Sunday, March 29, 2020

Two Hearts, One Love - One Die Wonder Challenge!

Another month, another great challenge from Island Batik!  They provided us some great fabric, and Accuquilt provided a really fun BOB (Block on Board) die, then the Island Batik Ambassadors had to come up with an inspiration to make a quilt that makes the block from our die the star of the show.  Not hard to do with die I received - Storm at Sea.  I just love this block and have used it in several quilts in the past.  But I've never used the GO! cutter to cut my pieces before, and let me tell you, I am in love!

I have wanted to make a Storm at Sea quilt with a heart on it for a while, so this was the perfect time to try it out.  Not to mention that my husband and I are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary this month (in fact, it's today!) so it really was perfect timing.

I chose to use my bundle of foundation fabrics from my first box this year.  I loved the colors - purples, blues and greens with a fun pop of bright pink! I really loved the solids mixed in with the different textures.  I did a little math and decided that I had enough fabric to make around 30 blocks, which was a large enough quilt to have two hearts in it.  I read through the cutting directions for the die and pre cut into the sizes that would work to cut on the die.

It's not quite as easy as just putting a single layer of fabric through, but the way the pieces are arranged you can put your background, medium and dark pieces through in the amounts needed so you can make your blocks without cutting a lot of extra pieces you won't need.  I had to do a bit of math, but it worked out perfectly, and I was able to pre cut the pieces quickly.

One that was done, it only took an hour to actually die cut all the pieces for my blocks, plus the extra pieces to fill out the side and bottom border.  I actually brought my GO! cutter into the living room on a card table and did the cutting while watching a TV show with my husband.  It really was a no-brainer, plus is a nice quiet activity to do without disturbing anyone.  There are 28 pieces in each block, so there were a lot of pieces (1003!), and all of them are perfectly sized and trimmed to sew together easily, with no trimming of dog ears after sewing!  I LOVE THIS!!

I spent about 8 hours chain piecing all of the units for the blocks.  There was a tiny bit of ripping out because of my design, but it all came together in the end!  I started out with the heart sections, then the rest was just a scrappy explosion.

Do you see how those pieces are precisely angled so you can align them together?  And how perfectly those points line up?  Even on the long pieces, it's so easy to sew them together because all you have to do is line up the edges - no guesswork, or marking seam lines needed, they just go together with no problem!  Perfect piecing absolutely starts with perfect cutting, and the Accuquilt GO! system does the job!

 I used a size 10 Microtex Chrome needle from Schmetz for the piecing, and I think that also contributed to the accuracy of my sewing.  Even when I had to rip out, I wasn't left with large holes in the fabric.  Though I had intended to change to the size 12 for the quilting, I forgot.  And the same needle worked just as well for my quilting!  I'm officially a fan of this needle now!  Plus, it even worked with my needle threader on my machine, which is definitely a bonus - usually I have to hand thread the smaller needles, which is why I usually stick to the size 12 needles to start with.  I used Auriful thread in 50 wt for both piecing and quilting as usual!
I used this pink thread for the hearts, and peacock blue for the rest of the quilt.  All the quilting on this quilt was done using my walking foot, and stitching 1/4 inch from the seam lines to accent the curvy look of the block. 
So pretty!
I love the sparkle of a scrappy quilt.  For the back, I added a strip of the leftover pink I used for the center of the hearts to a long piece of fabric.  This piece was from the Graphic Gems collection.  I really wanted to hoard save it for another time, but it really was perfect for this backing. 
This trick is really great for those quilts when you need just a few inches added to the width of a border.  I just cut a strip around 15 inches from one edge and insert a contrasting fabric.  Looks much better than adding a strip to one edge, and is fast and easy to do.
The binding is Cheerios in Plum - borrowed from the fabric that goes with a pack of pre-cuts I'll be using later this year. 

The batting is Hobbs Natural 100% cotton with scrim.  You only need to quilt this batting at least 8 inches apart, so it was perfect for this lightly quilted project.  I think it's a bit flatter that the 100% cotton without scrim, both are easy to quilt and make a nice lightweight quilt.  I would use either one of them for most of my projects with no problem!
My quilt finishes at 48 x 57 inches.  A nice size for a lap quilt, I think!  If you like this block, I highly recommend the Storm At Sea BOB die - it will definitely make the cutting easy, and the sewing will be a breeze.  Make sure you visit my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors and see what they made with their AccuQuilt dies this month!
Thanks again to Island Batik, plus Accuquilt, Schmetz Needles, Aurifil Thread and Hobbs Batting for providing me with the materials needed for this project!  I can't wait to get started on next month's challenge!  I have it partially thought out and an excited to start cutting and sewing - have I told you lately how much I love being an Island Batik Ambassador?  Stay tuned for the next challenge!


teachpany said...

Beautiful, Pamela! I had the same die. It's perfect!

Jayne said...

I'm quite smitten with this quilt! The hearts are amazing and make this quilt perfect. I've made a SAS quilt before and can't imagine how nice it would be not to have the ears! Congrats! This is a beautiful quilt!

Emily said...

Wow, this is amazing! I love the hearts! And the colors!!!! Happy Anniversary!

Sandra Walker said...

Just beautiful Pamela! I'm still (aaah) sewing parts for mine, and there are a LOT of parts to get this to the required size! You may see some similarities between yours and mine when it's done...

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

This is beautiful, Pamela! I love this pattern and it is definitely on my bucket list. Now there are two one die wonder blocks I am going to have to buy!! I love the way you incorporated the hearts in them. Happy anniversary!

Kathleen said...

What a great project! I must get this die - it is a winner and love your design. I think it is a blast to see what folks do with the designs in Storm at Sea, and this one, perfection! Congrats on the anniversary and hope you found lovely ways to celebrate in this time isolation.

Jollygirl said...

I love your quilt! Adding the hearts was a brilliant idea! Thank you so much for sharing. Happy anniversary!

Sues said...

Stunning!!! Great contrast in your color choices really sets of the pattern. And those hidden hearts are so sweet!!! :)

Zafira said...

Perfect color combinations, I love this pattern!

Kelly Dee said...

Wow, wow, wow! Love it :-)