Monday, September 26, 2011

Go! Halloween

Or, the Charm Pack Challenge

With a Giveaway

I’m still thinking about those little trees I mentioned a couple blog entries back, but meanwhile, I got distracted. I saw this cute little charm pack of Deb Strain’s Trick or Treat fabric line.

I thought, I could have some fun with those. I decided I would cut all the charms with one die on the Go! and that I’d use my good friend –Pellon Fusible Stabilizer 1" Quilters Grid – to sew things up.

Now, there really wasn’t any reason to this challenge. Just a little sewing room “Well, why not?” moment. Here’s what followed.

First, I decided to use the 2 inch square die. Which, of course, I have marked for convenience.

I laid the charm squares so that the edges of the charms were right up against the marked cutting lines.

After running the die through the Go!, I wound up with 4 two inch squares, 1 one inch by five inch rectangle, and 2 one inch by two inch rectangles. (Of course, that’s per charm – since I’m running four to six charms through at a time, the total number is much higher).

When I set up for the second stack of charms, I added the long strip to the die. Like this:

That means that strip will be cut into 2 one inch by two inch rectangles and 1 one inch square.

As a side note: when I run my dies through the Go!, I place a piece of scrap paper on top.

That way, when I remove the cutting mat after the die has been run through the Go!, the only thing that sticks to the mat is paper.

I set a few of the charms aside since I though they’d be better off fussy cut, but the rest I ran through the AccuQuilt Go! – and in just a few minutes, I had this.

So, now it was time to pull out the Pellon. I like to lay it on top of white paper and mark the corner dimensions of the size I want with washable ink. Then it is easy for me to see and cut.

After I cut the interfacing, I place it (fusible side up!) on my Cut n’ Press. I like that I can line up the grid lines of the fusible with the Cut n’ Press. That makes adding patches in line super easy and it’s ready to press as is once I’m happy with the design.

Time to start playing with patches. For this one, I started with the larger squares set in place. Then I added the surrounding rectangles and put in the little one inch squares last.

When I iron, I like to put a cloth over the patches to hold everything down until they are securely in place.

I thought about different options as I went. The above block became a mini quilt and one based on a similar grid became a mug rug. I also did some basic mug rugs.

And baskets. If you haven’t come across Pink Penguin’s fabric basket tutorial, then you’ve been missing out on one of the best sewing tutorials on the web. Check it out here!

I like to use Pellon’s fusible grid to make the patchwork. For one – fast, easy, and super accurate (what’s not to like?). For two – the interfacing gives the basket a little more body. Even though I will need to separate sections, I think it’s fastest to work with a single piece of the Quilter’s Grid. Like this:

I sew the short seams first.

Then cut it in half.

And finally sew the long seams to finish the sections off.

You may wonder just how I’m sewing these together! If you haven’t worked with the Pellon grid before, I have directions given in earlier tutorials. You can find the tutorial for using the straight grid like I’m using with these projects here. And you can find a tutorial for using Pellon’s on-point fusible grid here.

ANYHOO – this went on for a while. Till I had this leftover.

Truth be told, I wasn’t really in love with the whites in this collection. They are seriously cute, don’t get me wrong, but generally speaking, I don’t prefer white with high contrast fabrics. Given another charm pack with more muted options, I probably would have kept on going. I’d have been down to coasters and pin cushions but those pieces would have found a home. But that’s hypothetical. With this charm pack, I decided to call it good.

And here’s what I got for my labors.

Two fabric baskets:

Four mug rugs:

And a mini quilt:


But aren’t they just fun?

And, hey, are you still with me? Because here’s the Giveaway! These two mug rugs are looking for a home. Would you like them in yours? If so, just leave a comment. I’ll leave the drawing open until the end of our AccuQuilt Go! Fall Blog Hop – I’ll visit our old friend the random number generator on Saturday morning.

And for more AccuQuilt blog hop fun, check out these blogs this week:

Monday, September 26th
Darlene (SewCalGal) -

Tuesday, September 27th
Terrie (Bits & Pieces) (you are here!)
Sharon (Craizee Corners)

Wednesday, September 28th
Katrina (Sunshower Quilts)

Thursday, September 29th
Connie (Quilting by the River)
Mary (the Tulip Patch)

Friday, September 30th
Polly (Polly's Porch)

Thank you, Darlene, for putting this together!! I’m so looking forward to seeing what everyone has come up with!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sizzix Big Shot or Cricut?

As anyone who visits here knows, I love my AccuQuilt Go!  Regular visitors also know that I am most definitely a gadget girl (though, in my case, “girl” seems a little overly optimistic). 

I’ve been loving how I can cut applique shapes with the Go! and a blogger browser can’t help but notice that quilters are also using the Sizzix and the Cricut to cut fabric shapes as well.

So, my question is: how do each of these work with fabric?  Which would you think is the better choice to supplement the magic of the Go!

My first impression seemed liked the Sizzix might be a better choice, but perhaps that’s just because I’m so used to the idea of die shapes.

Anyone?  Suggestions?  Advice?  Opinions?

Saturday, September 17, 2011


The For the  Love of Color Modern Swap is done.  There’s still the MiniQT Halloween swap to finish up before the end of the month.  But before that is the AccuQuilt Fall Blog Hop.  That’s in about a week and a half, so in the spirit of working to deadline, that’s what I’m up to.  At least thinking about it.

So.  A Fall themed project.  Where to begin? 

Well, I decided to begin with how each and every Fall out here in Colorado, I miss New Jersey.  NJ is where I grew up and it’s been a long, long time since I’ve been back there.  And it’s true that a mountain side ablaze with golden Aspen is a thing of beauty.  But here in town?  Honestly, it doesn’t amount to much.  Certainly not the brilliant wash of color I remember from childhood.

All of which is to say I’ve been thinking that for my  blog project, I’d like something that is about color.  Trees and leaves. 

These dies could make trees, right?

First off, fusing some trees and trunks.

On the die.

There they are.  Little trees.

And sewing rooms being what they are, before I knew it, I had the start of my very own orchard!

Aren’t they cute?  Of course, now I need to come up with something to do with them.  A bunch more put over a loosely pieced background?  Put together over subtly shaded blocks – perhaps theme related?  Put into their own little blocks?  Lined up to make a table runner?  Placemats? 

Geez.  I just don’t know.  Ideas anyone?

Friday, September 16, 2011

But is it Modern?

The latest swap was the For the Love of Color Modern Swap.  I was lucky and my partner posted a color palette on her blog and while the table runner I made isn’t exact to her palette, it’s got a fair amount of it.  So, here it is sitting outside on the deck.

And here it is on my  dining room table.

I have to say that I just love how this came out.  It would be really painful to have mailed it away except that, honestly, those purples really don’t go with my orange walls.  Still.  This one just made me really happy.  The spider block is one of my favorites and using Fold and Sew, it is just so easy to get those rounds to match up! 

I just might make up another one and do up a pattern.  Surely I can find colors that would work with my dining room. 

Meanwhile,  I also received my modern swap quilt.  This came to me from dduncan713 (over on Flickr).  The colors on this are absolutely incredible.  They are so vibrant, they glow!  It’s a little hard to see from the photo, but it is hand quilted as well.  (I always admire the effort it takes to do that!)

And how about a house pillow to go along?

So, here’s my package!  Thank you, Deirdre.  The package is awesome!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us!

We liked the book, and we liked the movie.  But what we loved was the book cover.

midnight 2

And the bird girl.

Which brings me to the tradition my own true love and I started some years ago.  When it’s our anniversary, instead of buying each other a present, we buy something for us.  And this year, the bird girl is it.

So, the landscapers came in and pulled out the old mulch and landscape fabric for us, then laid down a combination of mulch, stone, and breeze.  Now the bird girl has a place of her own.

Okay, so it’s not a beautiful cemetery in Savannah, and “Early Morning in the Sandelin Backyard” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”  On the other hand, this one is ours. 

The next step is to get some pots for flowers to add some color to the breeze area where the bench sits.

Isn’t she lovely?  Oh, yes.  She makes us very happy, indeed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rainbows, Rainbows

Here’s the lovely rainbow themed S.T.U.D. quilt I received from Frieda. 

I love how she quilted the colorful circle in the center!
Here’s the package with the really cute card, a sweet bit of fabric, and a cool needle pack.  I just love those bears!

And, just  one last little thing: part of the added little something to go with the solid colored modern quilt swap.  My partner is a biker and loves these colors.  I’m hoping this will do the trick for her.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Go! Rainbows

Miniatures in Minutes Revisited

There was a convergence of event here.  One, I’m doing a lecture and workshop in Santa Barbara in October – and whenever I’ve got a workshop ahead, I like to come up with a few new ideas using that foundation.  Two, the challenge for S.T.U.D. (Swap Till You Drop) this last time was using a single shape in rainbow colors. 

When I’m making up a mini, there are times I cut out exactly the number of patches that I need.  Other times I just cut out a bunch and see what I come up with.  That’s what I did this time and the AccuQuilt Go! is perfect for that.  I use the 1 inch strip die.  First I cut fabric squares at about 5 1/4" to 5 1/2" and lay them on the die.

They cut up into such nice clean strips!

I just peel away the little side strips that are no good and then lay the 1" strips crosswise across the die.

After that is run through the die, I’ll have a whole bunch of little one inch squares.  I’ve only shown one set in the photo but I can actually fit four sets of squares on the die.  Given that each 5" square yields 25 patches and I can layer those squares four to six deep – that means I can cut 400 to 600 little squares in just two passes through the die cutter.  Yeow!

I played with the patches and didn’t use a couple of the yellows shown above.  Before I head out to Santa Barbara I’ll make up a Quilt Layout Diagram for this pattern, but I just laid them out and sewed them as is. 

I’ve got a bunch more of those patches cut out, so there is time to play.  Plus, I mailed this one out for the swap.  I’ll be making another one for myself as well. 

I’ll have pictures soon of the pretty little quilt I received today, too.  I just have to wait till tomorrow when I’ve got better light.

Meanwhile, wishing everyone lots of rainbows (and no more rain than you want).