The daughter came home not long ago, asking if I could make a “meteorological quilt” for her science teacher who is due with her first child later this year. In fact, unless there’s a surprise, it will be well past the school year has ended so going into it, there wasn’t a deadline to get this done other than before the end of the semester.
She knows I’ve designed a couple of quilts so while I don’t have a lot of experience, it wasn’t completely unprecedented. But I didn’t know what to put on this quilt. Everything that I googled kept coming back to the solar system. As it turns out, the daughter had the same idea within minutes on her own.
Before anything else came together, I knew the perfect fabric for the background because I had a small piece of it already. But when I say small, I mean like 10 by 10 inches. I was on the hunt for this fabric from Edyta Sitar for Laundry Baskets. It’s produced by Moda and is a batik. But it’s out of print. I emailed Edyta but she had less than a yard. The fabric is about 42 inches wide, so I wanted to find a piece that was at least 42 inches long, preferably more.
Finally I found a quilt shop online who had one piece left from the end of the bolt and it was about 60 inches long. Perfect! Once it came in, then the design phase really started.
I knew I was going to use my circle dies from Accuquilt for the planets. The daughter told me the sun needed to be “x” times larger than one of the planets (I think Jupiter but who knows? I’ve been out of high school for…decades).
We had many discussions about how many planets to put on there. Currently there are 8 that are officially named. I wanted to incude Pluto but she wanted it to be realistic and it’s been “un-planetized”. Then there was the discussion of the one that’s going to probably be named as a planet before too long. Would it be 8, 9, or 10? We finally agreed on 8. I’m the sewer and quilter; the daughter was in charge of this from beginning to end and everything was based on her final say.
I knew I was going to use the couching foot on my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen to stitch the rings, and in order to maximize the space it made sense to put the sun, or 1/4 of it actually, in the far corner. And so the layout evolved. That square piece of paper will later become a sun.