I’ve been looking at trying some more paper piecing blocks since I finally learned how to do this technique, and I came across a site called Fandom in Stitches. It’s really spectacular how many blocks these designers have made with cultural ties – movies, books, music, disney, etc. They are hosting a Summer of Stitches, having a theme for each week for which people can design and submit blocks for.
Out of the themes left, I noticed Star Trek is on the list, so being the big fan I am, I wanted to design a block. Of course there is already a com badge on their site, three of them in fact, as well as a ship, Borg cube, and a Vulcan harp, but I did think of something I could make. Uniforms! Specifically The Next Generation versions… for now.
I have never designed a block before, and I don’t have any software that many quilters use. I do not own EQ7, I can not download Quilt Assistant (I have a Mac, not a Windows machine), and the version of Photoshop I have is completely archaic. I wasn’t gonna let this stop me though! Nope Nope Nope! I went ahead and tried it in my version of PS anyways and I finally came up with this:
This PDF will give you the basic template for making a 10″ block of the Star Trek: The Next Generation uniforms. I tested the pattern, and it worked out fairly well. I may submit it to the Fandom in Stitches site once I read through their instructions on how to do so.
The middle section looks a bit short because I ended up one of my seams on the chest thicker than the standard 1/4″, but didn’t realize this was what was causing the shortage until after I had finished and pulled the paper off. It isn’t a reflection of the pattern, just the maker. 🙂
Approximate Fabric Requirements:
- Red (or blue or gold): 5″ x WOF
- Gold/Yellow: 2″ square for Com Badge
- Black: 3″ x 22″ – I cut a strip off of a fat quarter
- Light Grey: 5″ x WOF
- Dark Grey: 3 – 1.5″ squares
Many of you already have these in your stash and scrap bins, but if you don’t, you can grab a fat quarter of whichever you’re missing and it will be plenty. If you would like to, you can use the list at the end of the PDF to cut from, which I adjusted after I made my test block. The pieces may be a little larger than what you would normally use, but I found the extra size helpful since I am still a novice in paper piecing.
If you have any feedback or questions, please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I hope you enjoy!
My own experience testing after drafting the pattern:
I printed the patterns and cut each out. I then wrote in the color to each piece. I measured each of the sections to see what size fabric I would need and wrote it down in my mini notebook.
I started with an arm, going with what I had cut out if it wasn’t too short. I adjusted as I went along, correcting them to write the cutting instructions.
The collar was a little difficult for me, since I have never – and I mean NEVER – pieced anything this tiny before, but you have to start sometime! I ended up picking out a piece to get it to line up properly, and it left a teeny, tiny hole, which I promptly ignored and moved on…. (since this was just a test, I wasn’t going to stress over it)
The little com badge was a little tough since it was so small, but after doing the collar, it was much easier. I just used slightly larger pieces than necessary and trimmed them down after attaching. I suppose you can call 1.25″ squares larger than necessary!
Here it is finished up, with only a slight misalign at the bottom from a seam allowance that I sewed together a little too thick. I noticed it when I went to pull the paper from the back. I had sewn under the marked line between the badge and lower chest piece.