My husband is an amature astrophotographer. He likes to take photos of astronomical things for enjoyment and research. In January of this year, there was a lunar eclipse called the “Super Blood Wolf Moon”. Some of his photos were down right stunning. I’d asked him if I may use one to turn into an art quilt, and he gave me permission. (Yes, I asked my husband to let me use one of his photos.)

First things first. I needed to get his photo ready to become my base pattern. Then, I needed to bring it up to size. If all went well, I should have it done in time for a local quilt show that was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first human walk on the moon. I had show-specific requirements to meet, and I wanted to make sure I covered my bases.

My husband’s original photo; the foundation of my idea

After going through some of my stash, I began to get my fabric color “palette” set up. I knew I’d need to add a few more colors, once I got started, but I couldn’t move forward until I got the background color put on my design wall.

Background and first piece are up

Piece by piece, it began to come together.

Next pieces

Working around the design

I knew that the pieces I was putting up weren’t circular; it was ending up more oval. That was fine. I was getting pieces made. I could adjust placements once I got far enough along. I expected to have to make said adjustments.

For now, I needed to the big pieces made. I’d add in the finer details later.

Getting pieces made

and getting them into place

It was right about here that I began to crack jokes about what this looked like. “My own version of the ‘Death Star’ ” was a frequent observation. And still more pieces were going up.

More pieces up, still need to make adjustments

It was about this time that I knew I’d have to stop and start shifting things around a bit. The moon wasn’t as oval as my work was making it seem.

Adjustments made, but something is off

While I like the new placement locations, I wasn’t thrilled with how the lower right corner was looking. Something was “off” with the colors. I went back and forth with a couple of my beta viewers, to see if they saw the same thing I did, and to get ideas/suggestions for how best to fix my mistake(s).

Close-up of the problem area

The “fix” and more pieces going up

Once the section was corrected, it was a matter of getting coordinating fabrics to balance along the design and stay consistant.

Balancing the design

Once the overall design was done, and all members of my beta team agreed, it was a matter of getting things ironed into place and pulling placement pins. After that, the tough part would begin – the quilting.

Since I was entering this as a judged piece, I needed to make sure that I was extra careful with how I stitched the quilt sandwich layers together. I’d decided to use the fabric as my “code”. One fabric got one type of stitching, another got a different type. Doing this would add visual depth to the overall design.

After 4 1/2 hours of quilting

You’ll have to forgive me. I decided to have some fun with the backing fabric. When I’d cleaned my sewing room, I’d found a bunch of fabrics I’d forgotten were in my stash. So, of course I was going to use them. To be blunt, it makes me laugh.

Back view of my stitching

I was almost done. Like, seriously, almost done. I’d kind of rolled through this project with a bit of light-hearted fun and delight. I’m not saying there weren’t problems, only that I chose to be amused by most of this adventure.

I made the entry turn-in deadline with a couple three days to spare. I still wasn’t sure if I should have added more quilting; did I add too much, etc. It’s the first time I’d actively sought out a written/judged review of my work. (Getting work appraised is different from show judging.) Let’s just say I was feeling pretty nauseous after I dropped it off and leave it at that.

During the weekend of the show, I was surprised with this:

Displayed at the quilt show

See that green thing in the lower right corner? That was an award for honorable mention. *blinks stupidly* I got an award!! Woo hoo!!

Tickled with the award!