There’s nothing in the world like a basket quilt block. I’ve never been much of one for doing those curved handles, so there’s a special place in my heart for the ones with half square triangle tops. This one is called Basket of Flowers in EQ7 and it’s a classic. There are several variations, so I will try to show you some of them in the coming days. When you think about it, there’s not a lot of difference between these basket blocks and Birds in the Air or Corn and Beans; but these are special.
This one is easy to make, there are no special instructions except to make sure you use the lengthwise grain of the fabric on the lined up with the long edge on the 3 x 6 inch rectangle die. Cutting it on the cross-wise grain will make it come out a little short.
This block is very similar to Sarah’s Choice, but with the change of a geese patch to a chisel shape it gives a beautiful pinwheel. And you don’t have to have the chisel die to make this block. You can substitute a square and half square triangle which is the traditional way this block has been made over the years. There are some fun things you can do with this block. For example, if you change the color of diagonal squares (Color A) on the block, you will get a very pretty four-patch when you set the blocks together. If you use a subtle color change, the four-patch blocks won’t compete with the pinwheels for a very pretty quilt. Just think how lovely this would be in soft thirties pastel fabrics.
An upload for the pdf file instructions and images of the block and quilt are below. Click the block for the pdf instructions.
Today’s block is very simple, but creates a beautiful diagonal pattern when combined with the simple Snowball block. It creates a wonderful quilt in terms of it’s simplistic beauty, but also one that showcases beautiful quilting designs such as feathered wreaths. The design is a little more intricate and lacy than an Irish chain and creates a very lovely quilt.
I spent some time checking files this morning and updating so that there should be a link to instructions for blocks 5-8. I did see a couple of changes/clarifications in the files. No matter how many times I check them, I find little things that could be clearer or new ways to cut the same block, and I like to update them. Everything in life is a work in progress!
I recently received the Rose of Sharon Block Book by Sharon Pederson featuring the designs from the EQ6 Challenge. I’ve always felt fairly neutral about Rose of Sharon quilts; having a great appreciation for the applique skills that go into them but feeling that the designs were very predictable. That has not kept me from exploring what’s new out there for ROS. And the bocks from the EQ6 really deliver on new and exciting designs. In addition, The Quilt Show has a great Block of the Month for 2010 for a Rose of Sharon Quilt done in blues. And Electric Quilt has a free EQ6 library download for all of the blocks from the ROS challenge.
After perusing the ROS Block Book, I decided to print out some of the blocks from EQ7 and see how they work with my Accuquilt ROS die. Of course, it’s perfect. The ROS die has so many different size roses that it is very easy to find the perfect ones to fit each design. The ROS die has three circles sized to match the designs. A couple of different sizes of leaves were the only thing I didn’t have, but they are very easy to cut with scissors. Being able to have all those roses cut accurately and quickly was wonderful. I fused this last night and have machine apliqued the leaves.
The last few days have been a whirlwind. I worked at the Womancraft cooperative all day Saturday and babysat and dogsat my grandchildren and their dogs Sunday and Monday. Toddlers can certainly keep one busy, but they are soooo much fun. It’s been years since I got little ones ready for pre-school, but we got there fully dressed and with everything we needed. Of course, I didn’t do any quilting; but will be back in full swing starting this afternoon.
Today’s block is a fun one. Updated this post (10/22/2010) with link to instructions-see caption below. This block should be done in two different color patterns to create the nice star pattern shown below. It also uses the chisel die as well as the 3-1/2 inch half square triangle and 3-1/2 inch square. It is easy to put together and the chisel die makes it even easier to cut.
Notes about constructing this block. Be careful when sewing triangles to the chisel shape. The chisels should all be cut in the same direction, i.e., right side up when placing fabric on the die. If you use something like a Kona cotton or light colored batik, both sides will work, so you can easily fanfold the fabric and cut without concern for right side vs wrong side direction. You should also be careful when sewing that you stitch the triangles onto the chisels in the same direction.
I ordered some new dies last week and one of them was the chisel die. As I’ve said before, I never did triangles until I got my Accuquilt GO. I think the most important thing about having die cut triangles is that the corners are cut so that they fit exactly. That means they go together perfectly and there is no trimming or cutting them to size after they’re sewn. The chisel die is the same situation.
There’s a great quilt by Bonnie Hunter on Quiltville.com called Star Struck. It is done with 2-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch bricks and 2-1/2 inch squares. The same design on a larger scale can be done with the Accuquilt GO chisel die and a 3-1/2 inch half square triangle die. I tried making one of the blocks this weekend and it goes together like a dream. The key is getting the 1/4 inch seam just right and being consistent. Because these blocks are a little larger at 12 inches square, the quilt will go together faster. Wouldn’t this larger version of Star Struck make a gorgeous baby quilt?
1. A very important thing to remember about the chisel die is that depending on the pattern, you may have to have all the fabric with the right side facing up. To avoid having to check which side is up, I simply used batiks since both sides work with most of them.
2. Another important note is that you have to think about how you’re going to do your cutting so that you can get a system and it is fairly automatic. We do this without thinking with our rotary cutters, but with the die cutting system, it is not ingrained yet, and sometimes we have to learn how to be most efficient. I found on this one that it worked best for me to take my width of fabric strips to the ironing board and fanfold them there with a light press and then take all the strips back to the cutting table.
And here’s another block that is similar to Star Struck, but goes together using two chisels in light and two chisels in dark and a single 9 1/2 inch strip.
This is a simple block and one of my favorites; however at first glance, the instructions look intimidating. Because Accuquilt does not yet have a 3 inch finished quarter square triangle, this block involves a little more rotary cutting than others for the 9 inch finished block. I prefer smaller blocks, so am looking forward to the day that they have a quarter square triangle 3″ patch die.
I have changed the format a bit because this seems to work better. The instructions will be included as as a link to an adobe file when you click on the block image. I am still debating as to whether it is worthwhile to have an EQ7 download, as the blocks are in the EQ7 library and the names I use are identical, so the only thing you need is the instruction sheet for cutting and that is in the adobe file. You can tell me what format works best for you for these files.
Based on the dies that you have, I would suggest that you use a highlighter pen before you start cutting to highlight the instruction sheet showing each cut you will make.
Based on feedback from readers, I updated the Adobe file for Blocks 1-4 to show exactly which die with the item # from Accuquilt is to be used. I also added some more information about the blocks that I hope will be helpful. Please go back to the download post from earlier this week and redownload the file if it will be helpful to you. The EQ7 file has been updated too. Instead of the text tool, I used set images of the pdf instructions as photos on the quilt worktable. There is one quilt per block. Let me know if you have questions.
Today’s block is called Turnstile Pinwheel and the instructions include both a 12 inch finished block and an 8 inch finished block. I think you’re going to love sewing together these triangles because the shapes are cut so that you can match the pieces end to end and not have to worry about those pointy little dog ends getting hung in the feed dogs of your machine.
Quilting terminology is important, particularly around that quarter inch seam allowance and the finished size verses the cut size. Note that the cut size is 1/2 inch larger than the finished size. The first dies that Accuquilt released were named based on their cut size. The more recent dies have been named based on the finished block size. This has made writing instructions difficult because the names of the dies causes confusion as to whether it is a finished size or a cut size. For that reason, I have added the Item # from the Accuquilt website. This item # is also written on the label on the side of the die. It is in small print, so you may want to take a black Sharpie and write it larger on the side of the die so you can easily see it sitting in the rack.
I will use the standard quilting terminology for squares and triangles and to include the square, half square triangle and quarter square triangle. Examples of the triangles are shown below. As you can see from the images, the half square triangle is a square cut once diagonally from corner to corner and the quarter square triangle is a square cut twice diagonally from corner to corner.