Tag Archives: Accuquilt Go! Big

Autumn Table Runners

This is the second autumn table runner post, the first one presented a few posts ago, here. That first one was pretty much general quilting, with a pieced top and a whole underneath side, with batting in between, quilted on the Qnique longarm, or “mid arm,” as some people designate it. The raw edges are bound with Wright’s Quilt Binding.

table runner jenny skip
pieced Autumn table runner

If you had to categorize this next one, the main descriptive word that comes up is “appliqué.” It is quilted, in that small pieces of fabric were put together on the top. But the underside is not pieced, unless you count that I ripped it in half length-wise and serged the two long halves together.  And there is no batting in the center.

appliqué Autumn table runner, with Sheenah

Naturally, the fabrics used in these projects are mostly remnants from the 50%-off bin at JoAnn Fabric Store. I had a couple of larger pieces of fabric, say, almost a yard each, for the top and bottom. The top is a plaid fabric with metallic orange-gold threads woven into the check pattern. The backing is a striped very low-pile flannel in yellow, tan, and tobacco-ey colors that wash together.  You can see the center seam of the runner above, and I decided to make one side a maple motif, and the other side an oak motif. All the leaf, pumpkin, and blackbird appliqués were cut with the Accuquilt Go! Big machine and templates. I backed each appliqué piece with Steam-a-Seam 2 double-sided fusible web, also cut on the Accuquilt cutter, and then ironed them on to the runner top side.

applique jennyskip
deciding where the appliqué shapes were going to go, and securing them down

After the appliqués were applied, I wanted to pull them all together with branches and tree motifs. I looked at lots of methods for yarn and textile couching, which is technically just laying down strands of yarn or string and then sewing over them. Looking through my box of sewing machine feet, AKA my Foot Stash, I found that I had a heretofore unused Yarn Couching Feet Set.

Husqvarna Viking Yarn Couching feet jenny skip
couching kit

The two plastic feet each had a small hole (one was larger) through which the end of the yarn was to be threaded. You hold the end of the yarn in one hand and move it around, if in “free motion” mode, and then sew over it. (You can also use it with an embroidery hoop and software pattern.) The kit also contained two different types of hooks to mount on the back of your machine, to use as thread guides for the yarn, a device for threading thick yarn into small holes, and some sample yarn and a DVD and basic instruction sheet.

I found this process to be pretty interesting, but this yarn was very slubby and every so often I had to cut and re-thread, because the big slubs wouldn’t go through the hole.

yarn couching jenny skip
yarn couching on the oak side

Next, after couching, I needed to sew down the appliqués. Originally I wanted to do a big thread-art project, using different colors of thread to add shading to the pumpkins and also do the tree trunks and branches in embroidery thread. But since I used the thicker yarn, I decided to just basically outline the shapes in one color and not do a whole bunch of shading, and leave it as sort of “primitive” colors and shapes.

accuquilt table runner jenny skip
finished runner, with free-mo embroidered appliqués

After going over all the appliqués with free-motion embroidery, I spray-starched the backing and ironed both top and back, making sure the back piece lined up with the top. Then I sewed all around the edges of the top  with Wright’s Bias Tape Maxi Piping in black, with the piping facing inward, toward the center of the cloth. I then sewed the backing on, right side facing the appliquéd side of the top, and sewed the edges, leaving the piping sandwiched between, and leaving about a fist’s length of seam unsewn, for turning. After turning inside out, and hand-sewing the opening closed, I pressed the edges, making sure the piping was peeking out and at the very edge of the seams. Then I top-stitched around the edges, about 1/4 inch from the piping edge, using thread that matched the top (and back for the bobbin thread).

Sometimes people will comment on the nice stitching, so I wanted to come clean and say that it isn’t me who’s responsible for that, it’s my Foot Stash. I use a special see-through foot with a little groove in the bottom, for sewing piping, and another special see-through foot with a metal attachment, called an edge-stitching foot, for top-stitching.  And the machine has a triple-stitch function that I use for pretty top-stitching, setting the length on a 5 or so (normally it’s more like a 2.5 for ordinary seams).

jenny skip natural edge table and runner
Skip’s natural-edge table decked out for a Fall party

It was fun to make, and the cats definitely like it.  Sigh.  Cat people will understand.


Rag Quilting Up a Notch

Continuing from the first Christmas Quilt post, in which we compared using an Accuquilt Go! Cutter vs cutting and snipping rag-edge blocks by hand like quilters had to do in the 19th Century, I may have mentioned that Accuquilt has a new electric cutter on the market.

I got one of those new-fangled cutters for Christmas, from Skip, so I’ve been using the heck out of it, naturally!

craftsbyjennyskip.com go! cutter
Accuquilt Go! Big, the electric cutter

The thing is, I’ve got a bad habit of buying flannel remnants at JoAnn Fabric.  I try to keep them organized into 5 boxes: 1) boyish pieces at least a yard in length, 2) girlish pieces at least a yard in length, 3) smaller boyish pieces, 4) smaller girlish pieces, and 5) remnants that are not of a baby-blanket-like color or theme.

I tend to use the yard-long pieces for receiving blankets and the smaller pieces to cut up for quilts.

The 8 1/2″ square rag block cutting template with the cutting mat probably takes more of a beating in use than most of the other templates and mats. There are lots more cutting blades, due to the fringed edges, and the quilter needs to pick out the threads from the template with the pick tool. I’ve tried using other implements with the pick tool: tweezers, needle-nose pliers, shop-vac with various attachments, and not all of them work that great. I’ve read many comments from users who’ve said, “It’s not worth it, all the work you have to do to pick out the threads…” ” the cutting edge doesn’t cut all the way through…” “you can only cut one layer of fabric at a time”….

flannel Accuquilt Go! Big rag block
preparing flannel for cutting on the Go! Big

I’ve found a few uncut edges, but mostly the cutter works pretty well. It has a few little glitches now and then, but mostly it’s a breeze. With flannel, I cut 2, sometimes 3 layers of fabric at a time.

girl baby rag quilt jenyjenny
girl baby quilt
frog baby rag quilt
frog-themed baby rag quilt (not washed yet)
monkey baby rag quilt jenyjenny
monkey-themed baby rag quilt (not washed yet)
boy baby rag quilt layout
layout for boy-themed baby rag quilt
cowboy rag quilt
Cowboy rag quilt 9 blocks x 10 blocks
back of Cowboy rag quilt jenyjenny
back of Cowboy rag quilt

The automated Go! Big is so much easier to use than the regular manual Go! Cutter. It does cost about double the price, but Accuquilt cutters sometimes go on sale at JoAnn’s or the Accuquilt website, or some Quilting Personalities’ web sites like Eleanor Burns, for good price cuts.