Solar System - Initial Block Construction

Solar System Quilt – Design Process


I have recently been working on a baby quilt design for a customer. Now that I have started to make the quilt, I wanted to share a bit about the design and iteration process that I go through when working with a potential client.

To begin, I typically ask potential clients to have a look around my blog / website (in particular I suggest they look at the quilt gallery) to get a feel for what I have done in the past and see if any fabric, design, or quilting detail really speaks to them. In this case, the client really liked 2 quilts I had previously made, but was clearly interested in a particular theme: solar system type fabrics in navy/teal. It turned out that finding teal fabrics with that print is currently a bit of a challenge. That limitation really helped narrow down fabric selection rather quickly, though. And then a glorious thing happened: the ESA released a new image of Saturn’s rings in ultraviolet at the beginning of May, and the keystone fabric for the quilt top was selected. To help make sure that the fabrics and design were what the client had in mind, I built the basic block with the proposed fabrics and laid out the quilt top. We went through several iterations with slightly different fabrics and fabric placements, but here is what was finalized:

Solar System - Design Concept Block
Solar System – Design Concept Block

I do not have an EQ program, which would probably really be a fantastic for this kind of work. I use the images of the fabrics from online and Microsoft Paint (!!) to create the block and quilt top layout.

Solar System - Design Concept Quilt Top
Solar System – Design Concept Quilt Top

I nervously waited on Spoonflower to print the Saturn’s Rings photograph onto fabric, and I ordered the rest of the fabric in good faith that the printing of Saturn’s rings would turn out OK. I was honestly pretty concerned about whether the photo was going to be too grainy or be too dark, but when the fabric arrived yesterday I was super excited by how it turned out!

Solar System - Spoonflower Print of Saturn's Rings
Solar System – Spoonflower Print of Saturn’s Rings

A brief comment about using the image of Saturn’s rings. I looked into NASA’s media usage guidelines to help inform myself on whether the use of this image was OK. Based on the fact that I do plan to give credit to where the amazing print came from and the fact that I do not plan to make money on the image itself, I decided it was OK to use in this instance.

Solar System - Initial Block Construction
Solar System – Initial Block Construction

So I have just started constructing the blocks for this quilt top, and I have to say that I am really excited about how well the fabrics are mapping to the conceptual design mapping that I laid out for the customer. I had a lot of fun fussy cutting the centers for each block, and I am really looking forward to watching this quilt take shape.

Solar System - 2 Fabrics Left
Solar System – 2 Fabrics Left

Linking up to Lee @ Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday.


I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)