Sunshine Quilt




Introduction: Sunshine Quilt

About: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and likes to be in the centre of things, so you will see him in several of my instr...

I had big plans for an entry into the quilting contest. Not only did I not finish it in time it also does not work as I had planned.  My idea was to make a small quilt to hang on the wall in a dark corner of my bedroom that had LEDs sewn onto it. The lights would be controlled by a timer so that it would turn on at sunrise. Well the lights work but the timer does not :(

This is my first quilt so please feel free to make comments or suggestions.

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Step 1: What You Will Need:

Materials and Tools
  • Fabric: I use a blueish batik print for the sky, yellow for the sun (a portion of which I tie dyed with turmeric, and a purple tie dyed backing.
  • Batting (I used a light weight one)
  • Matching thread, scissors/rotary cutter, pins, sewing machine
  • Yellow embroidery thread.
  • Sewing machine
For the lights I used a string of yellow battery powered Christmas lights and conductive thread.

Step 2: Cut Fabric

  • I cut a 26x26 inch square of the blue fabric
  • I then cut it into four equal size squares
  • I then folded each square in half diagonally and cut on the fold
  • Fold the triangle as in the above image and cut on the fold.
  • You should have 16 wedges of fabric as seen in the last image above.

Step 3: Pin and Sew

Now we will sew the 16 pieces back together into a square.
  • Take a quarter of the square and pin two of the four wedges together (see image above), repeat with the other two pieces.
  • Repeat with the rest of the pieces.
  • Using a quarter inch seam allowance, sew the two pieces together, repeat with the other eight.
  • Sew two of those eight pieces together forming a square, repeat with the others
  • Sew the four squares together, forming the completed background.
  • Iron the seams flat.

Step 4: Sun

For the sun I used three circles of yellow fabric of decreasing size.  I used various lids as templates for cutting them out of the fabric. 

There are eight sun, rays four of them made up of two layers of yellow fabric.  I used two different size cardboard templates to cut them out.

Step 5: Putting It Together

For the backing fabric I used and old pink sheet that I had tie-dyed purple.  The backing will also be used for the binding so I made sure that it was quite a bit larger than the front. 
  • To put the quilt together lay out the backing on a flat surface (I used the floor since I don't have a large enough table). 
  • Place the batting on (I used a thin batting since the quilt will be hanging on the wall). 
  • Place the blue background square on the batting and arrange the sun. 
  • Pin the layers together.
  • Then baste the layers, I did not baste the sun circle on, that will be added later.

Step 6: Sew on the Rays

I just sewed on the sun rays with my sewing machine.

Step 7: Hand Stitching

With yellow embroidery thread I hand stitched (with a back-stitch) along the seams outward from the centre and between the seams I used a running stitch.

Step 8: Lights

I had mentioned in the introduction, that I wanted my quilt to light up in the morning.  I had first considered getting an Arduino or Lilypad to do this but I was deterred by the price and I've never used a microcontroller before (or knew how to program one).  So instead I used a light timer. Since I needed the lights to run from a battery, I incorporated the timer into the circuit, however what I didn't realize was that the timer mechanism requires an AC power source to run.  So unfortunately at this point my quilt does not turn on at sunrise as I would like rather I have to use the on/off switch on the battery.  Anyways..... to hook up the Leds:
  • Take the leads of the Leds and form loops (see the second image).
  • Determine the layout of the Leds on the quilt (I formed an S shape with mine), make sure that they are equally spaced.
  • Connect all of the positive leads with conductive thread.
  • Connect all of the negative leads with conductive thread, make sure there are no crosses threads.
  • Attached the thread to the battery pack, (I covered the part of the thread that connects to the wire with Sugru).
  • Take a small square of fabric (I used the same fabric as the backing) to form a pocket to hold the battery pack.

Step 9: Sun

Once the Leds are in place and wired up, sew the three layers of the sun together and then sew it onto the quilt.

Step 10: Binding

For the binding, I folded over the backing fabric and created mitered corners. To do this, first trim off the excess batting to the edge of the front fabric and trim the backing fabric 2.5 inches from the edge of the front fabric.

Step 11: Binding Continued

Hold a ruler 3/4 of an inch from the top and side edge of the front fabric and fold the corner of the backing over.  Tuck the tip under and pin in place.  Fold the bottom edge up and tuck about 1/4 inch on the end under (to give neat edges).  Repeat with the side and pin the fabric in place. Repeat with the other corners and then sew.

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    5 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Cool quilt, too bad about the timer though. There may be a work around involving those cheap solar garden lights, but then I guess you wouldn't be able to hang this in the dark corner of your room.
    The picture shown when lit-up looks awesome! Timer aside, did it work to brighten up your space?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, I'm still thinking about a ways to get it to work , but otherwise it does really brighten up my room.