Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Accuquilt Spirit Song Quilt is Now In Progress. Want to Make One of Your Own?

Good morning!  I finally got some sewing time in last night, giving me something to post about today.  I've been busy with some travel lately, and the recent migration of my old Bernina 7 Series Yahoo group to the new platform has been taking up a lot of my time as well.   If you own or are interested in learning more about Bernina sewing machines or software products, consider this my personal invitation to join me and 7,000 of my dearest friends over at the new BerninaLand forum on, which you can find here.  All Bernina models are welcome, and there are special sub groups for the 8 Series, 7 Series, Q Series Longarms, Software, and Sew Techie (dedicated to all of the ancillary tech tools that many of us are using with our sewing these days).

And now, without further ado, I present to you the fruits of an hour in the studio last night:

Making a Start on My Accuquilt Spirit Song Quilt
By the way, another reason I haven't been posting as frequently lately is that my PhotoShop Editor software is not compatible with the most recent Mac OS update, and that's the program I use to remove the yellow cast from incandescent lighting, to lighten the shadows from pictures I take in my studio late at night, and to resize my photos so they will load quickly when I post them here on the blog.  I am bumbling around in the Mac Preview and Photos apps, trying to make my usual photo edits, but I didn't find the same tools  -- totally missing the little eyedropper that tells PhotoShop which area in the photo is supposed to be pure white or pure black, for instance.  If anyone out there has recommendations for easy photo editing apps, tools, whatever that are user friendly for Mac, please share in the comments below.

My Accuquilt Spirit Song Quilt, 52 x 68
About this new project: I designed this quilt in EQ8 software with the objective of creating a design that could be completely cut out using the dies that came in my 8" Qube set with the Accuquilt Go! cutting system.  I named it the Spirit Song quilt after the contemporary Christian choir I sing in at Christ Lutheran Church, because we color coordinate our outfits based on a different "dress code" each Sunday morning, and this quilt is colored with the dress code that I most struggle with finding something to wear: Peach/Pink/Coral/Orange with Khaki!  

Spirit Song at Christ Lutheran: Pink, Peach, Coral with Khaki
Once this quilt is finished, I can wear it to church like a cape any time I can't find anything in my closet that is clean, seasonally appropriate, and currently fits me in these colors...

One of my readers requested a Quilt Along for this project.  The last thing I need right now, with holidays right around the corner, is a bunch of new self-imposed deadlines and stress, so I'm not going to do any kind of schedule for this, but I will share the information you would need if you wanted to make a Spirit Song quilt of your own.  If you do, I'd love to see it!  You can probably make this quilt using cutting tools that you already own, but I've provided links (some of them affiliate links) below to the Accuquilt dies and other gadgets that can speed up the cutting and improve accuracy as well.  Just to clarify, I drew this quilt in EQ8 and used the software to audition fabrics and plan my layout.  Spirit Song is what I'm calling my own personal quilt, not the name of the quilt block.  

One 8 Inch Airplane Block (Four 4 inch Birds In the Air Blocks)

This quilt uses one 8" block, comprised of HSTs (Half Square Triangles) in two sizes, 2" (finished) and 4" (finished).  It's an old, traditional quilt block called Airplane and instructions for piecing it can be found on p. 3 of Accuquilt's FREE 72 Block Patterns booklet that you can download from their web site here.  I've also seen a single quadrant of the Airplane block called Birds In the Air.   

To make a 52" x 68" quilt, you'll need a total of 48 8" Airplane blocks (or 192 4" Birds In the Air blocks).  Although I'm using Accuquilt dies to cut my fabric for this project, you could cut this quilt out just as easily with traditional rotary cutting.  I'm not sure whether the dies actually save any time with HSTs, to be honest, since they are so easy to cut from strips with an acrylic ruler and a rotary cutter.  

  • 576 2" finished HSTs in Assorted Neutrals (Accuquilt Die #55712 from the 8" Qube set, or #55063, or cut from 2 7/8" strips if rotary cutting) 
  • 192 2" finished HSTs in Assorted Blue/Teal prints (Accuquilt Die #55712 from the 8" Qube set, or #55063, or cut from 2 7/8" strips if rotary cutting) 
  • 192 4" finished HSTs  in Assorted Peach/Pink/Coral/Orange prints (Accuquilt Die #55710 from the 8" Qube set, or #55031, or cut from 4 7/8" strips if rotary cutting)
Since this is intentionally a scrappy quilt, it's difficult to give precise yardage requirements.  Based on the EQ8 yardage calculations, I'd say you're probably good with about 2 yards total of peach/pink/coral/orange fabrics, 2 yards total of assorted neutral print fabrics, and 1 yard total of assorted blue/teal fabrics.  These amounts do not include borders.

By the way, I purchased my 8" Qube set because it came with my Ready, Set, GO! starter kit when I purchased my Accuquilt GO! cutter.  Since there are 8 dies in a Qube set that can be mixed and matched to create countless different block designs, it's a good value and a good way to get started.  However, I would rather have the HST dies that are sold separately than the ones that came in my Qube set.  Die #55712 from my Qube set only cuts two 2" HSTs at a time, so even with 4 layers of fabric per cut, that's only 8 triangles getting cut out at a time and I need 576 of them in neutrals and another 192 of those little triangles cut from blue fabrics.  If I had die # 55063, which is sold separately, that die cuts out TWELVE 2" HSTs in one pass, or 48 triangles at a time if I'm cutting four layers of fabric per cut.  Same thing with the 4" HST die that comes in a Qube set -- only two HSTs per cut with the Qube die, but if you buy die #55031 separately you can cut out four 4" HSTs per cut.  The whole appeal of die cutting for me is speed without sacrificing accuracy, so if I end up using the GO! cutter frequently enough, I'll probably purchase the die that cuts out 12 HSTs at once instead of just two.  

Another way to make this quilt would be to slightly oversize your rotary cut triangles, cutting them from 3" strips and 5" strips respectively, and then trim them down to size after sewing them together and pressing them open, using a special HST ruler from Bloc Lock.  The Block Loc HST ruler has a diagonal ridge that nestles into your seam allowance for perfect positioning, ensuring that your HST unit finishes the correct size with a perfect diagonal seam after trimming.

Okay, folks -- that's all you get for today!  Happy Wednesday.

I'm linking up today's post with:


roberta mill said...

My graphic arts guru husband recommends Affinity Photo. Works on Ios. try it before you buy it. Good luck!

Jill said...

Greetings fellow Mac user and quilter! I do lots of photo editing for my blog and items that I sell online. PicMonkey is what I use. A user-friendly reasonable-priced subscription based photo-editing program. It works sufficiently removing late-at-night incandescent-filled photos. I crop, straighten, rotate, brighten along with adding text, arrows, circles, etc. Works great with my Mac. Most likely there is a free-trial period. You are welcome to ask me questions also. Regarding Spirit Song block: my initial reaction that it resembled an antique block.

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks for the PicMonkey tip, Jill -- I'll check it out. And you are absolutely correct that I'm using a traditional block for this quilt. In an earlier post about this project, I explained that I was starting with a block from Accuquilt's free 72 Block Patterns booklet called Airplane. I went back and reread today's post and I can see how, if you hadn't seen my original post, you might think I was trying to pass this off as an original block design. Yikes! Thanks for that feedback; I've edited this post to clarify that this is a traditional block from the public domain and "Spirit Song" is just the name I came up with for my own personal quilt. :-)

chrisknits said...

It is gorgeous!! And I would love to make on, but I have too many self imposed deadlines too! LOL, so I will admire from afar.

KaHolly said...

It’s just delightful and I love the story behind the name!

Susan said...

Wow! This is going to be one vibrant quilt!