Ray-di-ant - Desperate Housewives Quilt-a-Long

This is my block submission for the Desperate Housewives Quilt-a-Long.  I call it Ray-di-ant.

Most of my quilt history is in the traditional style.  So when I began designing a block for the Desperate Housewives quilt-a-long I wanted to achieve two things.  One, I wanted the block to be a challenge to what I've done before so I definitely wanted it to be modern in look and feel.  And two, I wanted to incorporate one of my favorite block types - a star.  I didn't want just a star though, I wanted one with a twist - something a little unusual.  Ray-di-ant is what I can up with.

This block was a challenge to my quilting skills as well because it's assembled as a foundation piece block.  I've only foundation pieced once before and that was a long time ago.  In quilting, as in many of life's endeavours, if you don't use a skill you lose it and I'd completely lost the knowledge on how to foundation piece.  Thank goodness for You Tube and my wonderful quilt resource library.  I knew all those book purchases would come in handy one day!

So here's my tutorial on how to make Ray-di-ant.  I'm not going to go into the process of foundation piecing because frankly, there are wonderful teachers out there through YouTube that can explain it much better than me.  I'll leave some things to the experts.

As this is constructed as a foundation pieced block, you can print this jpeg and size as needed.  Sorry, I don't know how to attach a PDF to this blog so the jpeg is the best I can do.  If you copy and save the above graphic you should be able to paste it to any word processing program to the size you need (for the Desperate Housewives Quilt-a-Long all the blocks are 8 inches finished, so you would want this to print as a 8 1/2 block).  I printed out the pattern using regular printer paper but you can use special foundation piecing paper if you prefer.  I found that since none of fabric pieces are that small, regular printer paper was easy to remove.

First, copy and print the pattern.

Next I would suggest pressing and starching all your fabric pieces.  The stiffer the better I found when foundation piecing.  To construct this block I used left over solids from other projects.  Scraps work great with foundation piecing because you don't have to be concerned about bias.  Just ensure your scrap pieces cover over the area you want to place it in with at least a 1/4 inch extension of fabric over the edges.

Refer to instructions on how to foundation piece.

Ensure your fabric completely covers the shape on your pattern.  Pin it in place before flipping it over to sew the seam.

Remember to sew from the RIGHT side of the pattern with your fabric on the WRONG side.  Your fabric should face down to the back side of the pattern so that when you fold the printed pattern back after  the seam is stitched, the correct side of the fabric is facing out.

Continue to sew fabric to your foundation until you've covered all the shapes on your block except the modified circle.
Your block should look like this  when all the pieces are added without the circle.

Using the printed pattern as a guide, trace the modified circle onto fabric adding a 1/4 inch seam allowance around the edge.  I just guest-i-mated this.

Clip and turn under your seam allowance.  I keep it in place using just a dab of water soluble glue.  Press.

Once your seams are pressed under your circle should look like this.  One side is straight as it lays along the edge of your finished block. 

Place your circle on top of your completed pieces.  You can now hand stitch it down using any appliqué method or you could even fabric fuse it in place.  Whatever you prefer.  You can see in the photo above that I hadn't trimmed the edge yet.  You should do this before sewing your circle on.

And here is the finished block
There are lots of variations you can achieve with this block.  Here it is in shades of blue only on a neutral background.  When places in the quilt I shifted the star so it wasn't uniform throughout.

And here it is with a multicoloured background and multicoloured beams.
 I hope you enjoy making Ray-di-ant.  I'm looking forward to seeing your completed blocks.


  1. Thank you for joining in the fun of the DHWQ. This block is awesome!!!!

  2. I love the look of this block! Thanks for the tute :)

  3. Great block design!
    If I'm ever willing to give paper piecing a try (LOL), I think I might just try it!


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