Winter Bliss Stitch Along

Today Darlene at QuiltShopGal has done the first part of a tutorial on how to use this machine embroidery design set to create a fabric book. Her method uses felt to make the book. It is a much simpler and better method than the way that I have made other fabric books. This is going to be my new go-to method. With nine grandchildren around here, we have quite a few fabric books, and it always amazes me that the older children (the oldest is age 8) love them as much as the little ones. And I love them because they are indestructible and washable.

Here’s a picture of all the blocks in a wall hanging. Hope you can join the stitch along–these are really fun designs and can be used not only as the wall hanging, but as a table runner, placemat, fabric book, and more.

WB Wall-600-72

  
 

Holiday Circles Applique: Tutorial for Table Runner Quilt

It won’t be long until Christmas, and I have been working on some Christmasy embroidery and table runner quilts that will be gifts for my daughters and others. This is such a quick and easy one to do. The embroidery is quick and the table quilt is even quicker. You will find instructions for doing the embroidery at the AccuQuilt blog today. And for the table runner quilt, the instructions are below and there’s a pdf printout that you can download too. I also included some closeups of the embroidery. You will find the design set over at the AccuQuilt website here.

3x3 Wall Hanging

CP-star-cw-smCP-bow-cw-sm

Supplies Needed:

Sewing machine and general sewing supplies for quilting.<\p>
Thread for quilting.
Fabric:
1.5 yards fabric for Plain Blocks, borders, and binding
3/4 yards fabric for Background of Embroidery Blocks
1 yard coordinated fabric for quilt backing
Coordinating fabric for applique shapes as needed
Coordinating thread for machine embroidery
36 x 36 inches cotton or cotton blend batting
Machine Embroidery Supplies:
Stabilizer – see Notes about stabilizer selection in Embroidery Instructions that come with the Machine Embroidery designs.
Coordinating Embroidery Thread

Cutting Instructions:

Quilt Fabric Squares Cut 4 each 6-1/2 inch squares (finished size 6” square)
Setting Triangles Cut 4 each 6-7/8 inch squares. Each of these squares will be cut in half diagonally from corner to corner.

Setting Triangles

Corner Triangles Cut 1 each 7-1/4 inch square. This square will be cut into quarters by cutting diagonally from corner to corner (see diagram).

Corner Triangles

Borders and Binding: Cut 7 each 2-1/2 inch strips across the width of fabric.

For borders, cut 2 each side strips 26 x 2-1/2 inches
For top and bottom borders, cut 2 each strips 29-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches.

Use remainder of 2-1/2 inch strips to make double fold binding.

Background Squares for Machine Embroidery Cut 9 each 8-10 inches square. These will be cut to 6-1/2 inch squares after the embroidery is finished.

Coordinating Fabric for Applique Shapes Select fabric that coordinates with the Quilt Fabric to be used for applique shapes. NOTE: Complete instructions for cutting die shapes is included with the dies, on the AccuQuilt website, and in the Machine Embroidery Instructions.

Quilt Assembly:

Assemble rows as shown in diagram. When rows are complete, stitch rows together to complete the center square.

Quilt Construction

When rows have been stitched into center square, add borders by stitching side borders first, then stitch top borders across.

Border Construction

Layer quilt top, batting and backing and complete the quilting of your table quilt. When quilting is complete, trim away excess batting and backing and finish your quilt by binding it with double fold binding.

CP-star-sat-sm CP-feathers-sat-sm CP-SF-cw-sm 
 

Strip Twist Shortcuts with AccuQuilt Dies

I love Bonnie Hunter’s Strip Twist Quilt which is a free pattern on Quiltville.com. And while getting ready for a presentation to the Foothills Quilter’s Guild, I found an even easier way to make these blocks using my AccuQuilt GO! 8 inch Half Square Triangle die.

I have made this quilt so many times that I can almost do it in my sleep. It looks complicated, but is so very easy. And when the blocks are placed on point, it is a very dramatic quilt. Here are a couple of photos of finished quilts that I have made with this pattern.

IMG_5141

2014-12-27 Strip Twist

Following Bonnie’s instructions for sewing strips together, you will see that she uses four 2 1/2″ strips that are 18-20 inches long and are sewn together for each strip set. These strip sets are then placed right sides together and cut into squares and then cut into half square triangles.

With the 8 inch finished half square triangle die, I was able to cut the half square triangles in one pass on the AccuQuilt Go! cutter so that it saved me a lot of rotary cutting for each square. Not only was it much faster, but the blocks stitched to a consistent size which I had never been able to achieve with rotary cutting.

Here are photos of the process:

1. Layer strip sets on the 8 inch half square triangle die with right sides together and with colors in opposite positions (strip 1 on on bottom layer facing strip 4 on the top layer).  Center strip sets with seams interlocking and strip matching exactly and leaving a small margin on either side of the strip set that will not be cut by the die.

2015-08-23 1200(1)

2. Cut the strip set. You can see in this photo that the triangles have been cut and there is excess fabric cut off only on the end.

2015-08-23 1200(0)

3. Remove triangle sets in pairs as they were cut. You can see from this photo how the block will look when it is sewn.

2015-08-23 1200(2)

 

And this is a photo of the blocks laid out into a quilt top.This looks different from the others because the first and fourth strip of the strip set are both dark. Usually the strip sets are dark light dark light. This and the black and yellow quilt picture above demonstrate the different looks you can get with this pattern just by changing color placement.

2015-08-23 07.51.02 
 

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. 
 

Mr. Potato Head and more

Today’s post is about using the Brother Scan N Cut and novelty fabric motifs. The entire post can be found at a new blog area that I created that is specifically for projects and tutorials using/creating precut shapes and machine embroidery applique. I have added a link on the menu bar to that new blog area for those of you who are interested in machine embroidery, digitizing applique, and have either a die cutting system or one of the electronic cutters like the Silhouette Cameo or Brother Scan n Cut.

Recently I gave a talk at Electric City Quilters Guild in Anderson, SC. One of the members there showed me a beautiful quilt she made for her granddaughter using a Princess novelty fabric. She cut the motifs out and appliqued them onto the blocks. I think this could very loosely be called broderie perse. While the motifs are not fussy cut like real broderie perse, it is a patterned motif appliqued to a background.

On my way home I stopped at Mary Jo’s and happened to see an adorable Mr. Potato Head fabric on the sale table. This was the perfect opportunity to try to fussy cut the motifs with the Brother Scan N Cut.

More . . .

 
 

Log cabin quilts

Recently on the AccuQuilt Facebook group there has been a discussion about log cabin quilts. And particularly about curved log cabins. It’s one of my favorite quilt blocks. I thought I would revisit the curved log cabin with cutting diagrams for 8 inch and 10 inch finished blocks that can be cut with the 1-1/2″ and the 2″ strip cutter dies.

This is a curved log cabin that I made 15 or more years ago–I still love it.

Curved Log Cabin Quilt
Curved Log Cabin Quilt

To create these cutting charts I used EQ software and printed out the rotary cutting instructions. Then I used the text tool to write the cutting instructions on the quilt block set into a one block quilt layout. Click on the image to download the pdf file for the 8″ and the 10″ blocks.

LC-curved-8in finished
8 inch finished curved log cabin block
LC-curved-10in finished
10 inch finished curved log cabin block

A curved log cabin can’t be cut with the log cabin die, so you would need to follow the method shown in this Youtube video.
 
 

Strip Twist on Point

I received a comment from MaryAnn yesterday asking for the pattern for the Strip Twist on Point. My friend Sherry found a picture of this and wanted to make it as a wedding gift for her son. When we googled it, the only pattern that could be found has been out of print for many years. It’s a design I had played with in EQ7 (who says great minds don’t think alike), so we gave it a try and found that it is Bonnie Hunter’s exact Strip Twist pattern but is set on point. Setting it on point is the only change. To get the beautiful color layout, the strips have to be placed exactly with one strip set going from dark to light and the second strip set going from light to dark. When the strip sets are joined into blocks, the layout becomes apparent.

Follow Bonnie’s instructions to the point that the blocks are made. Then create your layout on-point and you will have the beautiful gradations in color.

Here is a diagram of the block layout to help you see how this works.

Strip Twist Block Layout
Strip Twist Block Layout

And this is Sherry’s finished quilt (from her Facebook post) so you can see how she used different widths of strips to get the effect she wanted.

Sherry's Strip Twist
Sherry’s Strip Twist on Point

This photo is from the experiments Sherry and I did in January. You can see that it would have been better to have blocks all the way to the corner (half blocks) rather than plain setting triangles. But it was just an experiment. . .

IMG_5141

I hope this inspires you to go out and make a gorgeous quilt. If you do, please send a picture. 
 

Great Video for Making a Stencil

This is a great video showing how to make a quilting stencil using the Silhouette Cameo. A stencil like this could be used for hand quilting. It would also be a great way to make a stencil for marking for free motion or freehand longarm quilting.

This video is by Margaret Wilburn at her blog “Crazy4Cutters

 
 

A Big Thank You to All

The Quilter’s Giving Bee is closed to donations and now the gifts are being tallied and the prizes are sent to the winners. This is a big shout out to SewCalGal for organizing and sponsoring this great event, the four blogger participants and their organizations, and most of all to all of you who contributed money and/or purchased machine embroidery designs from me as a donation to HopeforHH.org. You will also find a post I wrote on the Craftsy blog for Holiday machine embroidered napkins for those of you who like to do machine embroidery on napkins. And for those of you who just want to use Christmas fabric to make napkins, here’s a link to a great tutorial for Nine Minute Napkins. I love cloth napkins and have loved making them using this tutorial. So many of the tutorials show how to fold the corners and trim, etc. This is so much quicker and easier for me. I also added links to these tutorials in my blog roll links. 
 

Grandmother’s Flower Garden Options

Grandmother’s Flower Garden is a very fun machine embroidery project because it goes so fast. Because of the size of the hexagons, I was able to use jelly roll strips for cutting the hexagons. I just fanfolded the strip across the hexagon die and cut six hexies at a time. (However, the new multi-hexie die came yesterday, so now I can cut more at a time. I hope it works as well with the jelly roll.

I’ll do a full tutorial as soon as I take some pics of the process, but will just explain it here. These are the steps.

1. Hoop fabric and stabilizer. (I used the Sulky Soft n Sheer cut away stabilizer – it is wonderful for light weight stitches for soft quilts). The fabric was hooped on point.

2. Stitch the placement line for the hexies onto the background fabric.

3. Use a glue stick or pen just inside the placement line of each hexie.

4. Place the center hexie first, then add the flower petal hexies. They fit together like a puzzle and go right up to the stitches and each other. You can use a cuticle stick or Purple Thang if needed to manipulate them. The glue softens the fabric and makes it easy to manipulate.

5. Put it back onto your machine and stitch away. The design will stop to use a different color for the center, but I decided I liked having a lighter/contrast center fabric and having the design stitch in the same color as the petals.

As for the design, I tried multiple layouts. My goal was to make the flowers sit together in the same layout as a traditional GFG. The only way I knew to do that was to set the blocks fairly close together on a solid background. After stitching nine flowers, I stopped. I had drawn a grid on the fabric and was aligning each grid on the hoop for each flower. The weight of the fabric was too much. I realized I could get the same effect with blocks set on point, so that’s when I changed to the current layout. Here’s what I have so far.

These blocks will finish at 7″ x 7″. They will be closer together by 1/2″ when the seams are finished. I think I like this. If they’re still too far apart, I may cut them down to finish at 6-1/2 x 6-1/2″. This is one time I don’t mind having an odd sized block if it makes the project work.

IMG_4536

I tried multiple layouts in EQ7 to see what would work. You can see the options below. It was very difficult to get an alternate block with squares an even size when the finished block would be 7″.

gfg 9 patch gfg alt block gfg on point gfg sashed