Monday, December 21, 2015

Rapunzel's Star Chart mini quilt

Rapunzel's Star Chart: measures 23.5" x 15"

This year Jess @Quilty Habit and I have discovered we both really like moon phase stuff (everything from quilts to wine bottles) and share new finds with each other.  At some point we casually agreed to swapping moon phase mini quilts.  I came up with an idea to make a moon phase table runner, but without a deadline it just kinda floated around my To-Do list.  Then for my birthday Jess sent me this:

Phases quilted table runner by Jess currently hangs from my design wall curtain rod (meant for hanging large quilt tops)  Other quilts on design wall: Pythagorean Spiral, Triangles, and In Memory of Jessica (thread painting)

She had the exact same idea!  But she did it first, so I felt like I needed to come up with something new.  And I decided her December birthday should be my deadline.  One day I was watching the Disney movie Tangled (a retelling of the Rapunzel story), and saw this mural with new eyes:

In the scene, Rapunzel is trying to convince Mother Gothel to let her go see the floating lights (which Jess made a quilt from, definitely go check it out: Tomorrow Night mini quilt).  Mother Gothel tries to tell Rapunzel that the floating lights are just stars.  Rapunzel replies with, "That's the thing, I charted stars and they're always constant." And she shows Mother Gothel this star chart mural.  You only see it for a second, but I knew it was the perfect Plan B for the quilt I would make for Jess. (and then this month she made a Frozen inspired quilt: Let It Go mini quilt).

I started with a scrap of Kona Purple fabric and layered my major design pieces onto it.

Rapunzel's Star Chart: beginnings

I actually started with drawing out the basic design and color blocks on paper and then used a light box (window with sunlight behind it) to trace the different sections onto the fabric pieces, then cut them out.  The tower and constellations I drew on freezer paper and then pressed onto the fabric and cut out. 

Rapunzel's Star Chart: Adding constellations, the fox still has the freezer paper attached.

I used a glue stick to hold everything in place temporarily and then used my FMQ foot to sketch-stitch around all the pieces:

Rapunzel's Star Chart: sketch stitching.

Then I added stars, constellation lines, and like a thousand other details:

Rapunzel's Star Chart: adding quilting details.

Here's a closer look at everything on the finished quilt (I forgot to take more in-progress photos):

Rapunzel's Star Chart: The Dove constellation.

Rapunzel's Star Chart: The Honeysuckle and Fox constellation.

Rapunzel's Star Chart: The tower and moon phases.

I used Aurifil 50wt threads for most of the quilting, but where I needed an extra thick line I used 12wt (the moon phase line, the red planet line, and the large blue and purple circle centered around the tower).

Rapunzel's Star Chart: finished quilt.

I used two layers of batting for stability and loft (also because my machine is due for a servicing/tune up and is very contrary with getting the tension just right.  Two layers of batting means more space for weird tension to hide, haha): one Warm and Natural and one Quilter's Dream orient.

Rapunzel's Star Chart: quilt back.

Jess received this quilt today and loves it!  You can go read her reaction here on IG.  :-)


  1. Of course she loves it. It's awesome!

  2. If I had watched Tangled in the last week like I intended, I TOTALLY would have recognized those constellation animals from your IG! :D :D I just keep going back to it to look at the details. My sister was equally impressed. You do stupendous work and I'm honored. Now I need to find a place to hang it!

  3. Gah, I love that you found inspiration in a movie that she also obviously loves. Beautifully done! :)

  4. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing the process, so amazing to see how you create these works of art!

  5. It's wonderful that both of you had the same initial idea for your swap - just shows what an amazing idea it is. And how you modified and expanded on your inspiration to come up with such a beautiful quilt.

  6. You have such talent and imagination! This is just awesome!!!

  7. So pretty! I love how close it is to your inspiration.

  8. What a great representation of the mural! I was only watching Tangled again about a week ago. I should have been paying more attention, but I had it on while sewing.