2013 Spoonflower Staff Quilting Challenge Pt. 9: A Ryan Gosling Quilt

MAR 11, 2013 updated Apr 26, 2021

Staff_Challenge_BannerThis post is the ninth in our series of projects created by Spoonflower employees for the 2013 Spoonflower Staff Quilting Challenge.  Voting for this contest opens on Thursday, 3/14.

The 2013 Staff Challenge has been challenging indeed.  Charged with the task of designing a quilt–any size quilt using our fabric designs–Allie, Theresa and I started brainstorming all the options immediately.


Our initial ideas ranged from a fairly traditional scalloped quilt design to something involving Lisa Frank.  After a week of letting the ideas settle, we decided on none other than a pixelated Ryan Gosling quilt. We were inspired by the now-famous Ron Swanson pixel quilt created by Monica Solorio Snow of the Happy Zombie blog (which was featured at Quilt Con this year), and decided we should put our own spin on it with Spoonflower’s favorite crafty hunk.  And who wouldn’t want to wrap up in a warm blanket of Ryan Gosling’s hotness?

Copyright laws seemed to pose a threat to our brilliant idea, but Theresa hit jackpot when she found Shutterstock, a website that sells royalty-free stock photos.  We got the final OK from Stephen to purchase the photo of Ryan Gosling for a nominal fee, and we got to work with doctoring up the photo.  The terms of service state the photos should be used for editorial use only and not for commercial use. Use of the photo for advertising and promotional purposes is also prohibited (for anyone out there interested!)  

Each of us shared our own designs for fabric used in the quilt, including both graphic and hand-drawn artwork.

To get the pixelated look, Theresa overlaid a grid on the photograph in Photoshop (view > show > grid), and then filled in each little square with a different shade of gray, black or white according to the color value in the photo. It’s important to organize your layers into folders for a project like this or you will get very confused! This process posed quite a challenge considering it was important for Ryan to still look recognizable once pixelated. Hopefully he does!


Keeping abreast with the Ryan Gosling trends, we decided that a meme would be perfect to use on the back of the quilt.  

This being a Spoonflower Staff Challenge, we chose to use the trademark Spoonflower teal blue for a nice contrast with the grayscale.  Since all 3 of us were totally inexperienced quilters with a time constraint to consider, we unanimously decided to go with the cheater quilt style.  Many tutorials were referenced for guidance! 


Staying true to the pixel theme, Theresa stitched the quilt with a square pattern.  The edges were finished with continuous crossgrain binding, and voila!  A finished Ryan Gosling pixel quilt now exists in the world!


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