Thursday, April 01, 2021

Orbiting planets and funky stars on Free Motion Mavericks

I had a really fun time last evening doing some free motion quilting (FMQ) for this post. I can't wait to show you what I've been up to 😊 

Adding planets and then funky stars

I started by doing some research using my trusty National Geographic "The New Universe, Here, Now, and Beyond". It was published in 2010 and you would think that the information would be up-to-date, but it turns out that a LOT has happened in astronomy in the last 12 years. However it was perfect for my purposes - pretty pictures, good descriptions and a map of our solar system. 

Here is my quilted universe to date. I'm really sorry that the pictures aren't more vivid but it was a dark cloudy day.

Our far

An asteroid, Neptune, and a Swirling Star

Mercury, the Sun, a faint
Flaming Sun, Venus,
Uranus and a Swirling Star

A Flaming Star and a Swirling Sphere

I also took the time to look through the many FMQ e-books that I own. These were really great resources. When I found a star or something that could possibly be found in the Universe, I snipped a picture of it to put into my project folder so that everything is easily accessible. I also wrote the names of the design, the book it came from and the page number on a sheet so that I could easily find them again. See, working in information management for the last 9 years has paid off! 😊 

The list of the funky stars I used so far are in Related links below. At the end of the project I will make a montage of the designs I used to help anyone interested in finding these.

Here is the labelled image of the "real" planets. You can click on the picture to make it larger.

Finally here is a close-up of a Flaming Sun.

Close-up of Flaming Sun
One Monthly Goal (OMG)
I will be linking up this project to Elm Street Quilts' OMG for April. It's time that this baby gets finished!

What I learned
  • Finding the FMQ designs of stars and other things that might be found in the Universe was really easy with the ebooks. This was definitely an advantage to ebooks. 
  • I practiced drawing the designs for a couple of days. I managed to reproduce a few very well while others still need work - but that's what practice is all about! My Swirling Star was getting better the second time around.
  • Most of the FMQ designs were for a series or an all-over design. I adapted these for this project. I really loved FMQ Sheila Sinclair Snyder's Flaming Star (she called them Spurs but that didn't go with my Universe!) 
  •  It was a lot of fun using variegated thread for the funky stars. I wanted them to be different from the "real" planets on the quilt.
  • So far, the plan is to keep adding stars, nebula etc. to the quilt and then to use some white Bottom Line thread to add smaller meandering stars between the larger planets and stars. It's possible that the FMQ of this quilt will be done by the end of April. I would like that - I think that it's time to get to my son's quilt!!!😯
Related links
Linking parties
I will be linking up to many linking parties this week. I hope that you will check them out. Remember to also link up your projects below! One Monthly Goal, Monday Making, Put Your Foot Down, Finished or Not Finished, Off the Wall Fridays, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Peacock Party, Patchwork & Quilts, Let's Make Baby Quilts

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks Week 325. Thank you for linking up last time. If you didn't get a chance to see Quilting Gail's t-shirt quilt, you really have to visit. I think that she had fun playing with different FMQ designs!  

Gail of Quilting Gail's FMQ of a t-shirt quilt
It's your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. This is such a cool project, Muv! It will be great for teaching, too, even if it does "go out of date" as scientists learn more about the Universe and revise all previous conclusions. Maybe it will inspire a little girl or boy to grow up to be an astronomer or even an astronaut! And AMEN to the value of "data management" in quilting! I have gone back and done keyword or label searches in my blog so many times to supplement my memory about which book, which needle or thread, or what the heck was I planning to do with these blocks... ;-). Sorry my link is not free motion quilting strictly speaking, but I think the hand quilting design is kind of cool and could be easily replicated with a walking foot, once the initial arcs had been marked on the quilt. Happy Easter!

    1. Thanks so much for linking up - we love to learn new things! I really hope that a little one will at least be curious about the stars and planets. If it wasn't for my blog and my yearly finishes pages, I wouldn't have a clue what I've done over the years. Time just sort of mushes up together after a while :-) Take care and I hope you had a great Easter - it was very mellow here, which is fine by me.

  2. Your free motion maverick planets are sew fun! I do free motion quilting but have never attempted anything so complex. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a thread trail back to your blog ... :) Pat

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Pat. When I first started free motion quilting, I wasn't doing anything complicated. Fortunately for me, I love it, so I kept practicing! Take care.

  3. I love the new stars added.
    Le projet avance bien, et il sera bientôt terminé, bravo ! Joli ce Flaming Sun ;)

    1. Merci beaucoup Frédérique. Maintenant pour essayer de le finir :-)

  4. So cool!!! and so neat that you are learning even more about our solar system!

    1. Thanks Alycia, there is so much to learn, and I was pretty clueless :-)


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