Patience Corners

I have been working on instructions for one of my favorite quilts. The first time I saw this pattern, it was on a bed at my Mom’s house. She said she made it as part of a block exchange. I have been making it ever since. This new method incorporates the Accuquilt GO and uses only the 6 1/2 inch die. It is very similar to the Disappearing Nine Patch method that we have all come to enjoy making. Somehow, though, Patience Corners is dearer to my heart.

Here’s a picture of a Patience Corner that my mother made and I quilted and here’s the link to the instructions on Scribd.

Patience Corners

Shiva Paintstiks and Accuquilt GO

This morning I had an idea to make a stencil with freezer paper from my Accuquilt GO applique dies. So, I tore off some freezer paper, rolled it through the GO, and ironed that freezer paper to a piece of fabric. I pulled out my Shiva Oil Paintstiks and went to work. I really only like the iridiscent Paintstiks–just me I guess–and the glitz of that doesn’t show in the pictures. But I was pleased with this little experiment – picture below. Now to try some other new things – like Angelina fiber bonded and run through the die, for some real pizzazz.

Paintstik stencil experiment with GO applique dies

Even studio cleaning can inspire

I spent most of yesterday cleaning up my studio. The applique project meant that I had pulled out pieces of fabric of every color. Fabric is the paint with which we create our works of art and sometimes we have to pull out a lot  to get just the right colors. And it’s so hard to know how to put away  all those smaller pieces of fabric. Often, I cut them into smaller pieces, but most of these were fat quarter to half yard size.

I did come up with some ideas as I worked. I had been dissatisfied with a couple of the appliques that I had done – or with the lack of contrast of my flower centers. So, I pulled out my Shiva Paintstiks and painted them. Otherwise, I think I would have thrown those applique blocks away–and they were a lot of work. I love the iridiscent paintsticks and that gave me the contrast and colors that were just perfect for those applique flowers.  I used stencil brushes so that I could control the amount of paint and for some of them I just gave them a light shimmer, and for others I gave them a big color change  from light to dark or dark to light.

Another idea was to go ahead and rough cut the flower shapes so that I could put away the fat quarter/half yard that  I needed  for that small 4 ” patch that would become the flower. I checked my Accuquilt GO dies and found that for the applique I’m doing right now, the hexagons are the perfect size – just larger than my flowers. So, now I have stacks of hexagons that will make flowers, and the centers of my flowers. This is so much more portable than all those stacks of little pieces of fabric with which I was struggling.

I started quilting an oak leaf applique quilt of Norma’s late yesterday. I am cross-hatching the background of the four blocks and will do a formal feather in the borders. I think it’s going to be pretty.

Weekend Lap Project – Applique

I always have to have a lap project going – and this past weekend, my Accuquilt Rose of Sharon die arrived which led me to do some experimenting. I ‘don’t do’ turned edge applique. That said, Sharon Schamber with Accuquilt’s help, has converted me. She makes wonderful applique using a paper biodegradable tearaway stabilizer base. This is the result of my weekend.

I really like the way this turned out. I think I would like my flowers to have a little more color contrast in the center so I’m going to do some experimenting; but this was a lot of fun.

Use the Accuquilt GO dies – both the flower and the Rose of Sharon – to cut the foundations.
Then put a spot of Elmer’s purple school glue on the foundation and glue it to the fabric heating it with the iron to make it stick.
Carefully cut around with about a 3/16″ seam allowance, clipping the inside curves.
Rub school glue on the seam allowance/edge of foundation and turn it. A cuticle stick is very helpful with this.
Use the little iron to heat set the glue.
Arrange the pieces to your  liking and stitch it to the background using polyester invisible thread and a very tiny zigzag stitch (1.0 mm stitch length, and 0.8 mm zigzag-on my machine). I stitch very slowly–almost like handstitching and use the tieoff feature of my machine for starting and stopping so I can clip the thread at the fabric. This can be handstitched, but the glue makes one require a thimble.
After soaking it in water, the glue disappears and the invisible thread stitches disappear into the edge of the applique.

This was so much fun–I might be an applique addict now — LOL!

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Elmer’s disappearing purple school glue
Cuticle sticks
Paper biodegradable tearaway and wash away stabilizer
Accuquilt GO flower and Rose of Sharon dies
Small iron
Polyester invisible thread (Sulky or Monopoly by Superior are great)

Delectable Crystals Video and Instructions

Getting this video finished and completing the instructions has taken a little over two weeks. Between new video editing software and babysitting a two year old while her sister had MRI’s and a lengthy trip to Boston for neurology consults. . . excuses, excuses. While I try to keep my videos really short, this one ended up at a little over six minutes even with lots of editing. If the video is too long for your attention span (I like ’em short), then written instructions are also included below. I hope you enjoy. And, as always, let me know if you have questions. I will also post this on the Facebook Accuquilt page for those who visit there often.

And now, I need to do some quilting.

Technology – the good and the not so good

I’ve been working every day this week to get instructions and video ready for the Delectable Crystals quilt. it’s such a quick and easy quilt to make and looks great; but explaining how it’s done is not quite so easy. I’ve made a video which is now 7 minutes long – much longer than I would probably watch. But there are lots more people in this world who are lots more patient than I am, so hopefully this will be worth it in the end. I also have some written instructions with illustrations, that are almost finished.

Why can’t you see all of this? Well, I’ve uploaded to youtube 3 times, and none of the times have worked. I upgraded my Nero Media software and the new interface is complicated–although much  more powerful, and the stars just aren’t aligned. I’m re-exporting into another file format this morning, and we’ll see what happens. So stay tuned!

And if you think I don’t have the patience to watch a 7 minute video, just think of my patience when waiting for exports that don’t work! LOL – as Mama Berenstain Bear always says, “Now let this be a lesson to you!”

Photos of Recent Quilts

It always amazes me how long it takes to take pictures of my quilts. I spent about 3 hours yesterday working on this. I have streamlined the way that I hang the quilts to take photos, and am lucky to have transoms between the openings from the breakfast room to the great room. But it still takes time.

My latest technique for photos is that I attached velcro to the ‘window’ frame so that the velcro isn’t visible except to a very tall person. I made a fabric strip with velcro to attach to that and then I just use florist pins to attach the quilt to the strip. Clear as mud? Here’s a picture, and it really does go much more quickly than anything else I’ve tried. But I still have to take the pictures, then go to the computer to make sure they’re what I want. Once that quilt leaves me, I don’t get another chance for pictures.

So, I have a slideshow of the things I’ve been making. The first is the Delectable Crystals – was Delectable Mountains – that I cut entirely using the Accuquilt GO die system. The next photo is a t-shirt quilt made from t-shirts my daughter got when she was a student at the NC School of the Arts and the School of American Ballet summer session in NY. The last quilt is a customer quilt which really turned out well. I did an overall edge to edge quilting on it. Hope you enjoy the show.

Tune in later for the instruction sheet for Delectable Crystals. I have instructions written up and will have them posted by the end of the day. I decided to make them into a downloadable pdf as opposed to a video. That is easier for many to work with, particularly those who have slow internet connections.

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Information on the quilts and quilting:

Delectable Crystals: I used two layers of batting, the first layer is Request weight Quilters Dream cotton and the top layer is Hobbs 80/20 Heirloom, Monopoly (Superior) thread with Magna-glide (Fil-Tec) bobbin. Backing is White Kona Cotton.

T-shirt quilt: I used Hobbs 80/20 Heirloom batting, Monopoly (Superior) thread with Aurifil 50 wt cotton in the bobbin. Backing is a 108″ wide Rain by Timeless Treasures.

9-Patch quilt: I used Select weight Quilter’s Dream cotton batting, Glide (Fil-Tec) thread on the top and Bottom Line (Superior) in the bobbin. Backing is 108″ wide Benartex.

Rectangle Block Lap Quilt

I’m still babysitting. I have decided that the best part of motherhood is knowing what is wrong when a child cries and being able to fix it. It really is satisfying when they wake in the night and you can easily stop the crying with a blanket or a stuffed rabbit or a pacifier. The hard part is if none of those things work.

The children will be home with Ezri today. The doctors at MGH in Boston said they would read her MRI scans and give an interpretation. They also said that if Barrow says she needs gamma knife radiation, then that is what they would recommend too, as the docs at BNI are the experts at treating hypothalamic hamartomas. As far as getting a better MRI, the new technology that is available at MGH has only been approved for ages 18 and over, so it will be some time before it is available to children as young as Ezri.

Now, for the quilting: Here’s a rectangle block quilt. I have drafted and re-drafted rectangle blocks. My goal was to create a block using only one strip width and for it to look like a rectangle, but actually be a square. That simply was not to be, so the quilt blocks have to be pieced in vertical rows instead of the usual horizontal rows.  It also requires cutting a couple of blocks in half so that the blocks are staggered on each row. You know I just hate having to match corners if I can get around it, and staggering the blocks makes it a much prettier quilt I think. The instruction sheet is here. This would make a great baby quilt in just the right colors.

Bias Binding for the Accuquilt GO

I did some written instructions for the Accuquilt GO for 2-1/2 inch bias binding. Ebony Love did a youtube video showing this on the Studio Cutter here:

I was so inspired by seeing Ebony do this on the Studio Accuquilt that I wanted to do it for the Accuquilt GO. The instructions are basically the same as for cutting continuous bias, except that with the strip cutter, you cannot sew the fabric into a big loop for a continuous cut. But you can stitch it into a parallelogram so that all the strips come out the same length.  I calculated and added a chart for the yardage needed to get various lengths of bias binding.  There’s a great web page done by Shelley Rodgers, Dread Pirate Quilter who has lots of great information, including instructions for calculating how much bias binding one will get from any size fabric. Please let me know if you have any questions about any of this.

bias binding instructions