Every time I use my GO! Qubes, I love them more and more. It’s Marjorie Busby from blue feather quilt studio here to tell you about my latest adventure. If you haven’t used the Qube yet, it comes in several sizes (6", 8", 9", and 12") and any combination of the shapes included in the Qube will make an endless variety of blocks. And mixing the Qube blocks with machine embroidery is so much fun.
Supplies Needed for Hot Mats and Placemats:
Shape 1--4-1/2" Finished Square
Shape 2--2-1/4" Finished Square
Shape 4--4-1/2" Finished Square Quarter Square Triangle
Shape 5--2-1/4" Finished Half Square Triangle
Fabric for Embroidery Applique, Quilt Block, Backing, and Binding
Fusible Backing for Embroidery Applique or Water Soluble Fabric Glue
Thread for Machine Embroidery, Thread for Stitching and Quilting Quilt Blocks
Insulbrite or Medium Weight Cotton Quilt Batting
AccuQuilt has a free book that includes 72 different blocks that can be made with any of the Qubes. The nice thing about the Qube is that they are alike except for the finished block size, and the dies are numbered exactly the same in each Qube set so you can use the same pattern with the same die number to make any size block. These are the die numbers and shapes that are found in each set, and with each set you can make an infinite variety of blocks:
- Die # 1 = GO Square (large)
- Die #2 = GO Square (small)
- Die #3 = GO Half Square Triangle (large)
- Die #4 = GO Quarter Square Triangle
- Die #5 = GO Half Square Triangle (small)
- Die #6 = GO Square on Point
- Die #7 = GO Parallelogram 45 degrees
- Die #8 = GO Rectangle
The Qube is so easy to use. I wanted to show you how I place my dies when I'm making several different blocks so that the die I want is always at my fingertips. The dies come in a book-like package. I remove them from that and line them up in the actual Qube box. It's the easiest cutting system ever.
Incorporating machine embroidery into quilting is one of the stitching activities that I enjoy, so this experiment was to see how I could combine the Qube blocks with machine embroidery.
Design Your Block:
My original goal was to make some hot mats and placemats for Mother’s Day gifts with machine embroidery. I started with the 9" Qube and scrolled through the ebook of 72 blocks to find blocks that could be modified to simplify the center to be used for machine embroidery. I started with this block and made a couple of modifications. By removing the center area that is pieced, I could replace that with the large GO! Square (Die #1) which gives me a perfect size area for machine embroidery.
Select an embroidery design.
The center large square with the 9” Qube measures 4.5 inches finished. The 8” Qube center square measures 4 inches finished, the 6” Qube center square measures 3 inches finished, and the 12” Qube center square measures 6 inches finished. You can choose an embroidery design that fits the center square or you can choose a block that fits the embroidery design.
The machine embroidery set that I chose for this project was the GO! Flower Bunch Machine Embroidery Designs because these are gifts for Mother's Day. These designs have the flowers with stems and separate blossoms and stems. The separate blossoms are perfect for the center of these quilt blocks. For the placemat, I used the block with the 12” Qube and for the hot mats, I used the block with the 9” Qube.
Make the quilt block.
The most wonderful part of the Qube is that you can cut one block at a time. I quickly cut the pieces needed for the block and assembled them according to the instructions in the AccuQuilt GO! Qube Block Book. The example below (for the Uneven 9-Patch Pattern) shows how easy it is to read and follow the instructions that are given for every block.
Stitch the Embroidery.
We have talked about embroidery placement. For this design, I simply placed the flower blossoms exactly in the middle of the block. That makes it easy to mark the center of the stabilizer and the center of the block and place and secure the block onto the stabilizer for stitching.
Use your machine embroidery quilt block as a base to make a pillow top, pot holder, placemat, table runner, tote bag, or even make lots of blocks for a quilt. I made hot mats for the table as well as placemats.
To make hot mats or placemats, you will layer batting (for the placemat) or Insulbrite (for the hot mat) and a backing. Pin these layers together for quilting. Quilting is stitched in the ditch on a regular sewing machine. If you enjoy free motion quilting, this is an excellent way to practice your quilting. A walking foot is helpful for stitch in the ditch quilting, but not essential.
Trim the hot mat or placemat to the desired size and bind exactly the same way that you bind a quilt.