free quilt along- 2017 summer solar eclipse. fun play on dark and lights, lots of contrast!
quilt along quilting Becky  

Summer Solar Eclipse 2017 – Quilt Along

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Summer Solar Eclipse Quilt Along~ Borders

Materials Needed:

Stop border- DARK:

2– 49″ X 1 1/2″

2– 52″ X 1 1/2″

Scrappy Border- MIX of lights and darker lights:

2– 52″ X 3 1/2″

2– 58″ X 3 1/2″

Quilt Assembly:

1-  Sew 2 smaller half square star quilt blocks together to form a flying geese block.  You’ll have 4 flying geese units

2-  Sew 2 smaller star blocks to both sides of the flying geese units (only to 2 units)

3– Lay the rows out and sew your center of the quilt together

4-  Repeat the process with the larger half square triangle star blocks

5-  Sew these rows to the center quilt

Borders Instructions:

1- Sew the stop border to the four sides of the quilt center

2- Sew your leftover pieces together in a long string.  Trim these to 3 1/2″

3- Cut the 4 lengths of scrappy borders using these long string units

4- Sew the scrappy borders to the dark stop border

Summer solar eclipse quilt along - free to sew along! Love the dark and lights of the quilt.

Share your progress in the free fb group, there will be posts to share — plus you can check out how others are sewing along as well!

Today we are finishing up the quilt along.  It really has been fun to see your blocks come together and the progress of each of your quilts!

Keep that sharing coming…..I really can’t wait to see the finished collection.

free quilt along- 2017 summer solar eclipse. fun play on dark and lights, lots of contrast!

Today is all about the machine quilting (how you can do this yourself) and the binding.

Quilt alongs are really so much fun, but I find that I loose excitement and finishing juice.

I really hope you give machine quilting a try– don’t go for perfect here, just go for done.  For many years I did machine quilting on my standard sewing machine.

Yes, the quilt is heavy. Yes, it takes a lot of time.

But, I found myself so proud of myself at the end.  This is such a joy to look and admire something I stitched and quilted and most importantly finished.

The quilting doesn’t need to be super fancy either.  I am going to be showing you what I did….but I’m all about being your own person, so please explore what you’d like and if an overall meander is what you do— yay!! I’m so happy you are doing it!

I almost think that the prep work for the machine quilting is quite important and shouldn’t be skipped.

This isn’t a small quilt….but it’s not a super huge one either.

Find a place where you have the space to lay it out and either spray baste or pin the layers properly.  Put more safety pins in it than you think.

yes– removing them while quilting is tedious, but the front will be happy and the back will be happy…..and that in the end will make YOU happy!!

If you have any questions during this process…drop a question in the fb group and there is always someone who can answer it.  It’s a great place to find encouragement and answers to what you are working with.

Make sure you have your Quilt Sandwich right~

I’m a big fan of basting spray.  It keeps all the layers together and you’ll find that wrinkles and folds won’t happen if you use this properly.  It really is great and a big time life saveras well as time saver!  Just think.  No pinning or basting.  The spray works great.

Learn how to use it and watch it in action here: basting spray for quilting how to and video.

* Drop your feeddogs.  Those are the little teeth beneath the plate that ‘feeds’ the fabric into the needle area.  You really don’t want these moving.  This has a habit of deterring your fabric and not letting you be in total charge of it.  IF your feeddogs don’t drop {mine didn’t} no worries Turn it to 0.  That is the same setting as if you were putting a button on and you don’t want them to move.

*  Start with a simple the meandor.  If you find yourself crossing over lines a lot, then add a loop in there.  I think that for the first year the only thing I did was the meandor! lol  It was easy and quick to do and wan’t difficult.  You can also learn how to control the stitch length and learn moving the fabric.

*  The backside is pretty important when starting out on machine quilting your own quilts.  The busier the fabric the less it shows mistakes.  You will not be happy with your first attempt if it has a solid color back!!! Believe me!!  That thing will show any and every pucker, skipped stitch, pointy curve and whatever else you didn’t think you did. 🙂   So, keep it easy and find something that will be a little more forgiving.


Machine quilting for beginners is a great place to start.  It will answer a lot of questions on how to get started and what to do if you are using your traditional sewing machine for the machine quilting.

As for the design that I did for the machine quilting:

You can see that I repeated the same design throughout the blocks. Depending on what the block was– if it had a square, then the square was quilted with an orange peel design.  If it was the flying geese, they either got the loop or the back and forth lines.

You can go with a straight line, modern style of quilting with your walking foot.

Again, check out the machine quilting post for a lot of ideas, hints, tips and how to’s.

Thread– I used a light thread for the machine quilting. I did in the bobbin as well and didn’t change to a dark thread at all.  I kept it light through the whole quilt.

You can experiment with a variegated thread or a dark thread if you’d like.

Print off an additional coloring page sheet to try out a few hand drawn designs if you’d like.

Use dry erasers and a clear page protector to audition quilting designs and ideas.  You can lay the protector right on top of the quilt and draw a way.  Just make sure you keep within the page!  If you don’t like it, you simply erase the marker and start again.

Binding Tutorial~

Materials Needed:

2 1/4″ X 240″  binding strip

1- sew your 2 1/4″ strips together and then cut to the 240″ length

* here’s a quick how to – joining those binding strips so they don’t have a large and obnoxious seam

2- fold your binding in half and press

3- stitch the binding raw edge side to the right side of the quilt– here is a tutorial on binding and turning those corners correctly!

4- pull the binding to the other side and using a ladder stitch, stitch the binding down

Additional binding tutorials~ 

How to bind using the backing fabric – video tutorial included

How to make your bias tape for binding,  sewing your bias strips together, and how to bind a quilt.  Tricky corners check here for binding your corners

Here is the finished quilt~

Visit here for all the steps in the Summer Solar Eclipse Quilt Along.

Summer solar eclipse quilt along - free to sew along! Love the dark and lights of the quilt.

If you are interested in sewing along

  • Join the free facebook group for sharing your progress, chatting about options and asking questions is you have any while sewing.  It’s open 24 hours and there is always an answer waiting for you.  Share your fabric choices with us!
  • Sign up for reminders, don’t miss one of the steps!  You’ll get a quick email with the info on the next step and links to find the video helps and posts so you can keep up.

Share your progress in the free fb group, there will be posts to share plus you can check out how others are sewing along as well!

5 thoughts on “Summer Solar Eclipse 2017 – Quilt Along

  1. Sharon Hughson

    Becky , I’m having problems with the small block #6. It’s the center sq. in a sq. that is supposed to measure 3.5″ and I come out with 3″. I’ve done it twice with the same results.
    Could you take a moment and help me out? email me please b/c I might miss your post. TIA

  2. Becky

    Block 6 is kind of picky that your seams need to be very scant 1/4″. If they are large at all they will not work. If it works best to cut a larger square to start off with, you can do that as well.

  3. Laura

    I really want to make this Summer Solar Eclipse quilt, but I need to print out the pattern. Is there a way to do this with out the adds? I cannot get the print preview to show correctly, and do not want to waste pages, I am at the Library to use the printer. Please instruct how to do this?

  4. Amanda

    I don’t know if you found your answer regarding printing. The basic idea is to highlight what you want to print then in your printer’s dialog box check the option to print only the selected area. This option might be under more settings. I can’t give you the specific steps since I don’t know what your using (Mac vs PC). I always google it if I can’t figure it out. Hope this helps a bit.

  5. Marie Istre

    Is there a way to enlarge this quilt?
    I really want it to be queen or king size.

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