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I Love My AccuQuilt

I currently started a mystery quilt and I think the biggest surprise for me is, I don't think I like it. It definitely makes me workmystery quilt fabric outside my comfort zone. It has revealed that I like control. I want to plan my quilt, know where each fabric goes, what blocks I'll use, the borders, the quilting and on and on. See, I want total control over that quilt.

I like reading mystery books and the challenge of figuring out the plot. There, that's the problem with the mystery quilt I can't figure it out ahead of time as there is not enough information. So, I'll have to trust the person who wrote the instructions, cut the beautiful fabric into triangles, which by the way would be great in a quilt I have in mind, and make this mystery a reality.

It's only fabric and time. This will be good for me. It's good to challenge yourself or at least figure yourself out. I'll keep repeating this daily and maybe it will stick.

heart pillow pileGiving is in the air this time of year and we've been busy. We got together and made a dozen heart pillows for charity. The pillows are given to breast cancer patients to put under their arm to help protect their tender surgery and/or injection points. It's also a comfort pillow since it's a handmade gift to help them through this difficult time.

We chose calm soft cotton fabric and polyfil for the pillows. We heard about the charity from our quilt guild and found out our local quilt shop, Sylvia's Quilt Depot, accepted the pillows and passed them on to the charity representative.

We had a lot of fun making them. I remember commenting to Mom that this was the first time I had sewn curves on my machine. It just never came up until then and it wasn't really that hard, so it was great getting to learn a new skill. We hand cut the heart pillow patterns out, stitched them together on our machines leaving a hole for turning and filling, snipped the curves and turned them right sides out, filled them with polyfil, and then hand stitched the opening closed.

Disappearing Nine Patch Ornament designed by JessicaHolly Applique Ornament designed by JulieIt's that time of year again and we've been out shopping, baking, quilting, and busy, busy, busy. One of the highlights this year was getting to go to the Valley Quilters' Guild meeting. We had a potluck, ornament exchange, the usual fat quarter raffle, the quilt basket (fabric, tools and other fun things) raffle, and door prizes. It was a really fun night.

Mom made Cream Cheese Tortilla Roll-ups and I brought some locally made Bullseye Rye Bread from North Star Bakery. We were in the bread and appetizer group for the potluck which was great since this was our first potluck with the guild and we weren't really sure what everyone liked. Turned out to be lots of finger food and desserts, which was great.

Mom and I each made an ornament for the exchange. She created a beautiful appliqued holly ornament and I made a mini disappearing nine patch block. My block turned out a little off, since quilting when you're tired and on a block pattern you've never done before isn't the best idea, but with a little bit of embellishments I think it turned out nice.

Green stocking ornament made by Lisa C.Wool Mitten OrnamentSnowman door prize







The ornaments were wrapped when we exchanged them, little packages full of surprises. There were lots of really neat ornaments and an amazing amount of techniques used. Pretty much anything was allowed as long as the ornament was handmade so there were beaded ornaments like icicles, lace angels, stockings, quilt blocks, paper art, and more. Mom received an intricate wool appliqued ornament and I got a neat green stocking.

One great idea we want to remember for next year is wrapping the ornament in a piece of fabric. It was a really nice touch! We added chocolate to our ornament packets which the recipients seemed to like.

In addition to the ornament fun, Mom won one of the fat quarter raffle prize packs (she never wins things so that was the highlight of the night for me) and I won one of the door prizes. It was a fun night and a great way to celebrate the holiday season.

Happy holidays everyone!

The nights are getting cooler here in Alaska. The Birch trees have a hint of yellow and our thoughts are turning towards Fall. We really don't mind the approach of winter as we've spent a wonderful summer gardening and the winter means more time to quilt.

Julie's Fall Wall hangingJessica's Fall Wall HangingWe welcomed the approaching season by making a Fall wall hanging, bringing some of the Autumn colors inside. We used the Accuquilt GO! Fall Medley die and the GO! Fall Frolic Skinny Wall Hanging pattern that came with the die. We couldn't help personalizing the pattern by adding to this great project and coming up with our own creations. While we used a lot of the same fabrics, we each chose different directions for our final design.

The GO! Fall Medley die cuts one maple leaf, oak leaf, pumpkin and an acorn and cap. We arranged the appliqué according to the pattern, then fused the shapes onto a 6 1/2" x 30 1/2" light brown fabric. We wanted the wall hangings to be wider so we decided to add borders. After all of this we split up to work separately on our individual designs.

Jessica: First thing I did next was to secure my applique, I used a decorative stitch around all my leaves, pumpkins, and acorns. I tested several stitches on my machine, on a separate piece of scrap cloth, before finding my favorite, which resembles a lightening bolt. Next, I added 1 1/2" of orange sashing at the top and bottom and then a 2 1/2" dark brown border all around. I added half square finished triangle cornerstones to create the illusion that the orange pieces were threaded through the top and bottom of the wall hanging. 

Julie: I chose three different stitches for my appliqué, a satin stitch, blanket stitch and a decorative stitch that I don't have a name for, but resembles a combination of a satin and blanket stitch. I used these different stitches throughout my center design. Then to finish the top, I added gold 1 1/2" sashing all around, a 2 1/2" brown border and orange cornerstones. To cut the cornerstones I used the 2 1/2" square on the Value die, that is included with the GO!.

We quilted the wall hangings by sewing around each applique piece then stitching in the ditch to finish. We thought about doing more, but in the end, we decided to keep the quilting simple so that the applique could take center stage.

We had so much fun with this project and would love to hear your ideas for the Go! Fall Medley die in the comments below.

Jessica's AppliqueJulie's AppliqueGO! Dies Used:

Fall Medley Die - 55041

1 1/2" Strip Cutter - 55024

2 1/2" Strip Cutter - 55017a

Value Die - 55018