Monday, Monday

I’m always happy to see Monday, just like I’m happy when Christmas is over and the new year starts. It’s a fresh start and a new go at new things and a new look at old problems. Last week felt like I was spinning my wheels and felt like I didn’t get anything accomplished. Of course I did, but some things feel like accomplishments while others don’t. I enjoyed the blog hop immensely and learned lots of new things from everyone.

So, what did I accomplish last week. One thing was the blog hop. Another was working on some blocks to help my Mom. I squared some blocks that she made from a Moda Butterfly Fling fabric jelly roll. She’s doing Bonnie Hunter’s strip twist and for whatever reason, the blocks had to be squared down to 7 1/2 inches. They’re done though, and will go in to UPS today.

I also did a rescue on some blocks for her. Because of her stroke, she can’t do any cutting. She had some fabric that had been torn into narrow strips and then cut with scissors and had stitched the strips onto two sides of four patch blocks. It was pretty much a disaster. So, I called her and told her I was going to re-cut the four patch blocks to remove the strips she had sewed and cut some new strips for her. She was not happy because she liked the fabric. I told her they would never go together into a flat top. I used the 3 1/2″ square die on my Accuquilt GO and even cutting only 2 at a time, made quick work of getting the four patch blocks salvaged. Now, I have to cut new strips and get them in the UPS box.

And I exercised a lot last week and did some new workouts. Getting old isn’t for sissies, and it takes twice as much effort to stay in shape as it did 20 years ago. Starting last week I am doing two full workouts a day. Arrrgh! But I have sore muscles which means I’m working something that wasn’t getting done before. Can I keep up with this routine?

Accuquilt’s New Arrival is Here

AccuQuilt’s Baby is Here! or Say Hello to GO! Baby™

AccuQuilt’s new arrival brings you a NEW way to GO! The AccuQuilt GO! Baby™ Fabric Cutter is an extension of the GO!® family of products and is an ultra-portable, affordable and adorable fabric cutter for quilters and fabric crafters. The GO! Baby Fabric Cutter has the same cutting performance as the original GO! Fabric Cutter and is just as safe, accurate and fast. At only $139, and with a more compact design, the GO! Baby is perfect for the beginner and occasional quilter. The GO! Baby is compatible with all GO! dies except for 10″ x 10″ and 10″ x 24″ dies.

Key features and benefits:
– Consistent, accurate cuts—up to 6 layers at a time
– 90% faster than traditional cutting
– Lightweight—only 8 ponds
– Create perfect appliqué in the turn of a handle
– Reduce fabric waste
– No cut fingers or sore backs
– Create endless design options
– Minimal space needed for storage
– Portable—no electricity or batteries needed

10 New GO! Dies
GO! Baby™ is bringing with it ten new die designs featuring many of our most requested dies such as a smaller tumbler, a cat and a dog. Also available are multiple appliqué flowers and three sizes of equilateral triangles that correspond with the current hexagon die. In addition, a new 2 1/2″ strip cutter, has been designed to fit the GO! Baby’s smaller size. All dies are compatible with both the GO!® and GO! Baby™ fabric cutters.

Table Runner Winner

Rebecca Merry is our table runner winner. My husband picked the number out of the proverbial hat, and I found the corresponding comment. I will be emailing her shortly and shipping a pre-cut table runner package this afternoon. I want to thank each and every one of you for your kind comments and for participating in our Blog Hop. I think it has been a great success. I hope you will continue to follow our blogs and fun as we continue to take it to a new level.

Pressing Fusible Applique

I learned a new trick for pressing fusible appliqué pieces. I have one off those presses that looks like two mini ironing boards that go together when you pull the handle down. It’s really great for fusing things. The only drawback is that the upper board, which is the iron, doesn’t raise up very far in the back. I’m always getting little burns on my knuckles when trying to spread things out on the board. I tried gloves, but it’s hard to work with the appliqué pieces wearing gloves. It occurred to me to lay things out on my Teflon pressing sheet and then carry that to the press. I can hold the sides of the Teflon sheet while sliding it onto the board and under the iron. Then it’s easy to gently hold the fabric near the front of the board with one hand while sliding the Teflon sheet out from under the fabric with the other hand. Sometimes it still needs a little smoothing, but not enough that I’m likely to get my fingers burned.

Another thing I learned about pressing fusible appliqué is not to use the Teflon sheet over the appliqué when pressing with the big press. For some reason, it makes everything ripple. Parchment paper works much better to keep any little melts of fusible off the iron.

Followers on WordPress – Google Reader or RSS feed

A big thank you to everyone on this blog hop. It has been a lot of fun for me to read your comments and to see how this brings the quilting community together.

A couple of people asked me yesterday about being a “follower” as part of the Accuquilt GO Blog Hop. My response is that WordPress doesn’t have followers. However, I was very wrong about that. In fact, you can use Google Reader or subscribe to the RSS feed. SewCalGal has a great blog post about using Google Reader, so I’m sending you over there for more information. This is the link:

http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2009/09/google-reader.html

And for those of you who tried to become a follower and couldn’t find the “button”– just know that you’ll get counted by SewCalGal for trying. And I’m going to do a little reading today on the WordPress side and find the code for the buttons and add them to this blog to make it easier for all of us.

AccuQuilt Theme Blog Hop – Christmas is Coming – and a Giveaway

I have three things for you today. The first is an easy and elegant table runner. It is so easy to make, cut almost entirely with the Accuquilt GO, and can be quilted on your regular sewing machine or on a longarm machine. Second, I sat down with my Accuquilt GO dies to brainstorm Christmas quilt block ideas – there are so many things you can do with fusible fabric. And third, I have a giveaway of a pre-cut table runner to be determined by random drawing of all who leave a comment on this blog today.

Easy and Elegant Table Runner:

This is such an easy table runner. You can make it in an afternoon; and with themed fabrics, you can make one for every season and holiday. These are the fabrics I am using for this table runner and these are the fabrics you will win if you win the Table Runner Kit Giveaway. They are so elegant. You can’t see the beautiful gold in the photos, but it’s scrumptious. The finished size of the table runner is 16 x 61 inches. A closeup photo is below. Please click the picture of the table runner below for instructions.

Please click on the table runner image for downloadable instructions.

This table runner can be quilted beautifully by doing a simple cross-hatching in the squares of the featured fabric. I like to do curved cross-hatching because it gives a bit more elegance. And in the setting triangles, either feathers or a stipple work beautifully. The border can be done with a feather if there is stipple in the setting triangles or with piano keys if there are feathers in the setting triangles.

Christmas Quilt Block Ideas Using Accuquilt GO Dies

I was brainstorming on ways to make quick and easy blocks for holiday quilts, table runners, placemats, and Christmas tree skirts. These are some of the ideas, but I’ll bet you have even more. One that isn’t shown here is to use the circles to make a snowman.

I made a cute little house with a candy cane roof using the 6.5 inch square die for the house, and the 6.5 inch triangle die for the roof. I added some stars in the sky by using the star die. This block would work well with a tree too. I love the way the roof has realistic corners just because the dog ears are trimmed. I used a fabric marker for the window panes and door handle.

Here are a couple of block combinations using trees and stars. These are made using the star die as well as the tree from the Christmas theme die. The ornaments on the tree are from the holly berries on the Christmas theme die.

I have a Christmas tree skirt started. It has random snowflakes all over it. I took that same snowflake die and used freezer paper to make a stencil and used Shiva paintstiks to paint snowflakes on more blocks. I love the way the painted snowflake looks. I can’t wait to do some more. On the tree skirt, you can see that I cut one snowflake in half because that is where I will cut it after the quilting is finished.

And, last but not least, is a block of “gifts” using squares cut with the GO and decorated with ribbon. The bows will not go on this block until after it is quilted, but just think how pretty it will be with three dimensional bows.

Giveaway:

To enter to win a pre-cut table runner kit with the beautiful fabrics shown above, please leave a comment on this post. All who comment on this post from Tuesday through Wednesday will  be entered for a drawing.  (Edit 9-28 @7:20am:) Because of the high cost of shipping, I will not be able to ship outside the US; however, I’d love to hear your comments.

The winner will be announced on Friday which is the last day of the blog hop.

Accuquilt Blog Hop Starts Today!

Please check out the blog hop sites today. SewCalGal has a wonderful tutorial on how to fussy cut using the Accuquilt GO die system. That is such a great idea, I can see it working for so many different dies. SewCalGal also has a great giveaway!

And over at Spring Water Designs, there’s a wonderful tutorial for a fall table runner.

Stay tuned here! I have a tutorial and giveaway planned for tomorrow.

Passing it Forward – my Accuquilt GO and friends

As I’ve mentioned before, I am involved with the Slap Happy Quilter’s group, and our primary project is making comfort quilts for the patients at Alamance Regional Cancer Center. Much of the fabric we use is donated by a textile company in Burlington. We spend a lot of time washing, pressing, and removing any imperfections or irregularities in the fabric before cutting it into pieces for the quilts. The  Accuquilt GO is a great assistant for cutting kits for the comfort quilts. The strip cutters are most useful because they can be used to cut so many different widths to make a variety of quilt patterns.

A group of three of our members had a “sewing frenzy” the other day. Here are the photos they sent me. Looks like they had a lot of fun. And just look at what they did with all those strips!

Play Oven Mitts

I made some play oven mitts for the grandchildren last week. The dog chewed the corner off of the mitt that came with their play kitchen, and they used that little mitt a lot when they were playing. My daughter brought me the chewed up mitt and asked me to make a new one for them. I was watching the most recent episode of The Quilt Show featuring Camille Roskelley. In that show she talks about adding alphabet letters to her quilts. That was the inspiration for making two oven mitts, each of which had an initial for each of the children. They won’t be able to argue about whose mitt they’re wearing!

I used the font, AR Julian. Camille Roskelley showed how to use a Word Processor to create the applique letter. The next time I do letters, I am going to use EQ7, as that is a better way for me to keep a permanent copy of what I have done. I was able to find the mirror image in my printer setup behind several layers of setup screens. I printed this in mirror image, then traced it onto fusible, pressed the fusible to the fabric and cut out the letters. The fabric for the mitts was machine quilted on my domestic machine with straight cross-hatching.

Here’s a photo of the mitts. I thought they were just as cute as could be. Note that one child is right handed and the other is left handed.

Play Oven Mitts

Accuquilt Bloggers Blog Hop Next Week

The week of September 27th-October 1st we’re having a blog hop sponsored by SewCalGal and her blog. Ten bloggers are participating. You can find all the details and links at the SewcalGal blog. Participants will share tips, tutorials, or host a giveaway – with the focus being about AccuQuilt and having fun.  Each blogger will post their respective article on their designated day. Here’s a recap of the schedule:

Monday, September 27
Sew Cal Gal
Spring Water Designs

Tuesday, September 28
Marjorie’s Quilting Bee
Cotton Cocktails

Wednesday, September 29
Love Bug Studios
Spun Sugar Quilts

Thursday, September 30
Quilted Inspirations
Fabric N Quilts

Friday, October 1
Beautiful Seams
Sew Fun Quilts