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How to Make the Patchwork Block: Sunbursts

This tutorial is about about how to make the patchwork block “Sunbursts”. This is the final patchwork block in the Jumping Jacks Sampler and it’s a beauty. I’ve given you one method of making the block that only uses the From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Template Set B, however if you’ve got From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Template Set D you can reduce your cutting and follow Marti’s method for making this block.

I’ve got 2 tricks for you with this block as well:

  1. Using the square in a square method to replace the flying geese units and help line up your pieces, and
  2. Using the seamless fussy cut tutorial [CLICK HERE] to give you a different point of interest in your block.

As this is the last block in the Jumping Jacks Sampler I’ve also pulled together the tutorials for making the block frames and the cornerstones that you’ll need for the quilt top assembly.

Block information

Block Number + Name: 12 – Sunbursts

Quilt Pattern: Jumping Jacks Sampler for Free Block Friday. Enter your details below to get your copy of the pattern.

Construction Method: From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates and Rulers

From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates Used:

I’ve put together bundles of the templates and rulers I used for this project and you can find them in my online shop.

Make Your Own Templates

If you’d prefer to make your own templates the pattern comes with free printables of the templates so that you can make your own. To help you with making your own templates I’ve done a tutorial showing you one way to make them.

Before You Sew

If you’d like to know “My Top 10 Beginners Patchworking Tools” you can find them by clicking here.

Measurements for the pieces needed to construct this block will not be provided in this tutorial. It is a prerequisite of making this block that you have a copy of the pattern. Measurements can be found in this pattern.

Choose Your Fabrics

I provide 2 colouring options for the Jumping Jacks Sampler: Bubblegum and Rainbow Spectrum. This tutorial shows the bubblegum version. If you’d like to make a version with the exact fabrics that I have used they are:

PLEASE NOTE: The below examples of this block have been pieced using the From Marti Michell pattern instructions where D26 is used to replace 3- B13 pieces. This layout requires From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Template Set B and From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Template Set D, however my version only requires From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Template Set B.

FYI: If you’d like to use this method of fussy cutting to replicate the look of the above block check out my tutorial on how to seamless fussy cut [CLICK HERE]. If you use this method you’ll need to use the Template B10 to cut out the middle piece of the square in a square unit to replace the flying geese in the pattern.

Plan Your Quilt with PreQuilt.com

I’ve collaborated with the wonderful team at PreQuilt.com to provide you with free colouring sheets for the Jumping Jacks Sampler. You can plan your quilt blocks based on the fabric placements I have used in my blocks.

How to Make the Block

General Advice:

  • Tolerance Levels: you need to decide what is an acceptable tolerance level for “mistakes”. For example if your blocks are consistently 12¼” instead of 12.5″ are you ok with this? Or if your seams matching are less than an 1/8″ “off” are you ok with this. There’s no hard or fast rule and it’s different for everyone, so remember it’s your quilt so make your decision for you.
  • Press your seams at each step. Click here for a great article on how to press your seams for patchwork.
  • You can iron and starch your fabric prior to cutting. I also starch when pressing bulky seams. If you can afford it, a wool pressing mat does wonders to help flatten seams.
  • When pinning, pin away from you so that you don’t move your pieces when pinning.
  • Where possible I chain piece all the pieces I can in one step. If you’re unsure of what chain piecing is, click here for a tutorial on how to do it.

The photos below show you the step progression of making this block. Please read the accompanying text before starting to make your block.

Block Assembly Steps

1: Alternate construction method – Split Square in a Square Unit

Use the From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates to cut all the block pieces. [Please see tutorial picture “Step One” for the pieces laid out.]

Refer to your copy of the pattern for which templates to use for each piece.

FYI: If you’d like to use the method of fussy cutting shown in my Tula Pink version of this block you’ll need to follow the tutorial on how to seamless fussy cut [CLICK HERE] and then cut 4 – B10 pieces from your fussy cut fabric to replace 4- Piece B and 4- Piece M.

PLEASE NOTE: This method of construction for this section of the block is a little different to the pattern. If you’re not as confident at aligning your flying geese to make sure the points of the square are where they should be this can be a better way of achieving the same look with greater accuracy.

It also helps to construct this section of the block this way if you have done the seamless fussy cut [CLICK HERE] method and are using 4 – B10 pieces from your fussy cut fabric to replace 4- Piece B and 4- Piece M.

Pay careful attention to the positioning of your pieces if you’ve going to chain piece this step as per the instructions below.

  1. Attach Piece B to Piece M. Press. [You won’t need to do this step if you’ve fussy cut and replaced with B10 pieces.]
  2. Attach Piece N to BM to Piece H. Press.
  3. Attach Piece N to NBMH to Piece F. Press.

Repeat to make 4 using the pieces as shown in the pattern.

FYI: I pressed my B13 triangles towards the outside.

2: Split Half Square Triangle Unit

Use the From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates to cut all the block pieces. [Please see tutorial picture “Step One” for the pieces laid out.]

Refer to your copy of the pattern for which templates to use for each piece.

  1. Attach Piece G to Piece O. Press. Repeat to make 2.
  2. Attach Piece J to Piece O. Press. Repeat to make 2.
  3. Attach Piece L to Piece O. Press. Repeat to make 2.
  4. Attach Piece E to Piece O. Press. Repeat to make 2.
  5. Attach Piece F to GO. Press.
  6. Attach Piece H to JO. Press.
  7. Attach Piece K to LO. Press.
  8. Attach Piece D to EO. Press.

While we’re here, let’s make some Half Square Triangles as well.

  1. Attach Piece C to Piece F. Press.
  2. Attach Piece C to Piece H. Press.
  3. Attach Piece C to Piece K. Press.
  4. Attach Piece C to Piece D. Press.

3: Complete the Block

Use the From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates to cut all the block pieces. [Please see tutorial picture “Step One” for the pieces laid out.]

Refer to your copy of the pattern for which templates to use for each piece.

  1. Make the corner units:
    1. Join 1 – Split Triangle Unit to Piece P. Press.
    2. Join 1 – Half Square Triangle to 1 – Split Triangle Unit. Press.
    3. Join these two rows together to make the corner unit. Press. Repeat to make 4.
  2. Join units into rows. Press.
  3. Join R1 + R2 + R3 to complete the block. Press.

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Got a Question?

If there’s something you’d like further details about the information covered in this blog post simply drop me an email via my contact page and we’ll get it sorted together.

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