When I heard the inspiration for this week’s Project Quilting Challenge – Across the Universe - I figured I would have to make something for my husband. He is a big-time music geek, and definitely loves the Beatles. He actually wants to paint the side of our house into a gigantic sign that reads “WELCOME THE SURVIVING MEMBERS OF THE BEATLES” in the hopes that one of them would show up. Yeah. Big geek right there. But look who’s talking!

Anyhoo, since I thought of him pretty much as soon as I heard the challenge topic, I decided it would be a good time to make him a bit of a Valentine’s Day present. You know, since it happened about a week ago…

I love the lyrics to Across the Universe. To me, the song is about meditation. I wanted to incorporate the lyrics to the song somehow, and my absolute favorite part is the first line: “words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup.” I wanted to somehow incorporate the image that these words create. I also wanted to make a star for some dumb reason. So I googled star quilt pattern and found a nice tutorial on a paper pieced star from Fresh Lemon Quilts. I made it.whirling star

Next I decided to write the lyrics to the Beatles song on some fabric. I used sharpie markers and then washed and dried it to make sure it wasn’t going to run everywhere. So there I have some “words.”


Then I cut that fabric up into random 2.5 inch squares along with some half-square triangles in the assorted low volume fabric I had used for the background of the star. I like my stuff to be super scrappy!

I used some lighter-colored squares to represent the “paper cups.” IMG_1383

I ditched and shadow quilted around the star, and then I free-motion quilted some “clouds” on the background. After that, I was ready to make some “endless rain.” I had a magnificent evening watching American Idol, Call the Midwife, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Falon and sashiko-ing rain (along with some glittery bead bling) onto the quilt. Good times!


The next morning, I woke up a bit disappointed to notice that the star (where I didn’t do any hand-quilting) looked a bit deflated and wilted.


So I decided to stuff it. Generally, for trapunto, you’re supposed to plan ahead and do it BEFORE the sandwiching and quilting happens. But I didn’t have this luxury. I am spontaneous, and when you are spontaneous, you need to know how to improvise. So I sliced some openings into the backing of the quilt and stuffed the areas full of fiberfill. Then I stitched them back up. The whole thing looked much better afterwards!

IMG_1392 IMG_1394The only problem I had, was that the tiny tiny paper pieced star points in the center of the quilt made it hard for me to stuff any fiberfill into them. I tried sticking knitting needles in there, I tried sticking my pinky finger in there, I tried for minutes and minutes…and it just wouldn’t happen. So what I did was I stuck a big button in the middle to cover it up. Yep Yep! The lesson here is: if at first you don’t succeed, try try again. and if it still doesn’t work, cover that shit up! And it’s a pretty cool button, to be honest.


At that point, I just needed to cut and place the binding. The sun was about to set, and I really wanted to get some photos of the finished product before that happened. I have to work all weekend, so this was really my only opportunity. I speed stitched the binding down, trying to beat the sunset. I put my poor kid on the couch to watch some Max and Ruby, and stitched my little heart out. Success! We got out just before dusk happened. Here are some of the pics:

IMG_1396 IMG_1398 IMG_1404 IMG_1406 IMG_1411 IMG_1415 IMG_1416

We even had some time to go jumping in muddy puddles after it was all over :)

IMG_1418 IMG_1419IMG_1420

And my husband loves his Valentine’s Day present. Even though it’s late. And it has pink in it. And flowers. It’s all good. All you need is love, right?

I decided to name my quilt “Nothing’s Gonna Change My World,” in honor of our life together, and our family, and, of course, the Beatles Song.

And to make it official Project Quilting style: My name is Erin Zinobile (soon to be Faller), I live and create in Duncannon, PA, and this quilt measures appx 20″X20″.

Thanks for reading!

Post filed under project quilting.


  1. Love your quilt! Love your story! I enjoyed the part how you figured out a way to fill the star with fiber fill and you made it look perfect! — Knitting needles for stuffing — I love it! Thanks for sharing your story. You were really inspired to create! COOL! — And yes, of course, your husband will LOVE the quilt!

  2. Wonderful! I used that song too – except I was inspired by the lyrics as they ran through my head, and when I looked them up I had the lines backwards. So I’m calling my version Remix. Alas, I doubt I’m going to have it done in time for the challenge. I’ve got today to quilt it, add an applique piece, finish the edge, and take pictures. And it’s about 40 inches square. Poor planning on my part!

  3. Trish Frankland says:

    Awesome awesome awesome!!

  4. Nurse Lisa says:

    I love it. You continue to amaze me as a creative woman, wonderful mother and talented friend. Fantastic quilt, great idea!

  5. Now to me this is what sewing/quilting is about. Every stitch holds a story or moment, cant tell you how much I have enjoyed this. Your finished story looks amazing :)

  6. love it! Especially the fabric you made – what a fabulous idea!

  7. Adva Price says:

    it’s lovely. I love how you printed the lyrics on fabric.

  8. Cousin Joni says:

    I love the story behind your quilt! It’s so unique…that’s really cool! And it’s beautiful!! Great job!

  9. Beautiful story. I love the quilt. Great job putting the song words into it.

  10. Your quilt looks beautiful! I love the fabric you created. That is such an awesome idea. The scrappyfied lyrics look so cool! I can’t wait to try it! And the trapunto looks great!

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