The answer, I hope, is no.
I come from a Volkswagen family. Between us, we’ve had Rabbits, Golfs, Beetles, Super Beetles and New Beetles. My brother, in particular had ’65 and ’74 Beetles in high school and college.
Funny story. Long before he met his wife, Bro was once set up on a date with the younger sister of my Dad’s secretary. He borrowed my car since it was a chilly night and, if I recall, the heating system in his Bug wasn’t on its best behavior. He picked up the blind date in my late model car–sadly not a VW–with her immediate reaction being “Oh, this isn’t bad at all! I thought you were going to pick me up in one of those ugly Bug things!” Yup. It was over before it began.
My bro had a framed copy of this Beetle ad–from 1965, I believe–hanging in his bedroom and later in his apartment. While I was cruising around looking at advertising from the 60s, I ran across a digital copy of it. I decided the design would make a damn fine quilt. And so this project was born. The plan is to give this quilt to my broheme, if it all turns out as good as it is in my mind’s eye.
I considered doing a version that was rendered completely by redrawing and reinterpreting the original ad. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that I wanted to keep most of the graphic nature of the original ad intact, including the photography. I love that photo of the Beetle on its back. I spent some time snooping around on the innerwebz and found the highest resolution version of the ad that I could. I took that image, pulled it into Photoshop to enlarge and started to work on isolating the car. The plan is to send the image off to Spoonflower to be printed on fabric and then appliqué it onto the background. As I type this, I have the order processing with Spoonflower and am waiting for them to print & ship it. My hope is that the file I sent translates into a good enough fabric print to use and be proud of. We’ll see!
Along these lines, I am hemming and hawing a bit over the simplicity of the construction. But I suppose not everything has to have a million pieces to be legit.
After isolating the Beetle, I laid it all out in Illustrator. (The original is on the left and my mockup is on the right.) I reset the ad’s copy, which is also being printed up at Spoonflower. So the quilt will basically be assembled in two parts. The top part will be a simple background with the Beetle appliquéd onto it. The bottom part will be the printed text.
I did spend some time playing around with different ideas for the top section’s background. Solid fabric? A grunge print to simulate a vintage feel? Ultimately, I decided to use the Silver Triangle print from Wyndham Fabrics’ Touch of Grey collection. I think it will give the top section the grey shade of the original, give it the suggestion of a vintage halftone and, frankly, just look cute.
And now? We wait. Spoonflower says my prints will be shipped in the next week. As soon as I see how they’ve turned out, I can proceed!
More info on this project: