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Friday, May 26, 2017

Pattern design. Rays - straight and curved.

All ray patterns are created using fan pattern. Both clipping blocks and no-sew zones are used to place them as background fills. I make most ray patterns double stitch because this eliminates any transitions at the no-sew zone, next to the motif they are surrounding.

Straight Rays and Curved Rays.
These were created in the same way, one using the straight line from the geometric catalog, the other using arc.
Design sew/quilt > start new > add block > enter rectangle manually > width 10”, height 10” – continue > finished > finished
Add/edit pattern > add pattern > block pattern > use current block.
Select the straight line from the geometric catalog.
Move it so the S snaps to the center of the block.  Select stretch and anchor the start point.  Grab the end point and move it to one of the corners. Finished.
Copy pattern > touch the straight line > continue > move the copy right on top of the original. 
(Note: if you make this copied line slightly longer than the original before you place it on top. This makes it easier to select when combining the two lines.) Finished.
Combine patterns > touch the line > continue > touch the copied line. You’ll know when you’ve selected it because a continue button will appear.
Touch swap start/end points > continue > finished > add pattern > fan pattern.  Touch the pattern > continue.
For the straight rays, I made the angle 10º and the repeats 36.
Grab the pivot point (the pivot point is the start point - S) and move it so it is at the other end of the line. This puts the start/end point on the outside with the rays joined by straight lines. You may have a jagged outside line if you made your second line longer than the first - that doesn't matter because it will be clipped off later.

Close pattern: yes. Alternate: off. Transition: continuous.
Save the pattern.

The curved rays were made in the same way but I used arc from the geometric catalog. I made the angle 5º and the repeats 72.

You can make your rays any distance apart that you like. If you want fewer rays, make the angle larger and the repeats less. Just make sure that the angle and the number of repeats comes to 360 when they are multiplied together. 

To use the rays as background fill, I first placed the pattern motif in the block.
I selected add pattern > block pattern and found my saved rays.
I scaled up the rays so they filled the block to the corners and centered them in the block.
Finished > finished > add/edit block > add block > clipping block > touch the rays > continue
Select existing block  > touch the square block > continue > finished
Transition type: continuous, so there will be stitching in the ditch around the block. Accept > yes
Add block > no-sew zone > touch the rays > continue > create pattern contour > touch the motif > continue > Gap: 0. Smooth: 0%. Points: rounded or sharp – switch between the two to choose the best one for the motif.
Touch outside the motif > finished  > finished.
The transition choice is irrelevant because the rays stitch straight in then straight out from the motif.
If, however, the rays cross over and into an interior part of the motif (see the bird below), choosing jumpstitch or tie off might be a better choice.
Note: If the pieced block isn’t a perfect square, rotate the rays so that they don’t go right into the corners. This will disguise the irregular piecing. See the heart and bird with rays below.

The rays don’t have to be centered in the block – try placing them off-center for a different look.

Sunbonnet Sue by Shirley Higginbotham     
Bird by Julia Podany-Samolyk (

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