I like this tunnels quilt pattern – don’t you think it’s a lovely rich red. I’ve always liked those quilt blocks with lots of frames and I’ve used a more ornate border than I often do. I think that’s given the quilt something extra. I’ve used the Tunnels quilt block – six blocks arranged in three pairs. The quilt measures 52″ by 70″ and I’ve used 1.1/4 yards of yellow fabric with 1.1/2 yards each of the red and cream.
3.1/2″ squares: twenty four cream
3.7/8″ squares: sixty each in yellow and cream, thirty six each in yellow and red
1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric: eleven strips
2.1/2″ strips cut across the width: two yellow, four red
2.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ rectangles: sixty eight red
Making the tunnels quilt block
Make half square triangles with all the 3.7/8″ squares in the colour combinations listed above. Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along one of the diagonals. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line. Cut along the line to produce two half square triangles from each pair of squares. Press the seam allowances towards the dark fabric and trim the corners where the triangle tips stick out. These are now 3.1/2″ squares.
Normally I would suggest laying the squares out in six rows of six, but for this quilt block there are so many half square triangles that I thought it might be helpful for you to see the block built up frame by frame – I find it more easy to place the triangles correctly this way.
The outer frame of the block is made with a 3.1/2″ cream square in each corner and four yellow/cream half square triangles along each edge. Place the triangles so that they form a diamond frame as shown.
The next frame inside the edge is made entirely of red/yellow half square triangles. Place these so that the red triangles form a frame.
Finally the four patchwork squares in the middle of the quilt block are all yellow/cream half square triangles. These are placed to form a yellow diamond in the middle.
Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the tunnels quilt block. You will need to make six of these.
Assembling the tunnels quilt
Sew the blocks together in three pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.
I have used 1.1/2″ strips of cream fabric for the first border. You will need two lengths of 36.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 56.1/2″ for the sides.
The second quilt border
For the second quilt border I have used a simple square in square design, made using strip piecing to keep it extra simple. Sew together 2.1/2″ strips of red, yellow, red fabric. Cut these at 2.1/2″ intervals to give strips of fabric that are made of red, yellow, red squares and are 2.1/2″ by 6.1/2″.
Sew a 6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ red rectangle to either side to make a square in square quilt block. You will need to make thirty four of these. Sew these together in two rows of six and two rows of nine. This will leave you with four of the blocks for the quilt cornerstones.
Cut eight strips of cream fabric 6.1/2″ by 1.1/2″. Sew one to each end of each of the border strips.
Sew one of the six-block border strips to the top of the quilt and the other one to the bottom of the quilt.
The two remaining strips of square in a square blocks will be used for the sides. Sew one of the remaining blocks to each end of each of these strips. These strips will now be made of nine square in square blocks with a cream strip at each end and then a further square in square block. Sew these to the sides of the quilt.
The third quilt border
Finally I used 1.1/2″ strips of cream fabric for the third border. You’ll need two lengths of 50.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 70.1/2″ for the sides.
That completes the tunnels quilt top. It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.
Here’s the video:
I think that this is one quilt top that I would like to finish fairly quickly, so I will try and get it quilted soon and show you how I did it. In the mean time, you might be interested to see how I quilted the Hawaiian quilt from a few weeks ago. Click on machine quilted Hawaiian for details.