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 Sun Rays & variations

Sun Rays

Tennessee Waltz
Dove at the Window

Prairie Queen

Claws

Pineapple Quilt




Sun Rays Quilt


Sun Rays
Kansas City Star, 1939

Darting Minnows 

The Kansas City Star published this block in 1939, and columnist Nancy Page (that is, Florence La Ganke) reintroduced it under the name Darting Minnows in 1943.

Like all the other Sun Rays blocks, this one creates an elegant diamond-studded windowpane pattern in a whole quilt. We've added a color to one whole-quilt mockup to show what we mean.


Sun Rays Quilt

Sun Rays Quilt showing diamond shape

Tennessee Waltz

Tennessee Waltz


54-40 or Fight/Garden Walk/ Nine-patch Star 

In 2003, designer Sue Bouchard combined three-color variation of 54-40 or Fight with a Snowball block and called it the Tennessee Waltz Quilt.

The popular design, part of Eleanor Burns' Quilt in a Day series, brought new life to a block dating back to the 1840s. Click on the "Make It!" icon to see a YouTube video in which Burns explains how to make the block, and, in Part 2, the quilt. 

For 54-40 or Fight, click here:  
For the Snowball block, click here: Snowball

Tennessee Waltz



Tennessee Waltz Quilt

Dove at the Window

Dove at the Window
KCS, 1945
The Kansas City Star published this Sun Rays variation in 1945. Its contributor was a mere slip of a lass of 8 years of age, Lerlene Rhodes of Dermott, Arkansas.

The graphic at left was not her suggested colors; she simply used white for the rays and the rectangles and prints for the rest. It's laid out on a 12 x 12 grid.
Dove at the Window

Prairie Queen

Prairie Queen
Wheeler
1938
This block was the 1938 brainchild of Laura Wheeler, the pseudonymous Old Chelsea Station designer responsible for some of the most gracious block designs of the 1930s. Alice Brooks was another pseudonym, quite likely for the same designer. Current speculation is that she was the wife of the company's owner.

In the original, the darkest and lightest colors were solids and the others were prints.
Prairie Queen (Wheeler)

Claws

Claws
The Perfect Patchwork Primer
1973
From Gutcheon's The Perfect Patchwork Primer (1973), according to Jinny Beyer's Quilter's Album. Our color placement is loosely based on Beyer's book.

 


Claws

Pineapple Quilt

Pineapple Quilt
"Aunt Martha"
1960
Pineapple Quilt is an honorary member of the Sun Rays club.

The block is drawn on a 5x5-square grid instead of a 9x9, so its paired triangular arms are squished into a space 13 percent smaller than the usual Sun Rays-style block. On the other hand, the triangles do look more like a pineapple's spines that way. 

The block is from about 1960, from an Aunt Martha booklet called "Quilt Lover's Delight," per Beyer.

Pineapple Quilt