Thursday, August 30, 2012

Disappearing Nine Patch

Hi all!

I hope that you are all enjoying this late August weather.  Here it is very nice but for others in the US - stay safe!

I have been playing with my new Studio cutter, as you know, and I got another great tip from my friend Sherry for making a Disappearing Nine Patch quilt (D9P) using my Studio dies.  However, this tutorial can also be applied to the Go! as well.

First start off with your Studio F die (50035).  For the Go! you would use your F die as well (55019).  This is the square 4 3/4" - you could also use your 5" square die as well if that is what you have but you will have a slightly larger block in the end - not 12" square.


Fold your fabric selvage to selvage, and then repeat twice more for the studio so that your selvage runs perpendicular to the rollers so that you are rolling your fabric through on the lengthwise grain.  Do the same thing for the Go! just decrease the layers to 4 or 6 instead of 8.  Repeat this for all of your fabrics you are using in your D9P.

Can you see the date on that selvage??  Yes, that fabric has been in my stash since 2002 - yikes!  Time to use it up!


Piece together your 9-patches.  I did a simple configuration with alternating cream blocks.  Easy peesy.


Grab your 6.5"  batting die (50070) and lay your 9-patches on this and run it through your cuter.  When I bought my Studio Bread and Butter set I initially thought that I would never use this die - right now it is the die I have used the most!  The nice thing about using this die is that it squares your blocks up to a perfect 6.5" square for you while it divides them -so fast!  You can layer this 3 blocks thick. If you are using the Go! you will have to rotary cut this in half in both directions.


There are many different lay-outs for the D9P - way too many for me to show here.  Just Google D9P and you will see many variations.  Here are the two that I played with.  I chose the one on the left.


This top went together so quickly and easily - this will not be my last D9P!  I found some backing fabric in my stash and quickly loaded this onto the frame.  I quilted it in a YLI 40 weight variegated  thread in a loose meander loop. 


Binding, label and sleeve are on and this quilt is ready to be given away as a late wedding gift!


All fabrics were pulled from my stash including the sage green backing fabric!  Woohoo - that is a lot of yardage, that has been sitting for years, finally made into a quilt to be given away.  I am actually getting wiggle room in my stash drawers!!  I haven't had that in years.

This will not be my last D9P!  I think this would be a great way to use up kiddie prints and make some scrappy baby quilts or preemie quilts.  Have you made a D9P before?  Was this tutorial useful for you?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Might be Crazy

Hi all!

Well I think I might be a little crazy.  See, a friend of mine gave me this unfinished quilt top.  She tried to use on of those fabrics that come in stripes of say 10 different fabrics to make a lone star quilt by cutting strips to make it look like she had pieced them together.  Well, it worked ok  - see on the right that strip of white?  That and the fact that the top is a little wonky.  But, she was frustrated and about to throw this, and all the scraps, in the garbage.  Picture this - there were a tone of pieced panels that were going to go to waste with this method too.  So, I said, "Hey don't throw them out I'll take them!"


Famous last words!


I thought that I could process these panels (see the last couple top right?) with my die cutter - NOPE!  it just didn't work so I had to pull out my rotary cutter.  And I cut and trimmed and cut some more until I finally reached the end of the stack - why oh why did I say I'd take them?! 


At the end of all this cutting I had some nice stacks of fabrics: 2" squares, 1.5" finished HST and some already pieced HST - all ready to be used in a project! 

What am I going to do with the lone star top?  I think it might make a really nice back for whatever I choose to do with the other pieces.  I'm not sure what yet but I will do something with it!

What would you have done?  Chuck it or salvage it?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quilt in a Day - no - ok 24 Hours

I have always wanted to see if I could do this!  I have always wanted to see if I could make a quilt in a day - meaning 24 hours - and - guess what?  I did!

 As you know I just got my Studio Bread and Butter set and with it came the 6.5" square, multiples, die.  A while ago I saw a great tutorial by Sherry at Cherry Bomb Quilts for making a Take 5 variation using this die and I decided that this should be my first Studio cut quilt!

What do you think?  Cool huh?  Now I am not going to re-invent the wheel.  Sherry's tutorial is great and you can find it here.  As a matter of fact Ebony Love did a video on this too - it probably would have helped me out to find it before-hand but oh well.  Did you know that Ebony is running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund her die cutting book?!  If you are a die-cutter you are going to want this book.  If you are someone who is comparing the different die-cutting machine - you will want this book!  All I can say is I have had a little preview and it is great!  My copy is on pre-order already.


Needless to say, I followed the tut and  cut some fat quarters that have been siting in my stash forever (are you seeing a trend with a lot of my latest quilts?  Pulling from the stash!).  I followed Sherry's tut and cut and got these stacks.  I did some shuffling and made these stacks into blocks - and then the blocks into a top.  So fast, so easy.  This can also be cut on the Go! using some of the mix-and-match set to cut 3.5" squares, 6.5" squares and 3.5 x 6.5" rectangles - or - of course rotary cut.


Next I loaded it onto my mid-arm frame and did an all-over meander loop fill using a 40 weight cotton YLI variegated thread top and bobbin - my machine loves this thread!


Next, because I was fully committed to getting his finished I machine sewed on the binding, sleeve and label and got to work machine turning it - this will just be a throw so I am not hand turning it!


Don't believe me that it is all done?  There is the sleeve nicely hand sewn down ;-)  BTW the backing is pulled from my stash too!  It is a fabric I bought that has 2007 on the selvage - time to use it up - yey.

All done!!  A quilt in 24 hours!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My New Addition!

Look at what I got yesterday!!!  I gave a little teaser on my Facebook page with this yesterday and a few of you guessed what was in the box correctly - well done!


Can you guess what's in the boxes yet?

Yes!  I got the Accuquilt Studio cutter! I am so excited to start using this.

And I didn't just get the Studio - I got the Bread and Butter set which includes multiples of the popular geometric dies.  yey!! Why did I get the Bread and Butter set?  I took the advise of a knowledgeable Studio owner and when I looked at the different starter sets I could see that this one would be the best for me.  Aren't all of those multiples just lovely?!  The Bread and Butter set also comes with all the cutting mats and trays so that I could get cutting right away.

I know that many of you will be wondering why I upgraded from the Go!  Well, when I bought my Go! I knew that I would enjoy die cutting; but, I had no idea how much I would LOVE it!  Soon after buying my Go! I started to regret not buying the Studio - keep in mind that I have a dedicated sewing room that is quite large 21' x 14' so I have the room for this cutter.  Not everyone has the space for a cutter like this or, frankly, the budget or desire for one.  Also, the dies are HEAVY!!  This is a good thing - much like a heavy sewing machine is good.  It means the dies are sturdy and will last a long time!  But, if you have strength issues or injuries you might not be able to lift the dies for long.

What cinched the deal for me was when Accuquilt introduced the Go! Adapter pads!!!

Now none of my Go! dies will go to waste - I can use them all on the Studio.  This is what made me make up my mind to upgrade.

Now before you ask - I am keeping my Go! and the dies for it.  The Go! is portable - the Studio is not.  The Go! dies are lighter and less expensive than the Studio dies - so buying an applique die, for the Go!, that I might only use a handful of times, is still feasible. 

Why did I choose the Studio over the Sizzix Big Shot Pro you might ask?  Well frankly with the Studio I am not limited at all.  It has the largest opening and can take all manufacturers dies with the right adapters.  Also, Accuquilt has more variety of dies available than Sizzix - please keep in mind that I am not a scrap-booker and a lot of the scrap-booking dies are really not suitable for quilting so delving into that side of things didn't appeal to me.  Some dies that really appeal to me, like the new huge rag die, will not fit on the Sizzix machine.  So, my choice was clear to me.  I didn't want any limitation - this was a good choice for me.  That said I love my little Big Shot and do buy dies for it too!

I know that this is going to sound silly - but - I also love the way it looks!  It is slick!  I love the grey and black clean lines of it.  Since it is going to be out - I wanted to like the way it looks ;-)

Also, as a Canadian, we now have a Canadian Distributor Cherished Pieces who is in Southern Ontario so it will be easy for me to shop when I am down there visiting.  This will be easier than bringing it across the boarder.

Anyways that was quite a long ramble about my new addition - now to unpack everything and get it organized!

So, what do you think?  If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here!

Friday, August 17, 2012

1000 Pyramids is Done!

Have you been wondering where I was?  Well, it's summer so we did a little camping and then I was at the Zumba Convention in Orlando Florida!  What's Zumba you might be asking?  Zumba Fitness is a dance based fitness class that is so fun and very effective.  It's based around Latin and international rhythms and very addictive.  I teach fitness classes so I really wanted to attend the convention - if you can believe it I booked my room a year ago to attend this!  Lots of fun.

After I got home I was very tired, happy, but tired; so, I needed something easy to do and I grabbed the 1000 Pyramids quilt I have been working on and I finally finished hand turning the binding!


It got a little cloudy out today so I ran outside and snapped a couple shots of the quilt.  I am really happy with how this turned out.  I don't know why I love one block quilts so much but I really do.  One block quilts like the 1000 Pyramids quilt or the Tumbler became really popular in the 30's and they hold a special place in my heart!  I cut this quilt using the Accuquilt Go! Isosceles 5" x 6" die.  This is another great die and perfect for using up scraps or fat quarters.  I had a bunch of FQ's that I had purchased on sale and were crying out to be included in a quilt so here they are!


Here is a close-up of the quilting.  I quilted this in 50 weight off white cotton thread top and bobbin in a sort of meandering wave.  I took inspiration from one of the fabrics I used.  See the greeny one second from the left at the top?  It has green scribbles that kind of looked like that to me so I went with it!  So often when I can't decide how to quilt something I look to my fabric for inspiration.  I wanted to keep this an all-over pattern and, since I think this quilt has a modern feel to it, even though it is a classic block, I wanted something a little funky in the quilting.

Well that's all for now!  Except to say - that I am expecting an addition to my sewing room and I am over the moon excited to get it!  Sorry for the tease but I will let you in on the secret soon :-D  Can you guess what it is?