Cutting Chart for Accuquilt GO! for Bow Basket Projects

This quilt block makes me happy–the red and white is so pretty and the design is simple and classic. Here are the instructions for cutting this block with the Accuquilt GO. Below you will find the number of patches per one block and the possible dies that can be used. The projects for Sew Cal Gal’s “GO! Ahead and Show a little LOVE” blog hop are as follows:

  1. table runner which requires 2 basket blocks,
  2. a medallion quilt which requires 4 basket blocks, and
  3. the traditional basket quilt which requires 12 basket blocks.

I hope you will decide to make one of these projects and quilt along with me. The actual quilt design is still a secret so we can show you during the blog hop. Decide which of the projects you want to make, use the number of blocks (2, 4, or 12) and cut the patches using the instructions below. Remember that when you have the finished size, you will need to add 1/2″ to each measurement so you will have a 1/4″ seam on all sides of the patch. For example, a 2″ x 2″ finished square is cut 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″.

A  (1 piece light, 3 pieces dark per block) is a 2″ finished half square triangle (HST)

  • 55018 Value Die – use the HST 2″ finished on that die, OR
  • 55063 HST Multiples 2″ finished

B (1 piece light, 1 piece dark per block) is a 6″ finished HST

  • 55001 HST 6″ finished

C (1 piece light per block) is a 4″ finished HST

  • 55031 HST 4″ finished

D (2 pieces light, 2 pieces dark per block) is a 1″ x 6″ finished rectangle

  • 55024 1 Strip Cutter 1-1/2″, and
  • 55000 Square 6″ finished (optional)

E (2 pieces light per block) is a 2″ x 6″ finished rectangle

  • 55014 or 55017 Strip Cutter 2-1/2″, and
  • 55000 Square 6″ finished (optional)

F (2 pieces dark per block) is a 2″ x 2″ finished square

  • 55018 Value Die or
  • 55014 or 55017 Strip Cutter 2-1/2″

  
 

Bow Basket for Valentine’s

Have been busy this weekend working on a project for Sew Cal Gal’s “GO! Ahead and Show a little LOVE” Accuquilt Blog Hop which will be February 13-18. I designed a pieced basket block and an embroidery block and put them together into two different quilts and a table runner. So, rather than just give you something on Valentine’s that you might make for next year, it seemed appropriate to start a Valentine project that could be finished by Valentine’s Day. For the next four weeks, I will show you how to cut and assemble the basket and embroidery blocks and the week of the blog hop will be the big reveal showing how they go into the quilts/table runner. Let me show you the basket block:

Bow Basket Block (10" finished)

In one of the quilts, you will need four of the basket blocks, in the second quilt, you will need 12 basket blocks, and in the table runner you will need two basket blocks. This would be great made with scrappy reds or if you’re like me and buy red fabric a lot–you may have enough of one color to make a complete project.

I’ll use my Accuquilt GO! to cut these blocks, but you can also cut them using a rotary cutter. I have designed a worksheet that you can use to calculate what you need to cut for a quilt. Over the years, when using a rotary cutter for cutting, it seemed I always made lots of extra pieces. There is something about the Accuquilt GO! that gives me more control, so it makes me much more likely to plan ahead and cut just enough for a project rather than cutting until it looks like there are enough pieces.

The embroidery block can be done using an embroidery machine, but the design is also simple enough to make the block using the applique stitch on your domestic sewing machine.

Tomorrow, we’ll start cutting. Go check your stash and see what you’ve got in reds and whites! 
 

Variable Star. . .

Well, I must have been dreaming when I said that variable star quilt used a snowball block. When I started working on it yesterday, I realized beyond all doubt that it is a “Square within a Square” or “Economy” block. Nevertheless, the principle is the same and the design uses fewer seams and is a great way to make this quilt. Here are some photos of what I did to make the connector blocks. Each unit – “Economy” block or “Pinwheel” block finishes at 6 inches (Unfinished 6 1/2 inches).

Three ways that you can make these are:

1) use the 4-3/4″ square and the 3-1/2″ half square triangle and stitch a scant 1/4″ seam

OR

2) use the 6-1/2″ square and the 3-1/2″ half square triangle and mark the corners and stitch

OR

3) use the 6-1/2″ square and the 3-1/2″ square and stitch across from corner to corner (save the cut off triangles for another project)

 

 

I used a template that I printed from EQ7 to mark the corners on the 6-1/2″ fabric square. If you have card stock, it’s nice to print the template on that for marking. I used a pencil to mark because it will be cut on that edge so the pencil mark will disappear. The reason I made the template with the square at the bottom and the triangles on the top is so that I could get the placement right on the fabric. It allows me to match up the bottom edge with the fabric square and have the correct placement for the corners. The point at the top extends beyond the square and is the “dog ear”.

And here is what it looks like in layout before stitching blocks together:
 
 

Variable Star with Pinwheel Center made with Snowball blocks

Yesterday, we talked about making pinwheel blocks. There is always a standard setting using sashing and that makes a very pretty quilt. But thinking about how to use my pinwheel blocks sent me to my EQ7 software to see what I could make. Here is one example.

The Variable Star block with a pinwheel center is one of my favorites.  It is usually made as a star block with the points constructed as Flying Geese units. In this version, I used a snowball block and a modified half snowball block rather than the usual flying geese unit to make the star points. This would definitely be easier to piece than the usual variable star. The other advantage is one that is always important — fewer seams which makes a prettier quilt.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about how I would cut this with the Accuquilt GO and how I would piece it. There are multiple options for cutting and piecing.

Snowball Half Block
Snowball Block

 

 

Variable Star Quilt made with Snowball Blocks
 
 

Matching Points on Pinwheels

Pinwheels and triangles are the hardest thing for me to do when piecing. The reason is that I want the points to come out exactly in the seam. I pulled out an unfinished project of pinwheels when I needed some busy work last week. And here is the ‘aha’ moment that I had. While it’s not ideal that all seams are NOT pressed to the darker fabric, it’s very nice that the points meet beautifully in the middle. Maybe we can’t have our cake and eat it too.

What I realized is that having all the seams pressed in the same direction (clockwise or counter clockwise) is what gives me perfect points on the pinwheels. Look at the pictures below and you will see what I’m talking about. You may have to look carefully to see where the point is “off” on the second photo, but that is the one that has all seams pressed toward the darker fabric.

 
 

2012 is in full swing

Today, I am back from a weekend with my Mom and things are in full swing. Went to exercise this morning for the first time in weeks. It felt good to visit with my exercise friends and to move my body. Also ran an errand for my daughter by going to Parks and Recreation to sign Ezri and Kes up for TaeKwonDo and swimming classes. It’s going to be a busy Spring. I hope I get to take them to a class or two and watch. Being a grandma is a lot of fun.

Here’s a photo from my weekend. I finally got the rick rack quilt bound and gave it to the recipient. It’s only a year late, but it looks like he’s enjoying it.

It was hard to leave my Mom’s house, but she is stable at this point, and I need to get things done here — like my taxes! She has wonderful caregivers, and I’m sure they will be much better at administering meds and tracking her health. It’s wonderful to have telephones now. I can remember in college when we called our parents once a week. Now, we are all on the phone all the time and it’s so easy to stay in touch and up to date. 
 

Fabric Indulgence

Do you have a fabric indulgence? I think most quilters do. Some of us collect fat quarters, some of us just “build the stash”. My indulgence is batiks so I get a special package every month from Batiks, etc (no affiliation except batik love). It’s expensive, but I love them so much that I chose the half yard option rather than the fat quarter option. At one point, there were so many batiks in my fabric closet that I had to stop getting them for several months so I could use up what I had. But a few months back, I called them and started my subscription again. This month’s package is particularly colorful and beautiful, so I will share.

January Package from Batiks, etc.

I love scrappy quilts, so there’s never any waste. I do sort them into groups with bright colors together, fall colors together, and blacks and reds together. After that, they’re just sorted into yellows and oranges, blues and greens, and then mixed colors.

And, if I ever have a color that’s not quite dark or light enough, I use Shiva Paintsticks to change the color of the patch to be just what I want it to be. I color the fabric patch with just enough Paintstick to color the fabric without completely covering the fabric design. The color sets in a couple of days and is very permanent.

Mom update: She’s doing quite well and if she keeps up like this, she’s could possibly get discharged from Hospice. I’ve never heard of that happening, but her heart is doing great and her kidneys seem to be stable right now. This is a wonderful respite from the doom and gloom we were feeling.  
 

Happy New Year 2012!

It’s Tuesday, Jan 2, and I’m just now saying Happy New Year to you. I am so looking forward to a bright and happy 2012. There were so many projects that I had on my shoulders in 2011 and have finished most of them. It seems 2012 will be a year for a lot of fun and new things to do .

But first, let me update you on my holiday activities and what is going on in my life. I went to visit and spend Christmas Eve with my Mom. When I got there, she was very short of breath. It seemed she was having an asthma attack which hadn’t happened to her in years. Since all of the doctor’s offices were closed, I took her to the Emergency Room. We were so surprised when the doctors said they were going to admit her to the hospital because she was in kidney and heart failure. I spent a full week with her at the hospital. My husband held down the fort at home (200 miles away), and that is how we spent Christmas. The nurses and hospital staff were absolutely wonderful the entire time.

She is now receiving visits from hospice at home and what I really want to do is to go and spend time with her this week. I’d also like to spend time with you, but I think after writing this, that the decision is made–and I’ll go there. I’ll keep you posted.