Solar Eclipse Block • 2017

Solar Eclipse Block

Since I am completely ga-ga over the 2017 Solar Eclipse, happening August 21st (and I already have the next on penciled in on my calendar–April 2024, if you must know) when searching for decorations to put around my house, I came across a rendition of the Mosaic #19 block (originally published in 1897 by the Ladies Art Company) that is said to commemorate the 2017 All-American Solar Eclipse (who thinks up these names?).

After I read the above blurb,  I searched Google for her and found that not only has she redesigned an old block to celebrate something fun and exciting in our century, but that she’s also done a whole series of blocks to commemorate the National Parks.  I first saw them when a nephew’s wife showed me teeny screen grabs on her phone at a family picnic, and was happy to know who to give credit for those cool blocks.

Here are some other posters I discovered while search for eclipse-related images:

I have more eclipse-themed posters and info on my Pinterest Board: Eclipse.  If you want to make your own eclipse block, here is a PDF file that you can download, in 12″ finished size: Solar Eclipse Block_12. (Click on the blue print.)

I assume you have some knowledge of putting together blocks when I put this stuff up.  Most of us prefer to “snowball” the blocks onto corners. If you do, follow the very sketchy instructions below.  (You are basically going to make the outsides similarly to the flag block I wrote about recently, if you need to reference that tutorial.)

Cut the center block 6 1/2″ square.
Cut four corner blocks 3 1/2″ each, and sew diagonally onto each corner. This post on signature blocks shows how to snowball onto a corner.

To make the side geese, cut 4 rectangles  3 1/2″ by 6 1/2″ in dimension.
Cut eight squares 3 1/2″.  Snowball the squares onto each side of the rectangle.

UPDATE: If you are someone who likes to make the four small squares/one large square method of flying geese, head to this tutorial from Janet Wickell. More help can be found if you do a search on “chart for making flying geese from squares.”

To make the HST corners, cut 2 medium blue squares 4″ square. Match up with 2 dark blue squares 4″ square.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner and stitch 1/4″ on either side of it, then cut the triangles apart down the center.  Press to the dark side, then trim up to 3 1/2″.

Sew a flying geese on the left and right sides of the center square.
Sew a HST square on each end of the remaining two flying geese; sew these to the block. Press.

Here is the PDF pattern for a 9-inch block: Solar Eclipse Block_9inch.

If you are going to cut a large center square to snowball on your blocks, use a 5″ square (remember those seam allowances).  The smaller blocks with then be 2 1/2″.  You have the templates for both in case this is too confusing.

Solar Eclipse Block3

diagrams from my block-drawing program, Quilt-Pro

Solar Eclipse Block3aThe arrival of the eclipse also seems a fitting ending for our Book Giveaway of Summer 2017.  Thanks to all who were interested in these books.  I’ve contacted the winners of by email; books will go out as soon as I receive their mailing address.

eclipse Double Dates

Happy Eclipsing!

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11 thoughts on “Solar Eclipse Block • 2017

  1. The things you discover! Amazing. And thanks for sharing the block – apparently it will be easier for me to make that than to find a pair of “eclipse-viewing glasses” in our area! Thankfully we have 1 pair, but it’s going to be tricky sharing, right!?

  2. Love your block, but these park and state blocks are just fascinating. I thought they were posters at first. My mind is turning…..

  3. OMG, this is so coincidental! I discovered Susan Davis’ work a while back, went nuts over her eclipse print, and brought 5″ strips of solid fabrics with me to Mom’s to make a 12″ block (to be surrounded by a blue, I think, border with room to embroider eclipse details) while I am here. To keep things extra simple I decided to use all HSTs for my 12″ block. I figure that will also give me a few more seam lines to use as guides for some straight line quilting. Maybe I will rethink it and use the flying geese after all. Thanks for the tutorial and thanks again for the chance to be a book winner!

  4. What a fun idea and a fun block. What are you going to do with it? It makes me think thst perhaps i should mark it in my temperature quilt. I did mark the day we had extensive flooding.

  5. This is just in time for me as I’ve been looking for a pattern to use in a quilt I’m starting for my 20 year old granddaughter. She will love this design!

  6. Our daughter is in the path of totality–so much fun!

    We saw totality just north of Strasbourg a few years ago.
    At 12:30 pm this little village shot off fireworks! It was a great experience. It felt like God was using dimmer lights to turn out/on again the lights. Much faster than I expected!

  7. Hi Elizabeth,

    Enjoyed your solar eclipse block. The eclipse is especially exciting for us because we are in the path of totality. In fact, a 30 minute drive south will put me right smack in the center of the path – the greatest time under the shadow of the moon. Unfortunately, forgot to order any special eclipse glasses, so will have to look for some this weekend. I may just watch from home – we still get about a minute and a half of totality.

    I’m keeping busy and battling the pain and fatigue as usual. I’m trying to get to my machine (or at least to do prep work) every day, and to post more regularly to IG. I’ve not considered before posting every single block I make! Was doing pinnies, but have hidden my big bag of walnut shells from myself and am not about to buy another 10 year supply unless I buy a reptile. Keepinbg Blue in cat litter is a big enough challenge, but I’ve started ordering it online. Nice having those heavy pails delivered right to my door and getting free shipping to boot.

    Hope all is going well with you and yours.

  8. That is such a great block to mark the occasion and those fabrics are absolutely perfect for it. That orange with the rays is stunning and the stars ….what can I say? You nailed it on this one.

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