Memorial Day 2012 and Quilts of Valor

This is a particularly special Memorial Day for me as we go into the last lap of the GO! for a Star Quilts of Valor Challenge. I have “met” and become aware of so many quilters who are dedicated to honoring the military service men and women who serve to protect us, our country and our way of life. The Quilts of Valor program is a wonderful way to give back to them.

The Quilt Show blog has a short 18 minute preview video of a public television show that has been made about the Quilts of Valor program. I hope you will be able to watch this video.

And here are the quilts that I have been working on for the last few days. Every minute spent on them has been enjoyable. There is still time for any of you reading this to become a part of this Challenge and to make a single quilt block or several quilt blocks and get them in the mail to Richard and Tink Linhart by May 31. You can find more information here.

This is the quilt made with the Triangle in a Square Accuquilt die(55027).  I had made 12 blocks as I worked with this die, so bordered them with the blue and did a wide sash (3 inches finished) so that the quilt would be large enough. This one still needs binding on it.

This is the split star quilt made with 12 inch blocks. It turned out beautifully and is even prettier in person. 

JaneVille: Stitch Ritual

You just have to see this.  Jane LaFazio does some wonderful art quilts and this one is spectacular. Head on over to JaneVille: Stitch Ritual and take a look at her work. Here’s a sample closeup of the stitching – and there are so many beautiful pictures of this quilt in her post.

Stitch Ritual ~ detail 

My favorite colors of Aurifil thread for quilting

As one of my friends so aptly said, “I’m a thread snob.” Yes, I’ll admit, there’s just no thread like Aurifil. It costs a little more, but in my opinion, is well worth it. I have tried lots of other threads, both cotton and synthetic, and the only other thread that even comes close is 100 wt Silk for quilting–and that’s not a thread I use lightly–no pun intended. Aurifil has a sheen that I haven’t seen in other cotton threads. And it runs like a dream on my longarm with absolutely perfect tension. It isn’t too thick or too thin, it’s just right. In quilting, I use 50 wt Aurifil and buy it on the spools of 1440 yards/1300 meters. While I could get larger cones, it’s nice to have one spool on the machine and one on the bobbin winder.

It’s so hard to decide what color to use on a quilt. There are several things that matter to me. One is a preference for using the same color top and bobbin, however, with Aurifil, sometimes the colors are different and it works just fine. In determining what thread to use on a given quilt, I will pull several lengths of thread off the spool and puddle them on the quilt before making a decision.

I’m going to list my favorite colors and tell you how I use them. I don’t often use dramatic colors for quilting, but subtle colors that enhance the quilting.

Favorite Aurifil colors

Color 2021 is almost white and works on anything that needs white. I like that it’s just almost white because it seems to create a little bit of shadow on a solid white fabric and enhances the quilting.

Color 2715 is a light blue and works beautifully on a lot of blue quilts. There’s enough blue that it isn’t too stark on a dark blue and it’s light enough to look nice on light/white fabrics.

Color 2805 is a light seafoam blue-green which I just purchased but haven’t used yet. Already I know it’s going to be one of my basics. It’s the same intensity as the light blue (2715) and light green (2902), but will be perfect on quilts that are blue-green.

Color 1320 is a medium blue that works well on quilts that have little white in them but lots of different shades of blue. It is definitely a color that completes my blue collection.

Color 2902 is a light sage green and works as beautifully on green quilts as 2715 works on blue quilts. it’s just the right shade of green to blend with almost any dark green, but light enough to look nice on light/white fabrics.

Pinks and purples don’t get as much play on my quilting frame. But the very pale pinkish-lavender–color 2510, and the darker purple–2520, work well for almost any pink and/or purple quilts.

Color 2310 is a very light beige and works great on fabrics that have darks and lights, but not necessarily stark white in them. It is probably the color that I use most.

Color 2314 is a darker beige and is used like 2310 where the “light” fabrics are more of a beige.

Color 2370 is a dark khaki and works great on dark colored quilts. It is one that I use a lot on quilts for men. The khaki color blends with almost any other dark color including dark blues and browns.

Color 2155 is a coppery color and I absolutely love it on green and red Christmas quilts. It blends beautifully with the green and the red.

Color 1135 is a very bright golden yellow. It is great for bright colored quilts and especially baby quilts. It adds a real sparkle to any bright colored quilt.

Color 3920 is a variegated yellow and it works just as beautifully as 1135 on brightly colored quilts.

Color 3817 is basically a primary color variegated and I love it for quilting and machine embroidery. It works great for quilting on brightly colored quilts and for machine embroidery when using the applique stitch on batiks.

Hopefully, I got them all. They seem a bit neutral, and I’m definitely a bright colors girl, but these colors are wonderful for quilting. 

Chisel Die – More Options

Yesterday, I gave you some options for the Chisel Die. I started playing around in Electric Quilt and came up with some more options. The individual block will be shown first, and then the quilt layout from EQ7. Some of these are just positive/negative changes rather than completely different blocks. Play around with this and see what you can create.

Chisel Friendship Star 1 Block
Chisel Friendship Star 1 Quilt
Chisel Friendship Star 2 Block
Chisel Friendship Star 2 quilt
Chisel Whirligig Block, Chisel Pinwheel 2 Block
Chisel Whirligig Quilt
Chisel Pinwheel 2 Quilt
Chisel Pinwheel 1 Block and Chisel Stretched Star Blocks
Chisel Pinwheel 1 Quilt

Chisel Stretched Star Quilt

Making Quilt Binding with Strip Die on the Lengthwise Grain

The best way to make quilt binding is to cut the strips on the lengthwise grain of fabric. The reason is that the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvedge), is less stretchy than the crosswise grain of the fabric.

To cut binding on the Accuquilt GO die cutting system using the strip die, you will need to make two cuts with the rotary cutter and then use the strip die to make the remaining cuts. The advantage of using the die cutting system is that you get very accurate cuts. You will have to make adjustments to the number of strips to be able to use this on the Accuquilt GO Baby.

You can use the chart below to determine how much fabric you will need and the number of strips you will have to cut.

  • The red numbers in the left column red numbers are the length of the binding needed for the quilt.
  • The blue numbers in the top row are the amount of fabric needed for each binding.
  • The black numbers in the rows are the number of strips needed from each amount of fabric.

Continue reading “Making Quilt Binding with Strip Die on the Lengthwise Grain” 

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 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!.








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


Drum Roll—–and we have a winner!

Danita is the winner of the shapes to make a small turtle quilt. My random number generator consists of writing all the names on small pieces of paper, folding them up, shaking them up, and drawing a name. Thank you all for following my blog and Accuquilt.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. 

SewCalGal’s Christmas Quilt Show

Last week I was completely tied up with family, and the same will be true this week. I will try to post some EQ7 blocks this week if I can get up before everyone else in the house for some one on one computer time. I’ll try to keep some information flowing. Last week was not productive for quilting, and I did not finish the things that were to be in the mail today for my brother and his grandchildren. I am just thankful that he is flexible. Last week was a whirlwind and this week is double scheduled.

Today I want you to go to SewCalGal’s blogspot and see her quilt show. It is a great show. I had planned to enter one of my Christmas quilts, but it just wasn’t finished. I have a set of blocks from a panel that I set in red and black and it’s a great quilt. Will finish it and show it here when Thanksgiving is over. But for today, take a look at all the other beautiful quilts.

The other thing to check out on SewCalGal’s blogspot is her tutorial on using EQ7 to design applique blocks using the applique designs from Accuquilt dies.