Giveaway: Accuquilt Baby GO and Three Dies

This is an awesome giveaway  - sponsored by the Accuquilt Bloggers Program. If you are the winner, you will receive an Accuquilt Baby GO cutter and three dies of your choice.  The rules are simple:

1. Leave a comment on this blog Tuesday through Friday midnight.

2. Click the link on the left for 22 patterns and sign up for Accuquilt email – or let me know in your comment that you are already on the Accuquilt email list.

3. This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere – not only in the US, but around the world.

4. The winner will be announced on Monday, November 7.

In conjunction with this giveaway, I will be writing all week about the Accuquilt GO Rick Rack die as well as the Ribbon die and will have some projects using those dies. A lot of quilters are going to be in Houston this week, so this is a special treat for everyone who is staying home.

Let the games begin and may the luckiest quilter win! 
 

Great suggestions for the Gingham Dog

Don’t forget, next week I’m having a giveaway of an Accuquilt Baby GO and three dies to one lucky reader.

The suggestions and ideas for the Gingham Dog were so wonderful and creative that I just had to build him/her a doghouse. Now wouldn’t it be cute to make a table runner or baby quilt with alternating dog, doghouse, and dog print fabric blocks. Here’s the doghouse. I will be adding it to the Dog Embroidery Set and will send it to those who have already purchased the set.

dog house

 

With a big snowfall in the Northeast this weekend (this is still October remember?), I have been working on new versions of snowflakes and will have a new set of snowflakes available sometime next week. They will make wonderful Christmas quilts. One of the things I find about the snowflakes and all of the applique dies (especially flowers) is that they have a tendency to puff up in the middle when they go into a quilt. This is just the same concept that we see when quilting – the stitches should be evenly spaced for an even density throughout the entire design area. Thus, when designing for machine embroidery, I like to add elements to the middle where quilting stitches can be laid down within the actual design so that there is nice definition of the full design without that middle “cup.” Here are a couple of the snowflakes I worked on last week.

 

 

You know, it’s kind of funny in the ways that this assymetrical snowflake has affected me. In the beginning, it made me a little crazy that someone would design a snowflake that was assymetrical. But I’ve come to appreciate that bit of wonkiness. In fact, when put into a quilt, that little bit of assymetry actually makes the snowflake look like it is spinning. So, I have decided that I like that part of it after all.

  
 

Gingham Dog Machine Embroidery

I just finished digitizing the Gingham Dog Accuquilt die, and he is just adorable – of course, “he” could be a “she.” But I need some ideas for what to do with all these puppies that I have embroidered. I’d love to hear from some of you for quilt or project ideas for these little ones. What do you think?

 

 

  
 

Awareness Ribbon Machine Embroidery

I have been on a machine embroidery digitizing marathon for the past few days. The major goal was to finish a set of applique  Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbons as a giveaway this month to those who would like to use them with the Awareness Ribbon die to commemorate October 2011 as Breast Cancer Awareness month.

There are ten separate designs in multiple formats.

Update7/2012: These designs are now available in my shop for the nominal fee of $3.00. Direct Link

These photos show three of the designs. Just think what fun projects you can make with these. Not only are they nice for quilts, but also for embellishing tote bags, mug rugs, and t-shirts.

Heart Awareness Ribbon

 

 

 
 

Upcoming Events and Giveaways

In the coming weeks, we are going to sponsor several great giveaways and lots of tutorials and fun projects. Starting next week we will have some great machine embroidery design giveaways, a Baby GO and dies giveaway to start the month of November, and a wonderful QOV challenge with lots of prizes starting in January.

Starting October 31 and going through November 4 will be Giveaway Week at Marjorie’s Quilting Bee. There will be tutorials and daily giveaways – and at the end of the week, we’ll announce the winners of a free Accuquilt Baby GO and dies.

And starting in November, we’ll not only be getting ready for Christmas, but will begin to prepare for the Quilts of Valor Challenge that is scheduled for the month of January. What a great way to start the New Year. We already have some great sponsors and prizes for Challenge participants:

  • Accuquilt: one lucky winner will receive a Baby GO and 5 dies of their choice
  • Aurifil Thread: We have a dozen sample thread packs and one set of The Basics Collection (12 spools of Aurifil 50 wt thread)
  • b-quilts: Set of Star machine embroidery designs for all participants
  • and there will be more prizes to announce in the coming weeks
So – stay tuned – the coming weeks will be a lot of fun – and we’re going to do some projects that are great for holiday gifts too.

 
 

Finding a home for your Orphan Blocks

I don’t know about you, but I have a whole bin full of orphan blocks. But it wasn’t those blocks that inspired me. It was not finding a potholder when I needed it. But that should never be a problem for a quilter. And is there one of us who has no leftover blocks or extra binding strips or small pieces of batting? Here’s what I did with some of my orphan blocks–and everything I used was a leftover or recycle item:

 

Some of my Orphan blocks

The first step was to take a clean but stained old wash cloth. You can use old or new wash cloths or towels. I got the idea from thinking about the fact that when you can’t find a potholder, you use a towel. My husband plays softball so I buy white wash cloths by the dozen. After a couple of trips to the ball field, even Clorox won’t get the red dirt stains out of them. They’re clean, but stained.

An old wash cloth

 

The next step is to choose a block and layer it onto the top of the wash cloth and cut the wash cloth the same size as the block.

Trim washcloth to fit block

 

Take an old scrap of batting and layer it beneath the block and washcloth. Using an air erasable pen, draw a square around the block and washcloth that is 1-1/2 inches larger. Then cut around the marked lines.

Mark and cut batting square

 

The next step is to cut border strips for the block. Leftover binding strips are used that are 2-1/2 inches wide. Cut two strips the length of the block and two strips that are the length of the batting.

Cut border strips

 

The next step is to machine stitch the border strips to the block. The sew and flip method is used and it is stitched through all four layers: border-block-washcloth-batting.

Sew and Flip

 

This is how it looks after adding the sew and flip strips and pressing. You can see that it needs to be squared up. Using a ruler, square up the block evenly all the way around. It really doesn’t matter how much you trim. What you want is for it to be square and to have a nice size border and to be about the right size for a potholder.

 

Next, cut a backing that is the exact same size as the potholder front. Then you will layer the backing and potholder with right sides together and stitch around with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving an opening to turn. The 1/2 inch seam allowance is important if you don’t want to do any hand stitching. Before turning, be sure to trim the corners so you will have nice sharp corners.

The photo below shows the stitch and flip seam lines as well as the final stitching.

Underside of potholder showing stitches after everything has been sewn together

 

The only thing left to do is to turn it right side out, press, and top stitch. You can use seam glue or Elmer’s School glue to close the opening and then top stitch 1/4 inch away from the finished edge so that all seam allowances are included in the top stitching. That means there is no hand stitching required. And your potholder is finished.

Finished pot holder

 
 

Fall Table Runner – more Options

I promised more versions of the table runner and here they are. The first is the table runner with maple leaves in the center. This would be a six inch block and could be made using the 2 1/2 inch half square triangle die and the 2 1/2 inch strip die to make the squares. It could also be made using the Value Die.

Table Runner with Maple Leaves

 

Here’s a bigger version of the leaf block. The stem is optional, but I do think it makes the block a little prettier.

 

And last, but not least, the same table runner with plain blocks for you to showcase some beautiful free motion quilting.

Table Runner with Plain Blocks

 
 

Fall Pumpkin Table Runner

Here’s a quick and easy and very pretty Fall table runner. I finished piecing it in less than two hours last night. It took longer to write the instructions than it did to make the table runner. The pumpkins are from the Accuquilt pumpkin die using the embroidery that Judy Danz created, and the pieced blocks use the 2 1/2 inch strip cutter. This is bright and pretty and really cheers up my breakfast room.

The fabric is a batik with the background as a Kona cotton (Ivory color).

Pumpkin Table Runner

I’m not sure how I will quilt this one, but likely will do something very simple. I will outline the pumpkins with stitches and then do cross hatching or a small to medium background fill.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you how to make this same table runner using pieced blocks or the Fall Medley applique. 
 

Making Quilt Binding with Strip Die on the Lengthwise Grain

The best way to make quilt binding is to cut the strips on the lengthwise grain of fabric. The reason is that the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvedge), is less stretchy than the crosswise grain of the fabric.

To cut binding on the Accuquilt GO die cutting system using the strip die, you will need to make two cuts with the rotary cutter and then use the strip die to make the remaining cuts. The advantage of using the die cutting system is that you get very accurate cuts. You will have to make adjustments to the number of strips to be able to use this on the Accuquilt GO Baby.

You can use the chart below to determine how much fabric you will need and the number of strips you will have to cut.

  • The red numbers in the left column red numbers are the length of the binding needed for the quilt.
  • The blue numbers in the top row are the amount of fabric needed for each binding.
  • The black numbers in the rows are the number of strips needed from each amount of fabric.

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First step in making the uneven 9 patch block for Sunbonnet Sue

Do you remember the Sunbonnet Sue lap quilt I showed you – with instructions? The connector blocks are uneven 9 patch blocks. Because of the size of Sunbonnet Sue, I wanted the blocks to finish at 9 inches. Remember, this quilt will work not only with almost any embroidery motif, but it also works with plain blocks which are a showcase for a pretty quilting motif. Here’s a photo of the EQ7 rendering of this quilt:

 

The individual block size is 9 1/2 inches (finished block size = 9 inches) and the entire quilt finishes at approximately 50 inches. This would be perfect for a lap quilt for a little girl or a big girl. These four patch squares are so much fun to make that I always check the clock to see how much time it takes to make enough for a quilt. I can usually do it in less than an hour using my Accuquilt GO. I can cut all of the blocks in only two or three passes through the cutter. That is so much faster (and far more ACCURATE) than using a rotary cutter. If you only have thirty minutes or an hour each day to quilt, just think what you can do using a die cutting system.

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