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.
One of my favorite quilt settings comes from a book by Janet Houts and Jean Ann Wright called Best of Circle of Nine. I haven’t used it since I made the Sister’s Choice quilt for my sister in 2016. However, in making the sampler quilts for the Facebook AccuQuilt Qube group and thinking about settings, it came to mind again. And it gave me a wonderful setting for some other blocks that have been sitting waiting to be used.
As I always say, quilts come about in their own time. And this star quilt has finally come to it’s time. This is a picture of my progress with these stars and this setting.
And this is an image from EQ with borders added to complete the quilt. This is so much better than a horizontal or on point setting with sashing.
The Facebook AccuQuilt Qube group has asked to do a block of the week Sampler quilt. Sampler quilts are a lot of fun because each block is different. They’re also nice as a teaching tool because there are many different shapes and practice in joining those shapes can be used. However, sometimes a Sampler quilt can begin to look like jumbled up blocks – or at least in my way of thinking. I like clean lines and clear colors in quilts. So that is what goes into my thinking in designing a Sampler Quilt.
One way of doing this is simply to use the background fabric for the sashing and to make the sashing wide enough to give the blocks a background so that each block stands out on its own. Another way of doing this is to use background fabric strips to frame the block – I call this a floating frame. The result of this is a larger block than the original block design. In this case, I use a light or medium fabric sashing between blocks and often make it narrower or the same width as the floating frame. The floating frame makes either a larger quilt or a quilt with fewer blocks. For the same number of blocks, this requires a lot more background fabric.
These are just my thoughts about it all. Below are EQ examples of a Floating Frame block as well as a layout with a color sashing and a layout with a background sashing.
I am doing a Quilt Along on the Qube Facebook group and will post helpful hints here on the blog. The files will be posted until the quilt is finished and then the files will be compiled as a pattern for sale in my quilt shop. Here are pictures of the quilt from EQ8. One is a “scrappy” version and the other is a coordinated colorway. 01 Broken Dishes QubeWorkout Yardage
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. 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.