Tip for Making Strip Sets from Jelly Rolls and Fat Quarters

 

One of my most favorite fabric collections has been the Tuscany batiks by Robert Kaufman. I had quite a bit of it, some yardage but mostly jelly rolls, layer cakes and fat quarters. And it has been used it many ways. One was a blog post that I did for AccuQuilt in 2017 using the Elevate Angles block. Aren’t the colors rich and beautiful.  I actually made two of these quilts and gave one to my brother-in-law during the time my sister was in the hospital. 

Another is this gorgeous Hunter’ss Star quilt that I recently finished:

Being down to the last bits of this, the decision was made to cut it into a scrappy Double Irish Chain quilt. Thus, I want to share with you the way I sometimes make strip sets. This is not the best way for every situation, but works well for the scrappy Double Irish Chain quilt. This is a similar process as the recent post about a way to make quick work of 4-patch units.

This is the double Irish chain block. As you can see there will be three separate strip sets.

When making strip sets with jelly rolls, one of the things that happens is that the ends never match. In addition, while one should stitch from one end and then the other to keep the strip set from “bowing”, that just exacerbates the problem of ends matching and there is a fair amount of waste on either end in my experience. In addition, pressing a long strip set presents its own set of issues, and pressing is my middle name.

My solution to this is to precut the strips to a width that will fit the strip die that will be used for cutting the final subunits of the block.  For a 2-1/2″ strip die, that width is 8-1/2″. The 8-1/2″ square die works perfectly for this. You can see that my die has been used a lot and for many different purposes based on the marks and tape.

This may seem like extra work, but actually it is six of one and a half dozen of the other, as the strip sets have to be cut to 8-1/2″ sooner or later if they are to be cut into subunits using the 2-1/2″ strip die.

This works to cut both width of fabric (WOF) strips like Jelly Roll strips and for strips cut from Fat Quarters (FQs).  Here WOF strips are layered to be cut. The extra fabric from the WOF strips is saved to be cut into 2-1/2″ squares for making scrappy 4-patch subunits.

Here strips cut from fat quarters are layered. The fat quarter strips were cut with the 2-1/2″ strip die on the 18″ width of the fat quarter. As 8-1/2 x 2 = 17, the fat quarter strips folded in half just fit the 8-1/2″ square die.

And then these precut strips can be stitched into strip sets that work beautifully, especially for a scrappy layout, and fit perfectly on the 2-1/2″ strip die for cutting the block subunit rows. And it is much, much easier to press a shorter strip set than a longer one.

Finally, the strip set is cut into subunits with the 2-1/2″ strip die.

And just think – if you can cut strip sets using the 8-1/2″ die, you can cut jelly roll strips into rectangles that are exactly the size you want using the 6-1/2″ square die from the 12″ Qube and the 4-1/2″ die from the 8″ Qube.

Happy Quilting!

 

  
 

Scottie Dog Applique Quilt Tutorial

This is one of my favorite quilts. The fabric I used came from my Mother. She always wanted to make a Scottie dog quilt. She had this little one yard or maybe a little more blue fabric and in making this quilt, I used every last scrap of it. But when it was time to bind it, there wasn’t enough fabric. Amazingly, I found a perfect blue (from Mother’s stash that I inherited) to match the blue in the Scottie dog fabric.

 

 

I used the AccuQuilt GO! 8″ and 12″ Qubes to make this quilt, but you can use individual dies or rotary cutting. 

Connector Block Cutting Instructions

2″ Finished Square (Cut 48 black dot, cut 48 light blue)

  • Shape 2 – AccuQuilt GO! 8″ Qube
  • Rotary Cut 2-1/2″ square

4″ Finished Square (Cut 24 light blue, cut 6 medium blue)

  • Shape 1 – AccuQuilt GO! 8″ Qube or
  • Rotary cut 4-1/2″ square

Applique Block Cutting Instructions

6″ Finished Half Square Triangle (cut 24 light blue)

  • Shape 3 – AccuQuilt GO! 12″ Qube or
  • Rotary cut 6-7/8″ Square and cut once diagonally to make two finished 6″ HSTs

6″ Finished Quarter Square Triangle (cut 24 black dot)

  • Shape 4 – AccuQuilt GO! 12″ Qube or
  • Rotary cut 7-3/16″ square and cut twice diagonally to make 4 finished 6″ QSTs

6″ Finished Square for embroidery (cut 6 light blue)

Border Cutting Instructions

  • Inner Border – cut 5 strips 2-1/2″ x WOF (width of fabric)
  • Outer Border – cut 6 strips 3-1/2″ x  WOF
  • Binding – cut 6 strips 2-1/2″ x WOF

Quilt Layout and Construction

 
 

GO!™ Camper and Northwoods Quilt and Border Tutorial

I have been working on a quilt using the GO!™ Camper and Northwoods dies and the embroidery that I digitized for these dies. With the embroidery, I made quilt blocks that fit a 7″ x 8″ embroidery hoop. The applique dies are often perfect for a full quilt block and that is what I like to make.  This is the quilt as I am quilting it on the longarm. You can see the Electric Quilt software version just below that.

 

I created the embroidery blocks so that there are blocks with birds flying one way and the same block with birds flying in the opposite direction. I also moved the squirrels and bunnies to different places on the blocks so it would look more natural. And of course, any of the birds, or other creatures can be omitted as there are color stops for each one.

The following information is a tutorial for making the border—specifically the triangle border. This is an image showing the measurements for each border.

The body of the quilt is made of embroidered blocks that have been cut to 8-1/2″ square (unfinished) and stitched together to make a top that is 40-1/2″ x 40-1/2″.

The first border is cut and stitched as follows:
  • Cut 5 each 2-1/2″ x width of fabric (WOF) strips. Seam together three of the strips in the same manner that you would seam binding (45 degree angle).
  • Cut  2 strips 2-1/2″ x 40-1/2″  for the inner side border and stitch to the quilt sides. Ease as needed to fit.
  • Cut 2 strips 2-1/2″ x 44-1/2″ from the three strips that were seamed together. Stitch these two strips to the quilt top and bottom that include the side strips already stitched on. Ease as needed to fit.
The second border is cut and stitched as follows (make four borders):
  • Colored Border Fabric:
    • Cut 44 each Triangle in a Square (4″ finished) Die 55753 (Shape #13) from the 8″ Qube Companion Set Angles.
    • Cut 4 Squares(4″ finished) Die 55708 (Shape 1) from the 8″ Qube Set,
  • Background Fabric:
    • Cut 40 each Triangle in a Square (4″ finished) Die 55753 (Shape #13) from the 8″ Companion Set Angles. 
    • Cut 8 each Triangle in a Square Sides (4″ finished) Die 55754 (Shape #14) from the 8″ Companion Set Angles. 

Assemble the border as follows:

Lay out one color and one background  Triangle in a Square shapes and stitch together as shown.

Lay out the next Triangle in a Square Shape and stitch. Continue stitching shapes together in a row until there are 11 color shapes and 10 background shapes.

       

When there are 11 color Triangles and 10 background triangles stitched together, add the end side triangles (Shape 14).  Complete this process four times to make four borders.

On the end of two of the borders, stitch a 4-1/2″ square (4″ finished). Stitch the borders that do not have the squares to the quilt first. Then stitch the borders with the end squares to the quilt next. I used the points of the triangles to match to the seam allowances of the quilt blocks and eased the border as needed to fit the inner border. It seemed that it might not fit or it would pucker, but once it was pinned and stitched, it fit perfectly.  Triangles are often like that because there is so much bias involved. But if you work gently and patiently, you will find they can be manipulated into place beautifully. And the great plus is that with AccuQuilt all the shapes are perfectly cut to get the perfect fit.

The third border is cut and stitched as follows:
  • Cut 6 each 2-1/2″ x WOF strips from color border fabric. Seam together three of the strips in the same manner that you would seam binding (45 degree angle). Make 2 sets of three strips seamed together.
  • Cut 2 strips 2-1/2″ x 52-1/2″ for the outer side borders. Stitch to the sides of the quilt.
  • Cut 2 strips 2-1/2″ x  56-1/2″ for the outer top and bottom borders. Stitch to the top and bottom of the quilt.

Your quilt top is finished. Just quilt as desired. With this much embroidery, a meander is a great way to quilt. I am using a water meander on mine. And of course, the borders can be quilted geometrically with rulers or with an overall fill.

 

 

  
 

Belated Valentine

This is a belated Valentine. Somehow my New Year’s resolution to write several posts a week has not come to fruition. What happens is that I get so involved in projects that the hyperfocus excludes all else.

When my second grader grandson was here on Thursday, Feb 13, making Valentine’s and asked what to write on his Valentine cards, I told him to write “Happy Valentine’s Day” or “Be My Valentine.” He asked me what that means. My response was that it’s like saying “Merry Christmas” at Christmas time. That was not the best explanation but the first thing that came to mind. Children ask the most unexpected questions, and I often wonder how they process and perceive what we say.

And it’s been incredibly busy here. A couple of the projects I can’t tell you about yet, but there are two others that are interesting in that one in my opinion is a complete fail and the other is beginning to shape up into something pretty.

First for the complete fail. I was looking for fabric to go with the pink and purchased the green fabric as I thought it would be perfect and it’s such a cute print. I made one block and thought it looked pretty good so decided to make the rest of the blocks. As I worked, it was very apparent to me that I didn’t like the green but was determined to finish what I had cut. So here’s the block and the quilt top. They definitely are not on my list of winners. The top has to be quilted and I will do that soon and then see if there are any takers among the 10 grandchildren.

The one good thing about this quilt is the blocks I chose to go together. I love the look of the stars framed by the chain. Now the challenge is to make it in colors I love.

I’ll tell you about the second project tomorrow. It’s a much happier story.

 

  
 

Baby Quilt with Spring Medley Applique Machine Embroidery Tutorial

This is a quilt tutorial that I wrote for AccuQuilt for their blog. It was a lot of fun, but is very simple to do. The Spring Medley applique is cute, but this can also be made with a lot of the other different applique dies.  I used the 10″ Qube, but it will also work with the 9″ and the 12″ blocks too.

 
 

Crazy Quilt Star Throw Quilt

I just finished this Crazy Quilt Star Throw Quilt made with the AccuQuilt GO Crazy Quilt die. I love the Crazy Quilt dies (both Studio and GO!). They are just incredible. There are so many different layouts that one can create with it–and the blocks stitch up faster than almost any other block. I used Square in a Square (aka Economy Block) blocks alternating with Crazy Quilt blocks.  Read the full tutorial on the AccuQuilt blog.

Crazy Quilt Star
Crazy Quilt Star
 
 

Vortex Mosaic Throw Quilt Tutorial

The new 10″ Qube die set from AccuQuilt is a great size because multiples of 10 are so easy to make. And there’s no math to think about. Obviously 1/4 of 10 is 2.5 which is not an even number—but with the Qube set, there’s no math involved except the finished size of the quilt. This is a tutorial I wrote for the AccuQuilt blog. And this is a picture of the quilt. I really loved making this. The blocks are simple even though it looks much more complex than it is.

 
 

Triangle in a Square Dance Quilt Tutorial

The 10″ Qube Mix & Match along with the 10″ Qube Companion Angles made this quilt incredibly fast and easy. And I love, love, love the Watermelon Collection (by Daniela Stout) Fat Quarters from Timeless Treasures. This quilt is made with rectangles and triangles—both of which go together with great ease. The full tutorial can be found on the AccuQuilt blog. Imagine how this quilt would look in a different colorway—think Christmas OR Spring!

  
 

Four Blocks and a Border Tutorial

One of the really cool things about the 10″ Mix & Match Qube set from AccuQuilt is the easy layout using 10″ blocks. The center of this quilt is four blocks–YES–only four. And with a strip border and some five inch blocks (half of a 10″ block) you suddenly have a wonderful 40″ x 40″ quilt. This tutorial will take you through the steps. You will find it here on the AccuQuilt Blog.

  
 

A Touch of Tuscany

This is one of my most loved patterns ever. The fabrics are a rich and luscious batik and the blocks are so very simple to make. They are simply four patch blocks and Trapezoid blocks cut with the AccuQuilt GO! Angles Companion Qube. Using fat quarters or a “Six Pack” created a very scrappy quilt that I love. Here is the blog post that was published on AccuQuilt.