Epic Game of Thrones Quilt & Pattern Review

Friday, August 14, 2015

My husband and I are hardcore Game of Thrones fans. Tinfoil theory crafting, cosplaying, watch-each-episode-multiple-times fans. I've been contemplating a Game of Thrones quilt for a long time, but I wanted to turn it into reality for his Xmas gift this year. A google search introduced me to misha29.com and her giant library of free fandom-related foundation paper piecing patterns. I let out a huge sigh of relief when I found her collection of Game of Thrones patterns. All for FREE.

I selected the patterns for the four main houses (Stark, Targaryen, Lannister, and Baratheon) and started dabbling in Illustrator to make the final quilt pattern. I ended up doubling the size of the 10" blocks to make them 20" and adding a "banner" shape to each block. Each banner measures 22" wide x 28" tall. The quilt top measures 60" x 72".

Armed with my Kona swatch ring, I made my color selections. Pewter and silver for the Stark banner. Tomato and Pepper for the Targaryens. Rich Red and Caramel for the Lannisters. Curry and Pepper for Baratheon (The lighter yellow crown was some strategically cut Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets I had in my stash). The gray background was more Pewter, and the outer border is Charcoal. I purchased 1 yard of each color, except for Pepper and Pewter, for which I ordered 2 yds each.

I used Photoshop to double the size of the FPP templates. Some pieces were freakish big and required gluing two sheets of paper together. As I mentioned, the original pattern is for 10" blocks. As I was piecing my 20" blocks, I was baffled by how small some pieces were after doubling the size. I think these blocks would be torturous at 10".

Due to the quantity of patterns on Misha29 and the digitally rendered photos, I'm guessing that the designer, Michelle, doesn't physically test all her patterns before publishing them on her site. I can't blame her since she's giving her patterns away for free. That would be a massive time (and fabric) investment. However, the old saying "you get what you pay for" rings true in this case. After printing the templates, I had to renumber the sections with pen since the text quality was degraded when I increased the size. During the process, I found the patterns were riddled with numbering errors. For some, the numerical order was incorrect. Several templates had sections with missing numbers all together (so a piece with 12 sections would only go up to number 9 and had 3 numberless sections). I had to do a lot of renumbering.

Even with that prep work, some mistakes managed to slip through until I was assembling the blocks. A couple places on the Stark and Lannister templates had color coding mistakes. On the Lannister banner, there were a couple sections that were colored red for the background, but should have been tan for the lion. Strangely, the mistakes were on the templates only, not on the front page diagram. The Lannister lion templates were also not flipped. The finished lion should be facing left, but he ends up facing right. For the overall composition of my quilt, I think this mistake worked in my favor though. I like how all the sigils are facing the center.

One mistake in the Stark banner seems to be in the overall design. Piece E9 should be have been dark gray. The finished direwolf looks like he's missing a tooth on his bottom jaw without it. It's minor, but it's something I wish I caught before I put the whole thing together.

Each pattern includes a diagram on where to add hand embroidery to finish the blocks. They're certainly recognizable without embroidery, but they look 10x better with it! I used less embroidery than the patterns called for though.
In conclusion, the patterns were a bit frustrating, but they were totally free, so I'm a happy camper. I would caution you to go through the pieces and renumber/recolor pieces before you start sewing though.

The Lannister banner was the most complicated and time consuming by far. A pain in the ass, just like the Lannisters! The Stark banner was the fastest to piece, but required the most embroidery, 

For most colors used in the banners, I had a decent amount of fabric leftover (about 3/8 - .5 yd) except for Rich Red. I used almost all of it!

Next step is quilting! I've ordered some additional Aurifil thread colors, so let's keep our fingers crossed that it turns out nicely!

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