Friday, December 28, 2018

Moana: A Disney Mini Quilt

This is the fifth year I've made my sister a custom Disney-themed mini quilt upon her request. It's an exciting challenge for me every year, and I wouldn't make them for anyone else but her!

 "See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me..." from the song "How Far I'll Go" from Moana

She's been hinting about how much she loves Moana for over a year now (okay, we both talk about it fairly often), so I knew she would enjoy a Moana quilt. I knew immediately what scene I'd recreate: Moana standing on the edge of a boat, dreaming of the day she'd leave her island (which obviously she does - most of the movie takes place on the sea!).

I really wanted the colorful, lush island to be part of the landscape, so that was the best choice. Plus, how can you go wrong with a scene from the movie's best song, "How Far I'll Go?" To be honest, whenever I sing the song, I mess up this lyric pretty badly. :) It's a gorgeous song, though.

The quilt didn't come without its challenges. First, I made the background, which consisted of the sky, improvised waves, and beach. After that, it was all applique and free motion quilted details. It was very important to me that I choose the right skin tone for Moana; the fabric I originally chose didn't contrast enough with the background. So, I stitched on some lighter "sand" on top first. Much better and not noticeable unless I tell you (which I just have).

 Moana with her friend, the ocean wave. My husband had the idea to quilt sea foam. It's the perfect touch!

Quilting those little palm trees was a challenge; they're about the size of one segment of my finger. Small, intricate quilting has always been difficult for me. But I persevered and took breaks (some of those beach pebbles are really small, too). Worth it.

The sidekicks, of course - Pua the pig and Heihei the chicken. They were the last touches on the quilt before it was done (I added them after I had finished quilting everything else). I even added Pua's little tail and the oar he was holding during the song.

The backing print by Denyse Schmidt. Reminiscent of all the flowers from the movie.

And a happy recipient! :)


Past Disney mini quilts all together!: Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Tangled, and Beauty and the Beast - blog posts linked. Each one depicts each character's dreams and the lyrics that tie in. Looking forward to whatever gets made next November!


  1. OMG - that is awesome!!! The detail you put into this is just amazing. The ocean wave and heihei the chicken are my favorite little touches. The entire collection is something to envy. Your sister is a lucky gal!

  2. This is fabulous, Jess! Tiny, detailed quilting definitely takes time and breaks help a lot. I love the smile on your sister's face and getting to see the minis hanging together is so awesome!

  3. Dare I say this is my favorite?! Love your attention to detail. It's really wonderful!

  4. This is all sorts of fabulous, Jess. I have to agree with Debbie: I think this is my favorite so far!

  5. Wow that is an amazing quilt, as are all of your other Disney masterpieces! Such great amazing detail!

  6. This is amazing, and is absolutely my favorite--undoubtedly because I adore Moana. Isn't it incredible that a movie can be so inspiring across to so many decades of viewers? I'm 54 and I love it and not just because of how amazing Moana is. Her grandmother is an inspiration as well--I see my favorite aunt and grandmother in her and aspire to be like all three of them (sooner than I would have imagined when I was Moana's age, but that's how life goes, much to my surprise.) What a wonderful quilt. Love seeing the joy on your sister's face. Well done!

  7. This is incredible. I am so in awe of your quilting skill as I'm still plugging along here getting the basics down! You give me something to aspire to.

  8. i love Moana - so much about it to love but my favorite details are the seafoam and the posture/stance of Moana - you really caught her spirit. As always, gorgeous colors, textures, scale - a real work of art. i love seeing your sister's smile while holding her new quilt, and all the quilts together! i thought i couldn't love anything more than the Beauty and the Beast quilt but i think this is just as favorite; they are all gorgeous - i can't pick one over another for favorite. they're all my favorite!

  9. Wow,what a beautiful quilt. I love reading how you created and quilted your piece. It really is a feast of colour and detail. Happy New Year and happy quilting.

  10. Best quilt EVER!!! I love everything about your Moana quilt, the thought you put into it and the execution is perfect!! We love Moana too, you nailed this one perfectly!

  11. Great mini and I just love seeing them all together. Each one is special on its own, but go together as a group so well.

  12. What a beautiful gift for your sister. I am in love with the all the quilting!! The pebbles, the waves, the mountains!! I can only imagine the number of hours that you put into this. Congratulations on a job well done!!


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