While laser cut quilting isn't a very new thing, I've not seen many open source quilting patterns around. Laser cutters are becoming more and more common for hackerspaces, so being able to have just the patterns would make more awesome quilts happen.
Basically I want to build a low powered laser cutter that can be used to cut large sections of cloth or paper all at once. The laser cutter will reside at Artisan's Asylum. I've built CNC equipment before, so this won't really be too much of a challenge. I just need the parts. Since I just need a low powered cutter for cloth and paper, I can get away with a very cheap laser and any existing CNC bed.
Once the lasercutter is done, I start cutting out my Mario quilt. I'm not going to lie, this whole project started because I want some video game inspired quilts. One side of the Mario quilt will be the topworld, and the other side will be the underworld. Basically, with pre-backed cloth and a laser cutter, I can reduce the time to make a quilt by many orders of magnitude. Artisan's Asylum already has the heat presses I can use to then fuse the pieces together, and sewing equipment to finish up the quilt.
That doesn't mean it won't still be a ton of work, but it would mean that I could make a very complicated quilt with hundreds of colors in a matter of weeks instead of years. I'll then be able to display the quilts, and inspire other geeks to make similar creations around the world.
Obviously, I'll open source any patterns I make, so copies and derivatives can be made more easily. The lasercutter will also be available for the local community, and will possibly facilitate workshops to be run with quickly cut resources.
Funded by Boston, MA (January 2013)