Monday, December 10, 2018

Sunny Lanes - A Tutorial

I still follow quite a few bloggers, and enjoy seeing the quilt-y projects they're work on. When I saw this little "Palmateer Point" quilt that AmityQuilter made during a 2017 quilt-along, I couldn't help but notice the 16-patch blocks.

They look like the hundreds of 16-patch leaders-and-enders blocks I've been making...

since 2011, using 1-1/2" X 1-1-1/2" pieces.

Could I adapt my Leaders and Enders 16-patch blocks to this design? I headed to my favorite book of blocks in the public domain.

I found it! Sunny Lanes!

In no time at all, I was playing on EQ8, and piecing.
Sunny Lanes block; 8" X 8" finished

Piecing Leaders and Enders

Sew together 1-1/2" X 1-1/2" squares to make 16-patch blocks, 4-1/2" X 4-1/2" unfinished.

I shorten my machine's stitch length when I'm piecing such tiny patches.

This picture shows the piecing sequence to make a 16-patch block.
Unfinished block measures 4-1/2" X 4-1/2"
Sew together four 1-1/2" X 1-1/2" patches to make 2-1/2" X 2-1/2" (unfinished) 4-patch blocks.
Unfinished block measures 2-1/2" X 2-1/2"
Refer to the end of this tutorial to see quantities needed to make a 62" X 74" quilt.

Piece Half-Square Triangle Squares the "Magic Eight" Way
Make eight-at-a-time 2-1/2" X 2-1/2" (unfinished) half-square triangle squares.

Cut 6" X 6" squares of two different half-square triangle square fabrics. I used Painter's Palette solid white and Moda Grunge in the color Chiffon. It's "sunny!"

With a pencil draw an X from corner to corner on the wrong side of one fabric.

Place fabrics right sides together. Sew 1/4" away from the drawn line, on both sides of each line.

For the next step, cutting apart the block, I like to use my Martelli turntable rotary cutting mat.

Use a ruler to rotary cut on the drawn line, between the two lines of stitching. Do this twice to cut an X through the block.

Without moving the pieces, cut a line vertically through the center of the block, 3" from the edge. Rotate the turntable 45-degrees to make another cut through the center of the block.

The result is 8 half-square triangle squares measuring approximately 3" X 3" square.

Press to open seam. I like to use my Strip Stick to make sure the seam is well pressed.

Trim each unfinished half-square triangle square to measure 2-1/2" x 2-1/2". 

Piece Half-Square Triangle Pairs
Join two 2-1/2" X 2-1/2" unfinished half-square triangle squares as shown to make right-slanting pairs. 

Join two 2-1/2" X 2-1/2" unfinished half-square triangle squares as shown to make left-slanting pairs. Turn vertically to become right-slanting, as needed for Row 2 (see below).
I didn't want to make 8" X 8" Sunny Lanes blocks because 4-patch blocks end up side-by-side (forming another 16-patch block), and broken diagonal angles, as seen in this EQ8 layout.
This layout measures 16" X 16" finished.
Rather, I prefer a layout alternating 4-patch and 16-patch blocks. Hopefully, you can see the difference between the two. (This layout is similar to AmityQuilter's, without borders.)
This layout measures 14" X 14" finished.
So, while designing in EQ8, I realized that piecing needs to be row-by-row (horizontally). 

Piece Row 1
 - a 4-patch block
 - a right-slanting half-square triangle pair
 - a 4-patch block
 - a right-slanting half-square triangle pair... and so on for the quilt width you desire.

End with a 4-patch block. 

Piece Row 2
 - a right-slanting half-square triangle pair (pieced left-slanting, but when turned vertically is right-slanting)
 - a 16-patch block
 - a right-slanting half-square triangle pair.
 - a 16-patch block... and so on for the quilt height (length) you desire.

End with a right-slanting half-square triangle pair. 
Continue piecing in the same manner, alternating row 1 and row 2. End the quilt top with row 1.
Sew together these units, being sure half-square triangle pairs are slanting the same direction.

Join rows to complete the quilt top.

To make a 62" X 74" Sunny Lanes Quilt
Piece 1-1/2" X 1-1/2" Leaders and Enders blocks into:

144 - 4-patch blocks
132 - 16-patch blocks

Make Magic Eight 2-1/2"X 2-1/2" (unfinished) half-square triangle squares with:

2 yards - solid white
2 yards - Chiffon Grunge 

72 - 6" X 6" squares of solid white
72 - 6" X 6" squares of Chiffon Grunge

Use Magic Eight method shown in the tutorial to make 574 - 2-1/2" X 2-1/2" (unfinished) half-square triangle squares. 

Make Half-Square Triangle Pairs

Join 2-1/2" X 2-1/2" (unfinished) half-square triangle squares to make:
144 horizontal half-square triangle pairs
143 vertical half-square triangle pairs

Total - 275 half-square triangle pairs measuring 2-1/2" X 4-1/2" (unfinished)

Below is the 68" X 74" (finished) layout in EQ8 with a link to print this diagram for yourself, in case you'd like to color or count blocks for the size you want to make.

Here's my progress so far. Eleven rows done; 14 more to go!

Whew! Guess you know what I'll be working on for a while! Linda


  1. This looks so great. I love your bright colors (I do not like drab)
    I will try to work on something like this. Maybe even finish something
    I hope you are enjoying the last weeks of the year. Time just flies

  2. I've never done leaders and enders, but I guess it's never too late to start. Your quilt will be stunning!

  3. I don't usually do leaders/enders either but it might be the most logical way to approach this challenging project. ;-)

  4. great idea to use up scraps. I have tons of it - only not yet trimmed. Will probably do this when I am retired and bored, ha ha ha :-)
    Or maybe next summer when it is warm to cut them in shape outside? Would also be a possibility! Looking Forward seeing this quilt top when it is finished pieced.

  5. Very fun use of scraps, and I love the sunny flavor of the setting--great job, and a great way to use up those blocks you've been working on!

  6. I've don't usually do leaders and enders either but I do love this layout with the HST and the interesting diagonals that result. I especially like the colors you are using. Thanks for putting this into a tutorial for us.

  7. WOW! Just found out we are becoming great! grand parents this July! So a baby quilt is in my thoughts! Haven't followed a pattern in over 20+ years! This looks great for a baby or adult! HMMMMMM I bookmarked your post! Thanks!

  8. Oh, Linda , is this ever going to be nice! I can’t wait to see it finished! How sweet of you to take the time to put together a tute, incl. a color sheet. Your the best!

  9. I'm not a leaders/enders sewer either, but I think this would be perfect to make using my 2.5" squares that I have been saving and sewing. I just need to work out the HST which wouldn't be difficult! Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Your tutorial is spot-on, and your Sunny Lanes blocks would look perfectly at home in a citrus orchard. So fun to see this old block brought to life in a big way!

  11. It's great to have a specific design in mind when piecing your leaders and enders. This one is lovely! Thanks for sharing your process.

  12. What a wonderful teacher you are. Thank you so much for this so easy tutorial to follow. You haven’t forgotten a thing. Cindy

    1. How nice of you to say so, Cindy! Unfortunately, I cannot reply to you directly because you are a "no-reply commenter," so I hope you see this. You've made my day (August 3, 2019) with your kind words. I love writing clear instructions, and I'm thrilled that you appreciate them. Thank you very much!

  13. I got an Acu GO! for christmas and one of the "cubes" has the die to make these pieces.... a bit bigger but I am going to go for it..... must use stash and the faster the better.....


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