Monday, December 2, 2013

Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt--Accuquilt Style

I am loving the new mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter, Celtic Solstice.  Here's the link if you'd like to join in:
Celtic Solstice Mystery
Above is a photo I snapped while making the orange/blue sets.  I stacked them in groups of ten to stay on track.
I'm using reproduction fabrics from my stash for this quilt.  I'm hoping not to buy anything, but the orange is running out fast.  Maybe I'll go to the fabric store this week, after the Black Friday shopping storm is over.

Bonnie gives great directions for making these units with the Tri-Recs rulers, but I just prefer the Accuquilt cutter.  And since it makes the same size we need for the mystery, I'm using the Triangles in Squares die.
I love the accuracy of the die cut pieces, especially the way all the corners are pre-trimmed, but in the past I have struggled with the way the Accuquilt cutter can waste fabric.  As a confirmed fabric miser, this was upsetting.  I figured out a way to minimize it, by subcutting the fabric before running it through the cutter.
Here's a quick tutorial on how to make these units.
Here's the die I'm using.  On the left, you can see the cuts for the center triangles.  On the right are the cuts for the side triangles.
I'm cutting side triangles here, so I measured the area on the die that cuts the side triangles, and added a smidge for insurance.  Then I cut my fabric pieces to that measurement, which in this case was 4.5 in. x 6 in.  It's easy to use scraps for this, or to cut yardage into 4.5 in. strips and sub cut them.  Notice the selvedge?  It will be cut away by the die, no need to trim it off.
This is the amount of wasted fabric I have from each cut.  It's a lot like making cookies with a cookie cutter.  I'm okay with this amount of waste.
VERY IMPORTANT--If you stack your pieces right side up before cutting, you'll only make the right side triangles.  If you stack them wrong sides up, you'll only make the left side triangles.  It worked best for me to do 4 layers at a time (less shifting), and to do all right sides on one pass and all wrong sides on the next pass.  This made them easy to sort into piles.
The center triangles are symmetrical, so you can stack them either right or wrong sides up, it doesn't matter.


Sometimes I save these little triangles on the ends of the waste pieces for string quilts.
Pieces cut, directions handy.


Now for the sewing!
The blunted corners make it easy to line the pieces up.  (Don't know why my dark orange looks yellow here.)


First side done, and finger pressed.
Then add the second side:
And that's that!
By the way, the triangle on the left is made from Liberty of London fabric I bought on a trip to London in the 1990s.  It was just too precious to cut for years.  I finally broke down and cut it, and I am loving it.
All these units are finished!  What's next, Miss Bonnie?








21 comments:

  1. Interesting! I am considering a die cutter to help me organize my scrap system. I am still cutting triangles with the rulers LOL

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  2. Love your fabrics! I am using my reproduction fabrics also. Great job!

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  3. I know exactly what you mean about being a fabric miser!!! I cannot stand wasting fabric - even the amount that you are throwing away makes me cringe. I'll stick to using the Tri-Recs rulers, they work great for me! Love your fabrics!

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  4. Love 'em! I am using repro's also. BUT what I really fell in love with was the train case! Oh my, what a beauty!

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    1. Thanks, Deb. It's a flea market find from last summer. I've got my 2 in. strips in it.

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  5. I like the fabrics you have chosen for the Celtic Solstice quilt. I am a retired teacher and we used an Ellison die cutting machine when cutting letters and other items for bulletin boards. We cut paper but the dies got dull. Have you ever experienced that with your fabric die cutting machine? Just interested because you never know but I may want one sometime.

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    1. Hi, Debra! I was a school librarian before I retired, and I loved to make bookmarks with the Ellison cutter. So far, I haven't had any problems with the dies getting dull, and I have cut lots of quilts with them. The real problem is the mats--they have to be replaced eventually.

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  6. Thanks so much for showing the accuquilt method. I have ordered my die and now waiting patiently for it to arrive.
    I'm a bit behind, but will catch up I'm sure.
    Rosemary
    Sydney, Australia

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  7. Awesome, it was neat to see the die in action!

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  8. They look great. I love your Liberty fabric. Don't they feel like silk?!

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    1. Exactly! At first I wasn't even sure it was cotton! Now I wish I had bought more than a couple of remnants.

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  9. I can see that having the die cutter would be very handy! I haven't really seen the point of them until now.

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  10. Sylvia
    Greetings from Maple Ridge BC. Thanks for demo. I especially like the accurate cuts with the Acuquilt and the blunt corners to line everything up!
    Bev H.

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  11. Thanks for the Accuquilt tutorial. I've been on the fence about getting one. It seems to me that by the time I've cut the fabric to the size needed for the die, I could have just cut the size strip I needed and made a few more cuts to get the pieces. Doesn't seem like the die cutting is that much faster. But, it is certainly more accurate than I am at times. I'm leaning toward getting one next year when I retire.
    Barbara in MD
    www.stashoverflow.wordpress.com

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    1. Hi, Barbara! What I really like about the Accuquilt cutter is the way the shapes fit together, especially triangles and odd shapes like the apple core. I haven't bought any of the squares or strips dies, I still cut them with the good old rotary cutter.

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  12. Love the tutorial. I am an authorized rep for AccuQuilt and can't imagine doing quilts without it ever again. Even if I can't do every piece using my dies, what I can do saves me so much time and makes the end result so much better.

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    1. Thanks, Rhonda. I agree, Accuquilt is awesome.

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