Quilts of Valor

My quilt of valor was shipped yesterday. I sent one quilt top + binding and seven orphan blocks from a BOM that I started a long time ago. Here’s a photo of the top I sent. It used the star embroidery blocks that I worked on last week. Now, I want to make another one of these.

 
 

Accuquilt GO Crazy Patch Hearts

It occurred to me that perhaps I could make a crumb block and then cut it with my Accuquilt GO die and have a crazy patch applique block. So — I did.  It was so easy.

I just put a few crumbs together,

ran them through the Accuquilt GO with the large heart die,

stitched a die line onto the background fabric with the embroidery machine,

glued the heart to the background with Elmer’s purple school glue stick,

put it back on the embroidery machine for the applique stitches,

removed the tearaway stabilizer and pressed

— and voila! really cute heart blocks!

 

 
 

More Crumb Quilts – Post #2

This is a followup to the post last week about Sherry’s Crumb Quilts that she has been making. There is a great tutorial by Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.com on making Crumb Quilts. I also got a great email from Sue in Scottsdale, AZ showing me some of her crumb quilts. I’m going to share Sue’s quilts and her tutorial comments today. Sue has even more photos at her Flickr photo gallery.

Thank you Sue for this great information.

From Sue:

When I make my crumbs, I start with really tiny pieces. I use anything that is bigger than about ¾ inch in all directions. I usually chain piece so I am working on anywhere from 10 to 15 blocks at a time. When I get enough “blocks” started, I take them to the ironing board and press my seams. I then trim the seams so I don’t have any extra bulk – many of the pieces I use don’t match up exactly but I don’t really care. I then start the next round and keep going around like this until I get to a point where the block is big enough to square up. I usually make my blocks 5 inches unfinished (4½ inches finished). When I trim my blocks, I use whatever is cut off to start my next blocks. If the scraps are really tiny, I throw them into a bag and give to my friend who uses them to stuff pillows for the no-kill shelter in the area. We don’t waste anything!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Quilts of Valor (QOV) Quilt Block Challenge Deadline Extended to June 25

Just wanted to let everyone know that this challenge has been extended. Whew!! I have been working as hard as I could to finish 30 blocks to send. They are done – but now with the deadline extension, I can put them together into a quilt top. Here’s the original post regarding the Challenge and the prizes to be awarded.

As a part of the challenge, I digitized the Accuquilt Star die so that I could make applique stars on each block. I also added the stars to mymachine embroidery store so that others can enjoy them too.  Here are some pictures of the embroidery. I love the blocks – I used an ivory Kona cotton which is almost a light tan and the navy blue and red look great on that background. It doesn’t show up in the pictures, but trust me, it’s really pretty. Maybe when I get the top together and take a photo, you can see it better. Here’s a preview:

 
 

QOV Quilt Block Challenge

I was just catching up on blogs today and saw that there’s a Quilts of Valor (QOV) Quilt Block Challenge over on SewCalGal’s blog. The deadline is Monday, June 20 – so I’m a little late to the party. But not too late to enter the challenge and contribute some blocks. The blocks can be pieced, appliqued, or other techniques. They do have to be 12 1/2 inches square. So browse on over and see if you have some orphan blocks that will work – or if you’d like to make some new ones. 
 

Rail Fence Quilt Instructions

Recently someone asked for instructions for a rail fence quilt. This is a great quilt for both beginners and long time quilters; and it’s one of my favorites. Sherry Gray just finished a beautiful purple one to be given as a comfort quilt,  and we were so inspired that we got together and wrote these instructions. Just click on the Free Stuff link above and scroll down to the Rail Fence Quilt Instructions link. Please enjoy them and share.

The instructions I have written have directions for cutting with the Accuquilt GO cutter as well as rotary cutting instructions.

Rail fence blocks have many variations. They may have three or four ‘rails’ and the rails may be the same size or different sizes. Here are some examples that I created in EQ7.

Rail Fence Block with Even Strips

 

 

Rail Fence Block with Uneven Strips

 

 

Rail Fence Block with Four Strips
 
 

Sherry’s Crumb Blocks

My friend, Sherry Gray, sent an email yesterday saying she had just finished her crumb block quilt. She is committed to making comfort (charity) quilts and is one of the most prolific piecers I have ever met. I’m not sure where she came across the crumb block concept, but she loves it. I asked her to describe how she makes the blocks and will use her description below.

Crumb Blocks in Progress

From Sherry:  I made this quilt because the price of fabric has gone so high and it’s a good way to make a comfort quilt without buying too much fabric. Now that I know how to make a crumb block, I have my little pieces organized somewhat by size so I can just whip out one or two blocks a week without having to make all the blocks at once. Then all that will be left is sashing and a border.

I start with two small pieces, because the seams grow longer as you add pieces around the center. Ideally, it works best if you wind up with a block with more than four sides because you have shorter seams. Generally, after a seam is made I angle the block and make a straight cut, then add another scrap, or cut-off piece from the previous block I made. When the edges get long, and I can’t add more scrappy block pieces, I add a 2-1/2  or 3-1/2 inch strip. That strip is cut when the block is sized, and you then have a scrappy start to the next block.

I did not do foundation piecing, but I did press the seams as I went. The first blocks I made didn’t seem to be turning out the way I thought they would, so I cut them up and reused them!  (You can see some of the cut up blocks in the closeup of the blocks above) The scrappy blocks are 6 1/2 finished and the sashing is 1″ finished.

Closeup of Piecing


Finished Crumb Quilt

  
 

Birthday Party

Ezri’s little sister, Kes, had a birthday last week. She was the big “3” and so proud of it. She was treated to a fun pool party on Saturday. The weather is so hot here that even the water in the kiddie pool feels like bath water–but it’s wet and it’s outdoors. Here are some pictures. Ezri is very proud of her little sister. She gave Kes a hug and said “You are my big girl!” I wonder where she’s heard that 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

And at the end of the day, even a three year old is a little tired –

 

  
 

Machine Embroidery Using Die Cut Applique

I’ve been having so much fun doing machine embroidery using die cut appliques. It makes the dies so much more usable because you can get a project up and going in no time at all. I have digitized a lot of the Accuquilt dies, but the ones I’ve been playing with this week are the Critters die, the Fun Flower die,  and the Holiday Medley die.

Using die cuts is the best way I have found to do machine embroidery applique. I have tried stitching the fabric down and cutting around it as well as cutting the applique shape by hand. Neither way has been satisfactory to me. Die cuts are the cat’s pajamas!

Another option you can consider is that you can use Elmer’s school glue stick (the purple stuff) on the base fabric just inside the die line and fit the appliqué shape onto that and then press that with the mini-iron.

Here’s the quilt top that is almost finished:

Closeup of Critters and Flowers

 

Notice that for most of the appliqué that I do, I only use one color thread – that makes it easy to stitch – but it’s a way of showing off and enhancing the appliqué shape and the fabric.

And here’s a closeup:

Butterfly

 

 

Fun Flower

 

 

And a pic-tutorial showing how I did these – it’s so easy and fun.

Notice that I ventured into Christmas!

Stitch the Die Line onto the Base Block

 

Fit the die cut applique onto the die lines

 

Fuse appliqué shape into place using small iron

 

And a completed Christmas Tree

 

Holly Leaves

 

And here’s the Christmas quilt I’m going to make with the holiday medley die:

EQ Christmas Quilt using Holiday Medley Die