Sunshine Shoofly Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Sunshine Shoofly Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 70" x 70"

Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a beautiful Sunshine Shoofly quilt using 10 inch squares of precut fabric (layer cakes). For this project, Jenny chose Stonehenge Gradations Brights - Indigo Tiles by Linda Ludovico for Northcott. First, she whips up quick and easy four patches. Then she transform those 4 patch blocks into hourglass blocks and adds little traditional shoofly blocks.


NOTE: At 09:32 the center square should be from the print strip, not the background!

Supplies list
  • 1 pack x 10" Precut Fabric Squares (Layer Cakes) - Print (incl. Pieced Border)
  • 1 pack x 10" Precut Fabric Squares (Layer Cakes) - Background (incl. Pieced Border)
  • 1 yard x Background Fabric (incl. Sashing & Inner Border)
  • ¾ yard x Quilt Fabric for Outer Border
  • ¾ yard x Quilt Fabric for Binding
  • 4½ yards x Quilt Backing Fabric

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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got a great project for you today. Take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this so fun? Now this quilt is made from two different blocks. There’s a little shoofly in the center and it is surrounded by hourglasses. And I’m going to show you an easy way to make both of those. So to make this quilt you’re going to need one packet of ten inch squares. And we have used Stonehenge Gradations Bright by Linda Ludovico. You’re also going to need the same number, which 42 comes in a package, of background squares for this. And we’ve used white. You’re going to need some background fabric. That’s going to be your sashings here and your inner border. And that is one yard. Your outer border is ¾ of a yard because it’s just a little tiny little border out here. And then the back of this quilt, look how beautiful that is. And it’s all quilted in butterflies. It’s a little pattern we have called flutterbye actually. And for the backing you’re going to need 4 ½ yards of vertical seams or if you have a 108 inch piece, you’re going to need 2 ¼ yards. And so it makes a nice big quilt. It’s about 70 by 70 and so and it’s fun to make so let me show you how.

We’re going to start with our hourglass blocks because that makes up the most of the quilt. They are surrounded in the block. You’re going to need four dark and four light. And then all the rest of our hourglass blocks are out here. So for each block you’re going to need four dark and four light. I’ve got my four light here and I’m going to show you how to make the four dark. And to do that what we’re going to do is we’re going to make these out of four patches. And so you want to make sure, I have a dark piece here, they’re right sides together. And we are going to actually sew the sides on these two squares. So bring that over to your sewing machine and sew right down the sides a quarter of an inch. Now there are lots of ways to make four patches which is what we’re doing. So if there’s another way that you like better you are welcome to do that. This is an easy way and I like it very much. So what we’re going to do now is we’re going to take our ruler that’s five inches wide. We’re going to lay it on the edge of our ten inch square and we’re going to cut these directly in half. And then I’m going to turn my ruler and cut it in half again. So now we have these pieces like this that are two pieces sewn together. I’m going to move my big block here and we’re going to iron those open. And we’re going to press to the dark side. So we’ve got this one going that way. And let me grab this one here. Oop, let’s set our seam. I always forget that part. Like a horse to water. I just want to show you all the fun ways. Set and iron.

Alright now what we’re going to do is we’re going to sew these together in four patches. So we’re going to flip these around so it’s dark, light, dark, light. And we’re going to do that with two of them. And because we’ve pressed to the dark side our seams should nest very nicely. And I’m just going to come here, take a few stitches and then feel that seam to make sure there’s no extra fabric. And we’re going to do that with the other one as well, making sure our lights and darks are opposite. Making sure these edges are lined up and then alright. So now we have these two four patches and we are going to press those open like this, make sure they lay nice and flat. And then we’re going to bring our four patches over here like this and we are going to put them right sides together, staggering the colors. So now I have a white with the dark blue like this on all corners should be opposite colors and we’re going to feel those seams to make sure those match up. And we are going to sew all the way around the outside. So we’re going to take this over here, make sure they’re lined up, take a few stitches. And then check this little seam right here. These seams matter so make sure these are lined up nice and tight. And then we’re going to sew all the way down, turn the corner. You can pivot or you can lift or sew off the edge. It doesn’t matter. We’re going to turn, come down the other side. Again making sure that seam is lined up, nested up real nice and tight. We’re going to come around over here and the same thing. Nest the seam up. Alrighty.

Now what we’re going to do is we are going to cut it diagonally both directions. And so we lay our ruler right on here. And it should come right through this center where it criss crosses and should come right through the edges. And this is quite a bit of fabric so as you’re going along like this you just want to make sure that you get that middle section right there. And we’re going to cut this on both sides right here, just like this. And make sure you get that center. Alright. And then just like that we have four hourglasses. Isn’t that fun? So for your block, you’re going to square your hourglasses to six inches. Now the easiest way to square these is to use the clearly perfect slotted trimmer because it has a line running this way and this way. So you get to match them up both directions. And I’m just going to lay my line, because I know this is six inch that I want, I’m going to lay my line here. And then make sure that this line right here matches up. And we are going to trim and trim. And then I’m just going to cut off these little edges right here. And we’re going to do that to all four of ours. And so we’re matching up this bottom line here and matching up this line here. And you’re not losing a lot of fabric. It’s, I always try to keep things, you know, as big as I can, make the most use out of it. Then one more. Line that up. Make sure my stitch line matches their stitch line. Now some of these, you know, if yours ends up, you know, just a little wonky or it’s not exactly perfect, it’s not going to matter because these are on the bias which means you’re going to have a little bit of give. And I like the bias. The bias to me is not my enemy. It’s my friend. It helps me match things up and so I don’t mind the bias at all. Alright let me make sure I trimmed all the way to the edge of this one. And come down this side, looking at my lines to make sure they’re still up. There we go. Alright.

So now what we’re going to do is we’re going to press these open. So again you need four darks for this block and four lights. And so I have my darks right here. And you can use a square to cut these up. Just make sure that you take as much off of one side as you do off of the other, if you have a regular square. And they’re squared again to six inches. . Alright we’re going to stack those over there. And now we’re going to work on this little center block right here which is a shoofly.

Now the shoofly had to end up six inches so we used a few different measurements than we normally do. What I’m going to do is cut my ten inch square into 2 ½ inch strips. And I’m going to use those for my little shoofly like this. And you can do your whole layer cake, we only need a couple for the little block that’s in the middle. Alright so I have stacked my blue and my white together to cut this and so now what I want to do is I want a 2 ½ inch square for the center and four 2 ½ inch squares for the corners. So I’m getting two whites and two colors with each one of these cuts. So I have one, two and then three, four. And then I need one white square for the corner. I’m going to cut that out of a plain white strip right here like this 2 ½. I mean that’s my center, 2 ½. So I’ve got my center square cut and I’ve got my corners cut so we are going to make our half square triangles first so we’re just going to take our two little pieces, they should be stacked right on top of each other. We’re going to sew diagonally corner to corner on four of these. And so I’m just going to line this up. You can draw the line, iron the line. I’m using diagonal seam tape which let’s me aim at my points right on the line and sew all the way across just like that. And we’ve got one more here. Alright so now you have your four little blocks sewn together. We’ve sewn right down the center line. We’re going to trim off one side and we’re going to press those open. Here’s my little ruler and we’re just making little half square triangles. And two more here. I can do this one. And then I’ll do this one. And you can use your little line as a quarter of an inch measure or just eyeball it. Just as long as you’re not too close to those stitches. Now we’re going to press these open. And we’re going to set the seam and press these open. Now setting the seam just relaxes the thread, that’s all it does. It’s not a have to but it’s a, you know, it makes it lay a little flatter, that’s all. But to be honest I haven’t noticed a huge difference if you set and don’t set so, you know, if that’s not what you want to do, don’t worry about it.

Alright now these corners are all, they all have to be squared to 2 ¼ so that’s just going to be a very little bit off of here. And I’m going to use the bloc loc for this. So I’m putting my measurement, my 2 ¼ and you have to look very carefully. And we’re just going to trim these off. It’s interesting, the difference between 2 ½ and 2 ¼ is big. I mean it feels like this is a much smaller, you know, and usually we work with, you know, 2 ¼ is usually about the smallest I go but, you know, we’re walking on the wild side today. So we’re good. Alright let me see here. I need to get in that little groove. Trim this and trim this one right here. And one more. Get all my trash over here. And line it up on the quarter line and I can just trim all of these from one side. Alright so these are our four corners and they’re 2 ¼ like this. Now our middle block is going to stay 2 ½. We like a nice big middle block. And so I’m going to cut one of these strips to 2 ½, put that in the middle like this, right in the center. Now these blocks over here, because we’re dealing with 2 ¼ and 2 ½ we need four white blocks that are 2 ½ by 2 ¼. And so we’re going to trim those right now. So this strip is 2 ½ inches wide and I’m going to trim it to 2 ¼ like this. And one more like that. Alright. So now we have everything we need to put this block together.

Now we have to watch how we turn these because if you start sewing together and your blocks aren’t matching up sidewise, sizewise, you have them going the wrong direction. So they should go this way and this one is going to go this way. And so you kind of put them in long ways like this and like this. And that’s going to make your little shoofly. So let’s sew these rows together. I’m going to sew these top two, just lay them right onto that center block. And again if you put your little half square triangle on there and you have a piece hanging over, you’ve got it going the wrong direction so just watch that. I just think these are the cutest little things. And then always make sure too that you’re little half square triangles are pointing in on this, on both rows, pointing in. Alright there’s our top row right here. Now we’re going to do that center row and it’s just sewing these three blocks together. And this one again, you’re sewing the, make sure that the pieces match up. And we’ve got one more over here. And then our little bottom row right there. Sometimes it’s really fun to work in little pieces. I didn’t ever used to enjoy it but, you know, I’m starting to really enjoy the smaller pieces. And I think that’s just where I am in my journey. We’re all in different places in our journeys and it’s just really fun to be able to show everybody all different kinds of these. Alright.

So now we’re going to sew this block together. But what I’m going to do first is I’m going to iron, the bottom and top row, I’m going to iron this so the seams go in. They naturally want to do that. And so we’re just going to press that. I’m going to press from the top to make sure there’s no pleats or folds like this. That one is nice and flat. On our middle row these are pressing in, I’m going to press these to the outside.And so this will help our seams line up a little better. So that’s an easy one. And then again these, they want to go inside because there’s more fabric in there so we’re going to press those in and press this one in. And then turn it over and make sure that we have no folds or pleats because that will change the size of your block. Alright now we get to sew these three together. And they’re going to line up so nice because we’ve pressed them in opposite directions. So match up your first seam and then sew down. And then the center seam should just match up so nice. And we’re going to add the bottom row to it. And again I’m going to match up right here, not worrying about if the edges match too much. I’m more worried about that inside seam lining up. And then this one. You’re going to get this perfect little shoofly block. I think these are just one of the cutest blocks, very old block, a lot of history to this. But it’s just absolutely darling.

Now this should measure six inches so let’s take a look at what we’ve got here and we’re pretty close. I have enough room. I’m going to straighten up this edge a little bit right here and turn it. And see how this little edge right here, when I line this up on the line, I’m going to get this on this line over here, this one dips in a little bit, but I’ll be able to catch that in my quarter inch seam so I’m not worried about that. I’m going to check the other sides, make sure that they are lined up pretty nice. They are actually super close. This one has a little wing over here I’m going to trim that and then I think we’re good to go.

So when you finish your little shoofly block right here we are going to surround it with these hourglasses out here. And we’re going to lay them so that the white is what’s touching the little shoofly. And it’s going to make a secondary square, like it sets that shoofly on point. And so we’re going to put our dark hourglasses right around it like this, always putting the white to the middle like that. And then these outer ones out here, you can see this one is going sideways, this one is going to go up and down. And so when we put our blue ones in we put them in this way in all the corners, up and down like this, just like that. Then we’re going to sew these three rows together and oops, wait. I have this one turned. I just saw color to color and went, oh! But these color to colors touch but these do not. So always up and down on the lights and sideways on the darks. So we’re going to sew these together row by row. And when I sew hourglasses together I kind of line up this front little seam right here. So I’m just going to sew a quarter of an inch. Last year, I don’t know if you remember but we did a Triple Play on the Ohio star and these dark ones formed that Ohio star and so it’s kind of fun to see that appearing again. I happen to really enjoy making hourglasses so you might want to go back and check on that video as well because once you know how to make hourglasses like this, oh my gosh, there’s so many things that you can make. Alright first row, second row, we’re just sewing to our little tiny shoofly. And I know somebody will ask me, so the reason we went with cutting these down to 2 ¼ is because that’s the size that matched our hourglass. Our hourglass finishes at six and so I wanted them to line up with that. So I had to just change the measurements on my little shoofly a little bit so that it would come out to six inches. So not too much change, just a little. There’s our second row and here’s our third row right here. So this is our third row. We’re going to just sew a quarter of an inch right down the side, add our other block over here. Again making sure they’re vertical and the middle one is horizontal. I do those checks over and over again because, you know, it’s way better than ripping out. And I’m going to line this up right here and then make this fit right here. I shouldn’t have said make this fit. It actually lines up very nicely. Now we’re going to sew these rows together. So I’m just going to start right here at the edge. And I’m going to do a little bit of an anchoring stitch. So those seams are lined up. Now I’m just going to line up my next seams right here. And then put this on the end. Now we are going to add our last row. Let me clip this. And make sure that our little shoofly stays right in the middle. Alright. And I, this is such a cool block and it went together so easily, you know, with all the tricks, the hourglass trick is a great little trick for making hourglasses. If you do those same hourglasses and they’re all colored and there’s no white, I mean, it’s just a fun look. It’s a fun way to make them. And here is our finished block right here.

Ta dah! Let’s see how good I did. Hey I did pretty good. Let’s iron this. And then we’re going to talk about the setting, how I set them together. Now this makes a big 17 inch unfinished block, nice big block. And you can see here, like here’s our block. I have a sashing in between each one. So if your block is 17 inches, you’re going to cut your sashing to 17 inches. And you’re going to put a sashing between every block on this first row. Then you’re going to take your 17 inches again but just the sashing and sew it to a little 2 ½ inch square because our sashing is 2 ½ by 17. And so this is another, this is a row right here. And then this row is put together with the sashing in between, in between and then this is another little row. And that’s how you’re going to line this up and put it together. But look at this outside border. So I had a lot more fabric leftover. And I wanted to try and see if I had enough to do my hourglasses as a border. I just thought it added so much and it was so cool. So one of the tricky things about doing a border that’s a cut block is that you don’t want to end up with a half a block or you know something like that. So what I did on mine right here is that I actually, when I finished this middle and I added this secondary border right here, I took the amount, how long it was and I divided it to see what size hourglass I had to have. It turns out, so I couldn’t use a six because it wouldn’t fit, it was too much. So I had to square these down to five. So they’re the same little hourglasses but I again took them and just folded them in half and squared them to five inches. So then they line up perfectly. And I put my sides on and I put my top and bottom on. And they just lined up perfectly as long as they were five inches. Whenever I have a pieced border out here I always like to add a little tiny border mostly because when it gets to the quilting and they put that on that rack and they pull it, I don’t want all those seams to pop. So I add a little tiny border out here because to me this border is the star. This is the star border and so I add a little border just to kind of finish it up, hold it together. And I used my binding of the same color so that it wouldn’t take away from it. Now remember what you need is just nine blocks. It’s one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. And so that makes a great quilt. The quilt is I think I said it before but I’ll say it again, about 70 by 70 so it’s a good size. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Sunshine Shoofly from the MSQC

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