Embroidered Bow Tie Christmas Quilt

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.

 
 

Fall Update

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!

 

  
 

Log Cabins and Signature Block Ribbons

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. 
 

Machine Embroidery Applique Trapunto Tutorial

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.

 
 

Scrappy Flower Block or Cross Block with Bricks and Squares

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.

 
 

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

Thus:

  • 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)

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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.

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Sew into rows and then into a block.

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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.

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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.

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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.