Showing posts with label Accuquilt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Accuquilt. Show all posts

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Christmas In July with AccuQuilt and Island Batik

This month we had a really fun assignment as Island Batik Ambassadors!  AccuQuilt sent each of us a GO! Me Fabric Cutter Starter Kit and asked us to make a quilt using only the two dies included in the kit (3 inch finished quarter square and half square triangles) and present the cutter and small quilt as a gift to someone that we thought would really enjoy using it!

The items in this post were provided for me to use through the Island Batik Ambassador program.

If you haven't seen the Go! Me cutting system yet, here are some of the really great things about it:

  • Ultraportable - allows quilters to take the GO! Me with them anywhere

  • New quilter gains confidence in their art form faster

  • Elevates workmanship of the quilter

  • Same cutting performance as the GO! - Fast, Accurate, Easy and Safe

  • Includes two GO! Dies, cutting mat and pattern book

  • A great gift for any quilter

Not to mention, that it is so totally stinking cute!  Plus there are tons of dies that you can use with this, from piecing to applique.  You can visit the AccuQuilt site to see more of what they have.  Plus the Go! Me is on sale right now...I don't know for how long, but it's a good price for the starter kit!

On to the challenge!

I was having a hard time deciding on who I would gift this to, so I decided to get started with the quilt while I was thinking.  There are a few nice patterns in the book that's included with the GO! Me starter kit, and there was a baby quilt that used this pinwheel block, so I decided to make a few of them and see where that led me.  I was so delighted to discover that the Island Batik Stashbuilder rolls are the perfect size for these dies!
I cut quarter square triangles from these and used Sprinkles from the foundations for the background.  I decided to offset the colums because I liked the movement this added to the design.  I added a half pinwheel to square my little quilt off and it was finished in no time.  I just love using the Accuquilt for triangles because there are no dog ears to have to trim off!  It really makes the sewing go quickly.

And in hardly any time I had this cute 24 x 27 inch quilt.  I had two of the gold strips from my rolls, so I used those for the binding.   I quilted it in a spiral pattern using Aurifil thread in a pale gray 50 wt.  Goes with everything!  The batting is a piece of the Hobbs Heirloom cotton with scrim - which has a lovely softness and drape for small quilts.  Of course I used a Schmetz needle for the piecing and quilting!  I like the size 10 chrome Professional for piecing and the size 12 for quilting.

By the time I finished the quilt I decided that I would like to surprise my friend Lora with this fun Christmas in July surprise!  I have known Lora for quite a while now, she took some of my classes several years ago when she was a very beginner and is now also working at Threads That Bind!  I arranged to meet her yesterday afternoon, and presented her with the quilt and the cutter.  She was so surprised!

Lora and I both want to say a big Thank You to AccuQuilt for their generosity in sponsoring this challenge!  As well as to Island Batik!  I also gave Lora the leftover fabric and a few Stashbuilder rolls to play with.  It was fun to think of getting another quilter addicted to the fun and ease of using the Go! cutter - I know she is going to love it as much as I do.  

Make sure you visit the rest of the Island Batik Ambassadors and see their Christmas in July posts!  We have all had such fun being able to gift these wonderful little Go! Me cutting systems, and it was really a great moment for me to get to share this with my friend, Lora.  It was a very fun Christmas in July, indeed!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Winter Blues Blog Hop and Island Batik January Challenge - Flying X blocks, Let's Get Scrappy!

Welcome to day 2 of the Winter Blues Blog Hop!  I am sure enjoying seeing all the "Blues" because I love them so much.  The color blue does make me happy, even in these cold and dim winter days.  And I think that this time of year, you just have to spend extra time doing things that bring you joy! 

I'm combining my project with the January Island Batik Ambassador Challenge - which is a Scrap Quilt challenge.  (These fabrics were all provided to me through Island Batik in the boxes that have been sent to me as an ambassador over the last few years as well as the batting, thread and AccuQuilt Go! used for the cutting.)

The first thing I did was to pull out the AccuQuilt Go! and 8 inch Qube set.  I found a block that I liked in the Mix and Match block and pattern book and started looking through my scraps to find blue fabrics that I wanted to use.  I decided to make 12 blocks and used two different blues in each block, so 24 different blue fabrics went into this quilt.  There are fabrics going back to my very first ambassador box in this quilt! It didn't take long to turn all those scraps into pieces for my blocks...

I love the way these blocks came out!  If you aren't too sure if you really like scrappy quilts, try making one with a controlled color palette.  You just might change your mind! I used the same fabric (rice) for the background and the sashing to make my blocks look like they are floating on the quilt, and found a fun strip of raindrops for the cornerstones in one of my Stash Builder rolls

I love my finished quilt!  I decided I wanted to try something new with the quilting so I used my walking foot to quilt curved lines across the quilt.  It was really pretty fun and easy and I love the look of it!  The thread was the same pale blue Aurifil 50 wt that I used for the piecing. 

The batting is Hobbs Heirloom Cotton.  I love the soft loft of it, and how nicely it quilts!  The light quilting makes this quilt nice and soft!

I used Blueberry from the Island Batik foundations line for the border and Cheerios in Blueberry (my favorite color from island batik!) for the binding.  You can see the raindrop cornerstones in this picture as well!
Isn't this a pretty winter quilt?  It measures 40 x 50 inches - the blocks are 8 inches, sashing and cornerstones are 2 inches and the border is 4 inches.
I decided to hang it over my dining room window for now.  I really want to make a nice roman shade for this window, but I am really liking this quilt in that spot for the time being!

I hope you enjoyed my project!  Make sure you go visit the other bloggers who are posting today - so many great projects featuring "Winter Blues".  Thanks again to Carla for hosting this great hop!

And also thanks to Island Batik for providing the fabric, Accuquilt for the Go! cutting system, Hobbs Batting, and Aurifil Thread.  You can see all the 2020 Island Batik Ambassador blogs by clicking the tab at the top of my blog or by clicking here.  There will be lots of great projects coming up!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing all of my US readers a Happy Thanksgiving!  We are spending a quiet day at home, we'll have a nice early afternoon turkey dinner and I have plans to do a lot of sewing in between cooking, cleaning and napping off all that good food!

So here is what is happening around here this week:  Look at what's up on my design wall!  Assembly instructions for Seashore Splendor will be worked on as I get it all together tomorrow.  I am loving it so much! 

Cleo's Kaleidoscope was featured on the Accuquilt blog!  I am so honored, I love being an Island Batik Ambassador, and am grateful for the resulting partnership with AccuQuilt!  I'll be finding out very soon if I'll retain my position as an Ambassador with Island Batik.  I certainly hope so, I really love their fabric, and being part of this great program.  Cross your fingers for me!

I'm having a sale in my Etsy shop this week!  Save 30% off everything, including PDF patterns.  

Plus I have three more of these awesome tote bags left for the next 3 people that purchase a quilt from my shop!  That plus free shipping is quite a deal!  I have some of the quilts available in the tab at the top of my blog and you can visit my Etsy shop here to see them all.

If you are like me and feel like you are always sooo busy, this is a great article!  I'm going to work on some of these things this year.  I've made some improvements in this over the last few months, but this article had some excellent ideas that I'd like to implement as well:

Creating the Habit of Not Being Busy

I think we all could stand to be a little less busy and enjoy our lives more!  Hope you enjoy tomorrow, no matter what you are doing or where you are!  

Sunday, September 29, 2019

September Island Batik Ambassador Challenge - Cleo's Kaleidoscope

I'm glad I got an early start on this month's Island Batik Ambassador challenge because it took me until yesterday to actually get it quilted and finished!  I am excited to debut today's quilt - Cleo's Kaleidoscope!

Here is our inspiration for the theme of the challenge:  "Let your inner child come out to play!  Color, fun and playful are all for grabs this month! Make a quilt for a kid that you love or to donate to a kid that needs comfort. Clear out space for magic & whimsy when creating this month!"
We needed to use the new Block on Board die we received in our June Ambassador box, fabric from either of the boxes we received, and make a juvenile inspired quilt larger than 45 x 60. I received the Cleopatra's Fan die from AccuQuilt - so pretty, and this was going to make a good challenge to come up with a quilt that would be fit for a child! This block seemed more like an elegant type of design, so I was intrigued with the idea of making something fun and whimsical out of it.

I decided to use these fabrics that I received in the July box (box 2) They coordinate with the Mermaid's Cove strip pack and are all basics and blenders that are always available! Those and the solid black should make a fun and colorful quilt!

Thanks to EQ8 I was able to create virtual blocks to play with the colors and layout of my fabric before making even one cut! This is what the traditional coloring of the block looks like. Pretty. But I didn't have enough fabric to make the number of blocks I wanted to use in my quilt (12) and I wanted a more playful and whimsical look. So what if you mix the colors up to make some interesting shapes? Like in a Kaleidoscope!
Now we are getting more interesting and fun! It did make the cutting a bit more challenging, but I managed that by figuring out what pieces went where in the block and made a cutting chart for myself. It helped that the die is clearly marked with letters for each piece. I just measured my piece, layered a stack of the appropriate size fabric and cut. It took a few more passes because my layout was a bit complicated, but it really wasn't difficult at all!
You can't cover all the shapes at once because the overlapping fabric would be too many layers, so you do have to alternate pieces when cutting this way. Notice that the pieces are laid out in groups. This makes it possible to use strips for the traditional coloring method and it's easier to cut them out in groups with less fabric waste.
It did get a little tricky because some of my blocks were mirrored and I used two different color stories for my blocks, but by lettering my printouts from EQ8 and making a list of how many of each color I needed that task was accomplished.
Sewing my first block was amazing. I didn't use one pin on this block! The pieces have notches to match up, the instructions include seam pressing instructions and the curves are gentle and easy. Doesn't it look awesome?

My four center blocks were symmetrical, so they were perfect to practice on. First I laid all my pieces out.
Then started sewing! I've done curved seams before so wasn't too intimidated. I like to sew curves with the convex part on top. Start at the top of the curve, matching up the top edges.
Then I use my fingers to line up the edges of the seam, making sure to match the notch. (For a change my fingernails look pretty because of a pre-wedding manicure!) Sew that 1/4 inch seam to the notch, then line up the end of the seam and stitch that:
Ta-da! No pins!
Center blocks up on the design wall. Oh, the possibilities!
After piecing the remaining eight blocks I spent a lot of time arranging blocks! There were a lot of ideas in the running, but eventually I narrowed it down to my favorite - there was a lot of EQ8 involved in this step as well!

It was so hard to pick a favorite, but I finally did and got my top sewn together. I pin basted it, I was really hoping to use the remaining piece from the Hobbs Black batting, which I loved for my March project, but didn't have quite enough left for this project.

I decided to go with the Heirloom Premium 100% natural cotton because it's really a great all purpose batting and would work well for this quilt. I really love the light weight feel of this batting, and the lovely texture you get after washing. Since this quilt is for a child, it will definitely need to stand up to washings!

I was done with this step early in the month, but a busy September kept me from quilting it until this week!
I pulled out all my Aurifil thread and started matching up to all my fabrics. (I also used it for all the piecing - the 50 wt is the perfect thread for nice flat seams!) I found something for every color! I like using the 50 wt for quilting because it really blends in and lets the piecing take center stage. Plus, you don't need to perfectly match the colors to the fabric - this green wasn't quite the same color as the Cherio dots, but it looks great on the quilt!

I stitched a 1/4 inch line around each piece. Yes, that was a lot of thread to clip at the end. I did each color as I finished and it wasn't too bad of a task, plus it gave me a good reason to get up and move, which keeps me from getting knots in my neck! Here is how I keep from getting knots on the back of my quilt:
This is similar to how I pull up the threads if I am going to knot and bury them as well. I bring up the bobbin thread by holding the top thread taught with my thumb, then needle down and up.
You can see the small thread tail that has popped up. I then lift my presser foot and use my tweezers to grab that thread and pull it out.
I then hold both threads together with my thumb, lower the presser foot and take a couple of stitches in one spot to secure the thread. I can then quilt around my shape, coming back to the starting point. I take a couple of stitches again to anchor the threads, then I use the thread cutter on my machine to cut the thread. After quilting all the same color I take my thread to my cutting table and I trim all the top threads flush with the top of the quilt, then flip my quilt to the back and trim all the little 1/4 inch ends that are sticking out. By holding the threads at the beginning you eliminate those nasty little thread ends from tangling up at the beginning of your stitching. If I want to bury my thread ends in the quilt I don't cut my thread at the end of my stitching line, instead I raise the needle and move my quilt a few inches then use the thread cutter so I have longer tails to deal with. I mostly just trim my threads for quilts that will be used and not go out to shows. One of those personal preference things!

For the setting triangles on the sides I used straight lines radiating to the outside of the quilt, and that looks really nice with the piecing, too!

So, there is another lovely finish in the books for September!  I hope you enjoyed seeing how I made my quilt, and maybe you picked up a good pointer or two.  Have you ever done curved piecing?  Are you a pinner or are you crazy like me and like to just sew them with no pins?  I'd love to hear if you have any great tips for sewing curves - it seems like lots of people are a little scared of them, and it would be great to share ideas to help make it a little easier to accomplish them.  I have to say, having the Go! fabric cutter made the cutting a lot easier because that's the part I don't like about curves!  I really love the cutter, and am so thankful to AccuQuilt for providing me with one this year as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program!

As always, a big thank you to Island Batik, Aurifil thread and Hobbs Batting for providing products and inspiration for this project!  I love being an Island Batik Ambassador!

May you be inspired to create something fun as well, today!  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Try It! Challenge for Island Batik - Nanette's Fractured Bargello Jacket

I was really excited about the June Challenge that was extended to the Island Batik Ambassadors - to try a new technique.  At first, it was really hard to think of a technique that I haven't tried, but then ideas started coming and I had enough ideas for several challenges!  A quilted garment was one thing that interested me, or maybe a bargello quilt?  In the end, I decide that it would be fun to make a quilted jacket using Nanette's Fractured Bargello Jacket Pattern and do both.  Here are the results:
Colorful and fun!
I really like it - it was fun to choose the colors and arrange them in a pretty order.  The pattern was very helpful and the instructions were easy to follow.  And bonus - I have almost a whole strip set left over and plan to make a matching bag out of that!
I do have to admit that I cheated a little on this challenge, the fabrics I used are all Island Batik, but because I needed 1/3 a yard each of 12 different colors I ended up chosing them from our stock at the quilt shop.  Several are from the Eclectic Garden collection, and some are Paisley Dot.  I love mixing and matching colors and patterns, and it's a fun challenge to take fabrics from different lines and use them together.  It was super fun to combine different lines from Island Batik and just play with making a fun color strata.  The Blueberry Paisley dot I used for the fracture strips was one I had used in a quilt last year - it's definitely my all time favorite color!  

It was serendipity that I needed three 2 1/2 inch strips of each fabric - the 2 1/2 inch strip die for the Go cutter cuts three strips at once!  Since you can cut 6 layers of fabric I was able to cut all my strips with four passes through the cutter - super quick and easy!
After that quick job, it was simple to sew all the strips together to make three rainbow sections for the bargello.  After that it was not quite that simple - not because of the pattern, but because of me not paying good attention to the directions!
I did my fair share of ripping out during the making of my jacket - notice that end strip?  I inadvertently separated my strip at the wrong point, then sewed it on upside down.  I also did the second sleeve with strips that were all cut 1/4 inch too wide.  After three days of debating myself about whether or not it would be noticeable I ended up ripping that sleeve out and doing it over - and am glad I did.

I do wish I had gone up one more size on the sweatshirt that I used for the base of the jacket.  I didn't want it to be too baggy, but I think it could be a bit larger.  I guess that gives me the opportunity to make another one, right?  And I can't wait to work on the bag I want to make from the leftovers of my project!

For this project I used assorted Island Batik fabrics, the 2 1/2 strip die and Go! cutter from Accuquilt, plus blue and pink 50 wt thread from Aurifil.  No batting required because this project uses a sweatshirt for the base.  Thanks for the wonderful products and the fun challenge!  Go visit the Island Batik Store Locater and see if you can find a local store to make a rainbow out of their Island Batik fabrics!
Linking up with:
Myra Finished or not Friday
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
The Inquiring Quilter (Wednesday Wait Loss)