Monday, August 23, 2010

Tutorial : Sun Rays Quilt Block

Hi everyone!
I had lots of nice compliments (thank you!) about the block I made for Lisa and a few requests for a tutorial on how I made the striped border.

So, here's a little tutorial on how I sewed it. I'm naming it the "Sun Rays Block", this block kind of reminds me of the stripes of light you can see when the sun shines through a cloudy day.

The instructions are for a 12.5" block.

(My pictures aren't the best, but I guess when you end up sewing really late at night, that happens! It seems like right now, that is the best time to get projects done like this.... when it's quiet and no little interruptions. But, it really is very dark and not great light to take pictures in... I hope you won't mind!)

Let's get started:
Cut a center peice of fabric 8.5" by 8.5" and lots of strips of fabrics to make the striped border around the outside. The strips I cut, range in width from 1" to 3.25". The strips need to be at least 8" in length.
Here I've started sewing random strips together to start making the border.
I placed 2 pieces of tape, 3" apart on my cutting mat, to help me see how my border is looking and if I have a long enough strip sewn on. Everytime I added another strip, I checked it by lining up one of the seam lines with the 45 degree angle line on my cutting mat. You can then see that you have enough fabric on the top and bottom to create the border at a 45 degree angle.
In this picture, you can see where I was getting a little off on my sewing on the strips.
At this point, I trimmed my border and adjusted where I was adding on the strips, so I would have less waste. You may or may not have to do that to keep building your border at the right angle.
Here you can see that I have enough length in the strip to create one side. I drew a line at a 45 degree angle to show you that you need enough fabric on each end to sew the mitered corners. Make sure you sew your borders quite a bit longer than the center square to account for the mitered corners.
Trim your fabric to a width of 3". I like to make it extra wide and then on the last step, trim your block to the exact size that you need (for this block, 12.5" square).
Place your pieced border strip of fabric and center fabric right sides together and stitch it together starting and ending .25" from the edge of the center square fabric.
Open and press with seams going toward the center.
Stitch up and trim your second border strip to a width of 3".

Stitch it to the second side, again starting your stitching .25" from the center fabric.
Don't unfold and press this side, yet. First you're going to draw on the line you will use to sew the mitered corner. Use your ruler and draw a line from the intersection of the two borders (see the arrows in the picture).
Now, fold your block in half as shown in the picture, with the two borders matched up. Stitch on the line that you drew in the step above, starting .25" in from the center and going all the way to the outer edge (see the line in the picture).
Open it up, press and admire your mitered corner!
Don't forget to trim your seam allowance to .25".
Now, you have 2 more edges to go... add them on in the same way as the first.
Here I have 3 sides on, one more to go.
All 4 borders are on and now you can square up your block to 12.5".
Congrats, you're done with the border!
You could add some cute applique in the center or just leave it blank, it will look great either way!
I made this block to use in my Quilting Diva's quilt.
I think I'll probably add some applique in the center, kind of like the one I made for Lisa (shown below).
SNTM VQBee Block for Lisa - bird on branch
I hope you find this tutorial useful!
If you have any questions, please ask!
Happy Sewing,


Renea said...

Love this. Thanks for the tutorial.

Angela said...

gorgeous! will definitely try this one!

Leslie said...

thanks this is awesome!!

~Niki~ said...

very cool block. looks easy to make~
I like it with the applique, but I think it might get too 'busy' adding the applique. Hmmm. Nice~

Anna said...

Fantastic! Thank you so much for posting this! I am definitely going to try this block.

randi said...

awesome! this tutorial is great!

Luv 2 Kreate said...

Thanks for the tutorial...can't wait to try it :)

Lisa said...

Love it!

Colleen said...

I LOVE that beautiful border!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial! I am excited to give this technique a try! Thanks again for obliging us tutorial requesters!

Helle said...

wow I just LOVE your sunrays block..ideal for stitchery and applique..great..thank you for the great and illustrated tutorial.
Sure I would make a quilt using these beautiful blocks.

Manda said...

Thanks! Great tutorial!

Ariane said...

I love this tutorial. I was just looking for inspiration on borders and I think I hit the jackpot. Thanks again.

Three Dancing Magpies said...

Thanks so much for sharing!

Hollie said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this tutorial.

La Mañosa said...

Thanks for sharing! This would also be super cute with an embroidery in the center. I think I may have to give that a try.

Crimson Lily said...

This is an awesome technique! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I can't wait to try this!

wishes, true and kind said...

Great blocks! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

Erin said...

I looooooove this! So simple but so striking! Thanks for the tutorial. :]

Liz said...

Thank you! This is gorgeous and your instructions are clear and detailed! I'm going to try this!

Staci said...

Thank you for doing a tutorial on this block. It is a stunner, and the center would lend itself to so many creative ideas from applique to embroidery to fussy cut fabrics or even a photo printed on fabric!

Your instructions are very clear and the photos are quite good. I'm a very visual quilter, and I appreciate your attention to detail.

Thank you again!

Caroline ~ TrilliumDesign said...

WOW That bottom block is truly stunning!! What a fabulous idea - thanks for posting the tute!

Diane said...

This is seriously the cutest block ever! I really love all of the diagonals around the edges! Thank you for sharing! I will definitely have to remember this. :)

Suzanne said...

Great tutorial! That center square is a fantastic blank canvas. I also appreciated the mitered edges. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I Love this block , a great stash buster it's charming &
say's alot about ur previous work.

Nani Artes said...

Love this block!

Very great idea.

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Found your post through Stumbled Upon and I love your block, tutorial and applique!

Thanks :)


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I love your tutorial. I think this would make a lovely frame when naming and putting details on the back of my quilt. Scraps from the top will give it that extra 'POP'

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