Monday, November 1, 2010

Cone Nebula Quilt - Part 1

This weekend, I finally cut the first pieces for a quilt I've been mentally planning and dreaming over for at least six or seven years. This is the Cone Nebula quilt, based on a picture I saw on the Astronomy Picture of the Day website several years ago. If you're not already checking this site regularly, you really should add this site to your habit; it has really interesting pictures every day, and you learn some science, too!
I was not able to find the link to this picture this morning, but this is the inspiration. A couple of years ago, I decided that I would do it in kaleidoscope blocks. Here is a test block I did just to remind myself how to make them:
You start by making the corner "ice cream cones," then sew those to the plain triangles until you have it all sewn together. Ideally, you have eight points meeting in the center.

A couple of years ago, I started coloring this version of the quilt, and I finished the coloring yesterday. After I took this picture, I put numbers down the side of the map and letters along the bottom so that I could keep track of the blocks.
Here are the dark fabrics I've been collecting for this quilt. I have them sorted with the darkest darks in the left column, the next darkest darks in the middle, and the medium darks on the right.
I plan to mix these up through the quilt, creating "lanes" of color. This will require some careful placement of fabrics. Here are the light/bright fabrics I selected for the non-dark pieces:
I really want high contrast between the darks and the lights. Here is the first block:
I have a sticker in the upper middle. It has the location code of the block, and the sticker is oriented so that it's readable when it's in the correct orientation. You can see that the points don't match in the center. I sewed the block twice. Looking at this picture, I may take it apart and resew it with different fabrics. I clearly need to do a lot of thinking as I go. I also cut the next few blocks:
Finally, I wanted to show you the true queen of the autumn, sprawled on the sideboard in our dining room.


Emma said...

All I can say to this is WOW. I love it - and it isn't even done yet! Seriously...this is amazing. Can't wait to see it completed!

Esch House Quilts said...

Wow! This is going to be gorgeous! Can't wait to see it as it moves along.

Vivianne said...

Now this is a fascinating idea; I'm looking forward to watching over your shoulder :-)