Planetarium Quilt Sew Along Week 1: Pick Fabric

In Week 1 of the Planetarium quilt sew along we talk about picking fabric and gathering sewing supplies. Join us for weekly prizes! suzyquilts.com

My fellow space-lovers, star-gazers, and overall chasers of wonder — we are here with a single purpose — to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no woman has gone before! Oh, and to make a Planetarium quilt too. 🙂 Welcome to the Planetarium quilt sew along!!

Over the next four weeks we will voyage into the unknown, explore different color combinations, confidently wield sharp objects, navigate high-powered machines, and somehow through it all, end up with a stunning creation that no one on Earth or in space has ever seen before. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity! So friends, I ask you, are you ready to have some fun?? Light speed ahead!

The Planetarium Quilt Pattern is a quirky and modern interpretation of moon and stars

To make a quilt like the mock-up above, you would use Suzy Quilts Signature Solids from Art Gallery Fabrics. The break down looks like this:


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Woah, woah, woah, slow the engines down. How about I back up and explain a little bit about what a sew along is. Maybe that would be helpful...

What's a Sew Along?

I'm so glad you asked! Here at Suzy Quilts we like to follow up a pattern release with a multi-week community sew along to give you an opportunity to make a quilt with the designer of the quilt — me, Suzy!

I'll go over extra examples, break down the steps even further, and give you a chance to ask questions that come up along the way. These sew alongs are supplementary to the pattern, so even though we cover a lot, we don't cover everything. You do still need the pattern.

I know that life can get busy and you can't follow along with every sew along we offer (which is four per year!) These sew alongs stay on the blog forever and are easy to find so you can follow along at your own pace. Just pop over to the Sew Along tab where you can surf past sew alongs.

Some Quick Points:

  • NO Sign-up: You do not need to sign up for Suzy Quilts sew alongs. You simply sew along with us! 
  • Sewing questions: You've got questions, we've got answers! The best place to ask your technical sewing questions Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group. The main purpose of sew alongs is to answer questions that pop up during the quilt-making process so don't ever worry about asking a "stupid" question. They don't exist!
  • Prizes: Aside from having a beautiful finished quilt top, you also can win weekly prizes by using #PlanetariumQuiltSA in the comments of your posts on Instagram. More details on that are at the bottom of this post. For this sew along, we are offering prizes both on Instagram and in the Suzy Quilts Facebook group! 
  • Discounts: Get 25% off longarm quilting on your Planetarium quilt from Favorite Day Quilting, Trace Creek Quilting, Jenn B Quilts, and Thai Charm now through the end of March, 2024. You must mention this deal when filling out their info forms.

Planetarium Quilt Sew Along Schedule

For the first time, we will offer prizes both on Instagram AND in the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group! Instructions for how to enter each giveaway are included at the bottom of this post.

  • Week 1, January 26: Pick fabric
    Instagram Sponsor: Going Coastal Fabrics - Planetarium throw kit + pattern
    Facebook Sponsor: Sarah Made - Planetarium throw kit + pattern
    IG LIVE — @suzyquilts: Tuesday, January 30 @ 1pm Central - We will discuss fabric selection + Q&A. If you have specific questions you want covered, post them in the blog comments below.
  • Week 2, February 2: Cut fabric
    Instagram Sponsor: Sewing Arts Center - $100 gift card
    Facebook Sponsor: Global Fiber Shop - $100 gift card
  • Week 3, February 9: Sew units
    Instagram Sponsor: Art Gallery Fabrics - Evolve by Suzy Quilts fabric bundle
    Facebook Sponsor: Art Gallery Fabrics - Evolve by Suzy Quilts fabric bundle
  • Week 4, February 16: Assemble quilt
    Instagram Sponsor: Trace Creek Quilting - Longarm quilting for a Planetarium quilt, batting and return shipping if needed. Additional services not included.
    Facebook Sponsor: Jenn B Quilts - Longarm quilting for a Planetarium quilt, does not include batting or return shipping. 

Planetarium Quilt Supplies

Planetarium Fabric Requirements
Planetarium Throw layout

To make a quilt like the mock-up above, you would use Suzy Quilts Signature Solids from Art Gallery Fabrics. The break down looks like this:

Fabric Notes

In this sew along we are making the throw size. You are more than welcome to make the king, baby, or even the tote, however you won't be able to win the final week-four prize unless you show a finished quilt top that is a throw or larger.

I've had a couple questions about fabric requirements, so let me do my best to make it really clear what you need.

  • Baby: is made with just one block and borders. You need three colors and a background fabric.
  • Throw: is made with four blocks. Each block uses three colors and background fabric. That means you need 12 colors plus background fabric for a total of 13 different fabrics.
  • King/Queen: is made with nine blocks. To make one like the diagram below, you need a total of 15 colors plus background fabric (16 different fabrics total). Four of the blocks repeat and one block does not. That's why in the fabric requirements chart you need less of one color in each Color Group than for the four other colors.
Planetarium Baby layout
Planetarium King layout

If You Are New to Quilting...

I'm so glad you're here! This is a fantastic pattern for you and a sew along is the perfect way to explore, learn, and grow your quilting skills. I have more resources for you that are helpful and quick to read.

Can I Use Fat Quarters with this Pattern?

The short answer is YES! The slightly longer answer is that you will end up with a scrappier looking quilt. If you are working from your stash and only have scraps and FQs, you can still make this pattern, it will just look slightly different from the cover quilt. 

Here are some diagrams to show you what you can get from a FQ. I am not including a diagram for cutting the background fabric, because I still recommend you use yardage for that.

Color Group 1 from a FQ

As you can see from the diagram, you will still need 3 more 10.5" x 7.5" Piece-c rectangles. Of the three Color Groups, this one leaves you needing the most amount of fabric still after using up your FQ. You could, in theory, piece together a second Piece-c rectangle, but that would still leave you needing one more.

Planetarium Color Group 1

Color Group 2 from a FQ

Once you have cut your templates, you will still need one more 10.5" x 7.5" Piece-c rectangle and two more Piece-a squares. If you don't care about the color blocking, you could get those two Piece-a squares from the leftover Color Group 1 FQs.

Planetarium Color Group 2

Color Group 3 from a FQ

Color Group 3 works the best for FQs because you are just left needing one more Piece-c rectangle.

Planetarium Color Group 3

Week 1 Assignment: Pick Fabric

This first week I make you wade through a lot before getting to the Week 1 assignment. There's a lot of basic sew along details to cover, but I promise to only tell you once so you'll never have to see that stuff again. Good riddance! 😉

I've lead A LOT of these sew alongs, and this time I'm switching it up a bit. I'm actually going to guide you along with a Planetarium quilt that I've recently finished. That way I will have it completely quilted and bound by Week 4 so you can see how I finished my quilt top.

Here's the Planetarium throw quilt top I will be making over the next four weeks. You will recognize it from the instructional videos in the pattern too!

In Week 1 of the Planetarium quilt sew along we talk about picking fabric and gathering sewing supplies. Join us for weekly prizes! suzyquilts.com

My Planetarium Fabric

For my sew along quilt I'm using new fabric from my third collection, Evolve. I'm pairing it with my coordinating Signature Solids — all from Art Gallery Fabrics. For a limited time you can get this kit at Sarah Made!

In Week 1 of the Planetarium quilt sew along we talk about picking fabric and gathering sewing supplies. Join us for weekly prizes! suzyquilts.com
  • Color Group 1 (1/2 yd): PURE Solid Pistachio, Evolve Cerulean, PURE Solid Matcha, PURE Solid Spiced
  • Color Group 2 (3/8 yard): Evolve Coneflower Hemlock, PURE Solid Honeymoon, Evolve Tiny Meadow Nova, Evolve Tiny Meadow Queen Bee
  • Color Group 3 (3/8 yd): Evolve Meadow Matcha, PURE Solid Glacier, Evolve Key Lime, PURE Solid Shrimpy
  • Background(3 1/8 yd): PURE Solid Pearl
  • Backing (4 1/2 yd): Meadow Matcha
  • Binding (5/8 yd): Bound to Evolve (binding fabric)

3 Options for Picking Planetarium Fabric

Option #1: Pick three different values - light, medium, and dark.

Pick any color scheme you like, just try to find three fabrics with enough contrast that there is a clear light, medium, and dark value. The quilt below is mostly warm, bright colors. What makes this quilt feel dynamic is that within each block are three different values. This also keeps that center moon interesting.

The Planetarium quilt pattern is a modern star quilt. It includes video tutorials of every step, making it great for beginners! suzyquilts.com

Option #2: Group similar colors.

For a really easy time picking fabric, make each block monochromatic. In this quilt below, each block focuses on one color and then divides that color into three different values.

In Week 1 of the Planetarium quilt sew along we talk about picking fabric and gathering sewing supplies. Join us for weekly prizes! suzyquilts.com

This next group of blocks does the same thing, but with some prints.

In Week 1 of the Planetarium quilt sew along we talk about picking fabric and gathering sewing supplies. Join us for weekly prizes! suzyquilts.com

In this green block from my quilt I didn't consider value as much as color. Yes, one fabric is darker than the other two, and one fabric is louder/busier than the other two, but for the most part I just grouped similar colors together. Three greens, please!

In Week 1 of the Planetarium quilt sew along we talk about picking fabric and gathering sewing supplies. Join us for weekly prizes! suzyquilts.com

Option #3: Pick 12 colors you like and randomly mix them together.

This may feel a bit wild, but I promise you will still get a gorgeous quilt. I have a lot of mockups where I did that. Take a look!

You'll recognize these from the back of your pattern. I picked color schemes I liked, then 12 colors that fit in those schemes. Once I picked my colors, I chose a background color for each one that would contrast with the 12 fabrics.

Planetarium Sew Along Week 1: Planetarium quilt mock-ups. #quilting #sewingdiy suzyquilts.com

Here are a couple more examples of totally random color placement, to semi-random color placement. In the bottom right, I deviated a little bit, but stayed close to the monochromatic blocks. Don't you think the random color placements sparkle? I just love them!

Planetarium Sew Along Week 1: Planetarium quilt mock-ups. #quilting #sewingdiy suzyquilts.com

Picking Fabric Tip!

The easiest way to picture how your fabric will look is to group them together, stand back, and see what's working and what's not. Here was my original pull for my Planetarium quilt. I thought maybe that dark navy fabric (Tiny Moon Nova) would stand out more than I wanted, so I switched it out...

In Week 1 of the Planetarium quilt sew along we talk about picking fabric and gathering sewing supplies. Join us for weekly prizes! suzyquilts.com

I think this next group of fabric flows a little better...

In Week 1 of the Planetarium quilt sew along we talk about picking fabric and gathering sewing supplies. Join us for weekly prizes! suzyquilts.com

Planetarium Quilt Mock-Ups

Need even more color inspiration? Below are eight Planetarium mockups. These do not correspond to any specific fabric lines. But if you see one that you want to replicate, you can either show a picture to an employee at your local quilt shop or use a swatch card to choose fabric from your favorite manufacturer.

Alphabet Soup and Grasshoppers & Ladybugs

Planetarium Sew Along Week 1: Planetarium quilt mock-ups. #quilting #sewingdiy suzyquilts.com

Call Me Classic and Shooting Star

Planetarium Sew Along Week 1: Planetarium quilt mock-ups. #quilting #sewingdiy suzyquilts.com

Spaced Out and Rocket to the Moon

Planetarium Sew Along Week 1: Planetarium quilt mock-ups. #quilting #sewingdiy suzyquilts.com

Star Gazing and Morning Light

Planetarium Sew Along Week 1: Planetarium quilt mock-ups. #quilting #sewingdiy suzyquilts.com

Week 1 Sponsors & Prizes

Our week one sponsors are Going Coastal Fabrics on Instagram and Sarah Made on Facebook. Both shops are giving away a Planetarium quilt kit so you don't need to worry about choosing your own fabrics! And because our sew alongs are permanently available on our website, you can wait to start the sew along until your new kit comes if you're one of our lucky winners 🙂  

Two prizes mean that we have rules for how to enter on Instagram and on Facebook. Here's the rundown! 

How to Win on Instagram

  • Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post an introduction pic or a picture of your fabric. Use #PlanetariumQuiltSA in the caption.
  • You must have a public Instagram profile to participate.
  • Each photo posted is an entry and you can enter as many times as you want in a single week. Once the week is over, those posts do not count in the next week's giveaway. Every week we start fresh.
  • Your photo must be posted between Friday, January 26 and Friday, February 2. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. Central on the 2nd. Good luck!

How to Win on Facebook

  • Post a pic in the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook groupThe photo prompt for Facebook this week is to post an introduction pic or a picture of your fabric. IMPORTANT: We use hashtags less frequently on Facebook, but in order for us to see each post and randomly select a winner, be sure to use #PlanetariumQuiltSA in the caption of your picture.
  • You must be a member of the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group to participate. You do not need to have a public Facebook profile. 
  • Each photo posted is an entry and you can enter as many times as you want in a single week. Once the week is over, those posts do not count in the next week's giveaway. Every week we start fresh.
  • Your photo must be posted between Friday, January 26 and Friday, February 2. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. Central on the 2nd. Good luck! 

2 thoughts on “Planetarium Quilt Sew Along Week 1: Pick Fabric

  1. Marsha Wright says:

    I am excited to join your sew along for this pattern. 4 years ago I started my quilt journey with the Gather sew along. Now I have upgraded to a Bernina and found my joy while practicing my skill. So much to learn from this pattern and I am thrilled to be your student once again.

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