Quilt 2016: We Can Be Heroes (aka that time Dana made a FitzSimmons quilt because of course she did)

7 minutes

Hey, guys! It’s been awhile, and also the world is kind of a disaster right now! Hurray!

At any rate, I wanted to share this crazy thing I’ve been working on for like three months because, well, I had to abandon my craft blog for personal safety reasons and I haven’t had a presence in fandom communities since I quit Tumblr in like 2013. This is the place I have to share and given my favorite topic of exuberant essays I figured y’all wouldn’t mind.

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Behold, my quilt of over-intensity! I made a Captain America one last year, and then a Winter Soldier one for a friend. Everyone had to know a FitzSimmons one was coming, right? There are a ton of pictures and info under the cut. Two things: please excuse the lighting and quality of these photos—I work a night shift and never see the sun; second, share these wherever you want, I only ask that you please credit me and/or link back to here.

“What the hell possessed you to do this?” A few things. 1) I have incredible anxiety and doing something with my hands helps with it. This was a ton of applique and I hand-quilted it so there was plenty to do with my hands. 2) If you’re reading this you probably already know how insanely much I love FitzSimmons. I’ve had this in my head since December of 2014 and it wanted to come out. 3) I like quilting, and I like making fan works, and I like Agents of SHIELD.

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Hey, look! Some babes! My favorite twee part here: the fabric on their ties and collars is the same but switched. Also, please excuse their lumpy faces. That’s the lighting. They’re not really that lumpy.
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Proud of my lady’s ponytail. Also, Simmons’ face was the hardest thing on this entire quilt. I had to redo it like four times before she looked like herself (hence that weird thread goober at the corner of her lip. I’ll probably keep working at that.)
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Insanely proud of my boy’s hair. The fabric pieces had complicated edges and were interesting to applique, but the real kicker was just quilting one continuous swirly line on there. Apparently that’s how you make a quilt look curly.
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Overview
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Close-up
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The vines and flowers on her coat took me about 32 hours total. I wanted every bit of this to have some kind of quilting motif and I chose appliqued flowers for Simmons because I knew it would be pretty, flowers seem like a good choice for a biochemist, and I knew it would take a million years which is what I wanted. I needed to sew every ounce of my love into this thing.
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My lady’s fingers! This project may have gotten away from me in terms of intricacy….
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I was going to make Fitz’s sweater brown and somehow “cabled” to look like actual knit, but I didn’t have any brown fabric and I liked the challenge of designing a plaid quilt block. It also matched Simmons’ navy vest because I am twee trash.

Here’s the rotary cutting instructions for a 6″ plaid quilt block. You can scale it up or down with your own math(!).

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If you look closely you can see the globe/map in squares appliqued on top of the SHIELD logo (which is a big lone star). This is North America.
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More of the globe and SHIELD logo. Here, Europe. I also love that Great Britain ended up right in the middle of the eagle’s head. (You can see it best in this picture by looking where the quilting gets disrupted. The contrast isn’t the greatest.)
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Here’s Greenland so you can see the lone star better. It’s not quite as muddled in real life as it is in these photos.
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I like the aesthetic of mid-20th century poster art. This is a weird mashup of ’30s travel poster and ’40s recruitment poster. I also had to draw this whole thing myself so if the proportions are off, blame me. Also, that’s why they’re all Season-One-ified. Can’t have a SHIELD recruitment poster if SHIELD is a secret!

Fonts! For the little words: Science Fair. For the big ones: Amperzand.

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The top and bottom strips are flying geese. The center is made of snail trails.
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Here are some of the eclectic fan blades on the top corners. I have way too much blue fabric in my stash and most of it has weird prints on it. It was perfect for this.
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And some of the fan blades on the very bottom strip. If you look closely at the white letters you’ll also see one of my favorite fabrics ever. The flowers look like a stylized version of the Rutherford model of atoms. The solid pieces of Simmons’ coat are the same fabric. It makes me absurdly giddy because I’m a dork.
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I have so much weird sci-fi fabric. I love having a perfect excuse to use it.
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And the back!
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This is from Robert Kaufman’s Science Fair collection. It was kind of expensive but I saw it and new nothing else would satisfy me for the backing!
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Traditionally quilts get names and you make a label for the back with the date, name, and quilter. I’ve taken to embroidering mine. In silver on the left is an electrical engineering diagram of a transceiver and on the right the chemical model of oxytocin (both partial). Since I knew the exact days I started and finished I put them on there. That’s overkill; you usually just put the month and year you finish.

Many years ago I made a fanmix for Season 1 of Agents of SHIELD that basically had a song for every character and then a few that went through the basics of the season plot. I never did anything with that mix, but “Heroes” by David Bowie was my character song for Fitz and Simmons. For me, that’s still the song that best exemplifies them. (Also, a plug! I do have FitzSimmons specific mixes for every season: 1, 2, 3 because of course I do. Shhh, I’ll stop now.)

And here’s  a gallery of like 20+ photos from the whole thing in process:

Also, I’ve got like six different, highly detailed, overly academic historical/literary/media studies/scientific reasons that I love these two butts. Just so you don’t think this crazy came out of nowhere. I love them more than anything for so so many reasons. (Here’s my AoS essay collection for some proof but, one note on those is that I was in the throes of severe PTSD when I banged them out so they’re a bit unfocused. They get the point across.)

Aaaaaaaand that’s it!

Bonus, here’s the Captain America one I made that made me realize I could do literally anything with fabric:

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All the process photos etc. for this one are on my old abandoned crafts blog.

BEFORE YOU ASK:

  • None of these are for sale.
  • I cannot make one for you. The materials are expensive and each one is hundreds of hours of labor. For me, they’re about love not money.
  • There is no pattern so I can’t post it. I just cut out the shapes and sew them together.
  • Yes, you could do this! All you have to do is practice. I set myself a bunch of challenges every time I make one to do things I’ve never tried before. These wouldn’t win any awards for crafstmanship. Learn! Practice! Have fun!
  • Yes, you can share these pics wherever. Just link back here and/or credit me please.

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