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!

 

  
 

An “Orange” Hunter’s Star

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:

 
 

Candy Hearts Machine Embroidery Valentine Tutorial

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.

  
 

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.

 
 

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.

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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.

 
 

Holiday Circles Applique: Tutorial for Table Runner Quilt

It won’t be long until Christmas, and I have been working on some Christmasy embroidery and table runner quilts that will be gifts for my daughters and others. This is such a quick and easy one to do. The embroidery is quick and the table quilt is even quicker. You will find instructions for doing the embroidery at the AccuQuilt blog today. And for the table runner quilt, the instructions are below and there’s a pdf printout that you can download too. I also included some closeups of the embroidery. You will find the design set over at the AccuQuilt website here.

3x3 Wall Hanging

CP-star-cw-smCP-bow-cw-sm

Supplies Needed:

Sewing machine and general sewing supplies for quilting.<\p>
Thread for quilting.
Fabric:
1.5 yards fabric for Plain Blocks, borders, and binding
3/4 yards fabric for Background of Embroidery Blocks
1 yard coordinated fabric for quilt backing
Coordinating fabric for applique shapes as needed
Coordinating thread for machine embroidery
36 x 36 inches cotton or cotton blend batting
Machine Embroidery Supplies:
Stabilizer – see Notes about stabilizer selection in Embroidery Instructions that come with the Machine Embroidery designs.
Coordinating Embroidery Thread

Cutting Instructions:

Quilt Fabric Squares Cut 4 each 6-1/2 inch squares (finished size 6” square)
Setting Triangles Cut 4 each 6-7/8 inch squares. Each of these squares will be cut in half diagonally from corner to corner.

Setting Triangles

Corner Triangles Cut 1 each 7-1/4 inch square. This square will be cut into quarters by cutting diagonally from corner to corner (see diagram).

Corner Triangles

Borders and Binding: Cut 7 each 2-1/2 inch strips across the width of fabric.

For borders, cut 2 each side strips 26 x 2-1/2 inches
For top and bottom borders, cut 2 each strips 29-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches.

Use remainder of 2-1/2 inch strips to make double fold binding.

Background Squares for Machine Embroidery Cut 9 each 8-10 inches square. These will be cut to 6-1/2 inch squares after the embroidery is finished.

Coordinating Fabric for Applique Shapes Select fabric that coordinates with the Quilt Fabric to be used for applique shapes. NOTE: Complete instructions for cutting die shapes is included with the dies, on the AccuQuilt website, and in the Machine Embroidery Instructions.

Quilt Assembly:

Assemble rows as shown in diagram. When rows are complete, stitch rows together to complete the center square.

Quilt Construction

When rows have been stitched into center square, add borders by stitching side borders first, then stitch top borders across.

Border Construction

Layer quilt top, batting and backing and complete the quilting of your table quilt. When quilting is complete, trim away excess batting and backing and finish your quilt by binding it with double fold binding.

CP-star-sat-sm CP-feathers-sat-sm CP-SF-cw-sm 
 

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 
 

Quilting Recap

Does it seem that blogging is on the back burner? I think about it every day, but seems that life is just as hectic as it was before I retired. We fill the spaces. There are six grandchildren now and another one on the way. While only three of them live nearby, they all have a pretty high priority on my to do list.

Yesterday 2 year old BO played with the buttons on the front of the dishwasher–they all light up when you push them–and the dishwasher no longer works. We called tech support, and they couldn’t help, so it means waiting until a repairman can come to fix it. Fortunately, it’s still under warranty, so there will be no cost. The question is: was it the combination of buttons he pushed, or would it have happened anyway? Who knows, but children sure do keep us on our toes. Once the dishwasher is repaired, we will use the child lock button for sure. However, it only makes one wonder how long it will take him to figure out how to disable that.

And why is the dishwasher situation significant to quilting? Well, since hubby does all the dishes, it means I’ll be helping with the dishwashing until it’s fixed.

But quilting has occurred (not in the past two weeks) but in the weeks before that, so here are some snapshots of things that have been finished. This first quilt is just lovely. The customer did not want to pay for custom, and I wasn’t willing to do custom for free, so I did an edge to edge of one of my own designs. This is called Tilt A Whirl and is one of my all-time favorites. I can’t think of a prettier edge to edge for a quilt with large open spaces.

IMG_5915_0015 (Custom)

 

And this quilt is one that Norma sent me to quilt. I absolutely love the colors on this one.

IMG_5902_0019 (Custom)

And these three are quilts that I sent to AZ Blankets 4 Kids. As I’ve mentioned before, they provided quilts for us when Ezri had her surgeries in Phoenix at Barrow Neurological Institute / St. Joseph’s Hospital, and this is my way of giving back. Sherry pieced the butterfly quilts and Norma pieced three Teddy Bear quilts (only one is pictured). They’re all beautiful. The photos of these last three don’t have enough light to show the beautiful bright colors as well as the real thing. They are so beautiful and will be loved I’m sure.

IMG_5899_0016 (Custom) IMG_5900_0017 (Custom) IMG_5901_0018 (Custom)

  
 

Cute Owl Machine Embroidery Applique

The new owl die that is available from JoAnn’s for the AccuQuilt GO!™ die cutter is as cute as can be, and I couldn’t resist digitizing a simple machine embroidery applique design for it. AccuQuilt agreed to share it on their website as a free download, and I want to share that link with you. You are going to have so much fun stitching this owl.

I would love to see what fun projects you make with this owl. Click on the owl and it will take you to the AccuQuilt website. (I know it says “Backordered”, but don’t let that stop you–you can download the embroidery anyway).

owl-sat-blue-600 
 

Log cabin quilts

Recently on the AccuQuilt Facebook group there has been a discussion about log cabin quilts. And particularly about curved log cabins. It’s one of my favorite quilt blocks. I thought I would revisit the curved log cabin with cutting diagrams for 8 inch and 10 inch finished blocks that can be cut with the 1-1/2″ and the 2″ strip cutter dies.

This is a curved log cabin that I made 15 or more years ago–I still love it.

Curved Log Cabin Quilt

Curved Log Cabin Quilt

To create these cutting charts I used EQ software and printed out the rotary cutting instructions. Then I used the text tool to write the cutting instructions on the quilt block set into a one block quilt layout. Click on the image to download the pdf file for the 8″ and the 10″ blocks.

LC-curved-8in finished

8 inch finished curved log cabin block

LC-curved-10in finished

10 inch finished curved log cabin block

A curved log cabin can’t be cut with the log cabin die, so you would need to follow the method shown in this Youtube video.