Lanterns- A Tutorial

A few weeks ago I was invited to participate in the What Shade are You Blog Hop by RJR fabrics. I am always up for a blog hop, it gives me the chance to bring some of my Quilt Design a Day designs to life AND give away some great fabrics to a lucky reader!

Blog Hop 2015 logo C small

Back in December one of our inspiration photos, called Sparks and provided on a weekly basis by a QDAD member, really struck me with its colors and intensity. Taken during Snowmageddon, that particular QDAD design I had flagged in my head as one to do up as a pattern. The timing was perfect, as RJR sent the invite not a week later, and that design came to mind.

QDAD Spark Photo Courtesy of Alyson@ The Hasty Quilter


I had a lot of fun narrowing down the colors to use from the Cotton Supreme Solids. RJR has 149 solids colors to choose from in the Cotton Supreme line. They have a beautiful drape, weight, and feel to them. They might actually become my new favorite.

I tweaked the design to make it lap sized. The construction is a basic log cabin with a few fun color placements. This design would look great in some of the other color offerings RJR has as well.


Cherrywood- 297, 282, 283, 289, 291, 294


Kelptastic- 342, 348, 349, 327, 328, 300


Winter Dogwood- 297, 282, 283, 289, 291, 294

Now, normally I wouldn’t just show you a quilt top, I like my quilts to be finished and bound and presentable. However, in this case I am saving this top to be finishe don a long arm. Quite possibly by me. Which is super super super awesome!

Alrighty, on to the good stuff!!


Lanterns Glow Tutorial

Finished Quilt: 54”x 66”

Finished block: 12” square

Fabric Requirements

1/4 yard medium bright yellow (Cotton Supreme 9617-337)

1/4 yard bright yellow-orange (Cotton Supreme 9617-140)

1/2 yard medium tangerine (Cotton Supreme 9617-276)

1/2 yard light blue (Cotton Supreme 9617-327)

1 yard medium blue (Cotton Supreme 9617-300)

2 1/2 yards navy for background (Cotton Supreme 9617-191)

1/2 yard royal for binding (Cotton Supreme 9617-345)

3 5/8 yards for backing

64″x 76″ piece of batting


Tip: Use a light spray of starch or starch alternative before cutting to help keep the pieces from shifting and skewing while sewing. Spray on the wrong side and press from the right side of the fabric.

From the medium bright yellow cut:

20 rectangles, 2”x 3 1/2”

From the bright yellow-orange cut:

20 rectangles, 2”x 3 1/2”

From the medium tangerine cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 3 1/2”

From the light blue cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 6 1/2”

From the medium blue cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 6 1/2”

40 rectangles, 2”x 9 1/2”

From the navy cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 9 1/2”

40 rectangles, 2”x 12 1/2”

4 strips, 3″x 42″

2 strips, 3″x 19″

2 strips, 3″x 12″‘

From the royal cut:

7 strips, 2 1/4”x 42” for binding


All seams are 1/4” unless otherwise stated. Pieces are sewn right sides together.

Take the medium bright yellow and bright yellow-orange 2”x 3 1/2” rectangles and sew them right sides together. Press the seams open to make the center squares.Take the medium tangerine 2”x 3 1/2” rectangles and sew them to either side of the center squares as shown. Press towards the center square. Take the light blue 2”x 6 1/2” rectangles and sew them to the top and bottom of the block. Press towards the center square.

Lanters Illustrations

Take the medium blue 2”x 6 1/2” rectangles and sew them to the sides of the block as shown. Press towards the center, and then sew the medium blue 2”x 9 1/2” rectangles to the top and bottom. Press towards the center.

Lanters Illustrations

Take the navy 2”x 9 1/2” rectangles and sew them to the sides of the block as shown. Press towards the center, and then sew the navy 2”x 12 1/2” rectangles to the top and bottom. Press towards the center. Trim and square the blocks to 12 1/2”x 12 1/2”.

Lanters Illustrations


Sew the blocks together into rows of four as shown. In the odd rows the second and fourth block will be rotated, and in the even rows the first and third blocks will be rotated. Sew the rows together into the quilt top.

Sew the 19″ navy strips to two of the 42″ navy strips to make two side borders blocks 60 1/2″. Sew the 13″ navy strips to the remaining 42″ navy strips to make the top and bottom borders 53 1/2″. Sew the side borders to the side of the quilt top, matching ends and centers, and press towards the borders. Sew the top and bottom borders to the quilt top, matching ends and centers, and press towards the borders

Piece the backing together so it measures approx 64″x 76″. Layer the quilt top with batting and backing; baste. Quilt as desired. Join the royal 2 1/4″ wide binding strips using a diagonal seam to make a single long binding. Fold the binding in half and sew it around the quilt top on the right side. Turn the binding to the back and secure in place by hand or machine. Label and enjoy!


You could quilt each color individually, changing threads each time, to hide the quilting and let the blocks pop. Alternately, you could choose a medium blue thread and quilt in straight lines that radiate out at angles from the center of the block to mimic the flow of light, and then use a swirl in the yellow sections to soften out all the hard angles.

If improv is more your thing, you could easily make the blocks using varying width strips for a modern wonky log cabin look. Construct the blocks in the same order, using pieces with varying widths, building the log cabin outwards. Use the indigo round to bring the blocks to just over 12 1/2”, then square. Put them all together for some fun and funky movement to your Lantern Quilt.

I hope you enjoy making your own version of Lanterns Glow. I love to see what your make, so please send me some pictures of your finished quilt, or upload them to the Stacey Day Quilts group on Flickr. You can also tag me in instagram @staceyinstitches #lanternsquilt

RJR has generously donated a bundle of the same fabrics used in my Lanterns Glow quilt to give away to one lucky reader!

Simply comment below with an answer: What color are you and why? Entries will be open until 8pm Sunday, when I will draw a name using

winner lanterns

Congratulations Michele!

The Winner was #27, Michele, who said “Beautiful quilt and I absolutely love the name for it!!! My favourite colour would be Aqua so #292, #291, and #289 are my colours!! I would love to make a quilt just like yours and it would be perfect for a gift to my BIL!! Thanks for the chance!!”

Thank you for entering Michele, and thank you to everyone who came by to visit!

*Full Disclosure* When I picked out my fabrics I did so without a color card, and what I thought was Navy was actually that beautiful royal almost purple at the bottom of the bundle. I am using it for the binding and back of the quilt. In the meantime, I found the correct color sku for the Navy and used that in the quilt as well as quoted it correctly in the instructions.

2015.04.03 B 2015.04.03 C

Enjoy your long weekend, I know I will be sewing and spending time with family (and eating chocolate, shh! Don’t tell my diet!)

Happy Stitching,


62 thoughts on “Lanterns- A Tutorial

  1. I’ll be color 278 I think, although I’m hugely disappointed that I have to pick a number instead of an actual name! It just seems so …. Practical and mundane. Not exactly what I am up for in my quilting world. 🙂

  2. My color is blue, just have always been drawn to blues. Which can be a problem, if there is blue of any shade in a fabric, picture, etc. I love it.

  3. I’m orange, I think (animated, excited, mildly-hyper), but I strive to be more like an aqua (calm, cool, collected). 🙂

  4. As a colour, I am yellow, happy, easy to get along with (at times), & usually sunny.
    Thank you for the chance.

  5. I am blue, the colour of sky and ocean! So I guess my colour would depend on time of day, time of year! So many glorious colours to be found in sea and sky.

  6. I am orange – loud, bright, in your face kinda….well some of the time anyway! Love how vibrant orange can be but also mellow when you tone it down!

  7. I am blue, the color of my eyes. It is a relaxing color that makes me feel special. I love to put yellow with it.

  8. I am blue with a bit of yellow for contrast! I really like your modern quilt blocks. So stylish.

  9. I must be purple, which is also my favorite color! (“Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.”)

  10. Yellows any and all hues. Love your lanterns quilt. Thank you for the tutorial and the giveaway.

  11. Guess I am a 9617-338, kind of a Salmon. At least, that is the color I like the most right now in a solid.

  12. Always partial to blues, but I love your inspiration for the colorway, and your creative variations. This is a beautiful pattern!

  13. I am deep purple – kind of introverted, but I still play well with others! Your glowing quilt is beautiful! Thanks for sharing it!

  14. I’m that deep bright orange. It just shines happiness, and I’d like to think that is me. Love your color selections and your block. It does look like lanterns! I’d love to win a bundle, so thanks for the giveaway.

  15. Love your Lanterns Glow tutorial! Thank you very much, Stacey.
    I think I’m color 9617-291, a dusty turquoise, because I find it restful in the harshly lit desert landscape where I live.

  16. Beautiful quilt and I absolutely love the name for it!!! My favourite colour would be Aqua so #292, #291, and #289 are my colours!! I would love to make a quilt just like yours and it would be perfect for a gift to my BIL!! Thanks for the chance!!

  17. Mostly I am now a bright orange and yellow person – numbers 159 and 337. I used to be blue and green, but changed as I aged. But the colours must be deep and serious. I love the photo that was the inspiration for the design of the lantern – simple design, gorgeous colour selection – fantastic result. Kathy Mc

  18. I am a royal blue and yellow, white for contrast. Thank you Stacey for another great design and easy to understand tutorial.

  19. I think I’m the color red, because I’ve got somewhat of a temper (ashamed to admit!).
    I can be a bit “hot headed”. I’m working on that, slowly.

  20. Grey is my colour at the moment cos that’s the colour of the sky when I look out my windows in the mornings

  21. I’m teal/turquoise/aqua- all shades. To me they’re peaceful colors, which is what I strive for. Through in a little green for growth and life!

  22. I would be Yellow for the Sun. Enough cold and Winter. We need the Sun. Great quilt and tutorial.

  23. Don’t count me for the giveaway – just wanted to say this is a super fun log cabin variation and I love the colours you’ve used in your quilt!

  24. Hi Stacey! If I had to chose a colour, I think it would be blue. I’m drawn to it in every shade and I’ve been a water baby since birth, practically. Just saying the word “blue” makes me feel calmer.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  25. I am yellow but could be green, too! The world is full of color – so hard to choose.

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