Pressing Fusible Applique

I learned a new trick for pressing fusible appliqué pieces. I have one off those presses that looks like two mini ironing boards that go together when you pull the handle down. It’s really great for fusing things. The only drawback is that the upper board, which is the iron, doesn’t raise up very far in the back. I’m always getting little burns on my knuckles when trying to spread things out on the board. I tried gloves, but it’s hard to work with the appliqué pieces wearing gloves. It occurred to me to lay things out on my Teflon pressing sheet and then carry that to the press. I can hold the sides of the Teflon sheet while sliding it onto the board and under the iron. Then it’s easy to gently hold the fabric near the front of the board with one hand while sliding the Teflon sheet out from under the fabric with the other hand. Sometimes it still needs a little smoothing, but not enough that I’m likely to get my fingers burned.

Another thing I learned about pressing fusible appliqué is not to use the Teflon sheet over the appliqué when pressing with the big press. For some reason, it makes everything ripple. Parchment paper works much better to keep any little melts of fusible off the iron. 
 

Followers on WordPress – Google Reader or RSS feed

A big thank you to everyone on this blog hop. It has been a lot of fun for me to read your comments and to see how this brings the quilting community together.

A couple of people asked me yesterday about being a “follower” as part of the Accuquilt GO Blog Hop. My response is that WordPress doesn’t have followers. However, I was very wrong about that. In fact, you can use Google Reader or subscribe to the RSS feed. SewCalGal has a great blog post about using Google Reader, so I’m sending you over there for more information. This is the link:

http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2009/09/google-reader.html

And for those of you who tried to become a follower and couldn’t find the “button”– just know that you’ll get counted by SewCalGal for trying. And I’m going to do a little reading today on the WordPress side and find the code for the buttons and add them to this blog to make it easier for all of us. 
 

AccuQuilt Theme Blog Hop – Christmas is Coming – and a Giveaway

I have three things for you today. The first is an easy and elegant table runner. It is so easy to make, cut almost entirely with the Accuquilt GO, and can be quilted on your regular sewing machine or on a longarm machine. Second, I sat down with my Accuquilt GO dies to brainstorm Christmas quilt block ideas – there are so many things you can do with fusible fabric. And third, I have a giveaway of a pre-cut table runner to be determined by random drawing of all who leave a comment on this blog today.

Easy and Elegant Table Runner:

This is such an easy table runner. You can make it in an afternoon; and with themed fabrics, you can make one for every season and holiday. These are the fabrics I am using for this table runner and these are the fabrics you will win if you win the Table Runner Kit Giveaway. They are so elegant. You can’t see the beautiful gold in the photos, but it’s scrumptious. The finished size of the table runner is 16 x 61 inches. A closeup photo is below. Please click the picture of the table runner below for instructions.

Please click on the table runner image for downloadable instructions.

This table runner can be quilted beautifully by doing a simple cross-hatching in the squares of the featured fabric. I like to do curved cross-hatching because it gives a bit more elegance. And in the setting triangles, either feathers or a stipple work beautifully. The border can be done with a feather if there is stipple in the setting triangles or with piano keys if there are feathers in the setting triangles.

Christmas Quilt Block Ideas Using Accuquilt GO Dies

I was brainstorming on ways to make quick and easy blocks for holiday quilts, table runners, placemats, and Christmas tree skirts. These are some of the ideas, but I’ll bet you have even more. One that isn’t shown here is to use the circles to make a snowman.

I made a cute little house with a candy cane roof using the 6.5 inch square die for the house, and the 6.5 inch triangle die for the roof. I added some stars in the sky by using the star die. This block would work well with a tree too. I love the way the roof has realistic corners just because the dog ears are trimmed. I used a fabric marker for the window panes and door handle.

Here are a couple of block combinations using trees and stars. These are made using the star die as well as the tree from the Christmas theme die. The ornaments on the tree are from the holly berries on the Christmas theme die.

I have a Christmas tree skirt started. It has random snowflakes all over it. I took that same snowflake die and used freezer paper to make a stencil and used Shiva paintstiks to paint snowflakes on more blocks. I love the way the painted snowflake looks. I can’t wait to do some more. On the tree skirt, you can see that I cut one snowflake in half because that is where I will cut it after the quilting is finished.

And, last but not least, is a block of “gifts” using squares cut with the GO and decorated with ribbon. The bows will not go on this block until after it is quilted, but just think how pretty it will be with three dimensional bows.

Giveaway:

To enter to win a pre-cut table runner kit with the beautiful fabrics shown above, please leave a comment on this post. All who comment on this post from Tuesday through Wednesday will  be entered for a drawing.  (Edit 9-28 @7:20am:) Because of the high cost of shipping, I will not be able to ship outside the US; however, I’d love to hear your comments.

The winner will be announced on Friday which is the last day of the blog hop.

 
 

Accuquilt Blog Hop Starts Today!

Please check out the blog hop sites today. SewCalGal has a wonderful tutorial on how to fussy cut using the Accuquilt GO die system. That is such a great idea, I can see it working for so many different dies. SewCalGal also has a great giveaway!

And over at Spring Water Designs, there’s a wonderful tutorial for a fall table runner.

Stay tuned here! I have a tutorial and giveaway planned for tomorrow. 
 

Passing it Forward – my Accuquilt GO and friends

As I’ve mentioned before, I am involved with the Slap Happy Quilter’s group, and our primary project is making comfort quilts for the patients at Alamance Regional Cancer Center. Much of the fabric we use is donated by a textile company in Burlington. We spend a lot of time washing, pressing, and removing any imperfections or irregularities in the fabric before cutting it into pieces for the quilts. The  Accuquilt GO is a great assistant for cutting kits for the comfort quilts. The strip cutters are most useful because they can be used to cut so many different widths to make a variety of quilt patterns.

A group of three of our members had a “sewing frenzy” the other day. Here are the photos they sent me. Looks like they had a lot of fun. And just look at what they did with all those strips!

 
 

Play Oven Mitts

I made some play oven mitts for the grandchildren last week. The dog chewed the corner off of the mitt that came with their play kitchen, and they used that little mitt a lot when they were playing. My daughter brought me the chewed up mitt and asked me to make a new one for them. I was watching the most recent episode of The Quilt Show featuring Camille Roskelley. In that show she talks about adding alphabet letters to her quilts. That was the inspiration for making two oven mitts, each of which had an initial for each of the children. They won’t be able to argue about whose mitt they’re wearing!

I used the font, AR Julian. Camille Roskelley showed how to use a Word Processor to create the applique letter. The next time I do letters, I am going to use EQ7, as that is a better way for me to keep a permanent copy of what I have done. I was able to find the mirror image in my printer setup behind several layers of setup screens. I printed this in mirror image, then traced it onto fusible, pressed the fusible to the fabric and cut out the letters. The fabric for the mitts was machine quilted on my domestic machine with straight cross-hatching.

Here’s a photo of the mitts. I thought they were just as cute as could be. Note that one child is right handed and the other is left handed.

Play Oven Mitts
 
 

Accuquilt Bloggers Blog Hop Next Week

The week of September 27th-October 1st we’re having a blog hop sponsored by SewCalGal and her blog. Ten bloggers are participating. You can find all the details and links at the SewcalGal blog. Participants will share tips, tutorials, or host a giveaway – with the focus being about AccuQuilt and having fun.  Each blogger will post their respective article on their designated day. Here’s a recap of the schedule:

Monday, September 27
Sew Cal Gal
Spring Water Designs

Tuesday, September 28
Marjorie’s Quilting Bee
Cotton Cocktails

Wednesday, September 29
Love Bug Studios
Spun Sugar Quilts

Thursday, September 30
Quilted Inspirations
Fabric N Quilts

Friday, October 1
Beautiful Seams
Sew Fun Quilts 
 

Table topper photos

Here’s a photo of the table topper that I started in August for Clarence and Sinead’s wedding gift and which I finished a couple of weeks ago, but I realized I hadn’t shown you what it looks like. The star blocks have curved cross-hatching in the background and a freehand feather meander in the dark areas of the log cabin blocks. There are 45 degree straight lines in the light areas of the log cabin blocks. I was pleased with the way it looks. The Glide thread used for quilting was a little heavy when I had stitched over it 2-3 times, so I used my fabric markers to color it the same color as the darker fabrics when it was stitched on darker fabrics. That is the first time I had used that technique, and it worked very well. After this was washed, it looks great.

Here’s a photo:

Closeup of the quilting

 
 

Quilt Design with the Pinwheel Tessellation

It’s hard sometimes to find balance in this life. I love mornings and that is the time that I blog, exercise, and create. Sometimes there’s just not enough morning to do everything; thus my blog has suffered the last few weeks. I think it started with the trip to Arizona in August when we were making decisions about gamma knife surgery for Ezri.  However, I got an email from sewcalgal this morning about being a member of the Team of Accuquilt bloggers. I’m going to put renewed effort into writing.

Last week I posted a video with a pinwheel tessellation block that I really love. Rather than set the blocks side by side as most tessellations are, I decided to use an alternate block and sashing for a little change up. I have made the blocks in Carolina blue and will have them together for a photo later today. Here are pictures of my EQ7 drawing.  The first picture does not show the block outlines so you can see what the quilt will look like when pieced. The second picture shows the block outline and that will give you an idea of how the quilt will go together.

 
 

Tessellations with the 4 1/2? strip die

From Wikipedia: “A tessellation or tiling of the plane is a collection of plane figures that fills the plane with no overlaps and no gaps. One may also speak of tessellations of the parts of the plane or of other surfaces. Generalizations to higher dimensions are also possible. …”

I am so excited. My 4 1/2″ strip die came yesterday. I just let it sit for a few hours as I was working on other things. Then I opened it, looked at it, walked around it awhile, and then a wonderful idea just popped into my head. It has a blade right down the middle which means that I can make my favorite pinwheel tessellation with it. It was late last night when I started, but the ideas are spinning in my head.

So far, this is what I have done:

I cut a 4 1/2 inch strip, and then cut it again into squares. I made stacks of squares all with the right side up.

Then I marked the die so that there is a parallel line exactly one inch on either side of the center blade. I made this line a different color than the blade lines.

Then I laid stacks of 6 squares on the die with the upper right corner touching the line on the right and the lower left corner touching the line on the left. You can reverse this; but if so, the blades of your pinwheel will rotate counterclockwise.

Then I cut them.

I stitched and pressed. This gives me a wonky rectangle.

The wonky rectangle goes on the 3 1/2″ square die using the registration lines to get them fairly even across the blades. It doesn’t matter if they’re a little off.

Then I have four squares which make a finished 6 inch block.