Make a Solar Eclipse Quilt: Free Pattern!
I realized this week that the upcoming total solar eclipse should be commemorated with a quilt. I designed an easy small quilt that goes together quickly. Maybe you’d like to make one, too. I’m calling it Moonshadow. It’s 15″ x 25″. Here’s a printable version.
Here’s what you’ll need for a 15″ x 25″ quilt:
- Medium blue print for background, 1/2 yard
- Yellow print for sun, a fat eighth or a fat quarter
- Charcoal gray print for shadows and binding, 1/3 yard
- Backing fabric, 20″ x 30″
- A circle shape, 3″ across (print one here or use an acrylic template or household object)
- Template plastic
- Lightweight fusible web
- Bumpy or fuzzy yellow yarn, about 15″
Be certain that your yellow and gray fabrics both show up clearly against the blue background. Audition them by standing back across the room to evaluate.
Here’s what to do:
- Cut the background blue into a 15″ x 25″ rectangle.
- Make a plastic template of the 3″ circle shape or use a 3″ acrylic template if you have one. You can also print this circle in order to make a template. I just used a wine glass. Trace 13 circles onto the paper side of fusible web. Rough cut the circles out at least 1/4 outside the drawn lines; you can leave them in groups to save time.
- Iron 8 of the fusible web circles onto the wrong side of the yellow print. Cut the circles out, right on the lines, so that you have 8 yellow circles ready to fuse.
- Iron the remaining 5 circles onto the wrong side of the charcoal gray fabric. Cut the gray circles out. Now is the time to make certain that the yellow and gray fabrics show up against the blue background. You need 8 yellows and 5 grays (there are extra grays in the picture). Remove the paper backing from all of the circles.
- Arrange the 8 yellow circles and 1 gray circle on the background as shown below. You can measure the distance from each circle to the edges of the background to keep the sides symmetrical, or you can just eyeball it. Be sure to leave plenty of room at the edges for the quilting and the binding; 1″ to 1-1/2″ is about right . Fuse the circles in place with an iron.
- Cutting the shadows: Using your circle template at the edge of a gray circle, mark a small “bite” at the circle’s edge as shown below. This one takes up less than 1/4 of the circle.
- On the same gray circle, mark another “bite” that is larger than the first one, placing it close to the first bite. Do the same thing a third time, making the last bite even bigger as shown below. You can see from the extra chalk line that I changed my mind about the size of the third bite! Layer 2 gray circles together and pin; cut on the lines so that you have 2 matching sets of bites ready to be fused.
- Using your circle template, mark the largest bite on 1 gray circle as shown below.
Pin 2 circles together and cut out the final 2 bites as shown below.
9. Place all of the gray pieces (bites) onto the yellow circles as shown below and fuse in place.
10. Layer the quilt top with the batting and backing.
11. Now the fun begins! This project is perfect for the beginning machine quilter. The quilting is like scribbling and is meant to be wobbly and imprecise. It will look questionable at first, but as you add more wobbling lines, it will start to look better.
Use yellow thread to quilt many wobbly circles around the yellow circles. Stitch right onto the yellow patches and go around the edges several times to secure them. Add some orange circles for a little color.
Use dark thread to quilt near the edges of the gray patches, going around several times with wobbly lines.
Quilt diagonal lines in the upper corners to suggest rays of sunshine as shown below.
Quilt concentric half circles under the appliqué as shown below, to suggest the shape of a sunrise. Make the lines wobbly and scribbly, crossing over other lines at will. Add some orange lines for zest.
12. Thread the machine with invisible thread. Use a zigzag to couch the yellow yarn at the very outside edge of the gray circle, suggesting the sun’s brilliance behind the moon’s shadow as shown below.
13. When the quilting is complete, square up the quilt by trimming the edges even. Cut gray binding strips 2 1/8″ wide and bind the quilt.
14. Add a label to the back of the quilt. The image above is my label, created in Photoshop. I also made a generic label so you can print it and add it to your own quilt. See below; the pdf does not have the Stash Bandit logo. If you use this one, be sure to sign your name elsewhere on the quilt.
I hope you’ll make your own solar eclipse quilt! If you do, please send me a photo and I’ll post it for everyone to enjoy. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does your quilt group need a program? Let it be me! My trunk shows are large, varied and exciting!
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