Quilter’s Bee Giving – Countdown to Dec 15

This is just a reminder that there are only five more days to give to four good causes and at the same time, you can win prizes or place a bid at the auction. This is also a reminder that there are only five more days for the 30% off, 30% to Quilter’s Bee Giving at my embroidery shop. You can pick up some beautiful machine embroidery designs at a very good discount and give to a worthy charity at the same time. Be sure to enter the code: SALE in the cart at checkout for your discount.

Just to entice your appetite for machine embroidery, here are some pics of recent designs:

gfg01 600(2) santa-sleigh SF2 sat 600 home-collage hollyx3 600


Shadowed Rail Fence Variation

Sherry has taken some scraps and made a wonderful variation on the Rail Fence. It is a beautiful design, so I am going to show you pictures and do a brief tutorial on putting the block together. The instructions are linked under Free Quilt Patterns on the right.

Here’s the finished quilt:

Shadow Rail Fence quiltShadowed Modified Rail Fence

And this is the block with cutting instructions. You can cut with a rotary cutter or use your AccuQuilt strip dies. If you use the AccuQuilt strip dies, use the 3-1/2″, 2-1/2″, and 1-1/2″. You would cut 6-1/2″ across the width of fabric and then fanfold the fabric across the die:

SRF Block Cut Instr.

Arrange your blocks as shown here or in the instructions–or play around with it and come up with your own design. These would look great set on point or in a pinwheel or converging to a center. In EQ, I played with the colors and switched the light and medium. That’s really pretty too.

Shadow Rail Fence EQ


Quilter’s Bee Giving Kickoff

Today is November 1 and the first day of the Quilter’s Bee Giving Kickoff which will run through the month of November. SewCalGal has organized this fundraiser to raise awareness and support for four different charities. We are honored that she has selected HopeforHH.org as one of those charities. This fundraiser will be a raffle with tickets at $1.00 each for some wonderful prizes.

I’d like to tell you a little about HopeforHH.org, and the reason I am so involved with it. Our granddaughter, Ezri, was born with a very large and very rare brain tumor called a hypothalamic hamartoma. It was so rare that we had never even heard of it although both my husband and I were on the faculty of the medical school for more than 20 years. And not only had we not heard of it, neither had most of the doctors. And if they did know what it was, they had never had a patient with it. This tumor is located very deep in the brain and is attached to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a control center for many things including emotions, thirst, hormone levels, temperature regulation, and other functions.

The primary symptoms of this tumor are gelastic (laughing) and dacrystic (crying) seizures and precocious puberty. These seizures are so subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) that parents often go years believing that their children are just behaving inappropriately. However, the precocious puberty cannot be mistaken and frequently is the reason children are first diagnosed. Left untreated, the seizures will progress to more serious complex and tonic clonic seizures and cognitive function becomes very impaired. Nothing is more devastating than to see a child born with normal intelligence and function decline in this way.

HopeforHH.org is a volunteer based nonprofit organization founded by parents of children with hypothalamic hamartomas (HH).  Our goal is to create a single, credible source for information about the diagnosis, treatment, and support of individuals with HH. Every family touched by this rare disorder has a unique and often heart-breaking story of how they attained a correct diagnosis. Obtaining a correct diagnosis can take months and even years and often involves incorrect diagnoses. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, many families struggle with choosing an appropriate course of treatment, if one is even available. Regardless of treatment, managing the daily lives of HH patients and dealing with the long term and frequently devastating effects of HH requires ongoing information and support.”

You can read about the many efforts of this organization which include hosting a website to centralize information and provide a community forum for families; and organizing and co-sponsoring meetings which included webinar facilities so that physicians and families from around the world can participate and discuss hypothalamic hamartoma. The organization has a Medical Advisory Board of physicians from around the world who meet and advise the volunteer Board as to ways to further the purpose of the organization.

All funds that are donated go to sponsor these activities as all personnel are volunteers. In the coming weeks, I will share with you some very inspiring stories of ways this organization and the physicians who support it have made a huge difference in the lives of affected children and their families. 

Patience Corners for Quilt Angels

This weekend I started working on my quilt for the Quilt Angels project. After contemplating several ideas for a quilt that would work for a teenager as well as for a boy or a girl, I made a decision and chose the Patience Corners quilt. This may not be the correct name for this quilt, but that is what my Mother always called this design that is offset with sashing on two sides. Here’s what was accomplished this weekend.

These 5 inch blocks have been collecting in The Stash for some time. They are not all sized accurately as some come from swaps, some from rotary cutting, and some from die cutting. You’ll see as we go through this what I did to remedy that. It’s quite a collection isn’t it?

For a quilt top that is 48″ x 60″ before borders, I needed 80 5″ squares.

Collection of 5 inch squares (nickels)
Collection of 5 inch squares (nickels)

Each block will have sashing on two sides at 90 degree angles so two strips of sashing for each block are needed:

  • 80 strips 2-1/2 x 5″
  • 80 strips 2-1/2 x 7″.

Cut the sashing:

The yield of 2-1/2″ strips across the width of fabric is 16 strips.

80  / 16 = 5 cuts across the width of fabric (WOF).

Using a rotary cutter, cut 5 each 5″ x WOF and 5 each 7″ x WOF.

Then fanfold these across the 2-1/2″ AccuQuilt GO strip cutter die and this is the result.

Set of 80 sashing strips. Cutting time=20 minutes
Set of 80 sashing strips. Cutting time=20 minutes


Stitch the sashing to two sides of the squares. The sashing has to go either clockwise or counterclockwise on all the blocks. The best way to do this is to stitch all on one side and then go back and stitch the second strip with all the blocks turned exactly the same way.  

Pieced Blocks Ready to Press
Pieced Blocks Ready to Press

Square and size the blocks. After pressing, the realization that they really weren’t all the same size began to sink in. I knew this while I was piecing as the long strip was sometimes a bit longer. This was a dilemma for me, being partial to flat, square, quilt tops. Sizing with the rotary cutter (very time consuming) was an option. Not doing anything and seeing what happened was also an option. I decided to try something new and see if sizing the squares with the 6-1/2″ die would work. And it did–beautifully.

Trimming Blocks to Size Using 6" Square Die
Trimming Blocks to Size Using 6″ Square Die

It was just a matter of stacking four squares – rotating each one a quarter of a turn so the seams would not be too thick for the cutter and running it through the cutter.

And voila – enough blocks for a quilt top.

Sixty squares ready to make into a quilt top.
Eighty squares ready to make into a quilt top.

After these were done, four squares were pieced together into a “block” and then I arranged them on the design wall. Can’t wait to get these stitched together, bordered, and quilted. On the wall, the colors are so bright and pretty, hopefully the final pics will show how cheerful this quilt is.


Here’s the time I spent:

Cut sash: 20 minutes

Piecing Squares: 1-1/2 hours

Pressing and Squaring Blocks: 35 minutes

And then I forgot to write down how much time I spent making 80 squares into 20 blocks, but it wasn’t more than an hour. 

Quilter’s Bee Giving Hosted by SewCalGal

SewCalGal is hosting a Quilter’s Bee Giving fundraiser beginning November 1 and last through the month. I am participating in that to raise funds for HopeforHH.org. As many of you know, our oldest granddaughter, Ezri– who is in first grade this year, was born with a 3.5 cm hypothalamic hamartoma (HH). This is a very rare brain tumor which causes gelastic (laughing) and dacrystic (crying) seizures. When left untreated, it causes worsening with the development of tonic clonic seizures as well as cognitive decline.


Because the tumor is so rare, most doctors never see it in all their years of practice. It is a very complicated disorder, even after the brain tumor has been removed. Thus, HopeforHH.org’s mission is to educate the health care community, find the best possible medical care for those affected, and provide support to parents and individuals who are dealing with this disorder.

Ezri had brain surgery four times between the ages of two and four. This is a very complicated surgery in a part of the brain that is very difficult to access. We traveled to Phoenix for surgery with the one surgeon in the US who specializes in HH surgery and have been very blessed that Ezri has done so well. She is now a very self-confident, happy first grader.

Ezri and her sister, Kes
Ezri and her sister, Kes

Because of the support we have received, we want to give back and help others who are going through this difficult time. You can read more stories about children who are on this journey and the ups and downs of life with HH at the HopeforHH.org/blog. Ezri’s story is there too. 

Planning a New Quilt

I am going to make two quilts in the next couple of weeks. One is for Gene Black’s Quilt Angels that provides quilts to young people who are in a shelter situation. The second is a quilt for the mother of my daughter’s friend Katie. Katie’s Mom has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be having surgery and chemotherapy beginning right away. I am asking your suggestions for Katie’s Mom’s quilt.

Katie and Em both thought pink would be the right color. And they thought the grandchildren could make handprints with paint on fabric to be part of the quilt. My suggestion was that they do the handprints on paper and let me make jpgs of them to print on fabric as that would hold up better than paint so the quilt can be machine washed.

This quilt will be a combination of blocks that include the blocks from the grandchildren. I have the wordcloud that I put on the mug rugs and the free breast cancer awareness ribbons embroidery. Here are some links to quilts I found:

This is a very nice quilt with pink ribbons.

And here’s a Pinterest board with lots of eye candy for pink ribbon quilts. 

And this is a search of all of Pinterest for breast cancer quilts.

What suggestions do you have for the quilt for Katie’s Mom?


Winner and a Tutorial

The random drawing winner of the Anita Goodesign Special Edition Embroidery Set of their choice is Bev L.  Congratulations! Bev, I will be sending you an email today to follow up.

Here’s a quilt that I finished this weekend as a gift for my neighbor. It’s been in my unfinished bin for quite some time. His wife passed away last Spring, and he has been donating her stash to me, box by box. I took a beautiful piece of fleece that he brought me and used it for the backing. The quilting is a geometric pattern and there is no batting. It is a very soft and drapey quilt which I think will be just perfect for these chilly Spring days.


And, of course, it’s impossible for me to make anything using a rotary cutter these days, so I wanted to give you a little tutorial on how to make this using the AccuQuilt Go or Studio cutter.

The strips are scraps and are random widths. The first blocks that were made were pieced using a 10 1/2″ paper foundation. You can also use a fabric foundation. When trimmed, the blocks look like this.

Block completed using a paper foundation.
Block completed using a paper foundation.

To make the block into half square triangles, a 10-1/2 inch solid piece of fabric is cut and layered together with the pieced block with right sides of fabric facing each other, then a line is marked from corner to corner and stitched 1/4″ on either side of the marked line. This makes two complete blocks. All blocks are trimmed to the same size, and the quilt assembled. While I did a straight layout, the blocks could be turned many different ways to create a number of different unique layouts.

As I was stitching the last few blocks so that this quilt could be completed, I started thinking about ways to make this using my AccuQuilt cutter. I find making the blocks on a foundation very cumbersome because after stitching, each strip has to be trimmed in length. And then there is a trimming process in the end.

The first thing I tried was to make a row of strips as shown below. This strip looks nice and even, but it was made from scraps and then trimmed to 6-1/2″ using a ruler. You could make the strip any width. After the strip was trimmed, it was cut into half square triangles.



At first I used the 45 degree angle across the ruler to cut triangles. Then it occurred to me that the 8-1/2″ quarter square triangle die that cuts the triangles lengthwise would work. This made me very happy. You can see the fabric after being cut with the die shown below.


IMG_3501Of course, the next thing that has to be cut is the half square triangle from solid fabric that is needed to complete the block. Because the outside of the pieced half square triangle is cut on the bias, it is ideal to have the solid fabric half square triangle cut with the straight grain on the two outer edges of the block. Thus, I didn’t want to cut the solid fabric half of the square using the 8-1/2″ quarter square triangle die. The nearest size half square triangle that would match the 8-1/2″ quarter square triangle was the 6-1/2″ half square triangle.


When the pieced half square triangle and the solid half square triangle are stitched together, you will see that the solid triangle is just slightly larger and will have to be trimmed to a square. Because of the fabric grain, it is worth it to me to do that little bit of trimming because of the squaring issues that a bias quilt presents during the quilting process.

But there are other options that could be used so that one only used the quarter square triangle die or only the 6-1/2″ half square triangle die. For example, if you cut all of the triangles – solid and strips, with the 8-1/2″ QST die, then you could put them together like this and have the straight edges on the outside.

scrappy strips HST


Or, you could make the strips like the original plan on a foundation and then cut both the pieced strip square and the solid square with the 6-1/2″ half square triangle die.

Hope this helps you begin to brainstorm ways to use up all those short ends of strips that you’ve cut from other projects. 

Patchy Hearts by Linda

I got an email yesterday with this beautiful quilt picture attached. Linda won the hearts giveaway last year, and this is what she did with the fusible hearts. I absolutely love the pastels and bright colors mixed together. This is Linda’s quilt design (she designed it in EQ). The hearts have sashing on two sides and the alternating blocks are half log cabin blocks. This is wonderful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the label she made. I love using the applique for the label.




Love is Everywhere

I have been working all week on an early Valentine present for those of you who do machine embroidery. The Queen of Hearts die AccuQuilt die #55325) has some pretty hearts on it, and I have digitized them with three different applique stitches that are designed specifically for quilting. This is one of the heart shapes used for the Have A Heart Make A Quilt campaign that I mentioned earlier this week. These stitches are light and flat and stay that way after laundering. All my quilts go in the washing machine and dryer, so my embroidery has to stand up to that too. Here are some photos of the set.

heart001 aphand 600

Closeup of Hand Applique Stitch
Closeup of Hand Applique Stitch

heart003 ffap

Closeup of free form applique stitch
Closeup of free form applique stitch

heart003 peb2 600

Closeup of filled pebble stitch
Closeup of filled pebble stitch



To get this Valentine gift, just email me before February 14 at busbyquilts
at gmail.com, put HEARTS in the subject line, and tell me the machine format you use. 

Have a Heart, Make a Quilt Campaign

This is an American Heart Association and AccuQuilt campaign for women’s heart health. You can find more information at AccuQuilt as well as get badges for your blog. I must admit that I had trouble using their code for my blog, so did a workaround to show you the button below.


Click on the link above and you will find complete information about this project as well as templates for the heart shapes to be used on the quilt blocks. Each block must include at least one heart from the GO! Heart-2″, 3″, 4″ (55029) or GO! Queen of Hearts (55325) dies or from the free downloadable heart templates.

Here are a couple of the shapes that I have been working with to make some machine embroidery for the project. I hope to have files ready soon for those who do machine embroidery. They’re not quite finished, but I couldn’t wait to show you.