The sunshine shadow quilt pattern is more often made using a trip around the world technique – that means making strips of squares, sewing them in a loop and then breaking into the loop at different stages to make the design. It’s a simple enough way of making a quilt, but you have to concentrate to make sure that you always break into the loop at the right place. After I had made the trip around the world quilt I was asked quite often how to make it larger. So that started me thinking about a way of making the sunshine shadow quilt that could be easily made smaller or larger without too much effort – I’m all for the easy life. I tried making a block and to my relief it worked: you can make this quilt using just one quilt block, rotating it to form the design, and you can make it whatever size you want by just making more or less blocks.
Cutting requirements for the sunshine shadow quilt
2.1/2″ squares: 288 each in all six colours
For the border you will need 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue: two at 72.1/2″ long and two at 100.1/2″ long.
Making the sunshine shadow quilt block
You can use a certain amount of speed piecing to help, but you do also need individual squares.
So I sewed some of the 2.1/2″ strips of fabric together in pairs and left the others to be cut into individual squares. For both the pairs of strips and the individual strips of fabric I have cut at 2.1/2″ intervals to create pairs of squares or individual squares.
Lay the squares out in six rows of six. The red squares form one diagonal. Above them are light blue, dark blue white, cream and then orange squares. Because the orange square is in last position in row 1, it is then placed in first position in row 2, second position in row 3 and so on down the diagonal. The cream square is in last position in row 2 so it is then placed in first position in row 3 and then follows the diagonal line.
Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the quilt block. Make forty eight of these.
Assembling the sunshine shadow quilt
Lay the squares out in eight rows of six blocks. Rows one to four are all the same as each other: for the first three blocks the red diagonal goes up from bottom left to top right while for the second three blocks the red diagonal goes down from top left to bottom right. There are in fact two ways that the block can be placed while still keeping the red diagonal in the same line, so just check that for the first three blocks you have the light blue square in the top left of the block while in the second three blocks the top right square is the light blue.
Rows 5 to 8 are also the same as each other, but with the red diagonals going in the opposite direction to those in the first four rows. This time you want the top right square in each of the first three blocks to be orange, while the top left square should be orange in each of the remaining blocks.
Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of the dark blue fabric. You’ll need two lengths of 72.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 100.1/2″ for the sides.
That completes the sunshine shadow quilt top. It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.
I hope that you’ll agree that this is a quick and easy way of making such an eyecatching quilt. I know that the true trip around the world quilt pattern has an extra row and column forming a cross in the middle, but I have tried to keep this quilt as easy and straightforward as possible.
In order to make it larger or smaller you need to add or substract blocks from both the sides or from both top and bottom – you need to have an even number of rows and columns in order to keep the design symmetrical.
In this version I have used sixty four blocks laid out in eight rows of eight blocks. The final quilt is 100″ square.
Here’s the video:
I’m having some work done in the house next week so it looks like being a hectic week. I’ve had to spend the last few days tidying my fabric away so that it isn’t exposed to builders’ dust – but it will be worth it!