Star in a Star Quilt Block

There’s a beautiful quilt in the July/August 2016 Quiltmaker Magazine called Blue Cheese Night by Diane Harris. The block she used is a Star in a Star quilt block that I’ve seen many times, but have never attempted to make. However, the new AccuQuilt GO! QUBE tool is inspiration to explore some quilt blocks and techniques that didn’t interest me before.

The block is a 12″ Variable star block with a 6″ Variable star block set into the center square of the 12″ block. This is the block from my EQ Stitch drawing:

star in a star graphic


Instructions for traditional rotary cutting are shown in the magazine, but I wanted to use my AccuQuilt GO! QUBEs to make this quilt block so I spent the afternoon working out which dies would work. And of course, I had to write it into a page of instructions. It uses the 6″ and the 12″ AccuQuilt GO! Mix & Match QUBE. You can find the instructions here (updated 5/30/2016).


Fun Flowers Quilted in the Hoop

The AccuQuilt blog published a Fun Flower Quilted in the Hoop project tutorial that I wrote. Click this link to visit the AccuQuilt blog. I love Fun Flowers, they stitch up so quickly and work in so many different situations. Here are some pictures of quilts I have made using the Fun Flower applique die.

This quilt is made with the AccuQuilt hexagon and feather applique die for the turtle and there are fun flowers in the alternating blocks. IMG_0168 IMG_0173 IMG_0175

This cute little owl quilt uses owls from a Designs by JuJu embroidery set with fun flowers in alternating blocks. IMG_4116

These fun flowers were samples that I made while digitizing the fun flower embroidery. They were perfect for a table topper and some longarm practice of ribbon candy in the sashing. 2012-10-08_Fun flower table topper_001

And these fun flowers are quilted in the hoop with Art and Stitch quilting designs in alternating blocks. IMG_1956_0419 

Snail’s Trail Fun with AccuQuilt QUBES

The new AccuQuilt QUBES are so much fun, and you know that the most fun to me is not so much making the quilt, but figuring out how to make the blocks and then construct them. After that, making the quilt is just a meditative process.

After working on a square in a square, I started thinking about the Snail’s Trail. There is a BOB (Block on Board) for Snail’s Trail, but it’s a 12 inch block, and I prefer to work with smaller blocks. So, I decided to to use the QUBE to make it. And the nice thing about the QUBE is that the shapes are numbered the same for any size QUBE so they all work the same. Thus if you can make a block in a 9″ size, then you can use exactly the same Shape numbers to make the block in any of the other sizes. That really gives flexibility in making the blocks you want and sizing your quilt much more exactly as a multiple of blocks vertically and horizontally. And it takes away all the math which is important for those gifted with a higher level of right brain function.

Here’s my Snail’s Trail made with scraps. I did it in a 9″, but will try it at some point with the 8″ and the 6″ QUBE.

Snail's Trail
Four Blocks of Snail’s Trail

First I made the Square on Point by using a four patch that is from my Leaders and Enders pile and cut it with the Square on Point die. To get it centered, I marked the corners of the die so the four patch corners match the marks.


After cutting the Square on Point, the remaining shapes were cut according to this diagram.

Snail's Trail diagram
Click to open pdf of this diagram.

Isn’t this fun–make it any size you like. Here are a couple of layouts.

SnailsTrail QUBE2 SnailsTrail QUBE3



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


Supplies Needed:

Sewing machine and general sewing supplies for quilting.<\p>
Thread for quilting.
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 

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 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.


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.

2015-08-23 1200(1)

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.

2015-08-23 1200(0)

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.

2015-08-23 1200(2)


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.

2015-08-23 07.51.02 

Flying Geese–Love it or Not

This quilt is one of those that you either love or you don’t. The colors are very bright and the green and orange and gold make me think of a particular kind of tractor. I’m still not sure whether I like the colors or not. After getting it made I decided it could go to one of the six grandsons. However, yesterday while I was sewing the label on this quilt, the grandson saw a commercial on TV with a dinosaur quilt and his face lit up. He said, “That’s what I want–a dinosaur quilt on my bed.” And no. . . I’m not starting over. . .

This quilt was made because the die that came with my GO! Big is the Flying Geese die. It makes a 3 x 6″ finished block. There were plenty of novelty fabric scraps, so I tried it out. And the geese multiplied. Now there’s enough for a multitude of quilts.

IMG_3527 IMG_3522

These pics are of the quilt top, but the quilt is now quilted, bound, and labelled. More to come about the Flying Geese die and the process I used for cutting and stitching.