The butterfly quilt that I made is on the cover of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. I am tickled pink. It was fun to make and I’ve been in love with those butterflies for a very long time. Here’s a link to the cover.
AccuQuilt has published a recent blog post I wrote showing the door banners that I made using holiday applique with the new Pickup Truck die and the Gingerbread Cookies and their decorations. These were a lot of fun and so quick and easy to make. Depending on the applique shapes, one can make them any size needed. Without the letters, they would make great banners for inside doors or they could be made with names on them to hang on individual bedroom doors. I love the removable hangers that have the stick-on and easy pull-off adhesive.
Over Thanksgiving weekend I quilted a Christmas quilt gift for Sherry’s granddaughter. Sherry made matching quilts for the little girl and her baby doll. They are just perfect – and the quilting is a design that I love. It is the Be Mine digital edge to edge by Patricia E. Ritter and Leisha Farnsworth of Urbanelementz.
This is the baby doll quilt:
And this is the little girl quilt. I took this photo just before taking it off the quilt frame.
And Ted is much better. He still has a low-grade fever, but it is definitely not COVID so that is good news. He is corresponding with the doctor regarding some lab tests and an antibiotic so life will be back to normal soon.
We had birthdays over the weekend. Ted is a day younger than me. Our grandchildren in Cincinnati called to wish us a Happy Birthday. We had the longest conversation with the 3 and 6 year olds. They were so excited about their Christmas decorations. They got to help set up the Nativity scene and reassured us that they had added a little Santa, three gnomes, a chick, and a bird for baby Jesus.
Happy end of Thanksgiving weekend to all. It was so busy here with five grandchildren that we didn’t take pictures, but we had a wonderful time. It is so nice that during this Covid pandemic that we can see the local grandchildren because they have remained as isolated as we have. Our duties with virtual school for Ezri require that both they and we maintain our distance from the rest of the world as best we can.
I wrote on Facebook that “one of the best things about being a grandma is being able to tell the 5-year old who is worriedly scrubbing the glob of cherry pie off the white tablecloth with her napkin that she doesn’t need to worry about it, Grandma can wash it out just fine and it won’t hurt the tablecloth at all.” And I did wash that tablecloth and there wasn’t a hint of cherry pie left.
Now to quilting – last summer I made a couple of Jelly Roll Race (JRR) quilts for charity. We usually use a 42 strip jelly roll and can make two quilts with wide borders for them. In getting these ready to quilt, I realized that they did not meet the 42 x 62″ measurement that we use for comfort/charity quilts. In thinking about ways to lengthen this quilt, it reminded me of what I had seen on Pinterest showing blocks placed at the top of JRR quilts. Thus, a search of the orphan block bin ensued to see what I could find.
These stars are left over from a quilt I designed for AccuQuilt called “Star Surprise.”
And sure enough, these star blocks are perfect to lenthen the quilt to 42 x 64″. To match the inner width of the jelly roll strips I needed 32-1/2″ and the blocks are 6″ finished. So the width needed between the blocks was a total of 8-1/2″ which doesn’t work out to an even number. I started with 3″ between the outer blocks and that left 2-1/2″ to use between the inner blocks. A 2-1/2″ sash between the jelly roll strips and the stars was added and also the top border was stitched onto the top of the stars.
And suddenly our lives have a minor complication. Yesterday Ted said in the morning that he had been achy all night and then about 11 am he was cold and decided to take a nap. This was so unusual. I was working on a quilt project upstairs and when I came back down an hour later, he was in bed with fever and chills. This has really scared me as we have stayed isolated and one wonders how one could be sick with anything at all. Anyway, he had fever the rest of the day and during the night. Will likely take him to urgent care today to find out what is wrong with him. He does not have symptoms of Covid, so must be an infection of some sort.
Ezri and I have been working on this quilt for awhile. It started with a big bag of 2-1/2″ squares cut from scraps that became a lot of 4-patches. And then when we had no ideas for the 4-patches, we sewed them together into 16-patch blocks that looked like this.
We added a 2-1/2″ strip on two sides to make it a 10″ block. When stitched together, the quilt looks like this. It is pretty big – 60 x 80″ now and will be more with borders.
Ezri stitched four blocks together and then Sherry Gray came along and stitched the four block units together into this quilt. I am going to add borders and quilt it over this Thanksgiving weekend.
One of the favorite quilts we make around here is made with a 3″ x 6″ finished brick with 1-1/2″ strips on either side for a finished 6″ block. And it is entirely possible this has been the subject of a previous blog post. If so, it’s worth showing it again as many may be making Christmas quilts or comfort quilts for the needy over the holidays.
This is also the quilt I have used for teaching my grandchildren to quilt. It can be sized any direction, works great for novelty prints for children’s and theme quilts.
The rotary cutting instructions for the blocks are as follows. This can also be cut with the AccuQuilt 2″ strip cutter, the 6-1/2″ strip die, and/or the 3″ x 6″ finished rectangle die.
This is the diagram for the quilt layout as well as the cutting instructions for a 42″ x 60″ quilt without borders.
This is a picture of the quilt using a dark strip. This also makes a beautiful quilt. The quilts pictured in this blog post were made by Sherry Gray.
One of my most favorite fabric collections has been the Tuscany batiks by Robert Kaufman. I had quite a bit of it, some yardage but mostly jelly rolls, layer cakes and fat quarters. And it has been used it many ways. One was a blog post that I did for AccuQuilt in 2017 using the Elevate Angles block. Aren’t the colors rich and beautiful. I actually made two of these quilts and gave one to my brother-in-law during the time my sister was in the hospital.
Another is this gorgeous Hunter’ss Star quilt that I recently finished:
Being down to the last bits of this, the decision was made to cut it into a scrappy Double Irish Chain quilt. Thus, I want to share with you the way I sometimes make strip sets. This is not the best way for every situation, but works well for the scrappy Double Irish Chain quilt. This is a similar process as the recent post about a way to make quick work of 4-patch units.
This is the double Irish chain block. As you can see there will be three separate strip sets.
When making strip sets with jelly rolls, one of the things that happens is that the ends never match. In addition, while one should stitch from one end and then the other to keep the strip set from “bowing”, that just exacerbates the problem of ends matching and there is a fair amount of waste on either end in my experience. In addition, pressing a long strip set presents its own set of issues, and pressing is my middle name.
My solution to this is to precut the strips to a width that will fit the strip die that will be used for cutting the final subunits of the block. For a 2-1/2″ strip die, that width is 8-1/2″. The 8-1/2″ square die works perfectly for this. You can see that my die has been used a lot and for many different purposes based on the marks and tape.
This may seem like extra work, but actually it is six of one and a half dozen of the other, as the strip sets have to be cut to 8-1/2″ sooner or later if they are to be cut into subunits using the 2-1/2″ strip die.
This works to cut both width of fabric (WOF) strips like Jelly Roll strips and for strips cut from Fat Quarters (FQs). Here WOF strips are layered to be cut. The extra fabric from the WOF strips is saved to be cut into 2-1/2″ squares for making scrappy 4-patch subunits.
Here strips cut from fat quarters are layered. The fat quarter strips were cut with the 2-1/2″ strip die on the 18″ width of the fat quarter. As 8-1/2 x 2 = 17, the fat quarter strips folded in half just fit the 8-1/2″ square die.
And then these precut strips can be stitched into strip sets that work beautifully, especially for a scrappy layout, and fit perfectly on the 2-1/2″ strip die for cutting the block subunit rows. And it is much, much easier to press a shorter strip set than a longer one.
Finally, the strip set is cut into subunits with the 2-1/2″ strip die.
And just think – if you can cut strip sets using the 8-1/2″ die, you can cut jelly roll strips into rectangles that are exactly the size you want using the 6-1/2″ square die from the 12″ Qube and the 4-1/2″ die from the 8″ Qube.
One of my favorite quilts is a Jewel Box Quilt and one only has to do an internet search for Jewel Box Quilt to find many, many beautiful quilts. The scrappy quilts are Jewel Boxes, but also wonderful are the ones done in coordinated colorways.
Sometimes the inspiration for a quilt is the fabric one has and for some reason (maybe four granddaughters) I have collected a fair amount of pink fabric including an entire bolt of Riley Blake Bee Basics pink plus another large piece of Riley Blake Crayola pink. Thus, the inspiration for a Jewel Box Quilt came my way.
This is the typical piecing configuration for the Jewel Box Block and can be found in the AccuQuilt Library as Block PQ10554:
Playing around with this in EQ, this is how this block appears in a quilt:
However, as I began to work making four patches and half square triangles with my pink fabric, I found that I had four of the same fabric together in the corners as you can see with the dark green and dark blue in the layout above. And when I mixed the lighter pinks into the four patches to get a mixture in the corners, the chain effect created by the 4-patch subunits was completely washed out. I went back to the drawing board.
As it turned out, the two pinks mixed nicely with the triangles and the darker pink worked much better to create the chain effect. And to get a nicer chain effect so that the solid square in the middle balanced the triangles, sashing and cornerstones were added. In the end, the original design was made into two separate blocks – one with squares and one with triangles as seen below.
This is still a work in progress, but so far I am pleased with it.
Uneven 9-Patch Block:
Work in Progress:
This is one of my favorite quilts. The fabric I used came from my Mother. She always wanted to make a Scottie dog quilt. She had this little one yard or maybe a little more blue fabric and in making this quilt, I used every last scrap of it. But when it was time to bind it, there wasn’t enough fabric. Amazingly, I found a perfect blue (from Mother’s stash that I inherited) to match the blue in the Scottie dog fabric.
I used the AccuQuilt GO! 8″ and 12″ Qubes to make this quilt, but you can use individual dies or rotary cutting.
Connector Block Cutting Instructions
2″ Finished Square (Cut 48 black dot, cut 48 light blue)
- Shape 2 – AccuQuilt GO! 8″ Qube
- Rotary Cut 2-1/2″ square
4″ Finished Square (Cut 24 light blue, cut 6 medium blue)
- Shape 1 – AccuQuilt GO! 8″ Qube or
- Rotary cut 4-1/2″ square
Applique Block Cutting Instructions
6″ Finished Half Square Triangle (cut 24 light blue)
- Shape 3 – AccuQuilt GO! 12″ Qube or
- Rotary cut 6-7/8″ Square and cut once diagonally to make two finished 6″ HSTs
6″ Finished Quarter Square Triangle (cut 24 black dot)
- Shape 4 – AccuQuilt GO! 12″ Qube or
- Rotary cut 7-3/16″ square and cut twice diagonally to make 4 finished 6″ QSTs
6″ Finished Square for embroidery (cut 6 light blue)
- Rotary cut 8″ square, then complete applique embroidery and cut to 6-1/2″ square centering embroidery in square
- Use machine embroidery designs: Scottie Dog Embroidery by Marjorie Busby
Border Cutting Instructions
- Inner Border – cut 5 strips 2-1/2″ x WOF (width of fabric)
- Outer Border – cut 6 strips 3-1/2″ x WOF
- Binding – cut 6 strips 2-1/2″ x WOF
Quilt Layout and Construction
A lot has changed around here. We started an addition to our house in May, and it is now complete. School started in August as a virtual school only. With five grandchildren here in town and all in school, we have taken on the job of working with our oldest granddaughter in the 8th grade. She has some special needs because of the four brain surgeries she had as a toddler.
I told you yesterday that I had used the Comfort Quilt that Barbara designed to make a bed quilt. Our house addition was a downstairs master bedroom and while there are lots of quilts all over the house, they are not bed size quilts. With a new bed downstairs, there was an urgent need for a quilt for the bed. I decided to do something that I thought would be easy, but that turned out not to be the case.
The quilt was sized to comfortably fit a queen size bed without going all the way to the floor. I laid out the top and it seemed just perfect. I had a King Size wool quilt batting which I love for bed quilts – warm in winter and cool in summer so I used that when I quilted it. When it was finished, I threw it in the washer and dryer to soften it up.
What a surprise when it came out ten inches shorter and narrower than when I put it in. I have used wool batting in the past and this never happened. I don’t know if this was a different brand from my past batting as I don’t make many bed quilts. I still love wool batting, but will have to figure out how to shrink it before quilting next time.
The quilt is beautiful – just too small to be comfortable for sleeping – although we’re using it until I can make a quilt that fits. I am sure this one will fit a standard double bed perfectly.
This is the quilt and you can see that the drop is just not enough to be comfortable.