Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Astro Quilt

Here's a peek at what I've been working on for my husband. When he pointed out last spring that both kids have "fun" quilts to snuggle under when they watch TV but he didn't, I went out and bought a bit of this fabric as a joke. I didn't actually think that after working as an astronomer all day he'd want more of it at home. Apparently he has chosen to work at what he loves, because his eyes lit up when he saw the fabric.

So, I went back to the quilt shop and came home with this:

I had a star quilt pattern in mind, but realized before I cut into the fabric that the tiny pieces wouldn't do the space print justice. I pulled out graph paper instead to come up with something new. I decided I wanted large swaths of the space fabric. It took a while for me to remember that there is no rule that says a quilt has to have blocks all the same size lined up in rows, but once I clued in I just sprinkled stars across the graph paper. I spent a few hours figuring out the best way to link them all together with the background fabric. I suppose applique would have been the simpler way to scatter stars across a fabric, but I'm not skilled at that, so piecing it was!

These plans then sat in a box with the fabrics for 8 months while I finished my son's quilt, started my daughter's, made a few table runners....

I've been wondering if the fabric version would live up to the picture in my mind, and last week I finally pulled it all out. I hesitated before cutting in, because I just might have calculated wrong, but finally cut some fabric and started piecing.

It turned out I had figured a few things wrong, but I'll post about lessons learned next time. For now, here are some of the star blocks.

Once I started placing them on my design wall (a big piece of batting thumb tacked to the wall, but "design wall" sounds much more grand!) I wasn't a hundred percent happy with the layout I had on paper. I'm still playing around with it. I'm not sure I'll ever be completely happy with it, but my husband is a very agreeable man who tells me he likes it, please finish it :) I'll post pictures when the top is done in a few days. I'll want your ideas about what to do for borders.

Meanwhile, happy quilting!


  1. Another bright, cheerful quilt! It blends nicely with your sons! I love the black in the son's borders; could you do that here, maybe with narrow strips, much like a rainbow? Oh dear; rainbows don't show up at night, do they? Silly me!
    Whatever you do, it's going to be lovely and loved! ---"Love"

  2. That's fantastic! I love the print and co-ordinating bright colours. I'm sure you will settle on a placement that pleases your eye. Having a design wall certainly helps. Happy Stitching, Ann :-)

  3. How fantastic! You may just be too close to the project to appreciate how beautiful it is. And how fun that your hubby actually ASKED for a quilt! (Mine just mumbles about them.) As for borders, I think maybe a skinny black one first to tame in those stars, then a wider one in one of the brighter colors (choose the hubby's favorite, or yours), then maybe another black border, or just bind in black. Regardless of what you do, it seems it will be loved, appreciated and used.

  4. The space fabric is great and I agree, the larger the pieces, the better to show it off. The bright colors go so well with it. Your star idea is really good, can't wait to see how it all turns out. I think it will be fantastic and your husband will love his quilt!


  5. Oh I love the bright and cheery fabric and think its great that it matches your husbands hobby/career. Great job with your layout :) Christine

  6. I decided last year that there was no reason I needed the master bedroom to sleep in- I just don't take up that much space. It is ever so much better as a sewing space. I guess at this point I am running amok but I am having such a good time doing it! :) Theri


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