Using those same half square triangles and squares in a four patch block gives a completely different look. Everywhere I have seen these quilts that are a tessellation that looks like a “twist” and have wondered how it is done. So I played around with half square triangles and squares and this is what happened. There must be many more ways to make these “twists” but this works. This could also be done with a chisel die but it would make an irregular shaped block. Here’s the one I made. The entire quilt is made with a single block. that is rotated to create the tessellation. Wouldn’t this be fun to color so many different ways?
Sometimes we can build the most fun quilt blocks from a simple four-patch. Mixing squares and half square triangles can result in some really beautiful blocks. This is one I saw recently on a Facebook post in our AccuQuilt Qube group. It is three half square triangles and a square and is the cutest little fish ever.
When I need thinking time I make 2-1/2″ half square triangles. It’s very soothing to me to be able to sit and stitch while I enjoy the tree-tops and greenery of the yard while sewing triangle after triangle. It results in stacks of triangles. These are some of the fish that I have made.
What will I do with them? I think a baby quilt would be perfect or some borders or even make a nine-patch from the four-patch squares. Here are some possibilities I played around with in EQ. This was so much fun in EQ – seems like infinite possibilities.
I want to share one of our favorite brick quilts. Sherry wrote these instructions, and I formatted them into a nice one page handout. One of the things I like best about this pattern is the fabric placement of the bricks. The quilt looks great as a scrappy quilt with careful placement of the solid, neutral, and print fabrics. We used 3-1/2 x 6-1/2″ bricks.
Here’s an EQ version of the quilt in three fabrics:
Overall Size: 42” x 60” Finished Block Size 6 x 9”
Solid: 36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”
Solid Neutral: 36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”
Print: 36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”
Sashing: 210 inches of 3-1/2” strips sewn together
Binding: 210 inches of 2-1/2” strips sewn together.
Cutting: The bricks for this quilt are easily cut with the AccuQuilt GO! 6-1/2″ strip die (55086) and 3-1/2″ strip die (55032).
Sew two 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 bricks together along the long side. Use one print and one solid (or reads as solid).
Sew another solid/neutral to one side vertical to the seam to make a “T”.
Make 36 patchwork blocks. Note that if you want to keep the print bricks in alternating rows, you will place the “T” brick on the opposite end as you stitch as shown:
Arrange as shown in picture above, alternating the orientation of patches in every other row. Four patches across make one row. Make 9 rows.Add sashing and binding.
Alternate Option using a Jelly Roll: This can also be made with 2-1/2 x 4-1/2″ bricks using one each 42 piece Jelly Roll of coordinated fabrics and fanfolding those jelly roll strips across the 4-1/2″ AccuQuilt GO! strip die (55054). This would require seven blocks across and ten blocks down for a total of 70 blocks and 210 each 2-1/2 x 4-1/2″ bricks.
The Snail’s Trail is one of my favorite quilt blocks. Here are some layout options as well as the dies needed to cut it with the new BOB die or with the alternate individual dies. Yesterday’s blog on AccuQuilt features the Snail’s Trail block. While they use a new BOB die and the new GO! Big die cutter, some of us already have dies for the AccuQuilt GO! that will make this quilt with just a little more effort until we save our pennies for the newest tool. If you love the pattern as much as I do, you may want to go ahead and make a block or two. There are cutting instructions using alternate dies shown below. The AccuQuilt GO! quilt pattern is a free download.
Here are a couple of additional layouts besides the one that is shown on the AccuQuilt blog. These layouts turn the blocks so that the monkey wrenches interlock. The large triangle on the outside would be a great place to use an allover novelty print.
I drew the block in EQ7 and printed the rotary cutting instructions and added the die cutters needed in red to the instructions. Click on either page below to download the pdf version.
Here’s a quilt that I finished this weekend as a gift for my neighbor. It’s been in my unfinished bin for quite some time. His wife passed away last Spring, and he has been donating her stash to me, box by box. I took a beautiful piece of fleece that he brought me and used it for the backing. The quilting is a geometric pattern and there is no batting. It is a very soft and drapey quilt which I think will be just perfect for these chilly Spring days.
And, of course, it’s impossible for me to make anything using a rotary cutter these days, so I wanted to give you a little tutorial on how to make this using the AccuQuilt Go or Studio cutter.
The strips are scraps and are random widths. The first blocks that were made were pieced using a 10 1/2″ paper foundation. You can also use a fabric foundation. When trimmed, the blocks look like this.
To make the block into half square triangles, a 10-1/2 inch solid piece of fabric is cut and layered together with the pieced block with right sides of fabric facing each other, then a line is marked from corner to corner and stitched 1/4″ on either side of the marked line. This makes two complete blocks. All blocks are trimmed to the same size, and the quilt assembled. While I did a straight layout, the blocks could be turned many different ways to create a number of different unique layouts.
As I was stitching the last few blocks so that this quilt could be completed, I started thinking about ways to make this using my AccuQuilt cutter. I find making the blocks on a foundation very cumbersome because after stitching, each strip has to be trimmed in length. And then there is a trimming process in the end.
The first thing I tried was to make a row of strips as shown below. This strip looks nice and even, but it was made from scraps and then trimmed to 6-1/2″ using a ruler. You could make the strip any width. After the strip was trimmed, it was cut into half square triangles.
At first I used the 45 degree angle across the ruler to cut triangles. Then it occurred to me that the 8-1/2″ quarter square triangle die that cuts the triangles lengthwise would work. This made me very happy. You can see the fabric after being cut with the die shown below.
Of course, the next thing that has to be cut is the half square triangle from solid fabric that is needed to complete the block. Because the outside of the pieced half square triangle is cut on the bias, it is ideal to have the solid fabric half square triangle cut with the straight grain on the two outer edges of the block. Thus, I didn’t want to cut the solid fabric half of the square using the 8-1/2″ quarter square triangle die. The nearest size half square triangle that would match the 8-1/2″ quarter square triangle was the 6-1/2″ half square triangle.
When the pieced half square triangle and the solid half square triangle are stitched together, you will see that the solid triangle is just slightly larger and will have to be trimmed to a square. Because of the fabric grain, it is worth it to me to do that little bit of trimming because of the squaring issues that a bias quilt presents during the quilting process.
But there are other options that could be used so that one only used the quarter square triangle die or only the 6-1/2″ half square triangle die. For example, if you cut all of the triangles – solid and strips, with the 8-1/2″ QST die, then you could put them together like this and have the straight edges on the outside.
Or, you could make the strips like the original plan on a foundation and then cut both the pieced strip square and the solid square with the 6-1/2″ half square triangle die.
Hope this helps you begin to brainstorm ways to use up all those short ends of strips that you’ve cut from other projects.
All that red and black fabric that I thought I had in my stash. . .well, it must have been too tempting for other projects because there was not enough left when I pulled it out to look at it. So, it was back to the drawing board for me. Since I have so many batiks and couldn’t decide on a single color, I decided to try a scrappy look. I played around with it in EQ and came up with this.
I knew babysitting was on the agenda today, so I quickly cut 4-1/2″ x 18″ strips from some fat quarters and half yards so that I could cut the triangles on the Accuquilt GO during baby’s nap this morning. One great advantage of the cutter is that it is so quiet – no motor, no noise at all. I layered several of the strips with the white background strips so the triangles would cut already layered and ready to stitch.
While I was rocking baby to sleep, Ezri (5-1/2 years old) was inside with me. She usually spends a lot of time quietly playing with Legos. After the baby was asleep, I walked into the kitchen and found Ezri cutting all my fabric strips into triangles–even the ones that hadn’t been layered. She had done a remarkable job of it – there were only two strips that had partial triangles – everything else was done perfectly. So, I spent awhile this afternoon layering the single triangles with background triangles. She was not at all interested in cutting white triangles – she only wanted to cut the colored fabric.
There are two t-shirt quilts sitting on my machine that must be pieced – so these triangles are ready to be the leaders and enders for those projects. It will be fun to get a third project out of the first two.
Here’s a project that has been on the back burner for a long time, but for some reason the inspiration just wasn’t there. This is for my niece’s 5-year old son. He wants a wild animal quilt. First, the fabric we wanted disappeared almost as quickly as it was printed, and we didn’t get it. Then, for a year all the safari prints were in very soft colors. We wanted bright colors. Finally this print appeared and I bought it right away.
I also wanted to use machine embroidery on it and was pleased when Accuquilt came out with their zoo animals. But, there hasn’t been time to digitize those. Then I ran across this set of zoo animals from Embroidery Library. They look as if they were designed for this fabric. Sometimes it seems the stars must align for a quilt to be born.
The next step was to open EQ7 and see what could be created. I came up with a couple of designs and decided to start stitching. After two rows on the design wall, it was obvious that it was all wrong. The beautiful pinwheels and four patch blocks that I was using overwhelmed the print. The focus was to be the print and the embroidery, not the pieced blocks. Every time I looked at the blocks on the wall, my eye darted everywhere–there was no place for the eye to rest. Here’s what I had:
The Quilting Gallery is sponsoring a blog hop party with a giveaway at every blog. On March 17, click the link above to see the list of all the participating blogs and join the hop.
If this is your first visit here, I’ll tell you a little about me. I love quilting and what I love most about it is the ability to constantly challenge myself and others to try new ways to make quilts and to do it better. One of my favorite tools is a die cutting system. But I like Electric Quilt software and other really cool, new tools that are on the market. Click on the free stuff tab above to see some of the patterns and tips for using these tools.
And, what is a blog hop without a giveaway. I have used my Accuquilt GO!™ to cut 36 beautiful 4″ hearts. Each one already has fusible on the back and is ready to be used for quilt blocks or other projects. These would look great appliqued onto potholders, placemats, table runners, aprons, little dresses for little girls–and a thousand other things.
To win this set of hearts, please leave a comment on this blog and tell me how you would use them if they were yours.
Just want to say thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments about the green pinwheel quilt. Isn’t it a fun quilt? And hope everyone tries pinwheels. It’s all about having those seams pressed in the right direction, and “feeling” the center puzzle fit together with your fingers. For so long, I tried so many different ways to do it, and now it seems easy. That’s not to say that every now and then there’s not a slip-up. . .
Some of you asked for instructions for this quilt. I used Ebony’s EDeN™ System which is published in her February BlockstoDieFor magazine and gives instructions for using a rotary cutter as well as different die cutters. It is definitely a great way to write instructions for everyone no matter what system they use. I will tell you more about that later, but here are the instructions for what I’m calling a Pinwheel chain (instead of Irish chain). And when I say that, just think of the possibilities of other designs along that same line.
Click the image and it will open full-size in a new browser window.
And the winner of the candy hearts blocks is: Michelle White. Michelle, I will email you to get a mailing address. Can’t wait to see what you do with them!
EQ7 is one of the most important tools in my studio. I have written about some of the ways to use it with the Accuquilt cutting system. One really neat feature is that you can print the rotary cutting instructions for a block and use that along with the Accuquilt cutting equivalents chart to determine which dies to use. I also wrote about adding text in the EQ7 software to be able to write notes to yourself or to write instructions if you are teachnig a class. I almost always use text from Layer 2 to write instructions to myself. Another great feature of EQ7 software is that you can use it to determine the number of patches that you need. I have created links below to the blog posts that discuss each of these features.
Hope these tips help. In the fall of 2010, I ran a series of EQ7 blocks on my blog. In addition, you might want to read Ebony’s Blocks to Die For magazine, as it tells you which die sizes you will need for many blocks which can be drawn in EQ7.