Happy New Year! What are your plans for 2021? New projects or finishing some UFO’s? I have some that were started in 2020 and need to be finished. One is the Mariner’s Compass which expanded to be a big bed quilt and needs multiple borders to get to the right size. I also have the pink and white with uneven nine patches. And I’d like to make a quilt for my brother and his wife for 2021.
This past week was spent working on a quilt and pattern for AccuQuilt but can’t show it to you yet. The quilt was shipped on Thursday, but I’m still writing the pattern and hope to have it sent on Monday. Here are the cut pieces:
Have you been following the Bonnie Hunter Grassy Creek Mystery? It’s a lot of fun – I love to follow the clues, but have too much going on here to be able to actually do the stitching. In reading her blog post she talked about a leaders and enders project she has in her free patterns. I looked at it and know it’s more productive to use leaders and enders while finishing other big projects. After making a couple of Bonnie’s blocks, I realized I would need connector blocks or sashing to make them look the way I would like. And, scrappy just doesn’t always work for me. My friend, Sherry, has suggested that when doing scrappy it helps to stay in a more synchronous color path. I like that idea – it helps my scrappy look a lot better.
So I set out to make a leaders and enders project that works for me. My criteria are that 1) that the blocks can be set side by side, and 2) that the seams will interlock block to block when stitching them into rows and rows into a top. So this is the leaders and enders project for 2021. It is a nine patch made up of four patch units and is a 9″ finished block. The two colors that I use most in quilts are turquoise and purple and there’s enough different ones here that it will definitely be scrappy.
This is the quilt showing blocks and patches.
I am spending some time prepping my leaders and enders so that the parts needed for blocks will be at my fingertips. The four patch units will be made using the strip die and subcut after stitching the long strips together. The plain units will also be made using the strip die.
This is how the leaders and enders will go together.
One of my favorite quilts is a Jewel Box Quilt and one only has to do an internet search for Jewel Box Quilt to find many, many beautiful quilts. The scrappy quilts are Jewel Boxes, but also wonderful are the ones done in coordinated colorways.
Sometimes the inspiration for a quilt is the fabric one has and for some reason (maybe four granddaughters) I have collected a fair amount of pink fabric including an entire bolt of Riley Blake Bee Basics pink plus another large piece of Riley Blake Crayola pink. Thus, the inspiration for a Jewel Box Quilt came my way.
This is the typical piecing configuration for the Jewel Box Block and can be found in the AccuQuilt Library as Block PQ10554:
Playing around with this in EQ, this is how this block appears in a quilt:
However, as I began to work making four patches and half square triangles with my pink fabric, I found that I had four of the same fabric together in the corners as you can see with the dark green and dark blue in the layout above. And when I mixed the lighter pinks into the four patches to get a mixture in the corners, the chain effect created by the 4-patch subunits was completely washed out. I went back to the drawing board.
As it turned out, the two pinks mixed nicely with the triangles and the darker pink worked much better to create the chain effect. And to get a nicer chain effect so that the solid square in the middle balanced the triangles, sashing and cornerstones were added. In the end, the original design was made into two separate blocks – one with squares and one with triangles as seen below.
This is still a work in progress, but so far I am pleased with it.
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.
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.
A couple of weeks ago I had the urge to just sit and stitch and stitch and decided to make a jelly roll race quilt with my stash of red and black and white fabrics (mostly batiks). When the jelly roll race quilt top was finished, it was unsightly to say the least. I can’t even find a photo of it–and you know how I take pictures. You will just have to believe me. At that point, I folded it up and set it aside.
Over the weekend, I needed something to putter with after making all those capes. It seemed there had to be a way to save all that fabric and that the quilt top could be cut up to make something else. I played around with a few things like an equilateral triangle and a tumbler. They were fine, but everything seemed to have a lot of points or corners to match, and I wanted something quick and easy. At this point, the goal is to make this a leader and ender project.
While playing around with the equilateral triangle, it struck me that a Chevron design might be the answer. And by taking off two strips at a time and using the quarter square triangle die for the 6 inch square, a great save and pretty project was created. The gray is a Kona cotton, color Iron.
I am back to the Half Square Triangle quilt. All of the triangles have been stitched. This morning I sorted all the triangles and put them in order with color transitions that seem to work from one print to the next. They could be ordered differently, but this is the order I have them.
The next step is to decide how many pieces are in each variegation. Because the fabrics were chosen randomly, there are not equal numbers of squares in each stack. Thus, I expect to use 4-8 squares of a color in each variegation.
Hopefully this afternoon, I can start putting the squares up on the design wall and will take a pix and show you how it looks. This is a real shot in the dark – we may not like it when it is actually up on the wall.
Here’s the original quilt design – if you need a refresher. The colors in this EQ7 version are random scrappy.
Hope everyone is having a Happy 4th of July here in the steaming hot USA. The last couple of days have only been in the upper 90’s here in North Carolina, but it seems hotter than our record 100+ temperatures of last week. I have spent the past few days working on a new machine embroidery set using my circle die and staying inside as much as possible.
There are two new machine embroidery sets using the Circle Die–and who doesn’t have a circle die? It is so wonderful to have perfectly cut circles every time.
I did something new that I thought I would share. It’s a way to reduce waste when cutting circles–and a picture is worth a thousand words.
Circle Die 2-3-5 inch circles
Use an 18 inch x 6 inch strip of fabric with fusible already pressed onto the wrong side. Leave the paper on the fusible until circles have been cut.
And here’s one of the designs from the Circle Flower Set I’m finishing today. You can also do this on your regular sewing machine using the applique stitch. Scroll all the way to the end to see this really fun flower made only from the small (2 inch) circle on the circle die.
Yesterday, I gave you some options for the Chisel Die. I started playing around in Electric Quilt and came up with some more options. The individual block will be shown first, and then the quilt layout from EQ7. Some of these are just positive/negative changes rather than completely different blocks. Play around with this and see what you can create.
August was busy around here with visitors and a couple of day trips of our own. And, in the meantime, my embroidery machine and I were working on my new Sunbonnet Sue designs. I haven’t finished all of the thread charts and other documentation, but have posted them in my store as “coming soon” and hope to have them ready for sale by the weekend.
Here are some preview pictures of three of the designs. The set also includes Sunbonnets with applique stitch, raw edge applique with a zigzag stitch, and others. I have also designed a nice little quilt with these Sunbonnets and will have instructions for it included with the set. I’ll tell you more about the quilt tomorrow.
You know that I’m not into ornate things – but I do like elegant – and sometimes that means very simple. I have been working on some machine embroidery to be used for embellishments on things like table runners and tree skirts and any other things that may need embellishing at Christmas time. What’s really nice about these is that there is no top or bottom, so they work on things like table toppers which are seen from all directions. I took the large circle die and checked all my other dies to see what shapes fit inside it. Here are some photos of what I’ve done. I hope to have all of these and more available as an embroidery set by Saturday. These circles are about 5 1/2 inches or 130 mm finished.
Danita is the winner of the shapes to make a small turtle quilt. My random number generator consists of writing all the names on small pieces of paper, folding them up, shaking them up, and drawing a name. Thank you all for following my blog and Accuquilt.