Make an Easy Burst Block Quilt with Jenny & Rob!


Jenny and Rob Appell from Man Sewing demonstrate a simple way to make the Burst Block Quilt using The Burst Block Template and 10 inch squares of precut fabric (layer cakes). We used Kona Cotton Solids – Black Ten Squares by Robert Kaufman Fabrics and Artisan Batiks – Prisma Dyes Lava Flow Ten Square by Lunn Studios for Robert Kaufman.

Get the supplies needed here:

Video Transcript (Downloadable PDF):

Jenny: Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And as you can see I am here today with Rob from Man Sewing.

Rob: Hey everybody.

Jenny: I love when he comes to visit. We have a wonderful project for you today. And this is it right here. And Rob, what is this right here?

Rob: Well it’s kind of a remake of the original Burst Block pattern because I just thought we could do better.

Jenny: Well the fun thing, I love the burst block over on his channel.

Rob: Thank you, thank you.

Jenny: But I don’t do well with the math stuff and with the kind of cutting.

Rob: Right.

Jenny: And so for this quilt he made us a template and so it’s going to be perfect every time.

Rob: Yes.

Jenny: And I love that. So what do we need to make this.

Rob: Yes, ok let’s get right into it because you know we get excited about things.

Jenny: I know. We do. We’re talkers.

Rob: Two different colors of ten inch square packs. We used the Robert Kaufman version so we’ve got the black dakota and then the lava flow which is a batik

Jenny: The black. Lots of fun colors.

Rob: Yes, yes. But I’m going to also point out I chose batik and I chose solid on purpose the first time through because I don’t have to worry about right sides.

Jenny: That’s true. And it’s lots of good contrast.

Rob: That makes cutting. Yes, I mean obviously that thing jumps off the wall.

Jenny: I know. It’s so cool. I love it.

Rob: So you want me to start walking you through this?

Jenny: Yes, show me how to do it.

Rob: Ok well this is the individual unit right here.

Jenny: This is the block right here.

Rob: This is the block. Yep. And we’re going to basically do most of it step by step by step instead of a bunch of strip piecing style.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: If you get more proficient you could definitely do it strip piecing. So what I’ve done here is I took my, we’ll just call these the brightly colored squares.

Jenny: The prints.

Rob: The print, ya. So these were technically cut just on the bias, corner to corner. And this is the only time that we’re not going to be using the template throughout the rest of the project.

Jenny: Oh ok.

Rob: I needed something a little bit longer. The template wasn’t long enough to cut that.

Jenny: Right. And I love that about that ruler because it will go corner to corner.

Rob: It is long enough. It was well designed.

Jenny: Thank you.

Rob: Oh, of course. So that’s what we’re doing to all of our bright squares.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: Now in the layout behind me there’s 24 blocks. I have two of each color so I have 12 of these.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: I got excited and I took the whole set of layer, er ten squares and stuff and cut them all through and got excited. So I had some leftovers to play with.

Jenny: No you never have leftovers. You have more quilts.

Rob: Amen. And my daughter was playing with them. She thinks she’s making Darth Maul with all the black and red and stuff.

Jenny: Oh there you go. There you go.

Rob: Now with the black pieces or our neutral, the one that’s going to be used in every block no matter what the other colors are.

Jenny: Yeah.

Rob: You can see here that the template itself was used. Beautiful, thank you. To cut it like this.

Jenny: Yeah

Rob: Correct. And then these are the leftovers. But these are going to be used for all of the construction as well. So each individual block we’re going to need one of our wedge shapes. And then I’m going to keep these in order. So I’ve got all of that. So if you

Jenny: Now are these two triangles the same?

Rob: Not at all.

Jenny: Ok so they’re not, not interchangeable. We need to keep two piles of those.

Rob: Correct. I may have misled you. They are the same this way. But they are not, this side is longer than this side.

Jenny: Oh ok

Rob: And that is really important that you point that out. Thank you for doing that.

Jenny: Alright.

Rob: These triangles are what you know as equilateral triangles so

Jenny: They’re the same.

Rob: They’re the same. These lengths are the same.

Jenny: Ok.

Rob: And that will work nicely because we’re going to need these

Jenny: Now one more thing I want to ask you about. Hand me a black square over there.

Rob: You got it.

Jenny: When we put this template on the black square

Rob: Yes.

Jenny: You actually, you’re just going to line up this on this edge and this on this edge.

Rob: Correct. The first thing we’re going to need is we’re going to need just the center wedge. But I’m going to save these and I’m going to keep them like I said just kind of organized here.

Jenny: Two separate piles.

Rob: If you start to look for the long sides and the short sides you’ll be able to recognize. Ok so I’m going to ask you to piece this for me. And we’re not going to start right here. I’m just going to cheat. Every time I start I’m going to cheat off of this bottom corner

Jenny: Ok

Rob: By about a half of an inch or so.

Jenny: Ok.

Rob: I personally pieced and then pieced and then I did my pressing. However you like to do it.

Jenny: Ok so we, we’re going to turn this and put them right sides together

Rob: Correct.

Jenny: And we’re just going to sew. And does it matter if it’s, there’s no exact measurement for down here.

Rob: No exact measurement but I definitely want to go long. I’m going to cheat you up, let’s just tell everybody ¾ of an inch. Let’s give them a number.

Jenny: Ok, alright.

Rob: Because it will help on some of the other.

Jenny: And then we’re just going to sew this down the side.

Rob: Yes, please.

Jenny: A quarter of an inch?

Rob: Yep. I’ll make sure our iron is warming up over here. Oop good and ready.

Jenny: Alright.

Rob: Ya I was fine having those colored blocks both assembled at the same time made the trimming much easier that way.

Jenny: And I love that there’s no back side or front side. You know you can’t make a mistake on that.

Rob: Certainly. Certainly. Now I know we’ve always talked pressing to the dark side. What I find actually ends up happening is this usually just presses from the outside of that wedge. Because you could do this with neutral light colors in the center too.

Jenny: Absolutely.

Rob: So I’m just kind of pressing to the outside edge. I want to get it nice and flat. Ok, and we are piecing a bit on the bias.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: So we’re going a little bit slow. And you might find that things don’t always settle in but as we trim and trim we’re going to do great with this. Ok so now the first thing we need to point out is the wedge shape is also printed on our template.

Jenny: Oh ok right here.

Rob: Right. This template is going to be used both from this side and from this side.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: So we’re going to be flipping the template over. And because of that there’s no real numbers for the markings. These dots are used for the markings. One, two, and three. So you can read them on both sides of the ruler or the template.

Jenny: Right.

Rob: And this wedge is always going to be sitting on this wedge no matter how we’re cutting.

Jenny: Oh, always on the black.

Rob: Always on the black. Well or the center.

Jenny: The middle, the center.

Rob: The wedge shape so that’s why we use it as a wedge. Originally I had it as an arrow. So that’s one part about prototypes. So our first thing we’re doing is we’re going to actually be cutting on this line right here, the one with  the single dot.

Jenny:  With one dot.

Rob: Is for our first cut.

Jenny: Our first cut.

Rob: That’s right. And then there’s a couple of other little points I want to point out here. Way down here I always have the corner of the template touching this black.

Jenny: The center piece.

Rob: The center piece. Because that could actually adjust the angle of the wedge

Jenny: Oh ok.

Rob: So we want to be careful with that. I’m going to put a nice amount of pressure here and I just start my cut out. And then I come into my wedge. And you know I had’t done a lot of work with templates in my life and I learned that if my cutter is at a bit of an angle this way I’m not pushing against the template so hard. You probably knew that.

Jenny: Well I just cut. I don’t even notice what I’m doing. I just cut.

Rob: I’m still trying to learn what I’m supposed to teach. My mind has got to learn what I’m supposed to teach. Now we’ve cut this edge.

Jenny: Uh huh

Rob: Now there’s a 90 degree marker up here as well. It’s only 90 degree on one side. So that’s what that box means. And what we can do there is I’m

Jenny: That’s so cool

Rob: Isn’t that fun? So that lays out like this and I’m just going to start trimming. And I’m just kind of eyeballing this

Jenny: Right.

Rob: Into the peaks and valleys of our pinking. So this will come down here the ruler or the template. I keep wanting to call it a ruler but it’s a template. It is now flipped. This bottom corner, there’s not a lot of meat down there, right? So it’s really easy. So just be real cautious at first. Or my trick I like is did you see I’ve laid that out the corner

Jenny: Right in that corner.

Rob: So now I can use the rest of the mat to try to stay fairly focused, fairly straight to begin.

Jenny: Because basically you’re just squaring this up to make a square.

Rob: Correct. Not too bad too. And we do want to save, we don’t need to save these parts. But we do want to save these parts.  

Jenny:  How cool that that’s all the little waste.

Rob: Right, right.

Jenny: That little tiny bit.

Rob: Ya we have very very little.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: Next parts that go on are the opposite colors so that would be our blacks. And this is where that long side

Jenny: Matters

Rob: Is really important, right? So this is the long side connected to the little bit. So that fills right back in. And back here again no more than a ¾ inch start up.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: Uh huh. I’ll ask you to piece those on for me.

Jenny: So I’ll do this side first.

Rob: Yep.

Jenny: Just because I’m that side.

Rob: And my eyes double checked real quick so that we don’t have any seam ripping to do. I think she’s correct ladies.

Jenny: Well and what I love is now with this template is that you really can be perfect, every block. Every block can be, you know, you know it’s going to work.

Rob: It’s pretty close. I’m trying to think of, I’m hoping they’re not looking too close at my points that don’t all exactly match every single time. And that’s partly because the blocks you see in the quilt behind me, I was learning to keep that bottom of the template that bottom corner down there and on location because I didn’t realize there would be a slight angle change.

Jenny: Well I have to tell you first that I have never given a quilt to anybody and had them say, you know have them say well I’m not going to take this unless you get your points better.

Rob: Right, right.

Jenny: You know they don’t care. They don’t care.

Rob: You certainly didn’t have a friend after that point.

Jenny: Alright so, I’m not, oh second cut. Ah! Is that right?

Rob: Almost. So we need to have that wedge

Jenny: Oh the wedge has to be on the black

Rob: Correct.

Jenny: So this has to flip over.

Rob: Correct.

Jenny: Oh my gosh.

Rob: And so just by having that tip of the template touching the black that just gives a consistency of the others.

Jenny: And honestly I would imagine that by the time that, by the time that you’ve done this a few times it gets to be, you get to be very quick at it.

Rob: I found myself to feel very quick.

Jenny: Alright I’m going to, I’m going to let you cut this side because otherwise we’ll have to rotate it or do something like that.

Rob: Right, right. Ok that’s there.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: Sliding this up right so it’s on my line. I’m going to cut. And ya you’re right because I’ve already made like I said, about 40 of these I’ve found that if I cut that right side first being right handed. Now I’m looking at that whole line. And I’m going to trim. I’m going to flip. I would have then also trimmed that seam you cut for me, right? And then I just learned to spin and flip. And the more cut we get the more square that stays. And then that flip of the ruler or the template. I’ve got to, maybe I should print the word TEMPLATE on this. Even though it says TEMPLATE right on there. There we go.

Jenny: There we go.

Rob: Ok, and then our next step is going to be to add back on these yellows

Jenny: The yellow

Rob: And the yellows have now become isosceles, are they now isosceles triangles? Testing the geometry

Jenny: Don’t say that.

Rob: I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. You know my son is on the other side of the camera and he is pretty much a math wizard. Is it isosceles?

Jenny: Oh my gosh.

Rob: A two sided triangle?

Jenny: My dad is a math whiz

Rob: He’s giving me sign language. We’re going to let Jenny sew instead. We’ll get back to you on the name of the triangle. Perfect.

Jenny: Alright.

Rob: Ok, press that out for us. We’ll need those again.

Jenny: It’s like wings.

Rob: Uh huh. And actually we are already onto our last cuts and our last seams after this. So it actually goes like I said very quickly. Ok?

Jenny:  Alright. So line three?

Rob: Correct.

Jenny: Oh wait, turn it over.

Rob: Beautiful.

Jenny: Because my point has got to be on the point. And we’ve got to be on line three. Line three.

Rob: Yep and you line up on the bottom corner.

Jenny: Is it weird for you that this side is getting cut first?

Rob: No.

Jenny: Ok, here you go.

Rob: Not at all because it really works. I actually want to play with this in a whole variety of different ways.

Jenny:  Do you know that’s one of the things that’s cool about our templates is it’s cool if they do one thing but we make sure that they do a lot of things. You know

Rob: This is the same conversation I had with the guy was going to make the template. He was like, This is going to do more than one thing, right?

Jenny: It is, it is. We, we always, we always find all these different things that they can do and it just makes it really, really fun. Like just now looking at this.

Rob: Right.

Jenny: For father’s day, a tie quilt.

Rob: Oh that would be cool.

Jenny: Yeah, something.

Rob: I was playing with it also if it would actually be very similar to a  dresden, the way that sometimes you do the dresden parts.

Jenny: Sure.

Rob: And it looks similar. It wasn’t the same angle so you need more than 20 of these to put back together. Ok. Now this last cut we’re going to do here is trimming this down. So what we have is this interesting seam. That’s the seam right there.

Jenny: Uh oh.

Rob: Ok, and that’s easy.

Jenny: Oh from the, where it chink chinks like that.

Rob: Correct. Because this part of the yellow here

Jenny: It’s got a little elbow

Rob: Yep. So I’m going to ask you to still piece this on. But because you have so much of the triangle left and so little to go you can cheat now if you need to on both sides please.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: And then we don’t have template marks we just square it to finish it.

Jenny: Ok. Perfect.

Rob: Super easy.

Jenny: Super, super easy.

Rob: Uh huh.

Jenny: So in my mind this, you know you might think this is still a burst block but it’s a better burst.

Rob: It’s a better burst block.

Jenny: It’s a better burst.

Rob: It’s certainly more accurate. If people that come to Hamilton and look at that quilt real close will see my extra special block I created.

Jenny: Ya but you know everybody is where they is. They’re all in different places.

Rob: Well that’s what we were doing. I was, I was so excited just to be making a quilt for us here. Ok, so I’m going to press this. So construction wise, how did you feel? Was it fairly easy on the bias?

Jenny: I think it’s pretty easy, ya. Well the bias doesn’t bother me at all. I’m a clothing sewing originally so we love the bias.

Rob: Ok, got it.

Jenny: You know, it makes everything hang nice. It doesn’t ravel. We like the bias.

Rob: Right.

Jenny: So

Rob: A little bit of a trick. I’m going to interrupt you a little there.

Jenny: Ok.

Rob: Ok so now as I get ready to trim I am actually really wanting to look at the square. Wherever I find myself a square. And I like to use the thick lines.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: So for here I’m going to use kind of this corner

Jenny: Ok

Rob: And I don’t have any lines in the field of the template. I’m just going to use my 90.

Jenny: Ok.

Rob: Ok so at this point if you had a big square ruler that you loved you could use that as well. . But I’m looking at my line kind of running through. I’m making sure it’s not all catty wampus through the red lines on the ruler. Excuse me red lines on the mat.

Jenny: That’s where the pressing matters, right?

Rob: Uh huh. And I will also tell you because there’s a little bit of give in these shapes I was able to match my points up pretty darn well in the final quilt.

Jenny: That’s awesome.

Rob: Ya, so you see again I’m just using it to square.

Jenny: Right.

Rob: Using it to square like this. And then real quickly when I’m done I’ll show you how we marry the blocks together.

Jenny: And again this is the 90 degree line that lines on the corner.

Rob: Absolutely. Thanks for pointing that out.  Yep.

Jenny: Well I have, you know I’m so angley challenged I have these little mantras that I say.

Rob: Right.

Jenny: To myself. We’ve got to do this, got to do this, got to do this. Flip over for the left. Flip over for, you know, right side up for the right.

Rob: Yep, yep.

Jenny: For the right. You know that would become my mantra with this. Because otherwise I just get all, I just get all mixed up, you know.

Rob: Ya, ya. It could be

Jenny: Oh perfect, perfect. Yep. Now what are we going to do.

Rob: Ok so these I kind of just toss. These I’ve been saving, one of these days I’ll make some borders or something like that.

Jenny: Sure, sure.

Rob: Out of these. So I’ve got a whole pile  of those. And then if you are looking through us at the quilt behind I basically started in the center of the project.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: But I really did use a similar shades, is what I’m trying to say so like this is a, I”m going to call a medium and this is a bright red.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: So I’m just using these as an example because they were leftover from my whole lava flow pack. So I’m touching dark to light. And then over here I’m also going to come in here and touch dark to light.

Jenny: Oh that’s so cool.

Rob: And so when it goes in like that then it’s going to go ahead and give you the feel. And then if you look at the quilt back here that’s what’s also kind of giving it a burst and the radiant feel as I kept going. So I just kind of kept playing with  the colors so they’re basically diagonals.

Jenny: So basically one, two, three, four bursts across and one, two, three, four, five, six bursts down.

Rob: Correct. They work greatest in multiples of four so far.

Jenny: Ok

Rob: Until I come up with another design for it.

Jenny: Until you do something else. Well this is awesome. Thank you, Rob.

Rob: My pleasure. Thanks for letting me show the template.

Jenny: Love the template. Love the template. Love the new block, you know the way that it’s consistent

Rob: Right. Right.

Jenny: Just love everything about it. Thanks for being here today.

Rob: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Jenny: Oh you guys. Thanks so much for joining us. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the better Burst Block

Rob: Loving it.

Jenny: From the MSQC and Man Sewing.

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