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.

Using Triangle Dies with Strip Sets–Part 1

This is a quick post showing how a strip set can be used with the 8-1/2″ Quarter Square Triangle die. The strips are sewn together–either two strips or four strips into a tube. Then lay them on the die and center as carefully as possible side to side. The strips will not reach the outer blades along the long edge, but the strip set needs to be centered between them as evenly as possible. These blocks all turn out the same size–remarkably. However, the final size may not be an even number. Here are the photos that tell the story.

This is an example of a block that might be squared up using a technique shown here. And the reason is that you may want your blocks to be an exact even size.


Strip set placed on 8-1/2″ Quarter Square Triangle Die


Strip set after it has been cut using the AccuQuilt GO

Strip set after it has been cut using the AccuQuilt GO


Triangles from the Strip Set laid out as they will be stitched together.

Triangles from the Strip Set laid out as they will be stitched together.


Squaring up Blocks from Stitch and Slash Quilt Blocks

Stitch and Slash Blocks are fun, but it seems they rarely end up the exact size they should be and in order to have a “square” quilt, all the blocks should start out the same size. There must be a very compulsive streak in me because I just can’t sew blocks together that haven’t been “squared”. All these years of stitching has caught up with me and arthritis in my hands has slowed me down a bit.

Sherry has been helping me finish up some UFO’s and I pulled this set of blocks out for a Patience Corners quilt. They needed to be slashed and squared. They were made for comfort quilts for children using novelty fabrics. Here’s one of the blocks that has been slashed. It is an 8-1/2″ square of fabric cut with the AccuQuilt GO! 8-1/2″ square and 2-1/2″ strips sewn on the outside. After slashing and squaring, these blocks will be a cut size of 6″ square and will finish as 5-1/2″ square. 2016-10-18_img_6151-300-ppi

To square up these blocks I am using the 10″ square with the AccuQuilt GO! Big Cutter, but you can also use the 8-1/2″ square with the AccuQuilt GO! Cutter.

The first step is to mark the die. I use Painter’s Tape for this because it removes easily. Once upon a time, I marked my dies with Sharpie permanent markers, but soon my dies had many, many marks on them. To mark for this cut, I placed a ruler on the die and carefully placed a strip beside each edge. In the photo, you will see that there is a slight shadow on the edge of the ruler from the lamp lighting, but in reality, the tape placement is very accurate.


The next step is to place the fabric on the die. After getting this process going, it was easy to place two or three squares on each corner as the inner seam allowances fell on the foam and not on the die blades and the outer seam allowances could be alternated so there was no more than four thicknesses going through the cutter. Here’s the first square placement.


And here’s the second square placement. (Don’t you love the two tone foam so you can see exactly where this will cut?) As I worked, I found that it was easy just to line up the edges of the blocks with the tape on the side and not necessary to flip back the center corner to place the second square.


And this is what it looks like after going through the cutter. You can see the edges that have been trimmed and the perfectly squared blocks. In this example, I cut two blocks at a time.


Can’t wait to show you the finished quilt.

And here’s one to show you that Sherry pieced, I quilted, and she is binding. It’s a comfort quilt for the Cancer Center.


Holiday Wall Hanging and QUBE Tips

Yesterday my October AccuQuilt Machine Embroidery Project was posted on the AccuQuilt blog. This was a very fun project and one that I’m going to use in a lot of ways. For the complete tutorial, you will find instructions on the AccuQuilt website.


And here’s a tip that for using the QUBE Mix & Match Block Sets. In working with the Qubes I have tried writing the instructions for the size strip to cut for each die on a piece of paper and because I kept misplacing the piece of paper as I worked, other methods seemed to be better  In the beginning, I just wrote the information on a piece of blue Painter’s Tape and placed it on the front of the die.


Later, as I began using a label maker to label my dies, I decided to put that information on a sticker on the back side of the die. That way the information is always at my fingertips.



Big News and Other Things

Sherry won the Golden Needle award at the NC State Fair this week. She makes the most beautiful quilts and this was one of her very best. Sherry is an incredibly accurate piecer and her borders are always perfect. On top of that, she has a real gift with colors. Whenever I have a question about what will work together, she is my go-to adviser.

The winning quilt is a Blooming Nine Patch, and the colors are just exquisite. Not sure the computer will show them for the beauty they are. She let me quilt it–or my computer quilted it–but found a wonderful design and just love the way it turned out. Here are some of the photos.


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I love my Qubes. They are so compact and so easy to use for cutting quilts. And I get the most accurate size blocks ever. Quilts with triangles have never been high on my list, but now I’m stitching blocks and blocks with triangles–almost an addiction. Thought you’d like to see how I store my Qubes for easy access for cutting. They’re sitting on the shelf above my cutting table like books in a library. It’s so easy to reach up and select a die and cut and then slip it back onto the shelf.

QUBE storage 

Some Finishes – New and UFOs

The summer weather has been beautiful, and it’s been a great time to get some UFOs finished around here. Thought I’d give you a little quilt show of what’s been done before I ship these off to their recipients. While the political season is in full swing and does not make one feel positive in the least for the future and with other very somber news, I have been listening to the Cincinnati Pops Gershwin selections with conductor Erich Kunzel from an old CD. While audiobooks are usually the media of choice for me, some upbeat music is just what is needed right now.

These quilts have been finished in the last two weeks:

This one was pieced by Norma and quilted by me. Sherry will bind it. Great team effort on a beautiful “Brick” quilt.

2016-06-07 Brick Quilt by Norma

This is the car quilt that I made for the AccuQuilt blog post and shows a closeup of the cars. It is going to my second youngest grandson who is 18 months old. His older brothers have lots of quilts and this will be his. There is no more fabric like this–and it will truly be missed around here. I love this fabric with the Gulf and Esso and Phillips gasoline signs as well as the Route 66 signs. Do you remember that TV show?2016-06-07 Car Quilt for Holden

This is a quilt that I made ages ago–actually it was years ago and all those New York Star points are paper pieced using Sharon Schamber’s method. This was before I had an AccuQuilt to make the Drunkard’s Path blocks so these were cut with acrylic templates. This quilt is going to my daughter who needs a quilt to take to soccer practice and for games that won’t show red dirt stains. This has a batik backing that is black with colored checkered stripes all over it. I thought that would be perfect for a soccer quilt. 2016-06-07 NY Beauty-DP-1200

And this is a Hunter’s Star made with the AccuQuilt Hunter’s Star die. This is the third one I’ve made and I still love this die and the way it turns out. It is just so easy to make these blocks–no question as to which way to press. If you always press to the dark with this pattern, all the seams interlock and it makes a beautiful quilt. Four blocks make a star with a quarter star on each corner. 2016-06-07 Hunters Star002-1200px

There are a couple more quilts but I can’t show them because Sherry made them–I quilted them, and they will be gifted.

I had turned off comments, but have adjusted my email, so hopefully I will see the comments when they arrive. I always hold my breath when updates, etc., are installed as my technology skills have not kept pace with all the advances. 

Making an Ohio Star with the QUBE

After a long week and big project, I decided to focus on making another star. The QUBE is designed to make quilt blocks that are four patches across and four patches down. But I had seen an Ohio Star that was made with a QUBE. As you know, the Ohio Star is a 9-patch block (3 patches across by 3 patches down). And so finally I realized that the way to make a 9-patch block with a QUBE is that the block will be a different size than the QUBE size. Thus, a 6 inch QUBE will make a 9 inch 9-patch block.

But the nice thing about a QUBE is that no matter what the finished size is, for any given quilt block the Shape number / Die number from one QUBE to the next is always the same to make that block. Thus for the Ohio Star, whether you make a 9″, 12″, 13-1/2″ or 18″ block–the Die Shapes used are Shape 1 and Shape 4. This is the piecing diagram for any size block:

And this is the Cutting Chart for the Ohio Star Block using any size QUBE. Ohio Star


  • a 6 inch QUBE makes a 9 inch 9-patch block,
  • an 8 inch QUBE makes a 12 inch 9-patch block,
  • a 9 inch QUBE makes a 13-1/2 inch 9-patch, and
  • a 12 inch QUBE makes an 18 inch 9-patch.

Cutting: Shape 1 = Square and Shape 4 = Quarter Square Triangles (QST)

  • Shape 1 – Cut 4 light and 1 center square
  • Shape 4 – Cut 8 light QSTs and 8 dark QSTs (if you layer fabric right sides together, the QSTs are ready to stitch when you take them to the machine)

2016-06-09 Ohio Star_005

Stitch light and dark triangles together on the short side. I chain stitched them to be sure they were stitched in the same direction. And then they are stitched together again to make the complete quarter square triangle.

2016-06-09 Ohio Star_013

2016-06-09 Ohio Star_014

Sew into rows and then into a block.

2016-06-09 Ohio Star_019

And it’s done.

Now to more important things. The summer has been so nice. We’ve had lots of rain and a couple of very hot days, but we have had some beautiful days too. Our co-rec softball season is into the tournament and last night was a win with an early game against a team of much younger players. Over the years we always come out on top with this team and for some reason that makes them want to beat us that much more. We won again last night–but two of their best players weren’t there. The weather was nice, and hubby and I were able to walk to the game. It’s a little over a mile from our house and we can walk through the neighborhood and past the schools to the park.

File Jun 10, 7 42 16 AM 

Chained Sawtooth Star with Frayed 4-Patch Block

Here’s to some more experiments with the AccuQuilt GO! Mix & Match QUBE 6″ and 12″ Blocks. The month of June between Memorial Day and July 4 seems to be a great time for making star blocks. To be honest, my favorite kind of quilting is just making a single block to see how it will turn out and to figure out the best way to make it. Once I’ve made one, it sort of commits to the making of a quilt–which I don’t enjoy nearly as much as making that first block or two. Sounds like I should choose a color scheme and make samplers doesn’t it?

This block started out as a Jewel Box Block from the AccuQuilt website

Jewel Box

and multiplied by four and rotated it turns into a Jewel Box Star

Jewel Box Star

This is the Jewel Box Star that I made with the 6″ QUBE using red, white, and blue fabrics.

Jewel Box Star-600px

I decided to see if I could simplify the block using the 4-patch units and rectangle from the GO! Mix & Match 6″ QUBE and the Flying Geese unit from the GO! Mix & Match 12″ QUBE.

Sawtooth Star witih Frayed 9-Patch

The numbers in red are the shape #s for the 6″ QUBE, and the numbers in black are the shape #s for the 12″ QUBE. I really love having all the dies in one place — it makes working on something like this much neater than going through all my dies and pulling out the ones I need and then putting them back in the right order. The QUBE dies are always at my finger tips.

Here’s the finished block using the simplified layout.

Chained Sawtooth with Frayed 9-Patch

They’re both great blocks. The nice thing about the Jewel Box block is that you only have to have one size QUBE to make the whole block. With the simplified layout, you have to have both the 6″ and 12″ QUBEs or do some calculations and rotary cutting.

NOTE: I have turned off commenting as my current email doesn’t always notify me. Please feel free to find me on Facebook to comment or join the AccuQuilt QUBE group on Facebook OR the AccuQuilt and Beyond group on Facebook.


Star in a Star Quilt Block

There’s a beautiful quilt in the July/August 2016 Quiltmaker Magazine called Blue Cheese Night by Diane Harris. The block she used is a Star in a Star quilt block that I’ve seen many times, but have never attempted to make. However, the new AccuQuilt GO! QUBE tool is inspiration to explore some quilt blocks and techniques that didn’t interest me before.

The block is a 12″ Variable star block with a 6″ Variable star block set into the center square of the 12″ block. This is the block from my EQ Stitch drawing:

star in a star graphic


Instructions for traditional rotary cutting are shown in the magazine, but I wanted to use my AccuQuilt GO! QUBEs to make this quilt block so I spent the afternoon working out which dies would work. And of course, I had to write it into a page of instructions. It uses the 6″ and the 12″ AccuQuilt GO! Mix & Match QUBE. You can find the instructions here (updated 5/30/2016).