Brick Quilts

I have been fascinated by brick quilts for a long time. I’m not sure why I find them so much fun to make. Perhaps it is because the pieces have one long side and it seems like I’m going faster. Anyway, here’s a quilt, one of a series, that I think you’ll enjoy. I have given instructions for multiple size bricks. You will have to adjust the number of blocks to make the size quilt you would like. The nice thing about calculating how many pieces you need is that each block has four light and four dark bricks.

This is very scrappy and Accuquilt GO die friendly. You can cut the length of the bricks across the width of fabric. Then fanfold it onto your strip die and away  you go. You’ll have this quilt cut very quickly. The Accuquilt GO cutter has introduced me to cutting and stitching lengthwise, and I think my blocks are much more accurate now.

Brick Quilt #1 - click for instructions

edit: ooooooooooh! I see another way to piece this! Do you see it? It could be blocks of brick four patches and blocks of four bricks alternating colors, then stitch into rows. Hmmmmmm! These would be rectangle blocks, not square, but it might work even better for pressing. I’ll have to try that and let you know. 

Long Distance Quilting

I took a trip to my Mom’s this week. Most of our quilting is done long distance and it is not easy to quilt that way. We keep UPS in business, and they have great service. If my package gets to the UPS depot in the late afternoon, Mother gets it the next morning. It leaves Chapel Hill that night and makes it to Greensboro by 2am. UPS ground gets it on the truck to Shelby, and out for delivery the next morning.

One of the issues that we deal with in long distance quilting is that Mother doesn’t have a computer. Three times, we tried computers with her for email, but it was very frustrating for her. Since her stroke, some parts of her brain just don’t work normally. She has real trouble communicating numbers and the names of many things, although she knows exactly what she wants to say. And using a computer is the same way. My final solution for email was an HP service: which is an HP printer at her home that receives and prints email.  There is no way for her to email back, but at least she can receive text and picture messages. Even though verbal communication is difficult, she reads and understands everything.

I bought her an Accuquilt GO cutter for Mother’s Day. She hasn’t used it yet, but it will certainly get used. She has an incredible stash which hasn’t been touched in three years.  Her primary caregiver is going to help her explore her stash to find fabric for her next project. I would love to do this with her, but there is never enough time in a visit; and she can make this kind of decision if someone helps her overcome the physical limitations.

I had given her a Moda Butterfly Fling jelly roll before I even got my first Accuquilt GO. She has finally stitched it together, and we are making a Strip Twist quilt from with it. The strips Mother had stitched came home with me. Yesterday I pressed and cut them into triangles according to the instructions. I used a tiny bead of Elmer’s School glue to baste the triangles together and pressed it dry. I packaged them up, and she should have them first thing Monday morning. Once they’re stitched, I’ll try to make a trip back. She likes to make blocks but even more, she wants to put the blocks together to make the top. I can help her with that by trimming the blocks to size and then glue basting them into rows for her. She will enjoy laying them out so she can decide where each block goes in the quilt layout.

The Strip Twist quilt is one of my favorites. I have made it at least a dozen times for charity quilts and made it into a baby quilt using the Butterfly Fling jelly roll. It is also a great pattern for using your 2 1/2 inch strip die with your Accuquilt GO.

I’m glad to be home. I plan to be back to my quilt a week instructions by Monday. Hope you have a Happy Quilting weekend! 

Ribbon Weave Quilt (Accuquilt strip die friendly)

This is a quick and easy quilt to make and can easily be cut using the 2 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ Accuquilt strip dies, or it can be cut using your rotary cutter. Either way, cutting the 8 1/2″ strips across the width of fabric is the best way to do this. It means your strips are cut on the lengthwise grain and they stretch less when you’re sewing.

It has been blazing hot here. I hope everyone is staying as cool as possible. We’re looking for cooler temps, lower 90s, later in the week.

I’ve been working on ‘Delirious Again’, which is what I’ve decided to name her. Hopefully will have pictures tomorrow.

Click on the image below for instructions for the Ribbon Weave quilt.

Ribbon Weave (click for instructions)

Brick Four-Patch Scrap Quilt

Over the weekend, I worked on instructions for another quilt that uses the 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ brick Accuquilt die. This one also uses the 3 1/2″ strip die. I have seen this quilt done lots of times and it is a very pretty quilt. It could also be done using the 2 1/2″ strip die and width of fabric precuts that are 4 1/2″ wide to be fanfolded across the 2 1/2″ strip die to make bricks.

Here’s a picture from EQ7 showing the quilt. Click the quilt image for a link to the instructions. Also note that I have been making my instructions in EQ6/EQ7. In the software, I go to Layer 2 and write the instructions using the text tool. Then I move the text box above or below the quilt so that it does not cover up the quilt image. The text becomes a part of the quilt image. I can then print a photo of the quilt to an adobe file, and I have both image and instructions in one and it’s all on one page!

Brick Four Patch Scrap Quilt

On other fronts, we’re still struggling with what to do for Ezriel and the remnants of her brain tumor. After three surgeries, the little pieces that are left are literally threads. It is complicated though because the strands can be seen on MRI, but the surgeons say that during surgery the strands are indistinguishable from healthy tissue. Thus, it is hard to delineate exactly where to cut to completely remove them. In addition, these strands are beside the optic nerve. Meanwhile, Ezri is having as many as 70 or more dacrystic and absence seizures daily. Her mom increased her antiseizure meds late last week and she seemed to be doing a little better when we saw her this weekend. However, the doctors at Barrow Neurological Institute are scheduling a series of appointments to include consultations with the gamma knife team as well as the pediatric microvascular surgeons. As always, your prayers and kind wishes are appreciated. 

Bricks and Squares

I am quilting today – and can’t wait to get to it. I also am trying to document all of the charity / comfort and donation quilt patterns that our quilting group has done over the past few years. I belong to a group called the Slap Happy Quilters, and our focus is to provide comfort quilts to patients at the Alamance Regional Cancer Center.

We made this Bricks and Squares quilt in 2004. It finishes at about 48 x 60 inches which is just perfect for comfort quilts.

I believe that when we made it, we used 5 inch squares. However, I have modified this to fit the dies for my Accuquilt GO. Thus, the pattern has been adjusted for a finished 6 inch block and the 3 x 6 inch finished bricks. The dies themselves are 6 1/2″ square and 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ bricks.I also added a second variation. There are more ways to turn these blocks for different quilts, so try them out and see what you can do.
Bricks and Squares instructions link

Bricks and Squares
Bricks and Squares

Patience Corners

I have been working on instructions for one of my favorite quilts. The first time I saw this pattern, it was on a bed at my Mom’s house. She said she made it as part of a block exchange. I have been making it ever since. This new method incorporates the Accuquilt GO and uses only the 6 1/2 inch die. It is very similar to the Disappearing Nine Patch method that we have all come to enjoy making. Somehow, though, Patience Corners is dearer to my heart.

Here’s a picture of a Patience Corner that my mother made and I quilted and here’s the link to the instructions on Scribd.

Patience Corners

Rectangle Block Lap Quilt

I’m still babysitting. I have decided that the best part of motherhood is knowing what is wrong when a child cries and being able to fix it. It really is satisfying when they wake in the night and you can easily stop the crying with a blanket or a stuffed rabbit or a pacifier. The hard part is if none of those things work.

The children will be home with Ezri today. The doctors at MGH in Boston said they would read her MRI scans and give an interpretation. They also said that if Barrow says she needs gamma knife radiation, then that is what they would recommend too, as the docs at BNI are the experts at treating hypothalamic hamartomas. As far as getting a better MRI, the new technology that is available at MGH has only been approved for ages 18 and over, so it will be some time before it is available to children as young as Ezri.

Now, for the quilting: Here’s a rectangle block quilt. I have drafted and re-drafted rectangle blocks. My goal was to create a block using only one strip width and for it to look like a rectangle, but actually be a square. That simply was not to be, so the quilt blocks have to be pieced in vertical rows instead of the usual horizontal rows.  It also requires cutting a couple of blocks in half so that the blocks are staggered on each row. You know I just hate having to match corners if I can get around it, and staggering the blocks makes it a much prettier quilt I think. The instruction sheet is here. This would make a great baby quilt in just the right colors.