Squaring Blocks with AccuQuilt Dies – Part 2

In the previous post, the blocks that were squared had two sides that were already “square”. Today, I’ll show you how I squared blocks with a diagonal / half square triangle seam. My go to block for comfort quilts or a quick quilt anytime is the Strip Twist block from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.com. I use jelly roll strips for it or cut strips from fat quarters. The blocks stitch up quickly and the seams always match perfectly. And while it’s a great scrappy quilt, it takes on a whole different look with coordinated colors or set on point. Here’s a single strip twist block.

01 Strip Twist Block

After the success of squaring up square blocks, I decided to see if I could do a block with a half square triangle seam. And it worked great. After stitching these blocks, for whatever reason, are just slightly wonky and no two are exactly the same size. So, I always square them up to the same size.

I used the 10″ square die for the GO! Big for these photos. But I have also squared this up with the 8-1/2″ square die and the GO! cutter.

I used my Square up ruler to measure the block when it was folded on the diagonal seam line and then I transferred those markings to my die using Painter’s tape. With the ruler on the die, I inserted pins in the foam at the end of the diagonal lines on the ruler and then stretched the Painter’s tape from pin to pin.  (Can you see my reflection on the ruler?)

Square up Ruler on Aligned on Die showing placement of Painter's tape.
Square up Ruler Aligned on Die showing placement of Painter’s tape.

Then I carefully laid two blocks folded in half in each corner = 4 layers, Do not press blocks open until after cutting. The diagonal seam is laid exactly on the line of the tape and the corners are centered beyond the blades.  This is what you have after it is cut. This is the easy peasy way to square these blocks.

Squared up Strip Twist blocks.
Squared up Strip Twist blocks.

And while I used the 10″ square die, this works well with the 8-1/2″ die too. It will all depend on your block size. 
 

Brick Tee Lap / Comfort Quilt Tutorial

I want to share one of our favorite brick quilts. Sherry wrote these instructions, and I formatted them into a nice one page handout. One of the things I like best about this pattern is the fabric placement of the bricks. The quilt looks great as a scrappy quilt with careful placement of the solid, neutral, and print fabrics. We used 3-1/2 x 6-1/2″ bricks.

Here’s an EQ version of the quilt in three fabrics:

Brick Tee Quilt in EQ
Brick Tee Quilt in EQ

Instructions (link to pdf)

Overall Size: 42” x 60”
Finished Block Size 6 x 9”

Solid:  36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”

Solid Neutral: 36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”

Print: 36 each 3-1/2 x 6-1/2”

Sashing: 210 inches of 3-1/2” strips sewn together

Binding: 210 inches of 2-1/2” strips sewn together.

Cutting: The bricks for this quilt are easily cut with the AccuQuilt GO! 6-1/2″ strip die (55086) and 3-1/2″ strip die (55032).

Sew two 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 bricks together along the long side. Use one print and one solid (or reads as solid).

Sew another solid/neutral to one side vertical to the seam to make a “T”.

Make 36 patchwork blocks. Note that if you want to keep the print bricks in alternating rows, you will place the “T” brick on the opposite end as you stitch as shown:

BrickTBlock2BrickTBlock1Arrange as shown in picture above, alternating the orientation of patches in every other row. Four patches across make one row. Make 9 rows.Add sashing and binding.

Alternate Option using a Jelly Roll: This can also be made with 2-1/2 x 4-1/2″ bricks using one each 42 piece Jelly Roll of coordinated fabrics and fanfolding those jelly roll strips across the 4-1/2″ AccuQuilt GO! strip die (55054). This would require seven blocks across and ten blocks down for a total of 70 blocks and 210 each 2-1/2 x 4-1/2″ bricks.

Quilt as desired.

 

  
 

Saving a Special Quilt from Fire Damage

On March 28, 2015, my brother’s house was destroyed by fire. And I do mean destroyed–there was almost nothing left. Many things were literally vaporized, never to be seen again. Fortunately, all of the humans and four-legged fur creatures were safe and sound, although my sister-in-law and nephew made it out without even their shoes. Miraculously, some of the many quilts that were made by my grandmother, mother, and myself were salvaged. They were in cedar chests which were scorched on the outside, but the quilts inside survived with minor damage. Those cedar chests were on the top story of this house, which is gone. This is a back view of the house just after the fire.

View from the back-600

 

One of the favorite quilts that I had given them was displayed on a chair in the front entry. It was damaged, but not completely destroyed. And it’s a salvage project that I will work on this summer. There is still fabric in my stash from the original quilt. The quilt aged significantly from the fire and subsequent cleaning, so the fabrics will not match exactly. This is what it looks like now.

Full view of quilt damaged by fire.
Full view of quilt damaged by fire.

There are six blocks on the bottom half of the quilt that survived intact. The goal is to make a wall hanging from those blocks. Because of the damage to the binding, the edges will be trimmed a bit, but the wall hanging may exist with even some of the damage intact.

Here’s a closeup of damage to the binding–and in the full picture, you can see along the sides and bottom edges how the binding is frayed.

binding detail-600

And this is a picture showing the quilting I had done on this quilt. It was all done free-hand on my old Nolting Hobby Quilter.

quilting detail-600

 

And I would like to express my appreciation to the community of support for my brother and his family which has been incredible. I have never seen anything like the level of support they have received from friends, neighbors, and even members of the community they didn’t know very well before.