Sunburst at Badwater Salt Flat, Death Valley National Park
2016 Finished Quilts, Giveaway, Quilts

Sunburst Background & Giveaway

Today I wanted to share more about Sunburst, which is probably my favorite quilt that I have finished to date. I love blogging and sharing my thoughts on a quilt as I am working on it, and I really missed out on getting to share details and lessons learned with you as I made Sunburst. I have been looking forward to this post so much, so to prepare, I took Sunburst with me when I visited Death Valley on Wednesday, and I think it made for a striking contrast of color against the white Badwater salt flat and surrounding Desert mountain backdrop. Also, special thanks to my tall husband for holding the quilt for me while I snapped photographs. <3 Because I am so excited about this quilt (it is my first quilt to be published in a magazine!) and as a thank you for letting me share about this quilt so much lately, I have a giveaway for several QuiltCon 2016 magazines that feature Sunburst and contain the pattern to make it at the end of my post today.

Sunburst at Badwater Salt Flat, Death Valley National Park

Sunburst at Badwater Salt Flat, Death Valley National Park

It was really, really hard to keep the making of this quilt a secret, and in the end, I made it in a pretty big hurry. I actually designed Sunburst as part of the Quilt Design a Day Facebook group in May 2015. The spark / inspiration image was an underwater photograph looking up at a scuba diver who was enveloped by a Sunburst – streaks of light emanating from the sun above the diver. I do not hold rights or have permission to share that image, but I can share one of my husband’s underwater photography images that also represents this idea.

Sunburst in Underwater Photography by Michael Fuchs

Sunburst in Underwater Photography by Michael Fuchs

I have a huge affinity for the color blue and water, and you know I can’t seem to get enough of monochromatic / transparency in my quilt designs. Combining all of these things I love into a quilt was pure joy, and I think that the quilt evokes the burst of light and quick transition to the deep blue of the ocean that I love so very much. Because I loved this design, I wanted to make it immediately! In late May / early June, I tried to convince some friends to let me use the design for them in a custom quilt, but the pattern did not speak to them and their vision. I then submitted Sunburst to a magazine and proceeded to wait almost 4 months before hearing back that while they loved the quilt and tried over and over again to work it into their magazine, they had not found the right place to publish it. So with only a few days left until the deadline was over, I submitted it as a design idea for the QuiltCon 2016 magazine. I was feeling that whatever happened with that submission, I was going to make the quilt, so I went ahead and placed my fabric order, as you might recall from one of my September Sunday Stash posts. I used Kona cotton solids Lake, Niagrara, Water, Malibu, and Pacific, and I love that all of the fabric names make me think of water, too. It turns out I was fortunate to have pre-purchased the fabric, because I was notified on October 7th that the quilt and design were accepted into the magazine, and the quilt and all paperwork needed to be received in their offices no later than October 30th!


Sunburst – Creative Use of a Camera Tripod?

The piecing of the quilt came together very quickly, and I then spent 4 long days quilting it on my domestic machine. I actually made a mini mini quilt to test out my quilting idea first. There were questions from the magazine editor about my quilting plans, and I also think that having made the mini mini really showed them my vision for the larger quilt and helped them accept my design into the magazine in the first place. I used my go-to 50wt Aurifil thread to quilt Sunburst. I actually used 2 different thread colors, which is all but unnoticeable in the end. The majority of the quilting was done using 1320 (Bright Teal) and a very small portion was quilted using 1125 (Medium Teal). I used 1125 when the quilt spacing increased on the edges as it blended a bit better there, and I always matched my bobbin to the thread on top.


I learned a lot about quilting a larger quilt on my domestic machine as I worked through quilting Sunburst. I learned to start in the center and work my way to the edges and wrote about it in my Crosshatch Quilting Tips. I ripped a lot of stitches to fix areas where my quilting wobbled. I ripped a lot of stitches to fix areas where my stitch length was super irregular. It was not perfect when I was done, but I was pleased with what I was able to accomplish. Maybe next time I would try loading it at 45-degrees on my longarm? Hmmm… I’m not sure it would fit!



One of my favorite parts of the quilt is the binding. I spent another 2 days putting the binding on after the the quilting, washing, and blocking. I wanted to continue the sunburst idea across and into the binding, also playing off of the idea of water reflections and how light refracts in water.

Sunburst - Working on Binding

Sunburst – Working on Binding

I think this in process photo really shows how I laid out the strips and planned the binding. I wanted the lightest portion to be centered, so I actually started sewing down the binding in the center of the light portion and worked to an end. Then I loaded the quilt backwards from how I normally work to start back at the center. I did this for the 2 sides and then had 2 binding joints to make at the top and bottom of the quilt.


The thrill of having Sunburst come together as I envisioned it was a huge rush. Thankfully, a great solution for tempering my excitement about the quilt was to immediately box it up and ship it away for a few months!

Sunburst Detail

Sunburst Detail

Getting to see Sunburst hanging at QuiltCon was another huge thrill. I had so many questions about the quilt: Was my memory of this quilt accurate? Would I still be proud and excited about the work? I know I am crazy biased, but this quilt was still everything I had hoped for and more.



You can purchase a copy of the 2016 QuiltCon Magazine, which features Sunburst on the cover and contains the pattern for the 60×80 quilt top inside, through the Interweave online store in two formats: as a Digital Download or Magazine.

Sunburst Photoshoot Outtake: Lots of Salt on my Shoes!

Sunburst Photoshoot Outtake: Lots of Salt on my Shoes!

2016 QuiltCon Magazine Giveaway!

I have 2 copies of the QuiltCon magazine to give away to anyone in the continental US, and I have 2 digital (PDF) copies of the QuiltCon magazine to give away to my international readers. You can earn up to 4 entries to this giveaway by using the Rafflecopter widget to enter (click on image below to go to the Rafflecopter entry page)!


The giveaway will run from March 4th through March 14th at 11:59 pm EST and is open to entrants 18 years or older. The winners (2 within the continental US and 2 international winners) will be announced Tuesday, March 15th! The giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Joan, Patricia, Christine, and Carmit!

155 thoughts on “Sunburst Background & Giveaway

  1. What an amazing quilt…. And just the perfect photos! Congratulations on your publication, Yvonne. It must have been quite disheartening to be waiting for the previous publishers… Only to find out that your gorgeous quilt was accepted for the QuiltCon publication!!! Wow! It was meant to be! The water theme and cool blues really speak to me, as well. And the quilting is incredible! So happy for you…. And so proud!

  2. shecanquilt says:

    I was so glad to see this quilt in person, she is beautiful!

  3. Lori Morton says:

    Loooove your Sunburst Quilt! What an Amazing job!! The quilting is Awesome…and can tell you can choose great color matches!! 🙂

  4. Kathie L says:

    Beautiful color selection and construction. Love the quilting also.

  5. saroy says:

    I found the QuiltCon magazine at Barnes & Noble last night and enjoyed skimming through it. Your cover quilt looked fabulous! I really love getting this additional insight into how it came together.

  6. Emily C says:

    I love your quilt. I love how the colors represent the water and you can really see how your inspiration turned into a finished quilt.

  7. Jasmine says:

    This is such a beautiful quilt. I loved seeing it on the cover and hearing your story behind it. The binding is pretty awesome as well as your pictures. I think that creative tripod picture is my favorite.

  8. Claire Sutherland says:

    Congratulations. What a gorgeous quilt . The colours are beautiful

  9. Karen says:

    This is my favorite quilt of yours! From the colors to the design to the quilting to the binding!

  10. Sarah J. says:

    The backdrop is so surreal and the optical illusion in the quilt makes such a stunning presentation! I love the blues and the arrangement – amazing!

  11. Chris says:

    I love the colors beautiful. Blue is my favorite quilting color.

  12. Your Sunburst quilt is a beauty!

  13. diane beavers says:

    Yvonne, Sunburst is thee most stunning quilt. Thanks for sharing your journey with it and congrats on the publication! That’s so awesome. I do love the binding , light to dark…….oh my it’s just beautiful!

  14. Doris McCarty says:

    The colors are so summer!

  15. Mara says:

    So amazing that you quilted this on a home sewing machine, wow!

  16. Summer says:

    Great photography! I love the outtake pic, too!

  17. Sheila Ivany says:

    Your quilt Sunburst deserves to be on the cover . l am intrigued by the pattern , colours and amazed that you quilted on a domestic sewing machine. I enjoy your blog seeing how creative you are.

  18. Karen says:

    The squares appear to float and shimmer. The straight line quilting is perfect for the pattern.

  19. Emilee says:

    So excited for you to have your quilt on the cover of a magazine, it is a really great quilt. I liked seeing your inspiration and process in creating it! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Carmit says:

    Loved reading about your process! It’s a gorgeous quilt!

  21. quiltingmod says:

    I loved the insight into your inspiration, the quilting mini prototype, and your carefully construed binding. Lovely in-depth post!

  22. Debbie says:

    Your quilt is sooooo beautiful. This is next on my list to make.

  23. Allison says:

    Your quilt is great! Love how you photographed it!!!

  24. RuthB says:

    Great read – fascinating to hear the story behind it and the short time you had to make it!

  25. Thank you for sharing the entire story of this amazing quilt. I think I love it nearly as much as you do- and these photos! Perfect!!

  26. Sue says:

    Great quilt and fantastic photos!

  27. daisyandjack says:

    I really love this quilt and your design vision ! Thanks for sharing the story behind it – pretty amazed that you had to make it in 3 weeks !!

  28. Sarah says:

    This quilt is stunning! Thanks for sharing the story behind it.

  29. Kathy says:

    Love this post. It was so much fun to read. I learned some new ideas.


  30. gcotten says:

    This quilt is gorgeous! I love your attention to detail! Thas for sharing with us, and for the give-away.

  31. Deb says:

    Sunburst is what quilting is all about! It has it all for me in design, color, and emotion. Thank You for sharing Sunburst’s journey.

  32. Donna says:

    Gorgeous quilt, now I must start buying solid color fabric for a quilt. My stash is full off prints and I need to use it.

  33. kittywilkin says:

    I love your photos of this quilt, Yvonne. Of course I love the quilt itself, but your photos are totally complimentary of the design. That one in the sunlight, with the almost sunglare reflecting off of the quilt…. I LOVE it. Typically, you’d want to avoid direct light when photographing a quilt because it washes out the colors (as you know), but it works SO well with this. Sunburst. Perfect <3

  34. carolyn montgomery says:

    your quilts are gorgeous and your husband’s water photo is amazing.

  35. vera schmidt says:

    beautiful quilt. inspires me to use more solid colors rather then prints

  36. trueblue92 says:

    I’m glad I got to see Sunburst in person. And Death Valley is a great place for a photo shoot!

  37. Lizzie says:

    This is so shimmery and nice! I love how it looks like fabric spread out and I love your photo shoot.

  38. karenbolan says:

    I’ve alo been interested in designs in the binding. Your work looks perfect for a hurried job!

  39. carolegoldquilts says:

    Congrats again on your cover quilt! I love the outtake you included in your post. 🙂

  40. kimberlier99 says:

    Thank you for detailing & sharing your process. Your quilt is beautiful!

  41. I am drawn to transparency quilts and this one is very inspirational! Great quilt and love, love, love the colors!

  42. Vicky says:

    Wonderful quilt. I haven’t been to Death Valley NP, but your photos make me want to go sometime.

  43. Angela says:

    The blues against the snow are just beautiful!

  44. Deb says:

    Your quilt is definitely amazing! Love the color blending.

  45. Mary Robertson says:

    Love the colors in your quilt. It reminds me of the ocean.

  46. Linda says:

    Love love love

  47. Gayle says:

    Great story! I read it in your voice since I am so used to watching your scopes. I especially love that second to last photo of the quilt on the sand.

  48. joan says:

    simply awesome

  49. Darleen Sanford says:

    I love your choice of colors. They blend so nicely.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)