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.

Fort Firefly

Tabitha contacted me a few months before her second baby, Wren, was born.  She was hoping I could make a special quilt that would fit into the baby’s room aesthetic.  She mentioned that she had a piece by Teagan White and would like to include a piece of fabric from her Fort Firefly line.  I took one look at this line and fell in love.

Tabitha also mentioned that she had seen a link I had posted on facebook to a new quilt pattern by my friend Shea Henderson’s pattern company, Empty Bobbins Sewing Studio.  The name of the pattern is the Parallels quilt.  If you’re looking for an incredibly well-written, easy-to-follow quilt pattern, be sure to check this one out.  The photographs (by Lauren Hunt, another uber-talented friend of mine) are GORGEOUS.  And I even got lucky enough to quilt 2 of the quilts included in the pattern (Stadium Seating and Checkered Lightning).  This pattern takes a little extra attention when cutting because of the uncommon angles, but is a breeze to stitch up.

Top 01

We chose not to follow the pattern exactly.  I followed the “Slingshots” version of the pattern, but changed the placement of the fabrics.

Detail 03

I think they kind of look like frog legs.  🙂

Detail 02

I quilted this quilt using an overall design.  This wood grain is one of my favorites.

Detail 01

The solids are shot-cottons in terra cotta, dill, and squash.  I love shot cottons.  Well, maybe more than love.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them.  I love that they appear to have so much more texture to them than regular old solids.  They have a shimmer that sparkles in the light. They are so soft, too.

Detail 04

The fabric is a very whimsical, woodsy print, so the woodgrain texture I used for the quilting on this one was a perfect fit.

Label 01

I made this cute little label on the backside of the quilt.  It’s just a little piece of the main print in the quilt appliqued onto the backside of the quilt.  I signed my name and the year it was made.


Pattern used: Parallels Quilt (Slingshots version modified) by Empty Bobbins Sewing Studio

Approximate Size: 55 1/2″ x 60″

Fabrics used: Fort Firefly – Field Party & Jars (Blue), Shot Cottons – terra cotta, dill, & squash

Quilting Design: Woodgrain

Thread: So Fine #50 – Color #457

Batting: Quilter’s Dream – Dream Orient

This was a fun quilt to make & Tabitha was a fantastic client to work for.  I’ve seen photos of baby Wren pop up on facebook laying on this quilt, so I know it’s being put to good use.

Around the World in 80 days

I blog on here so infrequently, that I’m not sure if I’m mentioned which of the quilting designs I like the most.


This is one of them.  It’s an orange peel design.


It works awesome on a lot of different quilts.  All an orange peel is in quilting is an arc that goes from one point of the block to the next.  Sometimes I like to throw in extra arcs to cross over the block (Remember the Red & White Quilt I did for Katie?  That’s an orange peel with some extra peels thrown in.) , but this little quilt was small enough that I thought the traditional orange peel was the right choice.


Pieced by: Susan MacDonald

Size: 38″x48″

Thread: So Fine #50 – Color #426

Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose – 100% Cotton Needled Batting

Quilting: Orange Peel

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.



Another sneak peek.

I promise I’ll get to writing posts about finished quilting project soon.  Right now, I’m focusing on just trying to crank out a few more projects before the next KCMQG meeting so I can return them.

I kind of love the way quilting ideas look when they are sketched on paper.  I think there’s something beautiful and organic about them.

Up next.

Out of all the fairly standard “modern quilting patterns” I think I like the wonky star the best.  They’re easy to make & turn out so cheerful.  The adjective that comes to mind to describe them is “spunky”.  This quilt top was made by some of my guild members for the Birthday Blessings project.

Working on quilting this one up over little mans naptime today.

I think my favorite view of the quilt when it’s on the frame is when I lay on my back under the quilt and look up at it.  The light shining through it always looks so cool.  I love how the pinholes really pop out at you when you look at it like this.  They disappear from pretty much every other angle & I think it’s really neat to see them.

What it looks like underneath.

Happy Quilting!