Hollow Cubes 3D Quilt

By: Penny Halgren

space quiltAn interest in Outer  Space runs in the family.  My dad worked a lot on the Apollo program, quilting daughter Stephanie attended Space Camp in  Huntsville, Alabama when she was in 5th grade, engineer son Bubba worked some internship jobs at NASA in Florida, and me – well, when I was about 10 years  old, I bought a ticket for an airplane trip to the moon.

I wish I still had it. I might have been able to cash it in. Although, Trans World Airways was the airline company, so maybe not.

In any case, several years ago I invested in a book that showed how to make 3-dimensional boxes. There was a pretty cool looking wall hanging on the front, and I had every intention of making that wall hanging.

But when it came right down to it, I decided to make a space quilt instead. It was simple in design, and it should have been simple in construction as well.  But, as many of my friends and family know  sometimes I turn a simple task into a complex one. (I’m getting better at avoiding that now.)

In any case, I started with the boxes, and attached them to a single piece of fabric – black with gold stars. Instead of appliquéing the boxes onto the top, I cut holes in the black fabric and fit the boxes into the holes. Stupid idea because I couldn’t get some of the corners sharp. Plus, it just would have been easier to appliqué the boxes on top of the black and then cut the black fabric out from the back.  Live and learn.

Intending this to be a wall hanging, I quilted it and then hung it up, only to discover that when you have a single piece of fabric, you need to quilt a bunch – otherwise the front hangs like little half-bubbles away from the batting and backing.

Simple solution – add more quilting. That actually turned into some fun. I quilted spaceships, planets, airplanes and some just plain fun designs.

Along the bottom, I quilted a planetarium, an airplane, and other things that would be on earth.

The quilting designs were gathered from a book of traditional quilting designs, shapes of planets - like Saturn - spaceships from movies, and other random shapes.

Around each of the hollow cubes I quilted echo quilting, following the shape several times about 1/2 inch apart.

Fortunately, I did some excellent basting initially, and didn’t end up with puckers and pleats as I added quilting stitches. Many lessons learned on one quilt.

This quilt has a simple double fold bias binding, which is the binding I prefer for most of my quilts. Because it is a wall hanging, you could bind it using a single fold bias binding or a double fold straight grain binding. Learn how to bind quilts using all of those methods in The Ultimate How to Bind a Quilt DVD Mentor.


hand quilting hand quilting a hexagon
Hand quilting - click on the image for a larger picture Hand quilting design around the hollow cubes - click on the image for a larger picture.


Happy Quilting!


Penny Halgren
Master Quilter