Block 8 Double X of the 2022 QAL

This week’s block is a lot of fun. It has that square in the corner of a triangle that is fun to make and gives us a little challenge because we’re sewing the short side of a half square triangle to a square. Look at it carefully and you will do a great job. That corner square in a triangle has become a favorite of mine.

Block 8 Double X No. 2

Some of you have been worried that the QAL would end before we made all the blocks. With 13 blocks and one block a week, it looks like we will go through March and finish on April 4. And of course, if there is a great outcry for doubling up on blocks, we may accommodate that too.

There are just too many fun projects and not enough hours in the day. I have been working on a really fun quilt pattern for AccuQuilt (you will get to see it in May). But it took me double the time I usually spend, so I am behind on stitching my own QAL blocks. And I am working on some embroidery for the Farm Animals and a new set to be introduced soon, so that takes time too. Here’s a peak at the first run of one of the blocks in my Farm Animals embroidery set. That fence still needs some work, but it’s getting there. And wait until you see the pigs! I was born a country girl, so I’m loving this set.

Holiday Door Banners

AccuQuilt has published a recent blog post I wrote showing the door banners that I made using holiday applique with the new Pickup Truck die and the Gingerbread Cookies and their decorations. These were a lot of fun and so quick and easy to make. Depending on the applique shapes, one can make them any size needed. Without the letters, they would make great banners for inside doors or they could be made with names on them to hang on individual bedroom doors. I love the removable hangers that have the stick-on and easy pull-off adhesive.

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

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.

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

Cute Owl Machine Embroidery Applique

The new owl die that is available from JoAnn’s for the AccuQuilt GO!™ die cutter is as cute as can be, and I couldn’t resist digitizing a simple machine embroidery applique design for it. AccuQuilt agreed to share it on their website as a free download, and I want to share that link with you. You are going to have so much fun stitching this owl.

I would love to see what fun projects you make with this owl. Click on the owl and it will take you to the AccuQuilt website. (I know it says “Backordered”, but don’t let that stop you–you can download the embroidery anyway).


New Project, New Energy

This week has been busy with a new project. Every time I write a Craftsy blog post, it seems it ends up with a new project. This time I am making it into an embroidery project that I can offer for sale. It’s very simple, but has lots of potential. Teaser pics are below. 

Somehow I totally lost my mojo after the holidays. We did some traveling, I stopped consuming as much caffeine, and came down with a terrible cold all at once. It seems this all conspired to bring my energy to a complete halt for almost two weeks. Thank goodness I woke up Sunday morning feeling like a new person and ready to conquer the world again.

2-IMG_5080 4-IMG_5086

I am also working on quilting a donation quilt for Meals on Wheels. Hopefully will get that done today and can show you pics of that tomorrow.

A Little Experiment

No matter what I make, I am always wondering whether the fabric combinations will work after the quilt has been washed in the machine. Whether it’s a combination of fusible and pre-washed or pristine fabric fresh off the bolt or fabric and batting–polyester or cotton or cutaway or tearaway stabilizer, I never know how things will turn out. So, for the alphabet quilt, I did a little experiment.

I use Armo-Weft as a leave-in stabilizer for machine embroidery in quilts. I learned this from the Anita Goodesign project that I did last Spring. But I have been trying to decide whether to use a cutaway or tearaway stabilizer beneath the Armo-Weft. And, there is always the question as to whether to pre-wash all my fabrics or not. So this is the experiment.

I used Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting and 100% cotton backing.



The results: There is no appreciable difference between prewashing and using fresh off the bolt. And there is no appreciable difference in tearaway and cutaway stabilizer. The fabrics fresh off the bolt seem to shrink in accordance with the batting, so maybe it’s better not to prewash. All of the applique fabric had been pre-washed and it did not shrink or pucker on any of the blocks.

The underlining of ArmoWeft makes a nice weight quilt and is not heavy at all. I will continue to use the ArmoWeft,and I will not worry about washing the background fabric at all.

Cutting Applique Shapes for Machine Embroidery

It really is easy to cut applique shapes with a die cutter or to cut applique shapes with the newer electronic cutters. And some like to trim the fabric around the tackdown stitch. But, what if you don’t have either of those and you want an easy way to cut the shapes? I had a “bright” idea the other day and wrote about it on the Craftsy blog post for this week. I’m sure I’m not the first to think of this, but feel that I need to share it with the world. So, here are the instructions. I have made them into a pdf and added them to a link in my list of how-to’s so that you can always find them here.

Instructions for cutting appliqué shapes with scissors

All machine embroidery appliqué designs come with a file that has the outline of the shapes / templates that can be stitched on the embroidery machine. Rather than making a paper pattern from this file, the most efficient way to cut the appliqué fabric using those stitching lines is as follows:

  1. Prepare fabric by fusing a fusible web onto the wrong side of the appliqué fabric. This should be slightly larger than your appliqué shape. Do NOT remove the paper.
  2. Work with an unthreaded needle in your embroidery machine.
  3. Hoop stabilizer.
  4. Mount hoop onto machine and stitch the shape outline onto the stabilizer with the unthreaded needle.
  5. Lay the prepared fabric (with fusible and paper attached), right side up, over the stitch holes made in the stabilizer. Use tape if needed to hold the prepared fabric in place.
  6. Stitch the shape again onto this prepared fabric.
  7. Remove the fabric from the hoop and turn it over. On the paper side, you will see the stitch holes showing through the paper.

 IMG_36868. Use this line for cutting your shape.

9. Trim just outside the stitching line so that the finished appliqué will be held securely without fabric threads showing on the outside of the decorative appliqué stitch. Before starting a project, try a sample first, to be sure your cutting line fits perfectly with your stitching line.

10. To remove the paper, use a straight pin to score the paper and it will peel off easily.