Finished this Christmas Quilt last week and wrote a tutorial for the AccuQuilt blog. This was a really fun quilt to make. I love working on the Holiday Elements machine embroidery. Head on over to the AccuQuilt blog and read all about it.
Where did summer go? We’re well into the new school year and as busy as ever. The dahlias are blooming with their last hurrah for the warm weather. The hurricane season has brought incredible humidity here in North Carolina but we’ve been fortunate in this part of the state not to have had a lot of rain and wind. This photo of a bouquet that my husband brought in last week was taken a few days later, so the blooms are beginning to lose their initial glory, but they’re still beautiful.
And what about quilting you may ask–as that’s the primary subject of this blog. Well, there have been weeks when quilting has been happening and other weeks when it hasn’t. For the past year or more, I was writing a monthly blog for AccuQuilt. I needed a vacation from writing, but now I am on target to start again in the near future.
Another passion of mine and the “Slap Happy Quilters” group with whom I stitch on a regular basis is making comfort quilts. Hopefully our quilts bring comfort to all the cancer patients at the Alamance Regional Cancer Center. So here are a couple of recent completions. They’re still flimsies as I haven’t had time to quilt recently–I’ll tell you why after these pics.
This is a quilt pattern that we call “Shirley’s Quilt” because it is in memory of one of our quilters who is no longer with us. It always brings back special memories to me when I make this pattern. It is made of bricks cut 3-1/2 x 6-1/2″ and squares cut 3-1/2″. I used Shapes 8 and 5 from the AccuQuilt GO! 12″ Mix and Match Blocks Qube to cut these pieces and the 3-1/2″ strip die to cut the horizontal sashing and border and the 2-1/2″ strip die to cut the vertical border.
And here is another quilt I made using leftover bricks from Shirley’s quilt, but cutting them down to 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ bricks. It’s also one of my favorite patterns. I used Shape 8 from the AccuQuilt GO! Mix & Match Blocks 8″ Qube for this one. This one still needs a border and to be quilted.
This is the block for this quilt. What I love most is that it can be made with any size brick and looks wonderful as a scrappy quilt. Every other block in this quilt turns 90 degrees, so the only seams to match are the corners of the blocks. That makes stitching blocks together into a top so easy.
And this is the reason I never get anything done–but they’re so, so cute!
This is a blog post that I wrote for AccuQuilt in July. The quilt uses the log cabin die as well as the signature block from the Qube Companion set and machine embroidery from the Holiday Medley embroidery designs. This looks like a difficult quilt, but it’s actually easy to make. The instructions include diagrams for quick and easy piecing of the log cabin blocks.
A couple of weeks ago, we spent a full week with our grandsons in Ohio. They are twins (8 years old), middle child (5 years old), and youngest (2 years old)–such an incredible amount of energy and fun and imagination in one house is amazing. This is one of all four boys at the zoo. You can see the little one in green running ahead.
The twins have wanted to sew for a long time. Mom’s sewing machine needed service and repair the last time we were there. It had not been used in such a long time that the presser foot would no longer go up and down. Thus, in the interim we found a Pfaff dealer and the machine was serviced and repaired.
My friends, Wanda and Sherry, have made jelly roll race quilts with their granddaughters/nieces and that gave me the idea of what to make with the boys. One full jelly roll (42 strips) will make two lap quilts with a three inch border all around.
This was much more difficult than I imagined. Somehow my daughters learned to sew when they were 8-10 years old, making things like t-tops and shorts and it seemed easy for them. However, they both had been sitting at a machine (first on my lap) from the time they were old enough to sit. And then they made fancy stitch samplers using variegated thread by just selecting the stitches and pressing the foot pedal.
The boys had a very hard time stitching a straight seam–the seams always seemed to veer into the middle of the strip or off the edge. One of the twins wanted to race with the pedal to the metal and the other twin wanted to stitch one stitch at a time–both methods had serious issues for the teacher. Fortunately the Pfaff has a “sew slow” button.
We did get the quilts finished. I brought the tops home with me to add borders, quilt, and bind. I didn’t gete any pics of the boys sewing, but here are pics of the quilts on the quilting frame.
And just for fun–this was a “quiet” moment:
There are six grandsons and three granddaughters in our family now. The boys love quilts. Recently the oldest boys (twins) made their own jelly roll race quilts in blue and green.Their brother (a middle child) has chosen orange as his signature color. Even though this is not my favorite color, last year I did crochet my way through a very large orange “blanket” for him.
And then, this week, as he’s lying on the couch with a 102 degree fever, he announces that he wants Momma B to make him an “orange star quilt”. Orange is not a dominant color in my stash, although there are some pretty orange-gold batiks and one bolt of orange cotton that is truly not a pretty color.
Needless to say, I have spent time over the past few days auditioning and making star blocks to find a color and design that he likes. Sometimes it’s hard to believe how picky a five year old can be. First, let me show you the one he finally chose, and then the pictures after that are the ones that were rejected.
The one he likes best:
And all of these color combinations are the rejects. I agree the final color, even without as much contrast, looks better than the others:
Last week AccuQuilt published a blog post that I wrote about creating a trapunto effect with machine embroidery. What makes it so easy and fun to do is that the AccuQuilt GO! die cutter was used to cut the batting shapes for “stuffing” the trapunto. What an easy method for trapunto. A full tutorial can be found on the Accuquilt blog.
And here’s a link to the Butterfly Beauties Machine Embroidery set. I love this set because there are both traditional and contemporary embellishment designs. It is one of my favorites embroidery sets–and stuffing the butterflies as in this quilt just adds to their beauty. I had always made these butterflies in softer colors in the past, but absolutely love these bright colors.
The dimension on the trapunto never shows as well in photos as it does in reality, but here are some photos.
I am cross posting this Valentine tutorial from the AccuQuilt blog. You can find the full post by clicking the image. I had so much fun working on these cute machine embroidery ITH Quick Kids Bears from Dolls and Daydreams and adding my Candy Hearts Machine Embroidery to make them Valentine bears. Can’t wait until the grandchildren can come visit and make some too.
Do you ever get tired of four patch blocks and want to do something different? Seems like cutting scraps into something usable often ends up in strips or squares–although sometimes I do tumblers too. The cross or flower quilt block is a classic quilt block but is usually made with all squares. Because I especially like brick quilts, I decided to adapt this block to my Qube and use the brick (Shape 8) as well as the square (Shape 2). By using the brick, one seam can be eliminated. And because I have a whole basket of 2-1/2″ strips already cut, it only makes sense to use up some of them as well as any new scraps that are cut, thus I chose the 8″ Qube Mix & Match Block set for this one. If I were starting with new fabric or scraps, I’d probably use the 6″ Qube Block set as I like smaller blocks more than larger blocks.
It’s also good to note that these blocks don’t finish at the size of the Qube because they are five “patches” across rather than four. Thus, the
- 6″ Qube makes a 7-1/2″ finished block, the
- 8″ Qube makes a 10″ finished block, the
- 9″ Qube makes an 11-1/4″ finished block, and the
- 12″ Qube makes a 15″ finished block.
If you’re making these for comfort or charity quilts like I am doing, you will need to adjust the layout so that the quilt is the right size. Just think how fun this would be for a baby quilt with four blocks and sashing using the 12″ Qube.
Here’s a picture of the individual block made with completely scrappy bricks and squares. As much as I like this block in a single color, the random scrappy look seems a little too scrappy and disorganized to me. Guess that’s my left brain kicking into gear.
So, I decided to try each block with a color theme, i.e., red, green, purple. That appealed to me much more, so this is what I got and I like this much better for a scrappy quilt and using up all those extra pieces that have been cut. There’s a lot more contrast between the background bricks and the flowers and each block has a color theme.
This is the basic unit that is a little more fun than a four patch and is nice for variety. So, it’s pretty easy to make these if you have the two patch units already stitched (which I usually do have as leaders and enders).
And then, it’s just a matter of making this block adding the colored bricks and center square. You can see that the individual unit is turned to get all the color squares around the center. I made this in three rows and then stitched the rows together.
QUBE Tip: The nice thing about using the 8″ Qube was that when I wanted to use up pre-cut 2-1/2″ jelly roll strips, all I had to do was fanfold the strip across the Shape 1 die to make bricks and fanfold the 2-1/2″ jelly roll strip across the Shape 8 die to make squares. Just line the strip up with the blade on the long side of the strip, place the mat, and cut. Likewise, if you are using the 12″ Qube and have pre-cut 3-1/2″ strips, you can do the same thing–or the 6″ Qube and have pre-cut 2″ strips.
Here’s a picture of what the quilt would look like with sashing. I like the idea of a light flower/cross in the sashing to reflect the larger flower/cross pattern.
Finished the quilt for my sister for Christmas and thought I would share the layout and block construction with you. It looks complicated, but really isn’t. I was inspired by the Circle of Nine Quilt Book by Janet Houts and Jean Ann Wright. It’s possible to use their layouts and create beautiful quilts, but I came up with my own connector blocks and added some additional negative space for quilting.
This is the finished quilt:
This is a closeup of the quilting:
You can find the layout and diagrams of each block here.