Quilt Gallery 1: Introducing The Galactic Quilt


It is a memorable work that I created as the first collaboration quilt.

I place various celestial bodies, such as spiral galaxies, black holes, supernova explosions, white dwarfs, red giants stars, Jupiter-like planets, and stars of life, around the milky way in the center. Please imagine which are the each celestial bodies.

In addition, the structure in the center is the one that the square with different sizes can be arranged infinitely like the figure left below, but the cross star as the right figure was done in the center in the size of five stages, or 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48cm(1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 inches).

Next, please see the introduction of this quilt and how it was created and the comments of those who collaborated.

My first quilt challenge!

As a man, I didn’t know it at first, but one of the handicrafts is patchwork and quilt. This is more geometric than I thought, and I thought that I could design using the designs I have drawn so far. I was wondering what to do, but first I read a quilt-related magazine and did research. Then, I ask NIFTY-Serve, a major PC communication company, to “Handcraft and Fashion Forum” (FCREATE 4th conference room quilt room) for help, and named it “Math Quilt” project, and started from June 1996. It took me 5 months to create it. Table 8-2 shows the process of making a quilt.

Table: Progress of quilt creation (1996)

Mid-MayPlanning the application of “Let’s draw a picture with Mathematica” 
Beginning of JuneI made a prototype of quilts with cotton paper and studied quilts. 
June 15thI mailed “Recruitment for Quilt Creation” to FCREATE Forum.
June 18thReverse proposal of collaboration
June 20thTwo quilt designs are displayed on the website and fcreate library. 
June 26th“Provisional recruitment for collaboration (meaning that if we don’t get together enough members, we’ll stop it).
June 30thThe number of people gathers once, and it will start as a plan.
End of July The design is decided somehow by the consultation by the up of the design to the homepage and the mail. Decide on the allocation for each pattern to quilter.
August 18thFinally determine the color number by the fabric sample 
August 20thCreate the pattern paper and send it
August 26thOsaka’s buying team purchased and cut fabrics. 
September 1stFabric shipping to quilters
Middle of SeptemberI get more and more news of the completion of each part.
October 1stTokyo Offline Meeting (3/4 of the total gathers at Women’s Plaza, Aoyama)
October 7thTosaka offline meeting (Dawn Center, Osaka), the entire connection was almost completed.
Middle of OctoberAttach the side, etc.
October 30thCompleted. Then, ask each quilter to sew quilting lines each three weeks.

The two designs that I displayed as the initial plan on June 20 are showed below. When I review it now, I feel that I made a design without thinking about sewing with cloth at all. The smallest part of the final plan is the yellow star in the middle, which is 2.5 cm in size, but I confirmed that this can be done (actually it was at least 4 cm, but I forcibly asked) The whole quilt The size of was decided, but there were many parts of 1 cm or less in two of the initial plans, and it was not possible to make it at all.

Supplementary figure: Two quilt designs originally proposed

Through late mid-July, I managed to coordinate them on my home page and email to make them posible to sew. Then, I imported the designs created by Mathematica into drawing software, stuck two sheets of A3 size paper, and output it as one model.

The next most difficult thing to do after designing was the color scheme. I asked Mr. Kikuchi, the art director, to decide the color, but it was different which fabric color the image I had was the closest, and I finally sent a fabric sample. It will be specified by the number of the fabric sample. Even more, we might think of the fabric colors as completely different from colors on the display .

By the way, quilts have a tradition of friendship quilts, and it is common practice to collect parts made by everyone into one quilt. The next two photos are the meetings for connecting sewing parts(corresponding to an offline meeting in computer communication). The first photo shows the Tokyo off line meeting in Aoyama, Women’s Plaza on October 1st, with three-fourths of the whole being gathered together. The next picture is of Kansai off line meeting at Dawn Center on October 7th in Osaka. The all parts was connected here, and except for the outer band, it was almost completed.

It should be noted that the quilt will not be completed without quilting (inserting a fine embroidery with thread), so for half a year from January 1997, quilting was carried around, and it became an even more wonderful quilt.

In addition, the cost related to the cloth was less than 30,000 yen($270) in total.

Kanto Off (October 1, 1996, Aoyama, Women’s Plaza)

Kansai Off (October 7, 1996, Dawn Center, Osaka)

Finally, we would like to thank Kickko-san (handle name in FCREATE) and 20 people who created a fine quilt. The 16 people who sewed the big part shown in the photo collected their difficult points and impressions about this project, and I will summarize it below, so please have a look.

Quilter’s Comments of each parts

Handle Name: Nami-san

Where it was tough of making:

When I actually sewed it, there were many overlapping seams, and there was a big difference between left and right.

Thoughts on this attempt

I was glad to be able to participate in such an urban-smelling project while living in a rural area. It was interesting that the sharp design unique to the computer and the exact colors could be reproduced with cloth.

Handle Name: Miyuki-san

Where it was tough of making:

Since it was the easiest pattern, I felt no difficulty in the part I was in charge of, but it was the first time to do such a big size, so I’m still worried about the fact that big slack had come out. (^^;)

Thoughts on this attempt

I enjoyed it. If there is something next time, I’m sure I’ll join again.

Handle Name: Katsuko-san

Where it was tough of making:

The pentagonal ring surrounding the pentagonal flowers was a cute pattern. In patchwork, there is a classic pattern that connects hexagons, but pentagons were very interesting. I had a bit of difficulty making an appliqué so that the corners of adjacent pentagons fit together properly, but I think it was a pretty pattern because it has an impact despite the simplicity.

Thoughts on this attempt

I am deeply moved by the fact that we have reached out to accomplishment by exchanging opinions with each other in a situation where there is nothing. It was really fun and gratifying to see that all the big works that couldn’t be done alone could be done in a short period of time, and that participants from all over the country could feel one feeling through PC communication. It was a great memory for me to be able to participate in an unprecedented quilt production attempt.

Handle name: TOMOKO

Where it was tough of making:

It was a bit difficult to make the pattern, but it was fun to sew because it was not a technically difficult pattern. Since there are a lot of pieces, there was a lot of shrinkage, but it was good because I kept a lot of the seam allowance around the outside.

Thoughts on this attempt

It was fun to make a piece of tapestry by gathering members who were interested in the Math quilt, and it was great to be able to complete it in no time. It’s fun to make it by yourself, but considering time, it might be better for many quilters to make it.

Handle Name: Mezopiano-san

Where it was tough of making:

I was wondering if I could do it in the same way as the Sunflower pattern, but it was quite difficult, so I made a prototype with some fabric once, then there were few seam allowances and there were no curves, so I made it fun.

Thoughts on this attempt

I was thrilled to be able to make such a big quilt with people I have never met and to participate in it through computer communication.

Handle Name: Reiko-san

Where it was tough of making:

I thought the challenge was how much the sharpness of the yellow star could be represented. By dividing the blue-gray part (outermost part) into 6 parts, I think I was able to express it quite well.

Thoughts on this attempt

As a collaborative work, it was a great experience to be able to make one work with everyone in the All Japan.

Handle Name: Miyoko-san

Where it was tough of making:

Actually, I thought it was a hexagon until I connected the cloth. Then, one piece is not enough, it is certainly a fool I searched for even if I cut 6 pieces (0) . According to the common sense of patchwork, a heptagon is impossible, I will laugh myself afterwards.

Thoughts on this attempt

It was a lot of fun. I’m glad my pattern was easy. Nakamura-san, thank you very much for taking our request and rewriting the design many times.

Handle Name: NARU

Where it was tough of making:

I didn’t hate the stitching of curves, and the large size of one pattern made the work easy.

Thoughts on this attempt

It’s hard to say that I’m using my computer completely, so I’d like to try various things with my computer, but when is this again …?!

Handle name: GUCKY

Where it was tough of making:

In this pattern, circles and squares alternate, and it feels like going toward the center (outward?). Because it might be, I stopped and made it the Mola style. I didn’t like the vertical blind stitching, but I was so excited to see how each one was completed.

Thoughts on this attempt

The figure drawn on the personal computer is left in this shape. I would love to participate if there is another attempt like this, it was a lot of fun and I learned.

Handle Name: Jotenki-san

Where it was tough of making:

Everything was curved and there were many pieces, and it was a difficult pattern to see, and when I actually sew it, it was difficult, and the sewing shrinkage and distortion were severe, and it was difficult to make good. Despite the overall promise of quilting as a “drop quilt,” I had no choice but to use a “holding quilt” to correct the distortion. Also, the part where the seam allowances overlap (especially the upper and lower parts outside the yellow circle) could not be arranged neatly, which was the most difficult part.

Thoughts on this attempt

Since it is a pattern designed with computer software, there are many patterns that we do not normally see in the world of patchwork, so it was interesting and fun to participate. It was quite difficult to sew, but since it is designed with a personal computer, it’s still not fun to use ordinary designs. Thanks to my computer communication, I had a valuable experience that I couldn’t have with other quilters.

Handle Name: KEI-san

Where it was tough of making:

At first, I was worried about how to divide it and sew it, but after deciding to go with the log cabin method, I was able to connect easily unexpectedly.

Thoughts on this attempt

Actually, there is software for patchwork because the patchwork itself is like a geometric pattern, but only the English version is available yet, so some people are using the drafting software to draw patterns Is. In that respect, I could see various possibilities and I think it was a fun experiment.

Handle Name: Yukaman-san

Where it was tough of making:

I sewed it with one of the methods of piecing, which is a “fitting type”. However, I had a hard time because the fitting part was bent (^^; I sewed it on the background cloth with applique, but it was also very difficult because the corners were sharp.

Thoughts on this attempt

It was very novel and interesting because it was designed by someone different from the quilt world. I learned a lot about how to make my own original works in the future. And, above all, I was impressed by the fact that I completed one masterpiece by computer communication.

Handle name Seiko, Mitsuguchi-san, Hiroshi-san, Mr. Kudori (in charge of four people)

Where it was tough of making: All four members

For the red, green, light blue, and blue stars, four people consulted and decided smoothly how to put the dividing line, but the yellow star is as small as 25 mm, and piecing of the ordinary sewing method is impossible. , Made various prototypes, and found out the reverse applique method (?). It was a tough job because of the detailed work. Also, in the quilt, each piece of cut cloth is about the same size and easy to sew, but in this pattern there is a difference in the size of the stars, and in that respect a little technique was required

Thoughts on This Attempt: Handle Name Seiko-san

I am deeply moved by the fact that people living here and there in Japan, who are connected by personal computer communication, were able to do so often while discussing and consulting on the board. It was a great harvest that I was able to meet all of my friends and get to know each other by off line meeting several times for this attempt.

Thoughts on This Attempt: Handle Name: Hiro-san

It is an inspirationable person who lives here and there in Japan connected by the personal computer communication, and it is the one that it was able to do well here while talking on the board and consulting.It was a great harvest to be able to meet all my friends and become intimate by having turned off several times for this attempt.

Thoughts on This Attempt: Handle Name: Mitsubachi-san

I was not good at mathematics, but for some reason, I was interested in geometry. I was attracted by an attempt to make a drawn design a quilt with an inorganic thing called a computer.

Thoughts on This Attempt: Handle Name: Kakkodori-san

It was a very valuable experience for me to participate in such a project within a few months of starting PC communication. I think the reason why the 185 cm square quilt was completed in such a short period of time was because of the cooperation of the participants. I took on the role of facilitator, contacted everyone and coordinated it, so I felt that very strongly. As we are friends of PC communication, we couldn’t meet each other easily, so we were able to keep in touch with each other on the board and have a good time.


“Let’s Draw a Picture with Mathematica”, Kenzo Nakamura, 1997 Tokyo Denki University Press