Are you a quilting geek?

This morning when I opened G+, the first thing I saw was a definition of a “geek”. And based on this definition, there are literally millions of quilting geeks. This definition described my feelings about quilting perfectly. And I suspect the authors never even thought about quilters. Tell me what you think.

Here’s the definition the Explore blog quoted from Joe Hanson:

“Being a geek is all about your own personal level of enthusiasm, not how your level of enthusiasm measures up to others. If you like something so much that a casual mention of it makes your whole being light up like a halogen lamp, if hearing a stranger fondly mention your favorite book or game is instant grounds for friendship, if you have ever found yourself bouncing out of your chair because something you learned blew your mind so hard that you physically could not contain yourself — you are a geek”

from It’s Okay to Be Smart blog by Joe Hanson

And from there, I found an essay by Becky Chambers from The Mary Sue on What It Means To Be A Geek. Here’s a quote from the essay:

“The thing that all geeks have in common (other than carbon) is not what we are interested in, but how we go about consuming our interests. “Consuming” is the perfect word for it, because geeks are rarely a passive audience. We devour our interests. We are driven to know how things work. It isn’t enough for us just to enjoy something. When something piques our interest or elicits an emotional response from us, we have to know why. We have to dissect it, put it under a microscope, and come to understand it on a molecular level. This mental process is the same, regardless of whether we are talking about breaking down narrative structure or sequencing a genome or designing a costume. The impulse to engage with the world in this fashion comes to us instinctively, and allowing ourselves to explore makes us excited. Since a feeling of excitement is initially what spurred us to dig deeper, this means that our interests drive us into this wonderful cycle of bliss in which every detail we uncover makes us even more stoked about the thing that got us so stoked in the first place. The more details there are, the happier we become. This is why we love things like DVD commentaries and roleplaying rulebooks and insanely intricate fanart. We enjoy seeing things that were made by like-minded people. We like making things that require us to be meticulous. We like using our brains, and we like to interact with other people who like using their brains, even if we don’t use our brains for the same things. We can remain interested in a topic or story for decades, even for our whole lives, so long as the details remain enticing. Once we run out of details, we get bored. But that’s okay. There are always new things to get interested in. You will be hard-pressed to find a geek who isn’t currently obsessing over something.

We are, perhaps, the most enthusiastic people on the planet.”

from Essay on What It Means To Be A Geek by Becky Chambers

 
 

Star with Flag Center Quilt Block

This quilt block was sent to me by Colleen over at http://colleens-sewinspired.blogspot.com/. Colleen is a new blogger, but has been a stitcher for many years. She asked for cutting instructions for making this in an 8 inch finished size, but I have also included cutting instructions for the 12 inch finished size. I am not going to include block construction because you can use the Split Star instructions for making this block. The only difference is the center unit – one is a flag and the other is a half square triangle.

Click on the image below to access the adobe pdf file with cutting instructions.

  
 

Happy Day – and such a nice compliment

Yesterday I got an email from Kath Garvey with a Sunshine Award. And she said some very nice things about my efforts and the machine embroidery I digitize. So, a big Thank You to Kath. This reminds me of the “pay it forward” mantra, and it helps all of us find other quilters and blogs to follow. I’m supposed to nominate five other quilters/blogs — can I limit it to 5?

This is how the Sunshine award works. When one receives this award from a fellow quilter/blogger, the request is to accept and name five other quilters/bloggers that you would like to present with the award.The nominated blogger thanks the person who nominated them, shares something about themselves, spreads the joy by nominating fellow bloggers and friends, and then tell each nominated blogger that they have been nominated.

A little about myself: I am a retired clinical researcher. My area of expertise is nutrition, and it was a very rewarding career. All those years were spent teaching and training medical, graduate, and post-graduate students and fellows how to conduct clinical research. And I suppose that is why I do what I do with quilting and sewing. For me, it’s a lot of fun to find new and better ways to do what we do. Other things you might not know about me are that my husband and I spent many years playing co-rec softball in a local league. Although I am no longer playing, he continues to coach a team and play. I am the team’s biggest cheerleader. My sport of choice these days is swimming – I love the long hours in the pool swimming laps and thinking about my next quilting project. It’s a form of meditation for me.

Since I am focusing on Quilts of Valor for all of April and May, I am going to send awards to those who are blogging and supporting Quilts of Valor. This is very difficult to only name five.

Gene Black at Gene Black An Alabama Artist and Quilter is my first Nominee. Gene is a wonderful artist in his own right. And then he is a wonderful quilter. I learn something everytime I read his blog – and feel as if I’ve been to an art museum when he posts his paintings. Please stop by and visit. The more you read, the more you will love his work. Gene participated in the Quilts of Valor blog hop. His tutorial was original and a wonderful quilt.

Rhonda at Ravelly1-QuiltzBlog is my second Nominee. Rhonda is also a teacher and does quite a lot of different quilts. She has already shipped her QOV entry. She makes some very beautiful and unique quilts. You will love her work.

Judy at SewFunQuilts is the third Nominee. Judy has so much energy and the most wonderful sense of color. She not only makes beautiful quilts, but provides pre-cut fabric for quilters who need a little bit of help with time management. Who said we can’t do it all? Judy helps us all prove that we can! For the Quilts of Valor project, Judy has stars available at a very nominal cost for those who would like to use pre-cut applique stars.

Alycia at http://alyciaquilts.blogspot.com/ is my fourth Nominee. I do not know Alycia, but have been following her for several years now. She is one amazing woman and a hero in the Quilts of Valor campaign. Go and visit and you will know why she deserves this award.

Barb at Bejeweled Quilts by Barb is also an artist, and she makes patterns from her wonderful quilt designs. Every trip to her blog is a quilt show. Her designs are so refreshing and delightful. This is her tutorial for the QOV blog hop.

 

 

 

 

  
 

Great quilt finish for the QOV Challenge

This is such a wonderful quilt design – it looks so happy and fun. I love the wonky blocks and the way she added the stars. They really give it that extra pizzazz. It’s from Rhonda over at Ravelly1’s Farm. Rhonda is a great quilter with some fun projects going. Here’s a photo of her Quilt of Valor that has already been shipped to Dick and Tink Linhart. I talked to Tink earlier, and the package got to her safe and sound. Yay Rhonda!

  
 

GO! for a Star Quilts of Valor Challenge Giveaway Page Update

It’s a very rainy day here in North Carolina, and I’m getting ready to drive across the state to visit my Mom. Will be coming back early in the morning to get back in time to help with doctor appointments for the children and grandchildren. It’s a quick trip, but my Mom has been calling me three times a day since Thursday asking me when I’m coming to visit. I was just there a week ago, but not sure she remembers. ‘

I updated the giveaway page — can’t believe I hadn’t done that, but there are some great prizes for the winners of this Challenge — besides feeling really good about doing something for someone else.

The Baby GO and five dies is one of the prizes:

Aurifil thread

 

 

And a magazine subscription:

Plus a lot of other great goodies.

 We’ve had a finish of a great quilt – I’ll show you tomorrow. And I have been working on my blocks too. 
 

Petal Sue by Judy Danz

I am soooo excited. Judy has digitized a beautiful addition to Sunbonnet Sue using the Dresden Plate Accuquilt GO die. It is pieced in the hoop and really is stunning. The little details that Judy has added are wonderful. It is in the shop with a great introductory price, and I think you’re going to love it. I don’t have the Dresden plate die, but I’m going to order it. Until my die comes, Judy has included the shapes, so I can cut the petals with scissors to try it out. This will make a lovely quilt for my younger granddaughter to match the one I made for my older granddaughter. Click on PetalSue for a preview:

 Petal Sue

  
 

Split Star Tutorial

Still working on that t-shirt quilt — but found a little time to cut and stitch this block. The pictures and instructions are below. You can find the adobe pdf version of the instructions here.  

Errata: On the original post, the D block was the wrong size. It has been corrected in both the adobe document as well as on this post. I apologize for the error.

Split Star Block

Cutting Instructions

Unit

Accuquilt GO Instructions

Rotary Instructions

Light

Medium Light

Red

Blue

A

Die # 55009

GO! 3” Finished Half Square Triangle

Cut 3-7/8” square and cut each square diagonally to make 2 triangles

2

2

4

4

B

Die # 55002

GO! Triangle -4-7/8”

Cut 7-1/4” square and cut each square diagonally from left to right and from right to left to make 4 triangles

2

2

0

0

C

Die # 55006

GO! 3-1/2” Square

OR

cut 3-1/2” strips with GO 3-1/2” strip cutter (55032); then rotate 90 degrees and subcut into 3-1/2” squares

Cut 3-1/2” squares

1

1

0

0

D

Die 55001

GO! 6” Finished Half Square Triangle

Cut 6-7/8” square and cut each square diagonally to make 2 triangles

0

0

1

1

 

 

Step 1: Stitch 2 background triangle units

 

Step 2: Stitch flying geese units, 2 red and 2 blue

 
 

Step 3: Stitch center triangle

 

Step 4: Stitch top and bottom rows together

 

 

Step 5: Stitch middle row together

 

Step 6: Stitch rows together.

 

  
 

Split Stars

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.

12 inch finished block

 

Quilt finished size is 60″ x 72″

 
 

The best laid plans. . .

Yesterday seemed like a great day to stitch away– and I was having a great time and getting a lot done until almost noon. Ted and I were babysitting for one of the new little grandsons. The baby got a little fussy, so grandma grandly takes over – and that is when all stitching ceased. He is so adorable, and I could rock him all day long. Not long after that, his Mom picked up the little girls from school. They came over to play and somehow the rest of the day got away from us.

But I did work on a little digitizing the past couple of days. I have been working on the GO! Home by Stacy Michell. I still have a ways to go with arranging the elements on the block, but I think it’s getting there.

While I was distracted with the grandchildren, I left my embroidery machine to stitch away by itself. It somehow got stuck in one spot – there was a knot in the bobbin thread – and the machine had stopped itself when I got back. But when I walked into the room, the screen on the machine was blank – I almost had a heart attack – what would I do if something happened to my machine?!?!?!? 
 

Connected Stars – Tutorial

With all this cold weather, it’s nice to be inside and working on a quilt pattern. Today’s tutorial is for the Connected Stars Quilt that would be a great one to make for a QOV. And you will see that it can be made with pieced or appliqued stars. I have used Ebony’s EDeN™ cutting system. There are instructions at the bottom of the table to help you understand it as well as complete cutting instructions and die numbers in the table too.

Found an error from the table yesterday, so have corrected it on that image and also in the table today. The error was in Unit B which should be a rectangle cut 6 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. Somehow, in the stream of things, I wrote 8 instead of 6.

Hope you enjoy!

 

Click HERE for a Printable Copy of these Instructions

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS

Unit #

# Units Needed

Unit*

Accuquilt GO! Die

Cutting Instruction

Notes

A

28

SQ-4

55054

or

Cut 3 each 4 ½” x WOF using the 4 ½” strip cutter, then rotate 90 degrees and subcut into 4 ½” squares

55060

or

Cut strips 10” x WOF for use with the GO! Square 4 ½” Multiples

55018

Cut strips 5” x WOF for use with the GO! Value Die

B

24

REC-6×3

55032

Cut 2 each 6 ½” x WOF using a rotary cutter, then fanfold across the 3 ½” strip cutter

C

24

REC-12×3

55032

Cut 2 each 12 ½” x WOF using a rotary cutter, then fanfold across the 3 ½” strip cutter

D

32

SQ-4

55054

or

Cut 4 each 4 ½” x WOF using the 4 1/2” strip cutter (55054), then rotate 90 degrees and subcut into 4 ½” squares

55060

or

Cut strips 10” x WOF for use with the GO! Square 4 ½” Multiples

55018

Cut strips 5” x WOF for use with the GO! Value Die

E

10

REC-12×4

55054

Cut 2 each 12 ½” x WOF using a rotary cutter, then fanfold across the 4 ½” strip cutter. Save leftover fabric from the second strip to cut the last F piece below.

F

10

REC-8×4

55054

Cut 1 each 8 ½” x WOF using a rotary cutter, then fanfold across the 4 ½” strip cutter (55054). Use the leftover fabric from the E cuts to make the last piece in this set.

Border

290 inches

3” finished

55032

To cut border on lengthwise grain: Cut 30 inches across the width of fabric. Fanfold this across the 3 ½”  strip cutter and make 10-11 strips.To cut border on crosswise grain: Cut 30 inches across the width of fabric. Cut 8 strips across the width of fabric.Piece these strips together on the diagonal to make one continuous border strip.

Binding

290 inches

1 ½”cut

55014 or 55017

To cut binding on crosswise grain: Cut 22 inches across the width of fabric. Cut 8 strips across the width of fabric.

*using the EDeN™ Cutting Nomenclature

SQ = square

REC = rectangle

all measurements are given in finished sizes so ½” should be added for ¼” seam allowances on each side.

 

 

 

Block and Quilt Construction

You will need 12 pieced or appliquéd 6 ½” blocks (finished size will be 6”.    
Step 1: Stitch unit B to either side of your pieced blocks.  
Step 2: Stitch unit C to the top and bottom of your pieced blocks. You will have 12 completed blocks.  
Step 3: Piece 16 sashing strips
Step 4: Piece sashing rows
Step 5: Piece blocks and sashing rows together.
Step 6: Sew block rows and sashing rows together to complete quilt top.
Step 7: Borders Lay completed quilt top (minus borders) out flat and measure from top to bottom through the center of the quilt. Use this measurement length to cut the two side borders for the quilt. Laying the quilt out flat, pin the borders to the side edges, easing in any fullness as needed. Stitch the borders to the sides of the quilt with a ¼” seam. Press seams in the direction of the border.Lay quilt top with the side borders out flat and measure from side to side through the center of the quilt. Use this measurement length to cut the top and bottom borders for the quilt. Laying the quilt out flat, pin the borders to the top and bottom edges, easing in fullness as needed. Stitch the borders to the top and bottom edges of the quilt with a ¼” seam. Press the seams in the direction of the border.
Step 8: Quilt as desired
Step 9: Bind.