It’s time for a new block and to celebrate Monday, this block is a bit different than the others – NO TRIANGLES – but one of my favorites. It’s a single Irish chain. The nice thing about the Irish chain is that the pieced block alternates with a plain block and it’s a wonderful design to showcase your quilting. The other nice thing about an Irish chain is that there are so many different ways to cut it and stitch it together. You can cut it all as long strips, stitch the strips together, and then cut them into subunits, or you can cut it into individual pieces and stitch them together in rows. Or, you could even make four-patch blocks and stitch them together. The cutting instructions here are for the first two, you would have to make some modifications to cut it for construction as four patch blocks.
And here’s an image of an EQ7 rendering showing all that wonderful space to showcase your quilting.
This star block is an absolute classic. I think it’s probably one of the first blocks any of us ever makes when we’re learning to quilt. It can be done in many sizes, but typically we use the 12 inch block for our first samplers.
I thought it might be helpful to tell you a little bit about how I determine which dies to use for any given block when I’m working in Electric Quilt. The most useful tool is the rotary cutting instructions menu that can be accessed from the block worktable or the quilt worktable. To get rotary cutting instructions from the quilt worktable, you must have the block selected, then click Print, Rotary Cutting, Preview, and you will see the numbers. Be sure you have the desired finished block measurements in the menu and below that be sure to check “Round to nearest 1/8 inch” option. This same menu can also be accessed from the block worktable.
You can use the GO! Cutting Equivalents Chart and look at the column “Actual Die Cut or Hand Cut Size” and find the same number in that column that matches the rotary cutting size. Then read across the line and find the die to be used.
If you have any questions about how to do this, let me know. Now, here’s today’s block–click the image for the pdf download.
My friend Norma sent me a photo of a quilt she’s making using the 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch brick die (finished 3 x 6 inch rectange accuquilt # 55005). She’s also using the 3 1/2 inch square (accuquilt # 55006) with it. I love this quilt – and what an easy one to make. All it takes is long strips of alternating bricks and squares and then staggering each strip 3 inches lower for side by side placement. Here’s a photo of her design wall. Doesn’t it look great?
And here’s a picture of it that I made in EQ7.
Tomorow I’ll have an EQ7 block library block for you.
There’s nothing in the world like a basket quilt block. I’ve never been much of one for doing those curved handles, so there’s a special place in my heart for the ones with half square triangle tops. This one is called Basket of Flowers in EQ7 and it’s a classic. There are several variations, so I will try to show you some of them in the coming days. When you think about it, there’s not a lot of difference between these basket blocks and Birds in the Air or Corn and Beans; but these are special.
This one is easy to make, there are no special instructions except to make sure you use the lengthwise grain of the fabric on the lined up with the long edge on the 3 x 6 inch rectangle die. Cutting it on the cross-wise grain will make it come out a little short.
This block is very similar to Sarah’s Choice, but with the change of a geese patch to a chisel shape it gives a beautiful pinwheel. And you don’t have to have the chisel die to make this block. You can substitute a square and half square triangle which is the traditional way this block has been made over the years. There are some fun things you can do with this block. For example, if you change the color of diagonal squares (Color A) on the block, you will get a very pretty four-patch when you set the blocks together. If you use a subtle color change, the four-patch blocks won’t compete with the pinwheels for a very pretty quilt. Just think how lovely this would be in soft thirties pastel fabrics.
An upload for the pdf file instructions and images of the block and quilt are below. Click the block for the pdf instructions.
Today’s block is very simple, but creates a beautiful diagonal pattern when combined with the simple Snowball block. It creates a wonderful quilt in terms of it’s simplistic beauty, but also one that showcases beautiful quilting designs such as feathered wreaths. The design is a little more intricate and lacy than an Irish chain and creates a very lovely quilt.
I spent some time checking files this morning and updating so that there should be a link to instructions for blocks 5-8. I did see a couple of changes/clarifications in the files. No matter how many times I check them, I find little things that could be clearer or new ways to cut the same block, and I like to update them. Everything in life is a work in progress!
I recently received the Rose of Sharon Block Book by Sharon Pederson featuring the designs from the EQ6 Challenge. I’ve always felt fairly neutral about Rose of Sharon quilts; having a great appreciation for the applique skills that go into them but feeling that the designs were very predictable. That has not kept me from exploring what’s new out there for ROS. And the bocks from the EQ6 really deliver on new and exciting designs. In addition, The Quilt Show has a great Block of the Month for 2010 for a Rose of Sharon Quilt done in blues. And Electric Quilt has a free EQ6 library download for all of the blocks from the ROS challenge.
After perusing the ROS Block Book, I decided to print out some of the blocks from EQ7 and see how they work with my Accuquilt ROS die. Of course, it’s perfect. The ROS die has so many different size roses that it is very easy to find the perfect ones to fit each design. The ROS die has three circles sized to match the designs. A couple of different sizes of leaves were the only thing I didn’t have, but they are very easy to cut with scissors. Being able to have all those roses cut accurately and quickly was wonderful. I fused this last night and have machine apliqued the leaves.
The last few days have been a whirlwind. I worked at the Womancraft cooperative all day Saturday and babysat and dogsat my grandchildren and their dogs Sunday and Monday. Toddlers can certainly keep one busy, but they are soooo much fun. It’s been years since I got little ones ready for pre-school, but we got there fully dressed and with everything we needed. Of course, I didn’t do any quilting; but will be back in full swing starting this afternoon.
Today’s block is a fun one. Updated this post (10/22/2010) with link to instructions-see caption below. This block should be done in two different color patterns to create the nice star pattern shown below. It also uses the chisel die as well as the 3-1/2 inch half square triangle and 3-1/2 inch square. It is easy to put together and the chisel die makes it even easier to cut.
Notes about constructing this block. Be careful when sewing triangles to the chisel shape. The chisels should all be cut in the same direction, i.e., right side up when placing fabric on the die. If you use something like a Kona cotton or light colored batik, both sides will work, so you can easily fanfold the fabric and cut without concern for right side vs wrong side direction. You should also be careful when sewing that you stitch the triangles onto the chisels in the same direction.
This is a simple block and one of my favorites; however at first glance, the instructions look intimidating. Because Accuquilt does not yet have a 3 inch finished quarter square triangle, this block involves a little more rotary cutting than others for the 9 inch finished block. I prefer smaller blocks, so am looking forward to the day that they have a quarter square triangle 3″ patch die.
I have changed the format a bit because this seems to work better. The instructions will be included as as a link to an adobe file when you click on the block image. I am still debating as to whether it is worthwhile to have an EQ7 download, as the blocks are in the EQ7 library and the names I use are identical, so the only thing you need is the instruction sheet for cutting and that is in the adobe file. You can tell me what format works best for you for these files.
Based on the dies that you have, I would suggest that you use a highlighter pen before you start cutting to highlight the instruction sheet showing each cut you will make.