Making Sunshine and Shadow Patchwork

Sunshine and Shadow quilt patchwork | BioWol

Creating Sunshine and Shadow Quilt Design

Now, that the fabrics and the quilting equipment are ready, I am prepared to create my quilt. My next step is to take photos of each piece of fabric and design my new quilt in Photoshop. After two attempts, I came up with this Sunshine and Shadow patchwork pattern with borders:

Sunrise and shadow quilt design on the computer | BioWol
Sunrise and Shadow Quilt Design Made in Photoshop. The final quilt will measure 108″x108″.

Preparation of the Quilt Sections

All fabrics are cut into strips 5 1/2” wide to make five inch squares after the quarter inch seam allowance (on each side).

Cut strips of fabric for Sunshine and Shadow quilt | BioWol
Strips of each fabric are cut and ready to be assembled in the order according to the design.

The cut strips are stitched together to make a solid sheet. This sheet will make one quarter of the quilt.

Strips of fabric are sewn together and ironed | BioWol
The first step in making Sunshine and Shadow quilt.

I keep all of my sewing machine settings unchanged until all patchwork is complete. It is very important to have exactly the same seam allowance to line up the blocks very neatly later.

Strips of fabric are sewn together and ironed | BioWol
The first step in making Sunshine and Shadow quilt.

After all strips were stitched together, the seams were ironed to one side. Great care was taken to press the seams very flat without stretching the material.

Precise alignment of the quilt blocks makes a big difference in the end.

I cut one strip of fabric at the right angle to make the first row of single square blocks 5 1/2” wide.

Strips are cut to make a row of square blocks | BioWol
The first row of square blocks.

After one strip was cut, the remaining sheet of the fabric strips was sewn shut to form a tube. That last seam must be pressed in the same direction. Because of this circular arrangement, the Sunshine and Shadow patchwork is sometimes called “Trip around the World.”

A tube of strips | BioWol
The sheet of strips is sewn into a tube. The last seam will be ironed. May be this is why the quilt is also called “Trip Around the World”?

Next step is to cut the tube perpendicular to the seams to make several rings, five-and-a-half inch wide.

Time-Saving Secret of Sunshine and Shadow Quilt Making

And here is the big secret. Each ring should be ripped at one seam, but not the same seam. I rip the rings in a staggered fashion to create the diagonal arrangement.

Checking my patchwork against the design in the computer | BioWol
The arrangement looks exactly like my Photoshop design.

So, I sew the strips together with the same unchanged 1/4” seam allowance setting.

Attaching the strips for Sunshine and Shadow quilt | BioWol
The strips are being stitched together.

The technique of stitching the strips together is called “chain sewing.” (At least I don’t have to do chain sawing like I did a few years ago when I learned how to cut wood with a chain saw. Whew!)

It always helps to have a little helper to double check your work.

Quality control | BioWol
The quality control manager makes sure that the stitching is impeccable.

The Quality Manager approved my work. It’s all in the right order.

Whew, I passed the test!

Approval of the patchwork | BioWol
This is the approval look.

After all strips are stitched together, I press all seam allowances in the same direction.

Back side of the patchwork is ironed in the same direction | BioWol
The wrong side of the patchwork is seen for the first time and the last time. Pretty soon, it will be tucked between the layers and sewn permanently.

The four quarters of the quilt are done separately to be assembled into one large Sunshine and Shadow quilt top.

Making the Quilt Border

If you read the previous post about the fabric selection for this quilt, you may remember the bright and cheerful print designed by Angela Anderson. I used the fabric’s border along the periphery of the quilt.

The border of Sunshine and Shadow quilt | BioWol
Isn’t it cute? I can’t wait for the next gardening season.

I didn’t use it as a continuous piece of the border fabric. Instead, I broke the design with additional quilt blocks to make it more appealing.

Just as my Photoshop design, eight quilt blocks were made to adorn the border: four green blocks for the corners of the quilt, and four brown-and-orange blocks were used in the middle of the border on all four sides.

Blocks used in the border of Sunshine and Shadow quilt | BioWoltcn
My in-between and corner blocks are neatly made and pressed.

When the border was finished, I carefully ironed it to flatten the seams.

The border is attached to Sunrise and Shadow quilt | BioWol
The border is attached to the quilt.

When I work on my patchwork, I don’t see the entire quilt. It’s too large to be spread out on the work surface. And I try not to pull and shake the quilt top as it may cause the undesirable stretching and skewing of the quilt blocks.

Sunshine and Shadow patchwork assembly | BioWol
So far so good. The patchwork assembly is done neatly.

Making the Quilt Sandwich

After all of the patchwork is done and the quilt top is ready, I start working with this beautiful backing fabric from Hancock’s of Paducah, KY. I already prepared the solid piece of fabric ahead of time. It’s been prewashed, pressed, and trimmed.

Preparing the quilt backing | BioWol
The preparation of this large piece of textile takes a lot of space.

The patchwork was finished at last. And the back side of the patchwork will never be seen again.

The next step, now, is to sandwich the top, batting, and backing and secure the quilt. I typically don’t use any basting sprays on my quilts. And I am not going to do it this time either. Good old fashioned safety pins do the job perfectly well.

The quilt sandwich is ready. The top is visible, the backing is the opposite layer
on the bottom, and the batting is nestled in-between the two layers.

All three layers are sandwiched into one piece of my cozy creation.

They are spread out gingerly with no pulling or tugging.

Sunshine and Shadow quilt sandwich | BioWol
Sunshine and Shadow quilt is starting to take shape. Doesn’t is match nicely with the pines outside the balcony door?

The quilt is ready for the next step, which is stitching. We are going to take a break though. It’s been a long day. Ask the Quality Manager how hard we worked. But may be not just yet. The QM has crashed after the long and arduous day.

The quality manager is tired | BioWol
He is wasted.

See you next time!

Previous Step: Fabric Palette for the QuiltNext Step: Stitching the Quilt

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