Summer Dreamin’ Blog Hop – Summer Shades Quilt Tutorial & a Giveaway!


Welcome back to those of you have been here before.  If you’ve never stopped by before, hello!  I’m Jessica Toye, a long-arm quilter & quilt designer living in Kansas City, MO.  Gina Martin, a friend of mine from KCMQG, was looking for bloggers to partake in this tour a while back and I volunteered.  She gave us total freedom on what we’d like to make for the blog hop, so I decided to make a quilt using from half-square triangles & appliqué.  The appliqué is done with the same raw-edge, fusible web method I shared in the last blog hop & tutorial post I wrote.  If you gave the diaper pin quilt a go, you’ll know that this method is super quick and easy.  Basically, all that’s involved is tracing, ironing, and outlining the shapes in a zig-zag stitch.


How fun is this fabric?  When I see it I just want to sing “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.  It’s so cheerful & summery.  The whole quilt top you see below is made from fabrics from the Sanibel line Gina designed for Moda.


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I couldn’t pick just one of these photos to share with you.  How cute is my little guy?  This was possibly the first photo shoot with him that didn’t involve tears.


Okay, this one might be my favorite of him.


I had planned on making a baby quilt for this tutorial, too, but when my sister said she liked the fabric, I jumped the finish quilt to a throw size instead of a smaller one.  I like to have an idea of where the final project is going before I start it, so I don’t add to my collection of homeless quilts.  I keep telling my husband they add to the insulation of our house, but I’m not sure he believes me.

Are you ready to give it a go?  Check out the tutorial below.



  • All seams are 1/4″ unless noted otherwise.  Read all instructions before beginning.
  • If you like to plan your final block arrangement instead of leaving it to fate, feel free to use a design wall as you go to organize your arrangement before sewing anything together.

Supplies & Materials:

  • Sharp scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Lightweight, paper backed fusible web (I like Pellon #805)
  • Printed templates for sunglasses appliqué (get it here: Sunglasses Templates)
  • 1/4 yard each of the of 30 different prints from the Sanibel fabric line
  • Backing fabric (I started with 14″ of each of the 30 different Sanibel fabrics & pieced the backing out of the leftovers from the quilt top & had some fabric to spare.)
  • 1/2 yard red solid fabric for binding
  • Thread (I used white thread for piecing, zig-zag stitching the appliqué & quilting.)
  • Batting


From each print, cut one 7″ strip x WOF (Width of Fabric).

  • From 5 of these strips, cut one rectangle from each to measure 12-1/2″ wide x 6-1/2″ tall for the background of the applique blocks.
  • From 5 other strips, cut one rectangle from each to measure 10-1/2″ wide x 4-1/2″ tall for the sunglasses rims.
  • From 5 other strips, cut two squares from each to measure 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ for the sunglasses lenses.
  • From each of the 30 strips, cut 3 squares from each to measure 7″ x 7″ for the half-square triangles.


On the glue side (bumpy side) of fusible web, use your ballpoint pen to trace Sunglasses A – Rim.  Write a little “A1” next to the line on the outside of your shape to label it.  Set aside.


Repeat to trace all of the templates the number of times listed in the list below.

  • Sunglasses A – Rims: Trace 2
  • Sunglasses A – Lens: Trace 4
  • Sunglasses B – Rims: Trace 1
  • Sunglasses B – Lens: Trace 2
  • Sunglasses C – Rims: Trace 2
  • Sunglasses C – Lens: Trace 4


Once you have traced all of the parts, cut them apart leaving a margin around the lines you traced.  Make sure you don’t cut off the letter you labeled each piece with.



Choose one of your fabrics for Sunglasses A – Rims.  Lay this fabric right side down on your ironing board.  Place the fusible web that you traced Sunglasses A – Rims on top of this fabric with the glue side facing down (glue to wrong side of fabric).  Iron the fusible web to the fabric according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  This will sandwich your pen outline between the glue and the backside of the fabric.  Repeat until you have all of your fusible web rims attached the backside of a piece of fabric.

Use the same method to attach the fusible web to the backside of the lens fabrics.  Be sure to choose the same fabric for both lenses of the same glasses.  Set aside.


Peel the paper off the backside of each of your appliqué pieces.  Discard paper.  See how your pen marks are still there?  Magic!


Use your sharp scissors to cut exactly along the ballpoint pen line you traced.  Set aside & repeat for each of the appliqué pieces.


Once you have each of your appliqué pieces cut, you can start to fuse them to the background fabrics.  This is how:

Lay one of your background fabrics right side up on your ironing board.  Press it to get any remaining wrinkles out.  Finger press to find the center of the background fabric.  Center the sunglasses rims on the rectangle and press according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Place the two lenses for the sunglasses on top of the rims.  Press according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Repeat for remaining sunglasses blocks.

Now is the time to break out your sewing machine.  Set your machine to do a basic zig-zag stitch.  Place your needle into the rim fabric at the corner using the fly wheel on your machine.


Bring your needle back out of the fabric to pull the bobbin thread to the top of your work.  Pull both the bobbin and top threads to make a tail that is about 6″ long or so.  Hold onto your tails of thread and zig-zag stitch around the outer edge of the appliqué pieces.  Be sure to move slowly around the curves to keep your stitches as even as possible.  Continue following the colored fabric’s edge until you have outlined the entire thing.  When you reach the point you started at, raise your needle and pull a tail of thread about 6″ long before snipping it.  Use a pin, awl, or other sharp object to pull the thread tails from the front of your work to the back.  Tie a knot with the tails as close to the fabric as you can.  Trim the thread tails to about 1/4″ – 1/2″ long.  Repeat to outline the lenses of the glasses in a zig-zag stitch.  Repeat for remaining sunglasses blocks.

Note: If you’d like to see photos of the above process, check out the diaper pin baby quilt tutorial.  

Making the Half-Square Triangles

If you’ve never done half-square triangles (HST’s) before, this is a fabulous tutorial for doing them.

Pair the 7″ squares and lay them right sides together.  Mark a line diagonally from corner to corner across the lighter colored fabric.


Stitch 1/4″ away from your drawn line on both sides.



Slice down the drawn line of the HST.


Press seam to one side.

Trim square to 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″.

Piecing the Quilt Top:

Use a design wall if desired to arrange the HST & sunglasses blocks before proceeding.

Piece the blocks together in pairs.  Continue piecing the pairs together until you have rows.

Piece the rows together until you have a completed top.

Note: When piecing a quilt top, press the seams in each row in opposite directions.  (1st row, all seams pressed to the right.  2nd row, all seams pressed to the left.  3rd row, all seams pressed to the right.  Etc…)

Make Your Quilt Back:


You can use a solid piece of fabric or piece one; it’s up to you!  You just need to end up with something that is around a little bigger than your top.  Mine was about 64″ x 72″.  I cut 6-1/2″ wide strips of the leftover fabric and pieced them together into strips and cut them to 64″ wide.

Make Your Quilt Sandwich:

Cut your batting to the proper size.

Decide how you want to finish your quilt.  I use my longarm machine to quilt, so I don’t need to baste my quilt sandwiches.  If your method requires basting, do it now.


Quilt as you like.  My sample is filled with orange peels in all the blocks but the appliqué blocks.  Those are outlined around the glasses and the background is filled with a different filler in each.



Use your rotary cutter to trim the excess batting and backing fabric even with the edges of the quilt top.

Trim the selvedges off your orange binding fabric and sew the strips together to create one long strip.  (You can get fancy and 45 the ends of each strip to reduce bulk if you like.)  Press the seams open.  Fold binding in half lengthwise (right sides together) to make a double layered strip that is a little bigger than 1” wide. Press.

Sew the raw edges of binding along the raw edges of the quilt on the top side. Be sure to leave a tail on each end.

Sew the two ends together to make a snug binding. Cut off the excess tail of binding.

Wrap the binding around to the back side of quilt. Hand stitch in place if you’re feeling ambitious  If not, machine stitch it down(like me!).

And that’s it!  You’re all done!

D E T A I L S   O F   T H E   S A M P L E    Q U I L T


Approximate size: 54″x66″

Block Sizes:

  • Appliqué Blocks: 6″x12″
  • Half-Square Triangles: 6″x6″

Fabrics used: Moda’s “Sanibel” line by Gina Martin, binding in Kona (an undetermined specific name) red

Thread used: So Fine #50 – Color #401

Batting: Quilter’s Dream Orient

Quilting Design:

  • Sunglasses are outlined & background of appliqué is filled with a different background.
  • Orange peel quilting

A few notes:

  • Thanks to Gina for letting me participate in this blog hop!  Baby quilts are some of my favorite things to create, so this project was extra fun for me.  Hope you all enjoy it as well!
  • I’d love to share your versions of this quilt on my facebook page.  Send photos of your finished projects to JessToyeQuilts (at) gmail (dot) com and I may share them on the facebook page or this blog!
  • The blog tour goes from April 6 – 10.  Here are the other sites participating: Sarah Lowry of Stitching and Bacon, Tammie Schaffer of Crafty Tammie, Sally Keller of Sally’s Angel Works, Donna Shervington of DONNALEEQ, Denise Bane of I Am A Quilter, Brooke Sellmann of Silly Mama Quilts, Trish Price of Hadley Street Quilts and Gina Martin of Pattern and Hue.

G I V E A W A Y 


Gina is giving away 2 charm packs of Sanibel to one of my readers who comments on this blog post.  Tell me, what is your favorite project to make for summer?  Placemats for your patio table?  A new beach tote bag?  Leave a comment by 11:59pm on Sunday, April 12 to be entered into the giveaway.  I’ll pick a winner on Monday, April 13, so be sure to leave your contact info in case you’re the lucky winner!  Also, make sure you visit the other sites in the blog hop.  Each stop is giving away a different prize and will be sharing a different project made from the fabric. 

This giveaway is now closed.  Thanks for participating!

67 thoughts on “Summer Dreamin’ Blog Hop – Summer Shades Quilt Tutorial & a Giveaway!

  1. I just love this fabric! I’ve been making quilted jackets. I’m going to try one without the batting for a lighter summer jacket.

  2. This summer, I will make a queen size quilt for my son’s bed to give him at Christmas. Normally I would avoid such a big heavy project during the heat of the summer, but I want to get it done in August to have enough time for the longarmer to quilt it. Thanks for sharing your ideas. It’s such a cute quilt.

  3. I’ve not made a project specific to summer (except a big banner once, for a Reunion Picnic), but I think I’d like to make some seat cushions and placemats for my NEW PATIO!!! 🙂

  4. HI, summer brings neat ideas for picnics+I think I’d like to make us a cheerful summery tablecloth! Beautiful collection! Thanks for your tutorial>love it!

  5. Love your quilt. Thanks for the great tutorial. I think my favourite summer project would have to be totes. We’re always on the go so we’re always using lots of bags, even when it’s only in and out of the garden. Thanks for the lovely giveaway.

  6. I like making table toppers for my tables inside and this year I have a table outside that needs one. Thank you for the great tutorial and giveaway. I love your quilt, so cute!

  7. I love this fabric and I love the quilt you made with it. My favorite thing to make for summer is pillow and cushion covers for my patio furniture. Thanks!

  8. Gorgeous collection and an excellent tutorial! I don’t really make seasonal items but I love the idea of making table runners and place mats for the patio furniture. Why haven’t I done that yet? Lol. Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. Love the sunglasses – very cute! Thanks for a great tutorial! I am looking forward to getting some of this fabric – very hot and summery!!! I would probably make a nice bag with it but it would make a cute summer top too!

  10. This summer I’m determined to finish up some quilts, but usually I make sundresses for my daughter. Such a fun quilt!

  11. I spend lots of time in the gardens so don’t do a lot of summer sewing. I do like to make table runners and lap quilts.

  12. An easy project to make if you like making quilts is to add loop handles to the corners of a playmat sized quilt. Lay it out on the floor, pile all of the teddies in the middle, pick up the loops and carry them all off together for a teddy bear’s picnic 🙂 Thank you so much for the fab tutorial. The fabric choice is gorgeous. I love bright fabrics and so does my 3 year old Great Niece.

  13. A Sanibel picnic table topper would be great to make with these charms. Thanks for your Summer Shades tutorial. It’s really cute. I love the sunglasses.

  14. Awesome tutorial…. I just love those sunglasses, they are sooooo stinkin’ cute!! Eeeeeek!! In the summer I like to sit on our front deck and do some hand quilting with a cup of tea… Well, until it gets too hot out there or the bugs bother me! I don’t choose specific projects, but it’s usually a gift I make to celebrate a momentous occasion for a family or friend.

  15. In the summer I tend to make little items, prowling through all the blogs for something new. I love different zipper bags, little wallets, stuff like that. Love your quilt, it’s so summery, and your little guy is precious!

  16. I do like making bright happy totes and zip pouches in the summer, but mostly I make quilts that will become Christmas gifts. I like to get them done throughout the year so I don’t have to rush.

  17. One of my favorite summer sewing projects is small personalized tote bags. I like to make them for the younger kids to encourage them to get to the library and fill them up with books for summer reading! I choose colors they like, then embroider their name on the front, with a small pocket on the inside for their library card.

  18. Love making tote bags! (anytime of year! Am “addicted” to them! lol) But like to make Summery things for Summer…new Throw Pillows, light Quilts, & things for the Grangirlie to wear. 🙂

  19. I always think a new bag is needed for summer, a girl can never have too many bags and they are my favourite thing to sew. I love this quilt, especially the glasses appliqué. x

  20. Eating outside isn’t very easy here in Podunk…to many bugs. I don’t have plans for any summer sewing..I sew by impulse. But should I win some of this adorable fabric there’s gonna be some cute placemats, pillows, bags, quilts, whatever the fabric will allow! Thanks for the fun!

  21. Love the sunglasses quilt – makes me think of vintage images from the 50s. I like to make sunglasses cases with matching beach bags for the grown up ladies, and sun hats for the little ones.

  22. Love your quilt – especially the sunglasses! I’ll be making cushions for my garden chairs and matching fabric coasters for the table (plus lots of summer dresses for me!) x

  23. I love to make tote bags for the summer and Sanibel is perfect for that. I had to laugh when I read your comment about tears and the photo shoot – I could relate!

  24. I’d like to make a beach blanket with these fabrics! haven’t tried making a tote bag yet but that is another good idea.

  25. I make quilts in the summer even though it can get kind of hot. I also like making little ouches – handy for keeping things in while travelling!

  26. I like to make big, easy quilts to throw out on the lawn or the sand so we have something to flop onto and read or eat a sandwich and lounge around on together. Not a quilt anyone has to be careful with, one that will get loved to death and will be featured in all kinds of memories–my childhood quilts were all like that, while I tend to be too careful with the quilts I have made as an adult. I’m trying to relax.

  27. Your quilt is awesome and your male model is adorable!!! Your idea of making large sunglasses to applique is brilliant. This fabric is such fun and the colours are hot!! I wish I had some quilts that I have made to insulate my house as you do – I do not own a quilt that I have made as I give them all away. Maybe when my grandchildren stop arriving and wanting more of Meme`s quilts I will make one for us but I love making them for them as long as they want them. My favourite summer thing to make is beach quilts or outdoor play quilts.
    perry94022 at hotmail dot com

  28. Thanks for the post! I’m fairly new to quilting and I learned a lot from your tutorial. I do like making tote bags and baby shower gifts(bibs, burp cloths, etc.) but I think this fabric calls for something more fun like a beach mat or lawn chair pillows.

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