. The quilt was now dubbed “The Project of Doom” for both the amount of time I’d put into it and also because I planned to stop designing Harry Potter patterns after I completed it.
Little did I know that this quilt would change my life and still be going strong in 2017! The Project of Doom, indeed.
The 2011 Project of Doom was hosted on Harry Potter Paper Piecing, my first fandom-themed quilt group.
You can still see all the original PoD posts, including photos of those first quilts made by our group in 2010.
The quilt along gained so much attention that it was overloading the previous incarnation of Sewhooked. My website was constantly down from all the downloads! That led me to start Fandom in Stitches as a way to support my own fandom patterns as well as the quilting community that was beginning to grow up around fandom-inspired quilts. All Fandom in Stitches patterns remain absolutely free for personal & non-profit use.
The Livejournal group slowly faded away, but the PoD did not.
You can find The Project of Doom patterns free right here on Sewhooked or in my Craftsy Pattern Shop (free to download, of course).
We have a Facebook group over 2,000 members strong where there is always someone quilting along!
The original PoD has since done a little bit of traveling and been on display several times. My favorite photo of its adventures is this one taken at the Austin Area Quilt Guild’s 2012 Quilt Show. I stood back for a long time watching the crowd mingle around the quilt and I stood in awe and was a bit overwhelmed by the reaction it evoked. Despite the popularity of the quilt, I was just beginning to understand the reaction it was having on others.
The PoD won three awards from this show:
- Overall Award: Creativity (large quilts)
- Overall Award: Judge’s Choice
- Honorable Mention: Two Person Quilts (quilted by Shannon Shaw)
Since finishing the original PoD, I’ve been involved in creating a number as part of group projects for various charitable causes.
The above quilt was created in conjunction with Harry Potter Crafts over on Yahoo! They were contacted by someone from Make-A-Wish for help creating Harry Potter inspired goodies for Samantha. She was going through chemo at the time.
All blocks were made and donated by Fandom in Stitches community members. Completed by me.
Samantha receiving her quilt in 2014.
I’ve also completed a fair few mini-PoDs for The Linus Connection.
Fandom in Stitches and Project of Doom group members have sent me a plethora of extra blocks, “redos” and orphans left from their own projects. Quilts range in date from 2012 – 2016.
And yeah, I’ll still take your extras. Email me for my address. 🙂
Donated to The Linus Connection (also, apparently the only photo I have of this one!)
Donated to The Linus Connection.
Donated to The Linus Connection.
Late in 2014, due to growing interest, I decided to reboot the Project of Doom for Fandom in Stitches as a quilt along. My long time friend and pattern tester, Amber Lowery helped me as I went through every single block from the original pattern looking for ways to make them easier to piece.
She received a relentless number of messages from me about new block ideas. The original 30 blocks grew to almost 80 and I added a new castle layout with several variations.
The reaction was huge. The Facebook group grew from a few hundred to over a thousand within a few weeks. I was invited to design for other events and I was even invited to be a guest on Pat Sloan’s podcast. Talk about star struck!
2015 was not all sunshine and roses. We had a number of deaths in the family. There were other stressful things, as there always are. The PoD quilt along kept me going. It kept me grounded and reminded me constantly that art can save us. Craft can keep us sane.
The Facebook group continues to grow and a number of other awesome Fandom designers have contributed their own designs to mix and match with mine (scroll down on this page to see them). There seems to be an infinite variety of ways to interpret what I once thought of as a fairly simple Harry Potter inspired quilt.
Have I mentioned that this quilt has changed my life? The community and friendships, the charity and love, and the sheer joy that these quilts have brought to so many have been the highlight of my creative life.
Finally, I pieced two quilts during the 2015 event, one for my sister (the purple one above), which I completed and gave to her in 2015. Hers was quilted by Sarah’s Sewing Studio.
My own top was almost completed in 2015.
Then it sat and waited while I ran other events, hosted other quilt-alongs, designed other patterns.
And waited. And I then had surgery and it waited some more.
Then I added the castle top, the only thing left to piece. It waited a little more.
I finally started quilting it in November.
The quilting and binding was finished a few weeks ago, but it still wasn’t “done.”
After hearing a compelling story about unlabeled quilts last year, I’ve made a promise to myself to label every quilt I make.
As of last night, it is finally, FINALLY finished.
My own 2015 Project of Doom has officially taken it’s rightful place on my sofa for lots and LOTS of future snuggles.
Designed, pieced, quilted (and quilted and quilted!), bound and labeled all by me. I created the label in Embrilliance Essentials. The candle is a design from EQ Stitch.
Now, I want to talk about THIS Project of Doom.
This one was not made by me. It was made by the fantastic Jennifer Rowles, a fellow Fandom in Stitches designer. She pieced and quilted this beauty as a fundraiser to help a 13-year-old girl that really needs a new kidney.
I mean, what better cause could there be?
Want a chance to win this Project Of Doom Harry Potter-inspiredbookcase quilt AND help 13-year-old Kenzie get the new kidney she needs?
Donate $5 to Kenzie’s GoFundMe and get one chance to win.
Donate $20 and get FIVE chances to win.
Drawing on March 25, 2017
Stop by Monday for our next block to piece!
See you tomorrow for Free Pattern Friday!