Many of the newer quilters participating in the QUBE QAL have talked about how difficult it can be to match points. Some think this is because of pressing seams open, but it can be difficult whether you press seams open or to the side. For years, I avoided pinwheel quilt blocks for this very reason. I took some pictures yesterday of one of the ways that I match points.
+ Use a large pin for matching points. A finer pin seems to slip within the seam.
+ Use a shorter stitch on seams that have matching points.
+ Use something to anchor your pin. I use a piece from a foam mat, but a piece of styrofoam or foam core board or a sewing ham will work as well.
+ Place pins so that you do not sew over them. I know many machine salespeople will say that certain machines will not hit pins. I have had many brands of machines and no matter what, sooner or later, the needle will strike the pin. And striking the pin just right will result in the timing to be off enough to cause skipped stitches.
Here are pictures of one of the ways I match points. It really requires getting the pin exactly at the tip of the point and when pinning through the seam, the pin can slip just a little up or down. This is why a shorter stitch length really matters.
Tomorrow I’ll show you another way to match points.
This blog hop has been so much fun. I love seeing what everyone has done with these quilt blocks–And today is my day. Curved blocks are always a challenge, and also one of my favorites. With curves it seems there are fewer seams, simpler blocks, and endless design opportunities. The block I chose is Rob Peter to Pay Paul. It is sometimes called Orange Peel. This turned out to be the perfect opportunity to make gifts for upcoming events and holidays.
This is the AccuQuilt BOB Die set for this block. It consists of two shapes, a center and a half melon. One of the nicest things about this block is that while there are curves on the inside, it is stitched into a square block and can be set on point or horizontally. The challenging part of this block was not piecing it, but finding the perfect combination of connecting the two shapes to get a perfect 7 inch finished block. While the points at the apex of the curve are always matched, I tried easing the concave and convex curves into each other a couple of different ways. The final and best solution was a partial seam approach.
And to be fair, my way is not the ONLY way. There are other ways to stitch this block together–I used fabric basting glue, but some actually stitch it without pins or glue–give it a try and see what works best for you.
This video demonstrates how I pieced this block.
AccuQuilt is offering this free pattern for a pillow topper during the blog hop. Click on the picture below and it will take you to their website where you can download the pattern.
This is a Christmas quilt that I started. This is so pretty in the classic red and white.
And here are a couple of fun virtual quilts that I created with Electric Quilt software. As I said, the possibilities are endless. The first is another red and white with a negative block in the center. The second has a border around each individual block. Now I really must get back to stitching–this is to much fun. Do you like curved piecing? Have you made a Rob Peter to Pay Paul / Orange Peel quilt?
And just in case you’ve forgotten – here are the participants:
I have been so swamped with my Mom and my children that there has been no time to write. And this post is coming from my phone so it’s always an adventure.
I have had a summer of finishes and working on UFOs. I had these leftover 3inch squares from novelty fabrics and had even stitched some of them into nine patch blocks.
However after making more nine patch blocks I could not find a way to put them together into a quilt that I liked. Now I ask you–how hard is it to mAke a quilt with 9patch blocks. I must have been out of sorts or so something.
So I decided to add triangles. I have the Accuquilt 8″ half square triangle die so I cut the nine patch blocks to eight inches. That was better but not great. So after stitching three rows together I got very brave or brazen , not sure which, a d cut all the blocks to six inches. This is much better.
Interesting that taking pics with my phone is how I decided which layouts I didn’t like.
The big lesson here. Planning saves a lot of time and angst and not all scraps look good together in a quilt.
I got an email a couple of weeks ago from Cherry at Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio. She made the most adorable quilt using the Candy Hearts embroidery set. This is her adorable quilt. It’s a mini – but just think of the wonderful ways to use this –from a banner/ wall hanging to a table topper.
In fact, I was so inspired by this, that I took the stack of assorted hearts that I had and stitched them together. In the end I had five different toppers. Here are a couple of photos.
The one thing I realized later after looking at the photo of what Cherry has done and then at the hearts I stitched together, is that her hearts are on a much smaller background and are nestled closer together. If I were doing it again, I definitely would do it her way.
The HST quilt top is moving along. There is only one vertical row to add to the horizontal rows. Then I will turn it and stitch all the horizontal rows. So far I really love it. Still not sure about the variegation of colors, but it may work. After doing the first couple of rows, I realized that because the triangles are not set in an ordered fashion, there will be some really bulky seam intersections. So, contrary to all my beliefs, I went back and pressed those triangle seams open. The seams from square to square will be pressed to the side. I think this is what will work best. However, I really believe I am going to have some points that just don’t meet perfectly–and that really bothers me when it’s my work. Doesn’t bother me a bit when it’s someone else’s quilt. Weird, huh?
And the quilt kit winners–ta da!
Janet Currier and Judy (email user name rcpjmp). Quilt kits will be on the way to you shortly. You will be getting an email from me this morning.
Last night I discovered that I can get Quilting Books from Amazon IN COLOR on my Kindle Fire. Many of the books I have purchased have been B&W, so I never thought to look for quilting books. Probably all of you already know all this and have quilting books on your tablet or iPad. I was looking at the Baby Roller Rink quilt on Oh, Fransson! by Elizabeth Hartman and decided I would browse Amazon to see if she had that book. It came up as a Kindle book – and the preview was in color. I now have several quilting books on my Kindle including From Daisy to Paisley by Leah Day and Modern Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman. And, if you go to SewCalGal’s blog and scroll all the way down the right column and shop through her Amazon.com link – you’ll help support some of the giveaways she so generously provides to the quilting community.
Here’s what I have done on the triangles thus far. I finished piecing one of the t-shirt quilt tops and was able to get this many triangles done. I need 296 triangles for the whole quilt. Now of course I stitch more than one triangle at the end of a seam –what’s more fun–stitching triangles in beautiful colors or piecing a t-shirt quilt? These colors are so luscious.
And while I was driving back from the gym this morning, it occurred to me that I wanted to try something new with these. I’ve been stacking them in color groups. What if they are put into the quilt like variegated yarn, i.e., sorted by color groups, then a color order determined, and a certain number of squares of each color and then add them into the rows in that order – and the colors will create their own pattern within the main design. I have never done this before, but it will be fun to see what happens.
Did I get the quilt from last week made over the weekend? No – another “best laid plan”. Hopefully one of you made one. I’m working on a t-shirt quilt for a customer which is a graduation gift. There are 25 t-shirts and this is a humongous quilt. I have been appliqueing the small printed parts of the t-shirt onto the larger blocks. It seems t-shirts are always printed with the date on the opposite side of the shirt as the main design. And if a t-shirt quilt is a ‘memory’ quilt, someday the owner of that quilt might want to recall the exact year and place those memories happened. So, I take the extra time to make sure the dates and places get appliqued somewhere on the main block.
Now, back to Quilts of Valor ideas:
One of the patterns I have never made, but have always dreamed of making, is the Split Star. There are several versions – and you can make your own using the star of your choice. The key is to split the star diagonally from corner to corner and then use light and dark backgrounds and/or star colors on either side of the split. Here is an example. The split star is alternated with a half square triangle made with light and dark. Both blocks are 12 inch blocks. The patches on the star block are made based on a 3″ patch with four patches across and four patches down. I’ll show you how to make this block using rotary cutting or the Accuquilt GO in my next post.
Here’s another step. Hope you’ve finished your basket blocks. I have done quite a few, but my goal was 18 blocks for three projects and there are still several left to go. I am also going to have to cut and make one extra because my first test block didn’t size correctly because of my uneven stitching. That’s a lesson – always make a test block before cutting them all. How could I have been so sure of myself that I forgot that step?
Here’s the first step:
Hoop the stabilizer and stitch the placement lines onto the stabilizer.
Take a finished basket block and apply a fusible stabilizer on the back of the block. I use Totally Stable by Sulky, but I am sure there are other stabilizers that will work. You can see it on the back of the block below. Then find the center of the block on the red/white triangle by folding and matching the red/white line and corners.
Put a pin through the center crease at the seamline and match it to the center mark on the stabilizer.
Then use pins to match the top center and the lines on the stabilizer.
Use straight pins to attach block to stabilizer being sure points are matched to stabilizer guidelines as you insert the pins.
Stitch the die lines onto the block. If, for any reason, the die lines do not stitch in the correct position, take the stitching out at this point rather than proceeding and stitching the hearts in the wrong position (ask me how I know!).
Fuse the hearts into place on the die lines and complete stitching on the machine.
The first couple of blocks I made were just a little off, but I quickly got into a rhythm and am making beautiful blocks. You might want to try the embroidery on a plain block first, just to get a feel for it. The design is in the web store and is included with the center motif design.
Candy Hearts make such adorable projects. Here’s the Sweethearts Quilt that I’ve been making. While I used the candy hearts embroidery set, you can also make this using a novelty fabric or you can cut the hearts on your Accuquilt GO! and fuse them and use an applique stitch on your regular machine to stitch them. You can also use a stencil or fabric markers to write the candy heart sentiments.
Here’s the quilt:
And here’s the finished block:
You will also need to cut an equal number of plain squares that are 7.5″ which is the finished size of the heart blocks.
Here’s the block showing the size of each piece in the block. The finished block size is 7.5″
And here’s the Fat Quarter cutting chart. I am making my quilt using fat quarters. Each fat quarter makes 4-5 hearts and there’s a small 4-5″ scrap left on the end of the fat quarter. Those scraps can be used to add some pieced blocks to the border or cut into strips for other scrappy blocks.
The weather is freezing here – I can’t seem to get my fingers and toes and nose warm today even with layers of clothes. Maybe it’s the dampness outside. I’m finishing up the candy hearts digitizing and they’re on the website and for sale already. All that’s left is to stitch enough of these hearts for a quilt. I sent some of the test hearts to Barb over at Bejeweledquilts by Barb, and she had them stitched into a quilt as quick as a wink.
Here are pictures of some of them (there are 52 files in all):
And later this week, we’ll work on the embroidery for the red and white project for the “GO Ahead and Show Some Love” blog hop. Here’s a peek at some of my finished basket blocks and my heart blocks.