Howdy, friends! I’m here today with a short post about planning my Moonstone Quilt. There is a high likelihood that all of this may only make sense in my own head, but planning this was a HUGE struggle for me, so I wanted to share my thought process in case it does happen to help anyone!
First, if you haven’t seen the Moonstone pattern by Giucy Giuce and Karen The DIY Addict, you must check it out! (You can find it here.) Moonstone is an English Paper Piecing pattern (aka hand sewing!) and it comes in a fantastic kit complete with all the pieces you need to make a quilt, or several small projects, along with acrylic templates for cutting your pieces. The kit and pattern are really well done and I think the design is just so striking! It was just recently released, but there are already a handful of really inspiring photos on social media under #moonstonequilt.
AAANNDDDD… there just so happens to be an AMAZING giveaway going on right now where TWO lucky winners will be flown to San Fransisco to hang out with Giuseppe and Karen for the launch of the Moonstone Sew Along! You can find all the details here.
Ok… onto my quilt!
For my Moonstone quilt, all I knew was that I wanted to use the new line, Neptune and the Mermaid by Margot Elena (Tokyo Milk) for Free Spirit Fabrics. It’s absolutely dreamy and seems like it was just made for fussy cutting. That’s as far as my plan went. I couldn’t even decide what configuration of the pattern I wanted to use.
So I stared, and stared, and stared some more. I only chose a few of my favorite prints from the line, but was really struggling because there is a lot of variation in color in what I chose. As a whole, the line ties together, but when you just pick and choose some prints, not quite as much.
I started to pull some blenders in every color used in all the prints I had and decided that a Free Spirit Fabric designer mash up would be the way to go. I pulled what I could from my Tula Pink and Anna Maria Horner stash, and order a few more things by those two ladies, as well as Amy Butler and Heather Bailey.
I hadn’t really planned to use this many colors in the quilt, but once I saw them all together, how could I not? I had to figure out a plan. I organized all the blenders by color and took some photos. I spent a good amount of time looking at the photo of all my focals and then at the photo below of all the blenders. I stewed about it for awhile, as I usually do with projects. I kept hoping something would come to me.
And then I stewed some more. I mean, I stewed A LOT. I thought about while I walked the dogs, while I did dishes, I’m pretty sure I even dreamed about it.
Something that many of you likely already know about me is that I am a planner. Hard core. I so desperately wanted to start cutting and sewing, but knew that I had to figure out where it was going first.
So I thought about the focals and how I would fussy cut them. I took photos of all the parts I planned to use and thought about the main colors in each of those parts, then I made a list. This helped me figure out how many variations I had to work with in my design and how I may be able to organize them.
I kept going back to the idea of a color fade. Perhaps diagonally across the quilt or something, but I couldn’t make that work. I ended up order some of the dark blue color way of the Neptune line because I felt like I was going to need it to balance everything out.
It was time to make some decisions. First, I had to pick a pattern configuration and then I just had to start playing.
I use Adobe Illustrator for most of my drawing and layout. I understand many people do not have this program, so these next steps may not be helpful for everyone, but it is a great program that anyone can use with a little patience and a few YouTube tutorials!
I really loved the Gems configuration of Moonstone because I love the four pointed stars it makes, but I wanted my fussy cut focals to run horizontally and diagonally because they are primarily people and fish, so I rotated the gems configuration 45° to what you see below. I drew up the pattern in Illustrator so that I could begin placing my fabrics and colors.
I input JPG swatches of the focal fabrics and turn them into pattern swatches so that I can place them into shapes. It’s not perfect, but it definitely does the job!
Once I had the pattern drawn up, I stared at the blank canvas for a bit until I decided which shapes I wanted to focus on. I settled on the large four-pointed stars that you can see around the outer edges and their center octagons. Everything would radiate from these. I started playing with those elements only and trying different repetitive color arrangements.
I was going a little crazy with all the possibilities so finally just chose my favorite and started filling in the spaces between. I still really wanted to achieve some sort of color gradation and began trying to do that between the stars. It took some time, but I finally felt like it was moving in the right direction!
Once I reached the point shown above, I felt confident enough about the direction that I could start sewing.
A good part of what I’ve already laid out will repeat around, but I do still have a bit more to work out. All in good time…
In the meantime, I can sew! I finished my first piece yesterday and have my second prepped. My plan is to work out from the middle of the quilt so that I can stop or keep going at any point. My current design plan is about 65″ square.
There’s no question that this quilt will take me quite awhile to finish, but I know I’ll enjoy the process, and that’s what matters!
6 thoughts on “Planning my Moonstone Quilt”
I love your color and fabric choices. This is exactly how I would like to plan my Moonstone! I do have illustrator but my skills are really rusty. Do you have any favorite how to videos? Thanks!
I feel I’ve met a kindred spirit in obsessive planning reading your post! I do exactly the same thing (although I use the clipping mask function rather than creating swatches).
Although this level of planning usually gets me to an end-point that I feel content with, I don’t always enjoy the process as I tend to feel increasingly stressed until I’ve settled on something I feel happy with, which feels like the antithesis of why I sew. Not planning isn’t an option though 😉 I’m wondering if you’re the same or whether you’ve found a way to enjoy the process?
What you’ve ended up with is absolutely stunning – totally worth all the thinking and planning 🙂
I’m so glad I’m not alone!! Sometimes I do use the clipping mask feature and was tempted to in this case because it was driving me crazy that my fussy cuts weren’t exactly as I would make them, but I was already so stressed and annoyed I was to the point of minimal work! So that being said, I have not found a way to enjoy the process 😆! I wish I did, but I feel exactly as you do. I think if I had more time, in general, I would feel differently about it, but I’m always scrambling to fit barely one quarter of what I want to accomplish into any day, so I think that’s why this extra step just stresses me out. I am always happy that I do it though, and pretty much always have to these days, even when I tell myself it’s not necessary, I always end up here no matter how much I fight it! 💕💕💕
I keep coming back to this, I am mesmerized by the gorgeousness. I just finished a top with Neptune’s Mermaid and want to make more with it. Keep posting, this is gorgeous. RxQuilter
This is gorgeous. Any chance that you’ve published a pattern for sale? I’d love to make it. Michelle P.
Hi there! The pattern is by Guicy Giuce and you can find links to it in the post above 🙂