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!

Orange + White Houndstooth

I like quilting for Maggie.  She’s usually pretty okay with me quilting whatever I want to on her quilts.  This quilt, she told me she wanted “happy” quilting.

Houndstooth 02

We decided on this loopy design going from point to point.


Pretty cute, right?


Approximate Size: 70″ x 102″

Pattern Used: Houndstooth Quilt by V & Co.

Quilted: Loops in alternating directions following the piecing design.

Thread: So Fine#50 – I think the color was #451.

Batting: Quilter’s Dream Cotton – Request Loft

A Photo Quilt

Linda picked up my business card and contacted me asking if I could make a “photo memory quilt”.  She wanted this quilt to be for her daughter’s bridal shower.  All of the photos include her daughter.

Front 01

We met at my favorite local fabric shop, Modern Makers, to discuss our plan for the project and choose fabric.  She wanted the colors of her daughter’s wedding to make up the quilt.  Purple, orange, and platinum.  Elizabeth was awesome at helping us choose the fabrics that I made this quilt from.

Detail 02

Linda sent me a quilt she had found that was similar made by someone else.  It was a trip-around-the-world pattern, so that’s what we went with.

Detail 01

It went together easy enough.  The trickiest part to deal with was my design wall being too small to hold the entire quilt at once.

Back 01

The quilting design was an orange-peel on every square except the photographs.  The photographs are outlined in a stitch-in-the-ditch pattern to avoid any deterioration because of needle holes.


Quilt Pattern: No pattern used, just a Trip-Around-the-World

Fabrics Used:

  • Photographs were printed using spoonflower
  • Orange: Moonshine by Tula Pink – Static Dot in Tangerine
  • Dark Purple: Moda Grunge – Egglplant
  • Light Purple: Paint by Carrie Bloomston – News Print in Not Pink
  • Grey: Paint by Carrie Bloomston – Painted Solid in Schmutz
  • Backing: I think it was a Modern Solids, not sure of the exact color name.

Thread: So Fine #50 – Color #504

Batting: Quilter’s Dream – Dream Cotton

Approximate Size: 75″ x 85″

Quilting Design: Orange peel on all squares except the photographs.  Photographs were framed in a stitch-in-the-ditch.

Optical Illusions Blog Tour & Giveaway


Have you been following the Optical Illusions blog tour?  It’s been loads of fun for me to see what everyone is saying about our book.  If you’ve missed out on getting the scoop about our book, take a look at the previous posts!

The only people left off this list are my guest bloggers and myself.  Who are my two guest bloggers?  My friends Jacquie Gering and Shea Henderson were fabulous enough to join me on this tour. Jacquie and Shea are both incredible ladies & phenomenal quilters.  Jacquie is one of the co-authors of Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisional Quilts.  You can find Jacquie online at Tallgrass Prairie Studio.  Shea Henderson is a pattern designer and just came out with her first book, School of Sewing.  You can find her at Empty Bobbin Sewing.  They are both very busy ladies and were so wonderful to take the time to be my guest bloggers.  Please stop by their blogs and see what they have to say about our book.

Now, onto the juicy details!

A friend of mine sent me an email letting me know that the people at KC Star Quilts were looking for designers to submit quilts with optical illusion qualities.  Not really one to turn down an opportunity to something like that, I hopped on the internet and googled “optical illusions” and started translating those ideas into quilt designs.  I wanted to create something that was pretty simple to construct, but had a huge visual impact.  I came across the rippling idea and ran with it.

Toye - blog tour photo

I messed with the idea in EQ7 until I settled on the proportions of the triangles in the corner.  It’s not quite as straightforward as the traditional snowball with 45 degree corners (I tried that and it doesn’t ripple), but it isn’t that far from it.

It took me a while to decide how to quilt this one, too.  It’s unfortunate that I didn’t have Angela Walter’s chapter on quilting a modern quilt in front of me to help me decide.  🙂  Luckily I have most of her other books in my library and could reference them for help.  In the end I went with the obvious rippling water lines to help drive the idea home.

It’s fun working on challenges like this one and I hope I get to be a part of another project like this again in the future.


Leave me a comment below telling me about your favorite quilt in the book and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Optical Illusions: Innovative Designs for the Modern Quilter.  Yes, I know I’m asking you to pick a favorite out of the book being given away and how could you know what is inside?  Well… I’ve conveniently placed a link to all of the stops on this tour at the top of this post.  Visit those stops and you’ll get to see lots of photos of the quilts in the book.  Pick one and leave a comment with your answer below.  Leave your comments by Monday, November 17th  at 11:59 pm and I’ll I pick a winner on Tuesday.  Make sure you leave a way to contact you, so I’ll know how to get in touch if you’re the winner.

Thanks for stopping by!  Don’t forget to visit the rest of the posts in the blog tour if you haven’t already.  They are all giving away something fabulous.

Clickety Clack

WARNING: Image heavy post!

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned on here before that I have a two-year old boy.  Like many other two-year old boys, mine loves trains.  He likes Thomas all right, but he really just loves anything that is train related.  He’s still sleeping in a crib and will until he attempts to climb out.  So far that hasn’t happened yet, but I wanted to be prepared for when it does.  He needed a big boy quilt for his big boy bed!

I came up with a train image based on an image I found and altered in photoshop.

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I printed it out, taped it together, and traced it onto fusible web.

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I put the fusible web onto the back of some solid grey kona.

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Then I fused it to a wide white muslin.

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Loaded it on the long arm and got to work.

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Now for the finished quilt!

Front 01


The top!

Back 01


The back is a solid grey flannel.

Front 09

I wanted this quilt to have a lot of texture.  I wanted the overall image to be simple, yet graphic.  I hoped the quilting filled in the blanks for the rest of the story & I really think I nailed it.

Front 02


I quilted in tracks.

Front 03


Most of the train body is vertical lines.

Front 04


There’s steam coming out of the top.

Front 05


The “sky” is just these little swoopy things.

Front 06


This might be my favorite part of the quilt… I love the screw circle things and the way the quilting mimics the circular pattern of the front of the train.

Front 07


I put in what the light’s texture would look like.  I even quilted the screws that I didn’t cut out of the grey fabric.

Front 08


I’m really happy with this quilt.

Funny side note:  My boy LOVES this quilt.  I had a client come by to pick up a quilt I had quilted for her and my little guy was instant buddies with her.  She’s in my guild, so we were talking about the show that we have coming up and what I was putting into it.  I pulled out the train quilt to show her and my little guy went into beast mode.  We are talking full on freak out with screaming, tears, yelling, etc. because she touched it.  Once she took her hand off of his quilt, they were buddies again, but holy moly!  And then what’s even funnier is it happened AGAIN!  The same freak out when a second person came by and touched his quilt.  I think he likes it.  🙂

I mentioned above that it’s going to be in my guild’s show.  That’s tonight and tomorrow.  Details below.

Quilt Show


Designed and made by me.

Thread: So Fine #50 in a white & grey.  

Fabric: Solid white muslin & grey kona cotton on the front.  Back is a solid grey flannel.



Lesley’s Churn Dash

I love quilting for Lesley. Lesley is a fabulous quilter and she has such a good eye for color and fabric placement, so that makes it really fun to look at her quilts when I’m working on them.

Top 01

This quilt was really large! I didn’t have a big enough spot in my house to take a photo of the whole thing, so this is as close as I got to an overall photo.

Top 04

I quilted my new favorite overall design in the negative space. Paisleys! I love paisleys. Once things slow down a little bit for me and I get a chance to make more samples to add to my services page this will for sure be one of the new ones listed.

Top 03

I really, really, really, really, really love the texture that came from the quilting on this quilt.

Top 02

Don’t you just love that texture? I think it’s a little feminine without being overly girlie.

Block 07

The colored churn dash blocks were all quilted like this.

Block 01

I wanted the churn dashes to puff out a bit compared to the negative space.

Block 02

I love this chevron fabric! Lesley uses chevrons way differently than anyone else I’ve noticed. Check out her chevron dresden plate. I’m seriously in love.

Block 03

Do you see the slight difference in puffiness between quilting patterns? It came out just the way I was hoping it would!

Block 04

I LOVE this fabric. It’s the perfect shade of plum.

Block 05

I really love the orange-peel/flower petal quilting technique. It’s fun to do to create something to accentuate the piecing.

Block 08

You can see the quilting on the purple pretty well here. Don’t you think it suits the piecing?

Block 10

Some of the blocks were the inverse color placement with the white as the positive space and printed fabric as the negative space. How could I not take advantage of that?! I did an alternate quilting on those blocks and I love the way it turned out.

Block 09

And bonus: I only forgot to flip my quilting design on one of the blocks and caught it halfway through!  😉

Back 01

I have to admit… I kind of love the way the quilting turned out on the backside, too.

Back 02

I love how it becomes a design of it’s own.


Pieced by Lesley

Approximate size: 106″ x 106-1/2″

Thread: 50 wt. in Snow White

If you’d like to see what Lesley said about this quilt, visit her post here.

I really love the way this quilt turned out for Lesley.  It’s bright & cheerful and I’m so happy with the way it turned out.

Riley Blake Challenge

I finished this up a while ago.  By a while ago I mean, oh, like at least 2 if not closer to 3 or 4 months ago.  I just haven’t gotten around to posting about it.  Oops!  The submission deadline isn’t until February 17th, so I technically I’m not at the 11th hour yet.


Several months ago the Modern Quilt Guild announced a new challenge: The Riley Blake Fabric Challenge.  I love doing challenges.  I think it’s fun to work on something that has some set rules that you have to incorporate into your creation.  I didn’t have any immediate needs to make a quilt for somebody as a gift, but I did scorch a few potholders not long before and was starting to run low.  The rules for the challenge were to create anything quilted, so I made a quilted potholder!


I used this tutorial to make my own english paper piecing templates and it was super easy!  You can find my pin linking to the tutorial on my pinterest board, Quilty Goodness.  I decided to leave some off and not make an enormous hot pad, aka trivet.


Are you trying to figure out what the heck I did to bind it?  Well, this is what happened.  I quilted it up and had planned on binding it the usual way.  I started pinning binding to it to tack the front side down and thought “Screw this… this is going to take me years to do.  New plan!”  Then I got discouraged because I didn’t want to just cover the pieced backing I made with some of the other fabrics in the challenge bundle.  I decided to lay my potholder on the table, face up.  I put the solid grey on top of it and stitched all the way around it so that I had a clean stitched line on each edge.  I cut a slit in the grey fabric and flipped it around so that the grey was then on top of my backing.  Then I realized you couldn’t see most of the quilting I had just done, so I decided to quilt the outer ring of quilting again.  If you look at the front, I re-quilted (just traced right over the top of the previous quilting) the grey & yellow sections. Then I trimmed the grey so that you could see the pieced backing I did.  And then to cover my edges I used some bias tape to make the purple hexagon you see on the back.


I quilted it up on my domestic machine, because is it really necessary to quilt a 13″ pot holder on a long-arm?  Nope.  It probably would have taken longer to load it on the long-arm than it took to quilt the entire thing on my domestic machine.  I was inspired by Angela Walter’s posts about dot-to-dot quilting and thought I’d give it a try on this little project.  It’s fun and easy to do!


Fabric: Riley Blake Basics (I didn’t add anything to what they gave out!)

Size: Approximately 13″ from the outside edge of one yellow diamond acrosss the middle to the opposite outside edge of a yellow diamond.

Batting: Insulbrite!

Turns out that when you make a bunch of design decisions that aren’t necessarily completely thought through, sometimes it turns out okay in the end.

Happy Quilting!