I have always known that quilting is out of this world and finally quilter astronaut Karen Nyberg will show this to the rest of the universe. On May 28, Karen will start a six month sojourn on the international space station and while there, she plans to quilt. I’ve brought sewing along on trips but this quilting journey has some unique restrictions – just fabric, thread, needles and scissors. No sewing machine, no rotary mat or cutter and no gravity! On her Pinterest page, Karen asks for quilting advice, so here goes.
1. Threads – careful with those pesky threads. They are a slightly annoying problem in every quilter’s life until you accept them as a nifty fashion accessory. You don’t want them floating away and jamming up some sensitive equipment or blocking a camera. I suggest needles that are pre-threaded. I have a hard enough time threading a needle with gravity, let alone when the threads can fly free. Six months worth of pre-threaded needles that are anchored and ready for use. When the thread runs out, put the needle back and move on.
2. Fabrics – stick to one color group. I would suggest the blues from Blue Underground Studios. I might precut them into smaller pieces and pin them onto another larger piece. This would help with pieces floating away. (See thread issues!)
3. Quilting rather than piecing – consider doing hand quilting instead of piecing – less fabric floating issues. You can embellish when you get home. Bring pieced blues, greys, blacks and quilt with white or silver and create what you see in the sky.
4. Piecing ideas – I would make what I can see out the windows. Six months with only a few fat quarters and discard astronaut suits? I would make tiny pieces to last the six months if you can solve the floating away issue.
5. Your Pinterest – six months is more than enough time to create something you’ve pinned. The solar system quilt you pinned is a great inspiration! Why not bring dark blue fabric and then add what you see and hand quilt it? I think you’ve provided yourself with your own solution!
6. Anything goes – you are already an astronaut and quilter. You are so accomplished and such a role model. I will love anything you make! So will other quilters whose dreams you are fulfilling Plus, you are single handedly making quilting completely cool!
Sew happy whether here or in space!
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