TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List | Join Astronaut Karen Nyberg in Creating a Space Quilt for the 2014 Houston Show!

Join Astronaut Karen Nyberg in Creating a Space Quilt for the 2014 Houston Show!

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November 4, 2013
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Astronaut Karen Nyberg quilting in space.

Astronaut Karen Nyberg quilting in space.

Astronauts seem to be having a lot of fun in space these days!  Just the other day, I saw an interview with astronaut Chris Hadfield on one of the blogs I subscribe to, Six Pixels of Separation, and that led me to over an hour of watching videos of Chris showing the complexities of getting basic things done without gravity: clipping your nails, shaving, and even crying. (Tears don’t run down your face. They just form a big blob.) Stuff I had never thought about. He performs a great rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddities here:


Hadfield generated a huge following by using social media, tweeting with Captain Kirk and others, reporting on what he was seeing, and awakening great interest in what’s out there, in that big place beyond our planet we call Earth. He is back on the ground, but Karen is up there with needles, scissors and thread!  Not an easy task! Have you ever thought about cutting fabric with no gravity? About needles and pins that might float around?

Karen shows us a bit about what it’s like to be a quilter in space. She also invites us to participate in a community project where her quilt block will be added to others for the 2014 Houston Show:


The YouTube info:

Astronaut Karen Hadfield sewing in space.


NASA Astronaut Karen Nyberg, a lifelong lover of sewing, is inviting fellow crafters to join her in stitching together a global community space quilt.

Nyberg, in the final weeks of her mission, recently shared a star-themed quilt square she was able to complete inside the International Space Station. Now, she’s inviting quilters from the public to create their own star-themed quilt squares to help celebrate her mission and passion for the quilting arts.

The International Quilt Festival and Nyberg will work together to have the squares stitched together for display at the 40th annual International Quilt Festival in 2014 and other public displays.


Nyberg’s complete biography

Nyberg’s personal sewing hobbies


Pretty funny to see her hair flying all over the place, isn’t it? Another thing I hadn’t thought about. (And, I’ve watched a lot of sci-fi movies…) How does she wash it? They have to be very careful about water consumption even though all of their fluids and body wastes are recycled and purified, re-capturing 97% of the water used on board. Hadfield talks about this in one of his videos. Well, Karen demonstrates how she keeps her locks clean:

Isn’t this fun? If you have kids, building a block together for Karen’s project would be a great way to stimulate interest in both the space program and in the textile arts!  Details here.

A couple of starry TAFA quilts:

Kalahari Quilts

Kalahari Quilts


Ann Harwell Art

Ann Harwell Art


I've been working with the arts and craft world in many capacities since 1988. Handmade textiles have been my core focus since launching TAFA in 2010.

My hope is to contribute to the economic development potential the arts bring to the world, along with the intrinsic beauty shown in the work. May the world become a friendlier place for artists and nature!

Arrived in Kentucky after a childhood in Brazil, college in Minnesota and 20 years in Chicago. It's been a ride!

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