Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tunnel block {tutorial}

As a part of my #30DaysofQuiltDesign challenge, I sketched a design based on a three-sided log cabin, elongated to form a sort of tunnel.  This simple block seems like a nice choice for the bee quilt I'll be leading this October.  Tunnel is suitable for your first quilt and would be delightfully graphic worked up in all-solids.  Each block finishes 12" x 15".  Enjoy!

Tunnel block tutorial

Step 1:  Fabrics

This basic block could be used for lots of purposes, but to create a tunnel-effect, I suggest you choose 4 fabrics per block that range from dark to light.  I'm asking my bee mates to choose any color they like - four fabrics in one color to form a gradient.  My demo block is pale aqua to dark teal.

Tunnel block tutorial

It's best to avoid fabrics that have more than one color (other than neutrals).  Solids work wonderfully, but other textures and simple prints also communicate well so long as they make one strong color statement.

Step 2:  Cutting

The block will be sewn in 4 layers with the darkest colored fabric at center (A) and the lightest colored fabric at the outer edges (D).  Cut as follows:

A:  3.5" x 6.5"
B:  3.5" x 6.5" and (2) 2" x 6.5"
C:  3.5" x 9.5" and (2) 2" x 9.5"
D:  3.5" x 12.5" and (2) 2" x 12.5"

Tunnel block tutorial


Step 3:  Sew

Begin with piece A.  Sew the 2" sides of layer B to either side of A.  Press.  Then add the wider, 3.5" piece of layer B at the top of the developing tunnel.

Tunnel block tutorial

In the same way, add layers C and D.  Always join the 2" wide sides of the layer first.  After pressing, add the 3.5" wide top section of the layer to complete.

Tunnel block tutorial

In a jiffy you'll be churning out 12.5" x 15.5" unfinished tunnel blocks.  To create the offset arrangement I sketched in my design (first images), chop some blocks in half to place at row ends.

Tunnel block tutorial

Happy sewing!


24 comments:

  1. A lovely take on the log cabin block, thanks for sharing a tutorial! :)

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  2. It will be beautiful! How like you to sweetly share! XO

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  3. Are you familiar with Josef Albers? These are so much like his work ~ I've been really inspired and have been making a few squares of another style of his. Love what you're doing here ~ the color possibilities are limitless!

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  4. I love this Rachel!! pretty colors!
    I have soooo many scraps :-P
    Thank you for sharing your massive creativity

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing this and all your wonderful ideas! Am anxiously awaiting the return of what I've dubbed as "Rachel's Red" from the longarmer (one of your tutorials from several years back) and because it was so well written and such a joy to work on, I think this Tunnel Block is another must-do!!

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  6. So pretty. I really like this.

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  7. Love the colors! Great tutorial :)

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  8. You always make your tutorials so attainable. Thank you

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  9. Nice block, thanks for sharing!

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  10. So neat seeing something go from design to block and really come to life. I like this a lot!

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  11. Thanks for sharing your beautiful design!

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  12. That will be a really cool quilt Rachel! So many ways you could work the fabrics.

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    Replies
    1. Yes! Lots of potential for variations. Maybe you will have to bring one to life =)

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  13. I love it and so simple but striking. Can't wait to see the whole top.
    Hmmm, I wonder how it would look in the reverse. Sort of a 'light at the end of the tunnel'. Thank you so much for taking the time to write out the tutorial for us.
    We did get a bit of cool autumn air this week. I hope you have as well :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh you're right! In reverse it would be leaving the tunnel; whereas, my version is entering the tunnel. How interesting.

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  14. Hmmm I am starting a quilt for my mom and had another design in mind but this might be it after all.

    Thank you for the tutorial!

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing your tutorial with us. This block is gorgeous, I'll put it on my short list for blocks I want to do.

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  16. Simple, straightforward, and so effective! It's going to make a great bee quilt.

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  17. I have requested something very similar in my bee group this time around although I like prints and improvisational tunnels... you can see here :)https://www.flickr.com/groups/2985634@N24/pool/
    I have been wondering about how to lay them out and I love your sketch! I was insprired by this post http://makemeaquilt.blogspot.ca/2012/08/wip-wednesday-guest-hosting-on-freshly.html and now I am inspired by you!! I love the creative circles!

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  18. Working on my blocks now! Had to do some catch up reading on your blog first, but now I'm at the machine. :)

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