Rays of Love Quilt Block
Today I'm sharing my newest quilt block, Rays of Love. This heart quilt block is foundation paper pieced for perfectly crisp rays, and is a beautiful way to show your love for someone special. The block can be used as part of a larger quilt, or it can stand alone as a small wall hanging, pillow or table topper. And it's easy enough for confident beginners and experienced quilters alike!
The Rays of Love quilt block is a fun and easy quilt block to make. It's perfect for confident beginners, or if you just want to try out a new techniques without committing too much time or fabric. It comes with templates in two sizes, for an 8" finished block as well as a 12" version. And if you'd like to make it in any other size, check out my tutorial on how to easily resize FPP blocks using a photocopier or your printer. It's a quick bit of math, but I've made you a downloadable cheat sheet with all the calculations done for you so you can get to the sewing faster.
Tips for piecing Rays of Love
One thing I love about foundation paper pieced quilt blocks is that you can use up all those weirdly shaped scraps that don't work well for other projects. I usually precut all my scraps into squares or strips because that's what I use most often in quilts, but I keep the weird triangles or those pieces that are not quite 2.5" squares but too large to throw out for projects like these.
Leftover bits from jelly rolls also work really well for some of the long and skinny parts of this heart.
There is one slightly tricky part to this heart block, and that's where all the rays meet at the top center. The pattern has pressing guidelines so your seams nest, but it's still possible to get a bit of a lump in there. A trick I learned a few years ago is to use a mallet and some batting on both sides of the quilt block to flatten any super bulky spots. Just a few gentle taps usually does the trick.
New to Foundation Paper Piecing?
You've never done foundation paper piecing before but want to make this block? Congratulations on trying something new! Foundation paper piecing can look a bit intimidating at first, but it's actually not any more difficult than traditional piecing once you get the hang of it.
The Rays of Love pattern doesn't have any instructions on how to do FPP (none of my FPP patterns do), but I wrote a tutorial for the Clover blog that you can use to get started. It comes with a simple Pine Tree quilt block you can download for free to practice with, and there are a few very easy beginner patterns in my shop that will help you get some more practice. Try out Twisted Log Cabin, Festive Forest, or Popsicle #1 for extra practice, then jump into Rays of Love with confidence.
Of course I won't show you a new quilt block without giving you some ideas for other colouring options. Rays of Love is perfect for a wide variety of colours, be that the rainbow in my sample above, brights or pastels, dark or light backgrounds, or even a multicoloured background that makes a rather spectacular wall hanging, if I say so myself.
First off, though, a very traditional pink heart. Use a variety of your favourite print scraps for this one, or solids in different shades of pink.
I love how the dark blue background makes this minty turquoise heart pop.
This yellow heart looks like a gemstone, and the denim background makes the heart stand out. This could easily work on a white background as well with a selection of brighter yellow fabrics.
One cool thing about this pattern is that you can easily swap out only parts of the background. Since this is made up of four sections, why not switch the heart and background colours around for two of them?
This would also make a striking wall hanging with 4 blocks.
And how about going fully multicoloured with a rainbow on both the heart and the background? I've picked the background colour from the part of the heart that is diagonally opposite, so the sections up being complementary colours (meaning they are opposites on the colour wheel) which is always a striking look.
Rays of Love is available as a PDF pattern in the pattern shop.