About Marjorie Busby

My blog is about helping other quilters learn to use great tools in their quilting through what I can teach and through finding other bloggers who have good information. In addition, I am a mother and grandmother. Other hobbies include any other stitchery which makes me happy at the moment. My profession is as a registered dietitian, and I have worked in clinical research for most of my career. I am now retired and enjoying every minute.

Squaring Blocks with AccuQuilt Dies – Part 2

In the previous post, the blocks that were squared had two sides that were already “square”. Today, I’ll show you how I squared blocks with a diagonal / half square triangle seam. My go to block for comfort quilts or a quick quilt anytime is the Strip Twist block from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.com. I use jelly roll strips for it or cut strips from fat quarters. The blocks stitch up quickly and the seams always match perfectly. And while it’s a great scrappy quilt, it takes on a whole different look with coordinated colors or set on point. Here’s a single strip twist block.

01 Strip Twist Block

After the success of squaring up square blocks, I decided to see if I could do a block with a half square triangle seam. And it worked great. After stitching these blocks, for whatever reason, are just slightly wonky and no two are exactly the same size. So, I always square them up to the same size.

I used the 10″ square die for the GO! Big for these photos. But I have also squared this up with the 8-1/2″ square die and the GO! cutter.

I used my Square up ruler to measure the block when it was folded on the diagonal seam line and then I transferred those markings to my die using Painter’s tape. With the ruler on the die, I inserted pins in the foam at the end of the diagonal lines on the ruler and then stretched the Painter’s tape from pin to pin.  (Can you see my reflection on the ruler?)

Square up Ruler on Aligned on Die showing placement of Painter's tape.

Square up Ruler Aligned on Die showing placement of Painter’s tape.

Then I carefully laid two blocks folded in half in each corner = 4 layers, Do not press blocks open until after cutting. The diagonal seam is laid exactly on the line of the tape and the corners are centered beyond the blades.  This is what you have after it is cut. This is the easy peasy way to square these blocks.

Squared up Strip Twist blocks.

Squared up Strip Twist blocks.

And while I used the 10″ square die, this works well with the 8-1/2″ die too. It will all depend on your block size. 

Brick Tee Lap / Comfort Quilt Tutorial

I want to share one of our favorite brick quilts. Sherry wrote these instructions, and I formatted them into a nice one page handout. One of the things I like best about this pattern is the fabric placement of the bricks. The quilt looks great as a scrappy quilt with careful placement of the solid, neutral, and print fabrics. We used 3-1/2 x 6-1/2″ bricks.

Here’s an EQ version of the quilt in three fabrics:

Brick Tee Quilt in EQ

Brick Tee Quilt in EQ

Instructions (link to pdf)

Overall Size: 42” x 60”
Finished Block Size 6 x 9”

Solid:  36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”

Solid Neutral: 36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”

Print: 36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”

Sashing: 210 inches of 3-1/2” strips sewn together

Binding: 210 inches of 2-1/2” strips sewn together.

Cutting: The bricks for this quilt are easily cut with the AccuQuilt GO! 6-1/2″ strip die (55086) and 3-1/2″ strip die (55032).

Sew two 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 bricks together along the long side. Use one print and one solid (or reads as solid).

Sew another solid/neutral to one side vertical to the seam to make a “T”.

Make 36 patchwork blocks. Note that if you want to keep the print bricks in alternating rows, you will place the “T” brick on the opposite end as you stitch as shown:

BrickTBlock2BrickTBlock1Arrange as shown in picture above, alternating the orientation of patches in every other row. Four patches across make one row. Make 9 rows.Add sashing and binding.

Alternate Option using a Jelly Roll: This can also be made with 2-1/2 x 4-1/2″ bricks using one each 42 piece Jelly Roll of coordinated fabrics and fanfolding those jelly roll strips across the 4-1/2″ AccuQuilt GO! strip die (55054). This would require seven blocks across and ten blocks down for a total of 70 blocks and 210 each 2-1/2 x 4-1/2″ bricks.

Quilt as desired.



Saving a Special Quilt from Fire Damage

On March 28, 2015, my brother’s house was destroyed by fire. And I do mean destroyed–there was almost nothing left. Many things were literally vaporized, never to be seen again. Fortunately, all of the humans and four-legged fur creatures were safe and sound, although my sister-in-law and nephew made it out without even their shoes. Miraculously, some of the many quilts that were made by my grandmother, mother, and myself were salvaged. They were in cedar chests which were scorched on the outside, but the quilts inside survived with minor damage. Those cedar chests were on the top story of this house, which is gone. This is a back view of the house just after the fire.

View from the back-600


One of the favorite quilts that I had given them was displayed on a chair in the front entry. It was damaged, but not completely destroyed. And it’s a salvage project that I will work on this summer. There is still fabric in my stash from the original quilt. The quilt aged significantly from the fire and subsequent cleaning, so the fabrics will not match exactly. This is what it looks like now.

Full view of quilt damaged by fire.

Full view of quilt damaged by fire.

There are six blocks on the bottom half of the quilt that survived intact. The goal is to make a wall hanging from those blocks. Because of the damage to the binding, the edges will be trimmed a bit, but the wall hanging may exist with even some of the damage intact.

Here’s a closeup of damage to the binding–and in the full picture, you can see along the sides and bottom edges how the binding is frayed.

binding detail-600

And this is a picture showing the quilting I had done on this quilt. It was all done free-hand on my old Nolting Hobby Quilter.

quilting detail-600


And I would like to express my appreciation to the community of support for my brother and his family which has been incredible. I have never seen anything like the level of support they have received from friends, neighbors, and even members of the community they didn’t know very well before. 

Patience Corners-Squaring the Blocks

Patience Corners has been around a very long time and there are many ways to make this block. Using the border method shown here, the blocks are cut into four and squared and then stitched together again. I am compulsive about squaring my quilt blocks and making sure that each block is exactly the same size before stitching into a quilt top. That top needs to be flat and square before it goes on my longarm.

Squaring blocks with a rotary cutter is tedious at best so I’ve been looking for a better way. And voila!– I found it with my AccuQuilt GO! square die. Because two sides of the block are perfectly squared already from the first cut, only two sides have to be straightened.

First I used a ruler and marked the 8 inch square die with Painter’s Tape. With the ruler laid exactly in place on the die, I placed the Painter’s tape straight along the edge of the ruler as shown. You can see that I have marked the die multiple times for other purposes too; but more recently have found that Painter’s tape is an excellent marker, does not affect the cutting, and removes quickly and easily.

01-8in square die-sm

After marking the die, the quilt block was split into four. You can see that the inner corners are perfectly squared already.


I took two corners of the block and stacked them matching the straight edges perfectly and laid them on the die. The straight edges are aligned with the Painter’s tape.


And notice that I’m using a very old mat but aligning it just with the outer edge of the fabric so I can get good use out of the good areas that are left on this mat.

04-PC-mat on die 600

And here it is after cutting with the AccuQuilt GO!


And I stack them and keep squaring until they’re all finished and ready to stitch.06-PC-stacked ready to stitch 600

Before beginning stitching, I take a different number of blocks from the top on three of the stacks and move them to the bottom so that each block has four different fabrics.

This really made quick work of squaring those blocks and made me sooooo happy.

Have a great day and do some happy stitching! 

Patience Corners with the AccuQuilt GO! 8″ Square Die

I have been doing some experiments with the 8 inch square Accuquilt GO! die. It cuts a square that is 8-1/2 inches and finishes at 8 inches. This die is very useful for squaring blocks to 8-1/2 inches and for cutting longer jelly roll strips to 8-1/2 inches long for the Strip Twist pattern. But what else can it do?

One of my favorite patterns is Patience Corners. It looks wonderful with any combination of fabrics and is a great way to use up charm squares or 6-1/2 inch squares. I decided to try using the 8 inch die to make Patience Corners. The combination of the 8 inch finished square and the 2-1/2 inch strip die was a perfect combination.

I usually make the Patience Corners block as a colored square with two strips on either side. This time I added strips all the way around the block and then cut it into squares. The strips were cut with the 2-1/2 inch strip die.

To cut the strips, I cut an 8-1/2 inch width of fabric strip and fan folded it across the 2-1/2 inch strip die. I also cut a 12-1/2 inch width of fabric and fan folded that across the 2-1/2 inch strip die. These 2-1/2 inch strips fit the 8-1/2 inch square perfectly. This is the block I made:

8 in square AccuQuilt GO! die

Patience Corners with 8 inch square AccuQuilt GO! die

And then I cut it into four squares. That was pretty easy to do because I measured exactly 4 inches from the the seam of the strips and the block. I drew lines where I cut the block as you can see below:

8in square PC cut

And then I rearranged and stitched the resulting four blocks into the Patience Corners block:

8in square to finished block

And the result was this quilt which I made using novelty prints that were in my stash. It’s a great ispy quilt for a little one:

8in Patience Corners 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Last night was our “Yard Sale” for our Quilt Guild. At the end of the evening, there was a Show and Tell of the 24 Comfort Quilts that members have made over the last month for patients at the Cancer Center. It is super inspiring to see the beautiful quilts that are made as donation quilts. One of those quilts really caught my eye, and I just had to draw it in EQ to see how hard it would be to make. It gives the illusion of a plaid, but I also thought it could be made up as a scrappy quilt too. Here are some pictures. I think you will see how she made it.

This would work up in a flash with my AccuQuilt GO! 2-1/2″ strip cutter and the 4-1/2″ strip cutter.

Barbara's Four Patch


Here’s an EQ graphic of it in green–Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

And this is a diagram of how it’s put together. It is a row of 4″ light square and 4-patch alternating beginning and ending with the light 4″ (finished) square. And a second row of 4″ dark square and 4-patch alternating beginning and ending with the four patch.

Four Patch Rows


Just for good measure – here’s a scrappy one in bright Spring colors.

Scrappy Four Patch

Have a Happy Day! 

Holiday Recipes Blog Blitz — Sand Tarts

Welcome to the Holiday Recipes Blog Blitz hosted by SewCalGal. The recipe I am sharing today has the most fun name because it’s so cold outside and the name reminds me of sunny summer beach days. This is the perfect recipe for the holidays because we bake one pan of these cookies and still have more left to bake on another day. The dough is made into rolls that go in the refrigerator and when it’s time for cookies and milk, we just slice them, add the cinnamon and nut topping and bake them.

Just a little recipe history: I received this recipe from a neighbor over 30 years ago. The recipe was double the one below and written in pounds (my neighbor had previously been stationed in Papua New Guinea). I converted it to cups and halved the recipe. In addition, I added the almond flavoring because we like that flavor in our family, and it allows me to bake them as sugar cookies with no topping or with sprinkles when I’m in a hurry.

SPECIAL NOTE: When you use sprinkles, remember that you can get natural food color sprinkles at food stores like Whole Foods. None of us should be consuming the artificial colors allowed in this country by the USDA. And we should ask for natural food color sprinkles and natural food color at our regular grocery stores too. 

Click the recipe card for a downloadable pdf file that you can save to your computer. I’ll bet you can’t eat just one!

Sand Tarts recipe



This year, I have been trying to organize all my recipes as well as reduce that messy shelf that contains not only cookbooks but lots of loose paper (that didn’t get into the loose recipe binder), and all those little recipe books that come with appliances and have great information about how to use them. My solution has been a pdf scanner that scans quickly and creates searchable text so that I can find things easily. Thus my recipe shelf is slowly, but surely becoming a Dropbox recipe folder.

I love this because I have collected several wonderful community cookbooks over the years. Many of them were created before we had computers (my childhood :)) and the recipes were indexed but still very hard to find. By taking these cookbooks apart and scanning them into an OCR text pdf, I now have a way to search for the blueberry cobbler recipe or I can even search by the name of the contributor–like Aunt Abby’s sugar cookies.

And if you’re looking for recipe software, there are a couple of great ones out there. I use Living Cookbook because the most recent version has a way to share recipes in the cloud. This makes for a great way for families and friends to share recipes. What I love most about Living Cookbook is that I can copy and paste into the Capture menu and it converts the recipe into a written recipe in the software. Master Chef also gets great reviews.

Now go visit the other blogs on the tour–and have fun!

Stitch This (Martingale)
Leah Day – The Free Motion Quilting  Project
Wendy Sheppard  (Ivory Spring)
Marjorie Busby (Blue Feather Quilt Studio)
Jeannette Jones (Inchworm Fabrics)
Barb Gaddy (Bejeweled Quilts)
The Electric Quilt Company (Behind The Mouse – The Electric Quilt Blog)
Hoffman California Fabrics’ Creative Canvas blog

Merry Christmas



It’s Baking Time–with a few Stitches Thrown In

I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland–late, late, late for a very important date. Quilting seemed to interfere with my plans to have a totally unrushed and calm holiday season. Part of the problem is that I just couldn’t say no when people asked me to help them finish their quilts. However, as of yesterday, the packages are shipped, and I can settle down to things like baking cookies and decorating the tree.

Tomorrow–Monday–we’re going to have a great Blog Tour with lots of recipes. SewCalGal has organized this group of stitching cooks, and I think you’ll find some fun recipes. Here’s a list of all the participants. To celebrate, I did a little stitching to accessorize my daughter who always does a lot of baking.

holiday blog blitz badge



Stitch This (Martingale)

Leah Day – The Free Motion Quilting  Project

Wendy Sheppard  (Ivory Spring)


Marjorie Busby (Blue Feather Quilt Studio)

Jeannette Jones (Inchworm Fabrics)

Barb Gaddy (Bejeweled Quilts)

The Electric Quilt Company (Behind The Mouse – The Electric Quilt Blog)

Hoffman California Fabrics’ Creative Canvas blog


The recipient of this apron has three boys and is expecting a fourth any day now. She keeps the boys in line and runs a tight ship. She definitely is a Super Mom. And since those boys are into Superheroes, I thought they should know that Mom fits into that category too.

I digitized this embroidery myself using Art and Stitch software. It was a great experience for me as I learned to manipulate the letters using the various handles that allow one to reshape and respace letters in a lot of different ways. This was the first time I felt that I really could create text the way I wanted it.

And if you want to create something like this, but don’t have the inclination to do the digitizing, Embroidery Library has some great designs for all kinds of stitchers with super powers.





The Twos Have It!

Winners for the Winter Bliss Machine Embroidery Set are Bobette L. and Sandra S. The numbers generated by my custom random number generator were 2 and 20. I counted comments from the first one to the last and got these winners. I will be emailing you this morning and hope you enjoy the sets.

And this is what I worked on this weekend. I am trying to finish a quilt to send to Gene Black for his Quilt Angels project. I just have to get this one on the frame and quilted.

Angel Quilt 600


And I finished a quilt of Norma’s–it is a Dear Jane. This one is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a gift for her daughter.

Norma's Jane-600

And I finished two embroidery quilts for a customer. Love the way the stippling turned out on the embroidered blocks. I think it looks so nice because the redwork embroidery thread is dark and heavy. While the embroidery was done by hand, it certainly gives me tips as to how I want to digitize redwork for machine embroidery.

Christmas embroidery02-600 Christmas embroidery01-600 

Winter Bliss Birthday Giveaway

Last weekend was a big birthday weekend for friends and family and to celebrate I am giving away two of my newest machine embroidery sets. Winter Bliss was finished a couple of weeks ago, and it is one of my favorites. In fact, every time I have to select pictures to post, I find that every block is a favorite and it is so hard to decide. The blocks designs are by AccuQuilt and the embroidery is digitized by yours truly.

Just leave a comment on this post between now and Friday, December 5 at midnight EST, and two commenters will be chosen at random to receive a downloadable machine embroidery set.

If you win, you can embroider one or two blocks a day and have a beautiful Christmas table runner or wall hanging or throw just in time for Christmas. The embroidery is simple so each block stitches up quickly. This set uses several of the AccuQuilt holiday dies as well as the numbers. Templates are included in the set so that you can trace any shapes for dies that you don’t have or you can cut those extra shapes with a digital craft cutter like a Silhouette or SNC or Cricut. There is an individual template file for each block which will help you organize your cutting and keep the shapes for each block separate.

WB collage-1200

WB01-600 WB02-600 WB03-600 WB04-600 WB05-600 WB06-600 WB07-600WB08-600 WB09-600 WB10-600 WB11-600 WB12-600