Autumn Jubilee 2020 Quilt Along update

Last time I posted about the Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along was when I was working on the pumpkin row (https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2020/10/24/pumpkins-and-fall-fun/ ) . About a week later, Carole published the assembly information on her blog From My Carolina Home, and I got busy assembling my rows in the specified order, with sashing in between the rows and a surrounding border.

Row quilt for #Autumn Jubilee 2020
First round of borders on

At this point with the project, the only “yardage” cut was the fabric I used for the TREE row, and for the sashing/borders. The sashing has a wonderful little golden dot, which went nicely with the fall colors. I do get inspired by nature when picking fabrics for projects.

Fall in Delaware
November 10, 2020

Nature was slow to show me the colors this year on my favorite tree. We had some lovely warm days (and lots of bike riding) so it was hard to focus on the “next step” on the Autumn Jubilee quilt. I decided that I wanted to do something a bit different than what the pattern called for so I measured the quilt, and contacted my sister in law, Carolyn. She makes the BEST borders!! So, I sent along details and this is what she suggested –

test block
Square in a Square block, using the JODI BARROWS tool.

I did a “test block” and then got busy sewing. The fabric for the 4 patches came right out of my scrap saver baskets, already cut to size. The outer fabric, is the same as the border and sashing fabric. I knew I did not have enough to do all the blocks I would need for the border, so I went with scrappy neutrals, cutting strips from my bin of neutral fabrics.

I spent an afternoon making a stack of 4 patches first, then working in small batches to turn them into Square in a Square blocks.

units for the border

We had several days of rain where I did not even go to the sewing room, but when I finally got back out there, I trimmed my blocks and made 4 strips for borders.

Making the border units

Making sense of trying to fit my blocks to an existing project, I followed the steps Carolyn outlined in her blog – https://oneblockwonderwoman.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/camping-quilt.jpg

Carolyn was kind to work with me on the “quilt math” on Saturday, and we came up with similar numbers for the border that goes on between the dot border and the square in a square blocks. At one point I confused myself, and resorted to drawing out the picture of what was going where, and that helped my little brain. Turns out, I do this all the time, as I flipped back through the little 5×7 notebook I keep in the sewing room. I am a visual person and the numbers have to make sense.

drawing it out

She reminded me to “dry fit” everything before stitching. That was great advice.

I settled in to work on these borders yesterday afternoon and was quite pleased with the results.

Side borders going on

So far, everything was fitting well. By the end of the afternoon I had the pieced border on and everything fit as Carolyn had predicted.

Autumn Jubilee 2020 row quilt

At this point, the quilt is 67 x 74. Oversized throw I think. And, for the moment, I am “DONE”. I have to think about it for a bit and decide if it gets another border or not. (It is a bit “odd sized” at this point….and I never answered the question Carolyn asked about “how big” was I planning to make this or what what I planning to do with it?)

I really enjoyed this project working on a weekly basis making a row quilt.

What’s happening in your sewing room? Are you inspired by nature in your color selections? How big is “big enough” for a throw size quilt? Would you scale this up for a queen size quilt? Inquiring minds want to know.

More Fall Fun with Machine Embroidery

Last post I shared my fun with the Acorn Table Runner I was working on. I got it finished Friday afternoon, and it is presently “on the table”.

What a fun project!

Table setting with Acorn Table Runner
Acorn Table Runner

The pattern from Sweet Pea Designs gives great directions. I think it looks cute with all those vintage candles around it on the table. The lighting in the sewing room was a little better right after I finished it.

acorn table runner finished
Acorn Table Runner

I used the 150 mm block, just a bit larger than the 6×6, with pellon fusible fleece instead of batting. I also used cut away stabilizer in the project, which is left in the block when it was sew into the project. The runner lays really flat on the table. It is not as thick as warm and natural batting. Because the applique pattern has all that stitching, when I joined the blocks and added the backing according to the instructions, I only top stitched around the edges and in the ditch around the blocks. The fusible side of the batting was against the stabilizer. (No taking that cut away off!!)

My next FUN Fall Project is my #AutumnJubilee2020 wall hanging. You might remember those blocks I made earlier in the month –https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2020/10/14/trees-and-leaves-autumn-jubilee-2020/

The instructions for finishing up the wall hanging came out on a few days ago on https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/26/autumn-jubilee-embroidered-mini-quilt-finish/ . I wanted to finish my Acorn Table Runner before I went on to the ‘next’ thing. So, once I did, I worked on the #AutumnJubilee2020 mini quilt. Not quite finished, still needs binding and hanging sleeve, but darn close. First thing I had to do is decide on block size, and I went with an 8×8 block. (I used much larger fabric and did a lot of trimming).

Trimming the squares
Made sure the embroidery was somewhat centered

Oh; while I am at it….DO YOU SEE that new grey FISKARS rotary mat??? I am so happy that it has arrived. Honestly, (no, I am not getting paid by FISKARS) – they have the BEST warranty of anybody in the quilting notions world!!! Do you remember THIS picture with the yellow cutting surface ?

Acorn Table Runner
WORN OUT FISKARS CUTTING MAT

That yellow Fiskars rotating cutting mat is something I bought around 2009/2010. I have cut/trimmed thousands of half square triangles on that rotating mat. I wore the lines off, and I wore off half the surface. I took a photo and filed a “warranty claim” on the FISKARS website, and in less than 2 weeks, they shipped me a brand spanking shiny new mat!! Absolutely no questions asked! (I did notice the new grey one has some cautionary wording about not cutting in the same place all the time. OOOPS….most of the blocks I trimmed were fairly small and ended near the center of the mat.)

Back to the embroidery – I played around with the sashing strips and arrangements of my #AutumnJubilee2020 mini quilt/wall hanging blocks and this is what I came up with.

Falling Leaves wall hanging
Embroidery pattern by Sew Sweetly.com

The blocks are 8″, the sashing & borders were cut at 2″. I did some quilting in the sashing. I might do a little “in the blocks” with a very neutral thread, but I am not sure yet what I might do. A quilted leaf or two in and around perhaps.

falling leaves bottom half
Falling Leaves wall hanging
Finishes up around 38″ long and 11″ wide approximately.

So, maybe a bit more quilting in the actual blocks, and then on to binding. I will use the leaf fabric for the binding with a pop of color for the flange. (Always use my favorite Susie’s Magic Binding which is totally done by machine. )

Finishing up Falling Leaves Mini Quilt/Wall hanging won’t take too long. i am almost ready for the final step in the #AutumnJubilee2020 Quilt Along. The instruction for finishing the row quilt just came out on the From My Carolina Home blog . Finishing up these small projects make it easier to tackle one that will take a little bit longer. (I’m well known for making tops and leaving them hang around waiting on borders!)

Our leaves are being blown off the trees before they have had a chance to turn their usual pretty colors. How are you spending these blustery Autumn days?

Machine Embroidery Fall Fun

Off and on I show machine embroidery projects I have been working on. The month of October has been fun working on the Autumn Jubilee projects that Carole on From My Carolina Home blog has posted. She inspired me to do some stitching out of “leaves” on my machine which I showed in a previous blog post. When I was searching some of my favorite digitizing websites in September for inspiration, I came across this fun pattern for an ACORN Table Runner. I wasn’t certain how the leaves would be used in the Autumn Jubilee in October, but I thought I would possibly find a use for this pattern.

Since I was “all caught up” with #AutumnJubilee2020 with my quilt along row blocks and my sew along tote back, I decided to work on a few blocks.

Acorn Table Runner
pattern from https://swpea.com//

I started working on it Saturday. I had my choice on block sizes and choose the 150 mm block, which I stitched out using my 8×8 hoop.

Working on the acorns
Set up to run on my Janome 11000
Acorn patch first
First block waiting to be trimmed.

The fun of these patterns is choosing fabrics and threads. I used the same gold fabric for all the tops of the acorns. The block design had a meander stitch for quilting and I made the error of choosing a variegated thread. No fixing it after I took it out of the hoop. I even tried doing my own meander on the sewing machine ‘after the fact’ and it looked so bad I ripped it all out. The variegated threads looked great on those open leaves in the corners though. Oh well, lesson learnt. Thread choice is as important as fabric choice.

After I got the second block done, I decided I better be serious about my fabric and thread choices. I chose 2 fabrics for background and a wide variety for the acorns and leaves.

Of course, on Sunday, the instructions came out for the Autumn Jubilee wall hanging that has the leaves. I played around with those leaf blocks and the first couple of acorn blocks, and decided NOT to intermix them. The scale was so different, I decided I would carry on making acorn blocks, make the table runner, and work on the wall hanging later.

Now that I have all 10 blocks embroidered, I have found a layout with them that I think works for me.

Ten blocks completed
ready to put together

The fun of working on these blocks is that ALL of the fabrics for the acorns and leaves came from my “scraps”. Ever since I did that Knitting bag last fall, I have kept 8 small baskets with fabrics sorted by color, just for embroidery machine applique projects. It was handy to reach in and pull out little bits of fabrics for these machine applique pieces.

Next up is to stitch the rows together and figure out what to use as a backing. Pattern calls for you to “turn” this project and top stitch to finish it off. It should finish quickly as there is no binding required. Sweet Pea designs has a Facebook group, and I chatted with someone this week who had just finished her table runner and asked about how easily it turned. The secret is leaving a good opening, clipping the corners and chopsticks for poking out the corners after turning. I usually employ a long knitting needle for that job so keep your fingers crossed. I’ll post a finished picture in a few days.

Another interesting project I did this month was to stitch using my embroidery machine on card stock. Embroidery Library has lots of designs, especially digitized for card stock. I read though the tutorials and purchased one design. The design I selected has just over 8500 stitches of a 5×7 card.

EL for cardstock
First card
inside
I used a package of “quilting papers” I had to cover the inside back of the card, and my stamps to add a message of care to the inside the card. This was a fun card to stitch out, and I think I would another card again. The designs are specially digitized for cardstock and Embroidery Library has quite a few.

I have enjoyed really getting to know my embroidery machine in the last year. I have to say this is so much more fun than making COVID-19 masks!

What is happening this week in your sewing room? Do you have a favorite place to download designs? Do you like projects that incorporate machine embroidery with your quilting projects?

Pumpkins and fall fun

Friday was the final row for the #AutumnJubilee2020 quilt along. The block was a pumpkin block. Pattern can be found at https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/23/autumn-jubilee-quilt-along-week-4-updated/

If you read the pattern, then look at my pumpkins, you will see I went my own way with the block. I had LOTS of great oranges and golds in my scraps in varying widths, so I just went for an alternate look. These were pretty fast to assemble. Hubby and I went out to the sewing/train room after supper, and these were done in a couple of hours.

pumpkin row
Pumpkin row – click the photo for a close up view of the fabrics

While I was sewing, I had an audio book running on my phone, plugged into my computer speakers. Hubby, sitting ’round the corner’ at his model train work bench was listening to the book and I had to stop to give him the highlights of the previous 50 chapters…..Apparently he likes the writing style of David Baldacci. The book was called “Simple Truth” and was downloaded from our local library using the LIBBY app to my phone. Hubby enjoyed the last 12 chapters while he worked on his two passenger trains that needed lots of “interior” detail. He raided my scraps and found bits of fabric that he could use for wall paper and carpet inside this passenger train. This is an HO scale train.

on the workbench
click on the photo for a close up

It was a fun way to round out a nice fall day. We had an outing in the afternoon to a state park about 12 miles away. It is our “go to” place to bike ride since there is “sighno where closer we can safely ride. (That’s a long story and I spent my morning advocating for permission for bikes to be allowed at a new sports complex in town – a battle that meets with as much community support as with busy know it all’s telling me off.) I needed a break from the computer and FRESH AIR to clear my head. Hubby is a good sport, and agreed to go along.

He loaded up the bikes on the SUV and we drove the 12 miles on country farm roads to the state park and had a beautiful outing.

Bikes at the pond
Relaxing at the end of the ride

The trails we ride are mostly in the woods with a few peeks at the water, but we like to stop and enjoy the view periodically during the ride. It’s not a race, every pedal turn is towards better health and fun!

fall view at the pond
Leaves are starting to turn in Sussex Co Delaware

There is a wonderful spot almost at the end of the ride to stop and just take in the view of the water. There is a spillway close by so you get some wonderful sound effects.

Missing the water
Trap Pond State Park Delaware

I use an app to track my mileage when riding, and apparently I have ridden here enough in the last 90 days to be the “local legend” for a segment of the trail! ‘that’s so funny….this ol’ fat grandma, a legend!!!” I laugh every time I look at that. My ride times in the last 90 days are widely variable, depending if I am riding with my daughter, or with the grandkids, or with grandpa, as I did today. My daughter is a regular rider and she has no problem taking the trails at speeds up to 10 mph pulling her toddler in a pull behind trailer. When I take grandkids, the younger one has a hard time keeping up with the bigger kids on their bigger bikes. (They have much bigger wheels and she has to pedal twice as much!) Hubby is patient about going with me and I like to stop for his benefit periodically. We need to get his handlebars adjusted slightly, but seem to forget by the time we get home.

Seriously though, the “local legend” is something new in the app and it is a rolling 90 day “count” for the number of times you have ridden the same route. I like to keep track of the distance for the ride, but the rest doesn’t really matter. I was there, I know I enjoyed the fresh air, and the bugs didn’t bother us in the woods if we kept moving. Good fun for both of us. We won’t earn any medals for speed or time, but we do enjoy just being out on the bikes.

So, between the beautiful trails, the changing leaves and the pumpkin quilt blocks, I would call it a wonderful Autumn day.

What’s on your sewing table or work bench this weekend?

Autumn Jubilee Tote bag

I’ve been following along with the From My Carolina Home #AutumnJubilee2020 this month, and this week was time to finish the tote bag in the sew along. Directions for the finish can be found on the blog here – https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/18/autumn-jubilee-sew-along-finishing-the-bag/

When I read through the instructions, I decided for I did not want to do a Velcro closure on my bag, so I ordered some “magnetic” purse closures on Amazon. I was “waiting” for that delivery on Tuesday so I could finish this project. (Note...local friends…I have extra magnetic closures if you need them….they came in a pack of 20 and it will take me that many years to use them.)

I showed details on my chosen fabrics and progress recently on a post – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2020/10/06/stars-and-strips-autumn-jubilee/

Stitching is completed
Strip set sewn together and quilted with deco stitch

I waited a while to come up with my “panel” for embellishment. I was supposed to insert it before quilting, but I could not decide on the fabric for a few days. I chose the linen multi color block fabric that is in the middle of the strip set for my panel and got the embroidery done a couple of weeks ago.

Panel for inset on bag
In hind site I should have stabilized better because I had a lot of pulling of the linen fabric with the embroidery.

Yesterday I sat down to follow those “bag finishing instructions” (linked at the top of the page).

I had to first add fusible fleece to the back of my embroidered piece and then insert it in the strip set. Once it was in, I decided it needed quilting. I did some straight line quilting using the same thread as the ‘fancy stitches” on the strips, using Superior Threads Fantastico “CASHMERE” thread. (My all time favorite color!) The quilting and the fusible fleece helped make the wrinkles around the edges of my embroidery disappear.

panel inserted and quilted
Panel inserted and quilted

Once that was done it was time to trim up the piece. I just could not bring myself to cutting it down to the “pattern size”, so I squared it up, trimmed and measured and went with a bigger size bag. I ended up with about 16 1/4″ by 44″.

IMG_20201020_162449746
The fusible fleece and boxed corners help the bag to stand up nicely

I dug into my Autumn Jubilee bin of fabric and chose my bag lining and handle fabric.

As I was deciding on which fabrics to use, I decided that the bag NEEDED pockets inside. I had enough fabric of either color to make pockets. I used the fabric that was left after making straps and made two pockets for inside.

pocket for the lining
The pockets are attached to the lining before the lining is inserted into the bag.

I added the magnetic closure to the lining before putting the lining in the bag. I put a small square of fusible fleece behind the lining fabric where the magnet prongs go through the fabric to keep it from pulling out.

Inside the bag magnetic closure
small disk is the magnetic closure, one above each pocket
IMG_20201020_171901327
Bag finished and ready to be used
IMG_20201020_172019675
Ready to be used

I was very happy with this project and my modifications along the way. One thing I would have changed is the width of the straps and the method for doing them. These straps are about 1 1/4″ wide finished, which is ok for a bag this size, but I like a thicker strap. I know the idea was to use those 2 1/2″ strips from jelly rolls, but I cut from yardage and could have done bigger. They do have fusible fleece inside the handles, so they are going to be comfortable to hold. You might remember my story of the puny strap bag last year https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/taking-care-of-some-odds-and-ends/

I am dashing off to an outdoor quilt bee and will be taking this bag for show & tell. This evening I am going to practice on muslin for hem-stitching / rolled hem for a scarf. Wish me luck, and tell me your tips!

What is on your sewing table today?

Another Row for Autumn Jubilee 2020

It is fun to get up on Friday morning and find a new “row” for the Autumn Jubilee 2020 quilt along happening at the blog – From My Carolina Home – https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/16/autumn-jubilee-quilt-along-week-3/

I had fun after dinner on Friday night pulling the fabrics for each of the 5 blocks. It really doesn’t take very much and I was able to get what I needed out of some small pieces, partially used fat quarters and a few strips left in my containers. I even used up some of those background blocks left over from my “indecision” last week with the trees.

My first block finished is my “feature fabric” from the row of trees that were row # 2.

Leaf block for AJ 2020
Small print leaf fabric

I mixed up the background fabrics in this group of blocks since I was using the “same” fabrics for the actual leaf. (Gotta get my scrappy look!)

The second block was a much larger print fabric.

getting the leaves made

Sewing progressed pretty well. I chose an orange that is a bit of a tone on tone, and in hind sight, wish I had chosen a print. It just doesn’t pop like the other fabrics. Could just be the crummy lighting .

Green and orange

Up close it does look a bit better, as does the red with the gold print.

Red Yellow and brown

Overall, it didn’t take long to get the pieces cut and stitched and into a nice looking row.

Row # 3

Row three is complete for the Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along.

Ready for the next project. I was just thinking that I have 4 rows made (2 stars, 1 tree, 1 leaves) for the quilt along. I also have the embroidery blocks made for the Autumn Jubilee wall hanging, and the strip unit made for the bag. It will soon be time to start finishing some of these up. It’s not to late to start if you want to pop over to Carole’s blog and choose a project.

Are you quilting along with #AutumnJubilee2020? Or maybe you are stitching one of the wool projects or making pillow cases? Be sure to share on the Friends of From My Carolina Home facebook page.

Trees and Leaves Autumn Jubilee 2020

It is week 2 of the quilt along for Autumn Jubilee 2020. This week we worked on row # 2.

This was fairly fun and fast to make using a small leaf print and a variety of background fabrics. It took me longer to decide on background bits than cutting out all the leaf fabric. I bought this leaf fabric a few weeks ago, specifically for this project. I like all the variety of colors in the print.

ready to sew
fun with trees

I bet I rearranged the few background pieces 10 times, and cut lots of extras! I do like the way this came together. Pattern is located at https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/09/autumn-jubilee-quilt-along-week-2/

Another project for Autumn Jubilee 2020 this week is the Machine Embroidery Wall hanging.

Details at https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/12/embroidery-wall-hanging/

When Carole announced that she was incorporating some machine embroidery into this years Autumn Jubilee, I got very excited. I have SO many designs saved on my computer, and they are sorted by categories like Seasons, or Holidays, and sub-sorted by specifics, like FALL or Thanksgiving etc. For two or three weeks I have been going through those folders and looking at all the Fall / Autumn designs I have, along with continuing to download ‘free’ designs from lots of places. I narrowed it down into 8 designs.

I decided to use some interesting stitch patterns from a digitizer called Sew Sweetly. I get a freebie every day, and of course, I can’t help but window shop. They have a series of fall designs that I liked, and have some great prices. Rather than order the complete set (Fall/Autumn Bean/Vintage Stitch Embroidery Design bundle) https://www.sewsweetly.com/embroidery-and-applique-design-bundles/3408-fall-autumn-bean-vintage-stitch-embroidery-design-bundle , I picked just 4 of the designs since Carole recommended stitching out 4 blocks. (Don’t tell, I have all those designs, but bought a few more….)

I decided to use one fabric for all 4 blocks, and my 8″ x 8″ hoop on my Janome 11000. Since I don’t know what the “assembly” or “finished piece” is supposed to look like, I felt like the “one fabric” would give my blocks some continuity. I have a couple of other prints set aside to use for possible borders. (I am keeping out my fall fabric container, and my Autumn Jubilee bin in close reach for the “next set of instructions”.)

As I matched threads to the design worksheet for the first block, I decided to keep those threads out and try to use them in each of the 4 blocks.
My first design really defines the grouping –

first block

I find it fascinating to watch the machine do the work. Don’t kid yourself, machine embroidery has a huge learning curve, and I am continually learning. I’ve learned a lot about stabilizers, hooping, basting boxes, floating fabric, floating stabilizer under my hoop, tension adjustments and more. The most important thing I have learned is to LISTEN to the machine. I can tell if something is going wrong simply by the change in sound. It may have sounded like noise to you, but to me, the sound in the video below was the sound of everything running right.

My second block was one I called a “swirl” of leaves. I did a little rotating of the design on the screen and some slight increasing of the size.

swirling leaves
Swirl of leaves

My third block tells the story of what happens when the wind blows.

tree loosing leaves
When the wind blows

The last block I played with quite a bit in my machine options. I had the colors from the previous 3 blocks lined up on the ironing board next to the embroidery machine. When I brought the design in to the machine, I decided to “duplicate it” for a total of 3 designs. I rotated the designs and positioned them in a way that I felt was fairly balanced. I did some minor increasing on each of the 3 designs, and when it looked good on the screen, I decided I was happy with it. This really filled the space in the block and made it more interesting .

machine set up
15 colors, 22,443 stitches, 7.4 x 7.9 inches
In the hoop
starting the final grouping of 5 leaves

As each group of 5 leaves stitched out, I adjusted the colors to keep them balanced with the previous group.

leaves
Autumn leaves come in all colors

When the “next” round of directions come out for this wall hanging, I will make the choices on other fabrics that will compliment the blocks I have made.

It’s been fun to do these 4 blocks and I can’t wait to see what Carole has planned next on her blog https://frommycarolinahome.com/

Are you stitching along with #AutumnJubilee2020 ??

Stars and Strips Autumn Jubilee

Last post I talked about the construction of my star units for the #AutumnJubilee2020 Quilt Along being run on the blog From My Carolina Home. (There are links throughout the post or choose the button on the side of this blog to access the page)

On my last post I shared how I make half square triangles. These units are often found, in varying sizes, in many quilt patterns. There are as many ways to create them as there are patterns. I happened to find a method that I really like, but you might be doing yours using another method. Do tell what your favorite method is, and if you use a special ruler or tool when making it.

Now, on to the updates. My two star rows for the Quilt Along are completed.

Two Star Rows
Rows 1 and 5 are ready

I choose a little darker leaf print for the sashing, but I think it blends nicely with the other scrappy background fabrics I used. The sashing went on fairly quickly.

The pattern for the stars is at https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/02/autumn-jubilee-quilt-along-week-1/

Oh, did I mention that Carole has LOTS of sponsors and prizes on each post during the Autumn Jubilee 2020? Don’t miss out!!

The instructions for the next “project” that I wanted to work on were posted on Sunday. https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/04/autumn-jubilee-sew-along/

I had a fairly easy time choosing fabrics for this sew along.

lined up to stitch
Strips all lined up

I opened my bountiful tote of Autumn Jubilee fabrics, and my “other” tote of fall fabrics and pulled out these pieces. Not all my pieces came from yardage, so I had to join a couple to get the length I needed.

It didn’t take much time to get them all stitched together.

Stitching is completed
Can you find the “join” ?

I don’t often see purple in Autumn fabrics, but I really liked the two in this project, and that helped me pull in the fabric on the outside rows.

Carole suggested using the built in stitches on our sewing machines to “quilt” along the seam line. I chose one of the “long” stitches on my Janome 8900 which looks a bit like a leaf. I used Superior Fantastico thread, in my favorite “CASHMERE” color.

Fun leaf stitches
Top Stitching

I decided to use fusible fleece for the batting as I have a whole bolt. I like that it didn’t need pinned while I did all this top stitching. I also found after I did the first row that I was tired of pushing the foot pedal of my machine, so I unplugged it. It was great to use just the “start/stop” button and only focus on guiding the fabric straight. This rather long stitch does a lot of back and forth so it is time consuming.

Next up is deciding on the inset panel and how I am going to embellish it. I have a piece of fabric set out, and I am thinking about what to machine embroider on it. I may switch colors as the contrast feels a little ‘stark’ to me.

Strip piecing for bag

I might look for a deeper gold or a green. The background fabric will determine the thread colors for the embroidery. Too dark of fabric and the embroidery will disappear. I am going to think about it a bit and see what I stumble over in my bins.

There are other projects beside quilting in the Autumn Jubilee posts. I’m looking forward to seeing what else Carole has planned. One project she posted over the weekend was a wool hand stitching project. I decided to limit what I was doing so I don’t get overwhelmed. I know from previous years there are lots of fun activities ahead.

I’ve enjoyed Carole’s patterns and posts for over 5 years. She has so much variety and I’m sure you will find something you like. If you comment on her blog, tell her I sent you . Be sure to follow to get notified when there is a new blog post, and share your projects inspired by her blog on the Friends of the From My Carolina Home Blog on Facebook, where I am one of the moderators. The friends on that group share their photos of projects inspired by the blog. I find it helpful to look through the photos when I am looking for alternative color, value, saturation on these quilt/sew-alongs.

What are you working on?

Star Row Quilt-along Autumn Jubilee

Are you following along with #AutumnJubilee2020 on the blog – https://frommycarolinahome.com// ?? Each Friday in October there will be a “new” row to make for the Autumn Jubilee quilt-along.

Warning; lots of photo’s and a video ahead.

Many times in the years since I started following Carole at From My Carolina home, I have indicated that I keep a container of “Autumn Jubilee” fabrics/parts/pieces to take along to my quilt bees. It was quite easy to get started on Friday when the details were posted. My bin contains lots of big scraps, all the way up to fat quarters, plus some baskets of squares in Autumn colors and neutrals in various sizes used in previous years.

This week the STARS rows were quite easy to begin as my bin had a basket full of squares, already cut to size.

2.5 inch squares from the Autumn Jubilee tote.
Ready to go! 2 1/2″ squares and some 2 1/2″ HST
Sorting colors for 4 patches
Sorting colors for 4 patches

Do you have some favorite tools when working on small blocks? I do!

I like the wool pressing mat. This one is great for small units, 8″ square.

Wool mat
Stack of blocks ready to sew
Sets ready to be made into 4 patches.

The Gizmo and the wool mat are great when working with chain piecing and chain pressing. The Gizmo has a razor blade for separating your blocks. It is free standing and quick to use when you have a big chain. I received the GIZMO as a gift. I don’t know that I would have gone out to buy the GIZMO, but I think it is a pretty clever thing, and handy when you have a lot to cut apart. Faster that finding the snips.

Snipping the chain pieces

Having the squares already cut and ready to stitch made making the centers of the blocks quite easy, and in no time I had the number I need ready.

4 patches for the star centers

The pattern gives you specifics on the number of 4 patches and half square triangles(HST) you will need. I had about 1/3 of the HST already in the basket that were needed. In the same bin, I had another basket with the size I needed to make the remaining HST.

My favorite method is using the June Tailor Perfect Half Square/Quarter Square triangle ruler. Rather than try to explain the use, check out this great video on You Tube –

June Tailor Perfect Half-Square and Quarter Square Triangle Ruler

Using this ruler, I never hesitate when the pattern calls for lots of HST. I’ve used this ruler for about 10 years and it is one of my FAVORITE tools in my quilt room.

June Tailor Perfect HST QST Ruler
These two slots are for marking your stitching lines

The tape on the underside of the ruler is “medical tape” from the drugstore. It has little ridges on it and that really keeps my ruler from slipping around on the fabric.

Ready to cut
Another tool I use is my rotating Fiskars cutting mat

My 2nd favorite tool in my sewing room is the 12″ rotating Fiskars Mat. I have worn out the middle and it may be time to replace it soon. The slot with the dash lines is used to line up your stitches and cut the block in half.

Cutting the HST
quickly cut
Fast straight cuts using the cutting guide
Ready to square up

The slots in the center help you line up your HST for trimming and making them “PERFECT”. This is where I “wear out” my ruler, because I always seem to work in the same spot.

Perfect HST

It doesn’t take long to make a big stack of HST.

Ready to piece
Ready to sew

I stack up the pieces on my little rotating mat, making certain the points are all heading in the proper directing. This keeps me from having a wonky pointed star! As I shuffled the HST around, I kept reminding myself, “pointy part to the outside corner”. It does help to have the blog post up on the computer screen with a bigger view of the star too.

Seeing stars

It didn’t take long on Saturday afternoon to make the stars into blocks.

This afternoon I will add the sashing to the blocks and make the two rows.

Are you following along with #AutumnJubilee2020 ??

What are your favorite tools in your sewing room?