Use strip piecing and angled cuts to emulate prisms.
We’re on to quilt block number 7 and this month it’s all about sunshine and prisms. Our quilt blogger, Lara, will tell you how she was inspired, and show you how she used that inspiration as the basis for this block. Favorite techniques paired with Omnigrid rulers make it possible to turn everyday beauty into tangible pieces of art.
We’re excited to have Lara Whiting contributing our block of the month series. Lara is going to be teaching you how to make 9 different quilting blocks, which you can use in any combination to make a 9-block quilt. This month’s block is the seventh in the series, and features strip piecing and angled cuts using Omnigrid® rulers.
Inspired by crystal prisms.
In this month’s installment of sunset themed blocks, I drew inspiration from the shapes made by crystal prisms and the sun’s rays. I have a few prisms placed strategically in windows that get direct sunlight. At certain times of the day, different windows seem to shoot tiny rainbow daggers across my floor. This block is the product of acknowledging that beauty, and translating it into fabric.
I’ve also accumulated quite the odd scrappy strip collection. Not quite enough of this or that, but definitely too precious to throw away. This block should help use up those orphan strips.
We’re going to revisit an old favorite method of mine: strip piecing and angled cuts. Since your scrap pile likely doesn’t resemble mine exactly, your fabric prism could vary from mine.
The supply lists.
- Sewing machine
- 50 wt thread
- Iron and pressing surface
Gather and cut your fabric.
- 1 pc: 2.5” x 18”
- 1 pc: 3.5” x 18”
- 1 pc: 3” x 12.5” for sashing
- 1 pc: 2.25” x 12.5” for sashing
- 2 pcs: 1.5” x 12.5” for sashing
- 1 pc: 2.5” x 18”
- 1 pc: 2.5” x 18”
- 1 pc: 3.25” x 18”
Notes: ¼” seams and all seams pressed open.
Makes a 12.5” block.
Start arranging your strips.
Arrange 18” long white, yellow, and coral strips in an order that you find pleasing. Stitch together along 18” edges.
Place dark blue 3.5” x 18” on left side and 2.5” x 18” on right side. Stitch to strip unit along 18” edges. Press seams open. These will become your prism rays.
Your strip set should be a minimum of 12.25” wide after all the seams are sewn. This will ensure that your block will be 12.5” tall when it is all completed.
Place your strip unit on the cutting mat so the strips run horizontally. Place the 60° line on ruler at bottom edge of strip set. Make your first cut on the right side of the ruler. Set cut scrap aside.
Rotate strip unit so the angled cut is now on your left. Place ruler over the strip unit. Line up 60° line with bottom of strip set and 3” mark on left angled edge of fabric. Cut one 3” strip from unit.
Repeat the previous step and cut 2.5” and 2” wide angled strip pieces.
Square things up.
Square up the ends of the angled strips so that the short edges are perpendicular with the long edges. Once trimmed, your strips should be 12.5” long.
Now that you’ve created the prism rays, stitch sashing pieces in between them to make it look like they’re floating. Arrange the prism rays and sashing strips in any order you like. I preferred the two skinniest strips in the middle, and the wider sashing strips on the outside edges.
Admire your prisms.
Stitch strips together and press. Trim block to 12.5” square. A 12.5” square ruler will make this step easy to do.
Although we’ve used the strip piecing and 60° line markings in a previous block, this one looks nothing like it. You can make the block even more unique by adjusting the width of strips in your prism rays and adjusting the variety of colors. It’s a firm reminder that the possibilities for new block designs are endless.
Review all the blocks.
Be sure to take a look at all of the blocks thus far in the Carolina Sunset series. Remember that this is a sampler, so it doesn’t matter the order you go in, which blocks you choose to make, duplicate or delete – this is your unique 9-block quilt using some combination of what you’re learning here.
Lara Whiting is a passionate quilter whose designs are inspired by a fusion of influences that include traditional quilting, architecture and the natural world. When she’s not quilting, you can find her training for half marathons, tending her garden or hanging out with her rescue dogs. She lives in upstate South Carolina.