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.
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.
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.
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.
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.