UPDATED NOTE 3/10/2021: The OLFA website has changed and no longer shares this tutorial. I will be releasing (and linking) to an updated tutorial hosted on my own website soon.
UPDATED NOTE 4/5/2021: Get the Diffraction Block Tutorial here starting today!
I was honored when OLFA reached out to me at the end of 2017 to apply to be a part of the inaugural year of the OLFA Design Team, and in early January 2018, I was thrilled to discover I was indeed a part of the 2018 OLFA Design Team. Partnering with OLFA was a really easy decision for me to make: I have used their self-healing mats and rotary cutters since I began quilting in 1995. As part of the Design Team, I have had the opportunity to try the new products they have released this year and offer giveaways to you all, too (60mm Endurance Blade, OLFA sponsorship of Tips and Tutorials Festival).
I am one of the two featured designers for the month of October, and today I am excited to share a free tutorial that features the awesome angles that are included on the OLFA rulers (specifically the 6″ x 24″ ruler and 12 1/2″ square ruler). You can find an interview with me and the Diffraction Quilt Block (with bonus yardage requirements to make a 40″ square quilt) today on the OLFA Craft Blog.
Does the Diffraction Block look familiar to you? It was inspired by the improvisational Navy and White June Patreon mini mini quilt I created! I thought the mini mini quilt was striking, and I immediately began exploring what a full quilt design of blocks might look like:
I really loved this block, but the challenge became: can I traditionally piece this block? And if I do, is the process repeatable enough to have the blocks join together crisply?
Using the angles on the OLFA 6″ x 24″ ruler in combination with the OLFA 12 1/2″ square ruler (and after lots of trial and error, testing, refining of the steps, a thorough review by Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs, and creating a quilt), I am confident the answer is yes!
See Right Through Me is the result of the exploration of the Diffraction Block. It is also my entry to the 2-color challenge for QuiltCon. My submitted description for the quilt is:
Inspired by an improv mini quilt I made in June 2018, I wanted to challenge myself to expand the idea and achieve greater piecing precision. The solid, two color, high contrast palette strips down the design and all the details of the quilt are easier to see. Cropping the design, I hoped to achieve a sense of intimacy with a viewer; making them feel drawn in. By inviting such close inspection, I feel very vulnerable, represented by the inverted X-ray block.
Pieced using traditional piecing methods (not paper pieced).
I used Kona Cotton in Nightfall and White and coordinating 50wt Aurifil thread #2784 (Dark Navy) and #2024 (White).
I also stuck with the original mini mini quilt’s quilting as an inspiration / jumping off point, using ribbon candy between the rays of the Diffraction Block. To help emphasize the central “X” shape that is created, I quilted vertical lines to help separate the shape. Echo quilting in the corners helped fan out the design. But most importantly, I quilted around each “ray” line to stabilize the quilt as a first step, which was also very beneficial for tackling the bulky corners where 3 blocks join together.
With the number of photographs in this blog post, you might be catching on to the fact that I am a bit smitten with this quilt. I took See Right Through Me to Vasquez Rocks for a photo shoot a few weeks ago. I like how this view of the full quilt also shows off the quilting.
See Right Through Me finished at 40 inches square after quilting and binding.
And I like how the Kona Nightfall glows in the sunlight and reads like a brighter blue. Gorgeous!
OLFA is generously giving away a 6″ x 24″ ruler and 12 1/2″ square ruler set to one lucky winner. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win. Note that the winner must have a mailing address in the US or Canada to be eligible. By entering, you acknowledge that you are 18 or older. The giveaway is open through Friday, October 5th, at 9pm Eastern and the winner will have 48 hours to respond via email to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. Good luck!
P.s. Don’t forget to visit the OLFA Craft Blog for my interview and the Diffraction Block tutorial!