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.

 
 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 
 

Winter Bliss Stitch Along

Today Darlene at QuiltShopGal has done the first part of a tutorial on how to use this machine embroidery design set to create a fabric book. Her method uses felt to make the book. It is a much simpler and better method than the way that I have made other fabric books. This is going to be my new go-to method. With nine grandchildren around here, we have quite a few fabric books, and it always amazes me that the older children (the oldest is age 8) love them as much as the little ones. And I love them because they are indestructible and washable.

Here’s a picture of all the blocks in a wall hanging. Hope you can join the stitch along–these are really fun designs and can be used not only as the wall hanging, but as a table runner, placemat, fabric book, and more.

WB Wall-600-72

  
 

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

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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.

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Many Trips Around The World

There are so many fun quilt blocks to make and never enough time. Here’s another block from Bonnie’s Quiltville Free Quilt Patterns that is so much easier using the AccuQuilt 2 1/2 inch Strip Die. Complete instructions are found on Bonnie’s website in the Scrappy Trips link of the Free Patterns tab. I used this block as a demonstration at a recent presentation and finished it in the wee hours last week just so there wouldn’t be another UFO around here.

Strips can be cut from scraps or a Jelly Roll can be used. I used some half yards and a little yardage that I had on hand. The colors are dark and not my usual preference–but sometimes we use what we have. The overall look is nice though as there are some lights in the batiks that give it a little sparkle.

Blocks were made with five strips stitched into a tube, then the tubes were carefully layered on the 2 1/2 inch strip die and subcut into 2 1/2 inch “tubes”. Once the long tubes were cut into 2 1/2 inch tubes, they were separated at alternating colors to create a block as shown.

2015-08-31 TATW block

 

Blocks were separated with sashing and the cornerstones were placed to continue the colors that were in the blocks. Click on the images for a larger view and more detail. 2015-08-31 TATW QuiltThis was a fun experiment. I like the use of sashing to provide a symmetrical design. Wouldn’t it be fun to make a scrappy one without sashing?

  
 

Strip Twist Shortcuts with AccuQuilt Dies

I love Bonnie Hunter’s Strip Twist Quilt which is a free pattern on Quiltville.com. And while getting ready for a presentation to the Foothills Quilter’s Guild, I found an even easier way to make these blocks using my AccuQuilt GO! 8 inch Half Square Triangle die.

I have made this quilt so many times that I can almost do it in my sleep. It looks complicated, but is so very easy. And when the blocks are placed on point, it is a very dramatic quilt. Here are a couple of photos of finished quilts that I have made with this pattern.

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2014-12-27 Strip Twist

Following Bonnie’s instructions for sewing strips together, you will see that she uses four 2 1/2″ strips that are 18-20 inches long and are sewn together for each strip set. These strip sets are then placed right sides together and cut into squares and then cut into half square triangles.

With the 8 inch finished half square triangle die, I was able to cut the half square triangles in one pass on the AccuQuilt Go! cutter so that it saved me a lot of rotary cutting for each square. Not only was it much faster, but the blocks stitched to a consistent size which I had never been able to achieve with rotary cutting.

Here are photos of the process:

1. Layer strip sets on the 8 inch half square triangle die with right sides together and with colors in opposite positions (strip 1 on on bottom layer facing strip 4 on the top layer).  Center strip sets with seams interlocking and strip matching exactly and leaving a small margin on either side of the strip set that will not be cut by the die.

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2. Cut the strip set. You can see in this photo that the triangles have been cut and there is excess fabric cut off only on the end.

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3. Remove triangle sets in pairs as they were cut. You can see from this photo how the block will look when it is sewn.

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And this is a photo of the blocks laid out into a quilt top.This looks different from the others because the first and fourth strip of the strip set are both dark. Usually the strip sets are dark light dark light. This and the black and yellow quilt picture above demonstrate the different looks you can get with this pattern just by changing color placement.

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