Sunday, April 13, 2014

Snack Time - Converting a Pattern to Die-Cutting

Hi all!

Ever since I finished the Night Sky top I felt like making another one of Julie Herman's patterns; so, while I was at my LQS I picked up Snack Time.


Isn't it cute!?  I started to really look at it and thought - hmm that looks like it is put together the same way that Accuquilt uses the equilateral triangles to piece hexagons into horizontal rows!  That got me to thinking about this quilt.  

I am often asked by newer die-cutters how to know when they can die cut a project and how to know which die to use.  I will explain my process of how I converted this pattern from rotary cutting to die-cutting.  It is much easier than you think!

Sometimes, it is easy to convert a pattern because it is all in strips and you can figure it out easily; but, sometimes a quilt is made with different shapes, like Snack Time, and you are uncertain how to proceed.  Sometimes you just need to follow the directions and cut one of the shapes and then see if you have the corresponding dies.  Sometimes, it is easier than that!


This pattern uses either the templates provided or the Hex N More ruler.  I LOVE it when patterns provide templates!  Look at those shapes - they look an awful lot like some die shapes I own! I used my dies and cut paper shapes and compared them to the template shapes.


So I grabbed some of the new Go! die release and the old hexagon die and compared them.  I used my dies and cut paper shapes and compared them to the template shapes.  They were not exactly the same size but close enough that it would still work and because all of these dies work together I knew that the blocks would go together!

The dies I used are:

Again, these are not exactly the same size but they work in the end!  When you first start converting patterns you have to sometimes take a leap of faith and try one block - it gets easier with practice.


See how pretty they are turning out!  This will be a nice, cheerful quilt when it is finished I think!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Night Sky

Hi all!

It is finally starting to look like spring here!  I can't even tell you how excited this makes me!  I think everyone has had a long hard winter and we're all anxious for some heat.

I have been busy sewing away on my Night Sky Quilt - the pattern is by Jaybird Quilts and uses her Sidekick ruler.  Well, finally the top is finished!!

What do you think?  I am really pleased with the way that it turned out!   I loved the colours in the pattern so we stuck pretty much to them for this quilt and I love the way that the colours sizzle.  It makes me think that spring is indeed coming - someday.

You know that I love to die cut; so, I figured out a way to die cut a pretty fair amount of the project so that I would have to rotary cut!  I was able to use my 3.5" strip die for all of the initial cuts - yey! - and use the same strip die for the diamonds by marking the 60 degree lines - big yey!  However, I couldn't figure out a way to cut the star points without quite a bit of waste :-(  So, for those, I had to use the sidekick ruler.  But, the blocks are framed in 1.5" strips so I was able to cut all of those without and problems. 

I really enjoyed this quilt and the challenge of putting it together.  I love that Julie writes he patterns for the more experienced quilter as well - not everything is spelled out in minute detail - she assumes that we do indeed know a few tricks and that really makes me happy. 

I was so happy with this quilt that i dropped it off at my LQS today, to be a store sample, and, I purchased another one of her patterns called Snack Time.  I think I might be able to die-cut the entire thing!!!  I will keep you posted ;-)

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Cutting, cutting and more cutting!

This is what I have been doing when I can.  Life has been crazy busy and I haven't had as much time as I have wanted to sew.

I am working on Jaybird Quilts' quilt Night Sky and loving all the solids!  The quilt uses her Sidekick ruler; but, I figured out a way to cut quite a bit of it using my Studio cutter!  I was able to cut all of the 3.5" strips, using my strip cutter; and, using the strip cutter again cut all the parallelograms on the right.  That was easy peasy!  I could figure out how to cut the triangles using the die cutter without quite a bit of waste so I used the ruler.


Sigh, when you are accustomed to die-cutting - rotary cutting takes forever and the rulers are so slippery!  I used True Grips on the bottom of the ruler and that helped but wow cutting those triangles took forever and a day :-)  And, I had to re-cut a couple of pieces because the ruler slipped and they were inaccurate.  I know - I am spoiled by my Studio cutter ;-)

Oh well, now the cutting is complete and I can get to the sewing!  I can't wait to see these colours come together!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Raggy Rectangle Trick!

Hi all!

I know I haven't blogged for a while!  I caught the virus that has been going around here and frankly I haven't felt like doing anything much or that I could do much :-P

I had my Accuquilt Go! Club yesterday and we featured the rag dies.  I pulled out my bin of orphan rag blocks to take with me and saw just how many of them I have and thought - I wonder if there is enough of like colours for a little quilt?  So, last night I made this.


A nice little lap quilt good for the Christmas season.  Needless to say this used quite a few of those orphan blocks and also some Minecraft Creeper Quilt scraps - yey!  This quilt uses the large and small rag squares and the now discontinued rag rectangle (the Go! is discontinued but the studio one still exists).  I have often thought that it was a real shame that the Go! rectangle was discontinued as it works so well with the other two dies and you can make so many different patterns with it.  This one is a sort of Take-5 Variation and it is wonderful for using up bits :-)


Here is the old rectangle next to the old large square.  One day I was looking at these and thought - hmmm, I wonder . . . . . 


If you cut a 5 1/4" strip from your flannel fabric (or whatever you are using) fold it in half lengthwise and then lay it across the LARGE rag die right next to the blades.


You only need to cover the are of the die that you are using with your cutting mat and run it through your cutter.


Unfold your fabric and there it is!


You have an exact replica of the raggy rectangle without the die!  If you are using the newer rag dies this would have the corners cut out but that's not what I have (so I would manually cut these out myself).

So there you go!  A little quilt and a new trick.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Pattern Testing Pillow

Hi all!

I hope that you are all enjoying your winter, or, at the very least, getting some sewing done while spending time indoors - I know that I am!

I am trial testing a pattern to teach a class on it.  I was attempting to die cut some, if not all, of the pattern instead of doing it all with rulers and templates.  I can die cut some of it at least!  Yey!

I made one block and really liked it so I thought that I would make it into a pillow - just to do something with it.


I think this looks good on my sewing chair.  And, I think this might just be it's new home.  I like the hexagon shape instead of square and the size is nice and small so it's an accent.  

The pattern is Jaybird Quilts Night Sky pattern.  What do you think?

Monday, January 06, 2014

Unidentified Bag in the Closet

I was looking for something in my UFO closet today and found this in the far back corner.


A really small bag with some fabric in it.  Huh?!  When did I put that in there.  I don't remember any of it LOL!


I opened up the bag and found some all blue 16-patches.  I vaguely remember these . . . . and some other squares and a piece of paper.


There is a patter from the 2008-2009 guild year for snowballs along with squares to cut them out using the stitch and flip method.  Hmmm.  Starting to remember this more now.  I sort of remember thinking to match the 16-patches up with some snow-ball blocks to make a scrap quilt.  It must have seemed like a good idea at the time because I packaged it all up for another day.

But, I must have had this idea before I understood quilting math very well LOL!  You see, those white squares are 2.5" and they will not match up with the 2" cut squares in the 16-patches.  I will end up with the HST not aligning with the squares.  This wouldn't bother some people, and I don't think it would have bothered me 5-6 years ago when i put this leaders and enders project away; but, this would really bother me now - silly I know but it would!


I remembered the snowball die that Accuquilt sent me and pulled it out.  This is a cool die that cuts all the shapes so that you have no trimming to do after you piece.  I like that!  Maybe I will play with the large blue squares and this die and make a snowball project.

I like the concept I had for a 16-patch, snowball quilt but I really don't like the values I chose here.  I think this would be MUCH better if the snowballs were white and the tips were blues, and, the right size for me ;-)  I think that would make a cool secondary pattern with nice contrast.

So, I think what I found was in fact not one but two little projects in my UFO closet.  Sigh!  How can one little bag hold so much stuff!?

Friday, January 03, 2014

New Years Day Quilting

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that you all had a great and safe New Years celebration and that, if you're in this area, kept warm!  It was -35 C today and that is COLD!

I spent New Years day as I did a couple of years ago making the Merry Mayhem's New Years Day Mystery quilt.  They gave us the first clue well ahead of time to do the prep work, and, when I saw that it was scrappy I JUMPED in with both feet to get rid of some scraps.  So, I spent New Years Day piecing this.

It used up so many small scraps out of my 2.5" strip bin and that made me very, very happy.  Between that and my other 2.5" strip project the bin is almost empty!! :-o  I know shocking.  Since I, frankly, had no need or place for this quilt I thought that it might be nice to donate it; so, now that the quilt is completely finished: it is quilted and bound and off to Victoria's Quilts to go to someone in need of comfort.  I know that the borders are uneven but I added them to bring the quilt up to the size that they like which, for this chapter is 50" x 70"


Here is a close-up of the quilting.  I used my Loricles Baptist Fan board again and I love the effect it gives - it makes the quilt look so vintage!  I backed it in a plaid homespun flannel out of my stash - yey!  It is quilted in 40 weight YLI cotton thread top and bobbin.  It went very smoothly and I think that the quilting really adds to the quilt.

So, what do you think?  Will this quilt make someone happy?

Do you plan on any charity quilting this year?