Enthusiasm for the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, is over the moon–literally. Row by Row Junior is excited too. Using our “Big Wheels” pattern you can make the eclipse into a row project.

You will need:  the Big Wheels pattern, a fat quarter for the suns, a fat quarter for the moons, various 9-1/2″ squares for the background blocks, and about a yard of paper backed fusible web like Heat n Bond Lite.

To make our eclipse sun and moon we will be using the big wheel shape as a whole circle without the inner circle cut out.

Follow the directions on the Big Wheel pattern to make the circle shape. Trace 7 outer circles on the paper side of the Heat n Bond. On one of the circles, place little marks 1/2″ inside the drawn circle all the way around. This is the smaller moon that will be used to create the total eclipse block.

Ask an adult to help you fuse the circles to the back side of the sun and moon fabrics. Fuse 4 suns and 3 moons. Note how the “smaller” moon is fused still in the large size.

Cut out the fused suns and moons. When cutting the smaller moon, cut along the little marks connecting them with your scissors as you cut. Adults, don’t be tempted to offer an easier way here. This measuring, marking, and cutting is valuable skill building.

Most of North America will be able to experience some form of daylight change as the moon passes in front of the sun. Residents in a 70 mile wide swath from Charleston, SC to Portland, OR will be able to see a total eclipse. Depending if you live to the north or to the south of the total zone, you will see only a partial eclipse that looks like the middle two blocks below.

DO NOT DIRECTLY LOOK AT THE ECLIPSE. Learn more at eclipse2017.nasa.gov.

Peel the paper backing from the moons only. Arrange two of the moons on suns showing the partial eclipse you see in your region. The third moon is a total eclipse. Very important–place an applique sheet or piece of kitchen parchment paper on your ironing surface before pressing the eclipse shapes. Ask an adult to help you fuse the moons on to the suns.

After fusing, turn your suns over. Cutting from the back side, trim away the excess moon crescents. Remove the paper backing from the sun. If you have trouble, use a pin to scratch the back of the paper. This is called scoring. It will allow you to crack open the paper and peel it away easily.

Arrange your suns on your background blocks the way you like them and fuse to the block.

Follow the Big Wheels pattern for sewing around the wheel shapes. For the eclipse blocks, you can have fun going around the moons multiple times to give them a fuzzy, halo effect. You can even sew a little crooked to make it look like a solar flare too. Have fun! You don’t get the chance to sew crooked very often. Press your blocks nice and flat after stitching.

Follow the Big Wheels pattern to finish the Eclipse Row. You can make it into a wall hanging or vertical banner. You can turn your blocks into an Eclipse Pillow too. Use our Square Sham and Simple Sham patterns. Find these patterns and more to help you learn on our Row by Row Junior resource page here.

Our Row by Row Junior mission:

We want to enhance your Row by Row Experience with “kid friendly” educational materials that foster the love of fabric and machine sewing, strengthen inter-generational family relationships, and support local quilt shops everywhere.”

Kids can!  All they need is opportunity, practice, a few good tools, and a willing adult.  

Learn more about the Row by Row Junior Program here.

Find all the Row by Row Junior free support resources here.

Let us know how you like Row by Row Junior.  Share your experiences with us. Leave a comment below.

Jeannette Kitlan, your Row by Row Junior author and designer.