Russell Eveleigh's Color-Changing Quilt Is Driven by a Hidden Raspberry Pi — and CircuitPython

Designed as a sandbox for lighting and IoT experiments, this glowing fabric artwork is impressive in its simplicity.

Teacher Russell Eveleigh has combined two hobbies into one in the creation of a quilted icosahedron with built-in audio and lighting — all powered by a Raspberry Pi and some CircuitPython code.

'I like the idea of hiding light sources in places you wouldn’t expect, especially behind fabrics," Eveleigh explains. "I would love to make a stealthy light up fraction wall, or 100 square, which could hang unassuming in my classroom ready to sparkle into life as a teaching aid. This icosahedron project gave me a chance to answer some questions and clear some learning barriers before taking on more complex projects."

This music-playing, color-changing quilt is powered by CircuitPython on a Raspberry Pi. (📹: Russell Eveleigh)

Behind the heavy Jersey fabric, onto which was printed a two-dimensional representation of an icosahedron with tram lines quilted to provide division between sections, is a cardboard frame.

Within the frame are three LED strips, with 60 LEDs each, which are controlled by a Raspberry Pi running CircuitPython. A pair of speakers finishes the build, offering a musical accompaniment to the light show.

"I am hoping that I can use this quilt as a sandbox to experiment with holiday light show systems," Eveleigh writes. "The quilt is also a sandbox for future experiments with IoT, MQTT, Flask and controlling physical devices from webservers, as well as a chance to tip my toes into a pool of Arduino devices. Perhaps my quilt could become my own upbeat smart speaker, or I could connect it to my doorbell"

The full build log is available on Eveleigh's Medium blog, with snippets of the source code included.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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