There’s a chill in the air and it’s time to start stitching for the holidays. The AccuQuilt GO! 12 Days of Winter Bliss pattern used with the GO! Winter Bliss Wall Hanging Machine Embroidery Set by Marjorie Busby makes a darling wall hanging or lap quilt for display during the winter season. And it stitches up beautifully using quick and easy AccuQuilt GO!® die cut shapes and machine appliqué using your embroidery machine or by stitching it with a blanket stitch on your sewing machine. This project can also be hand stitched using fusible raw edge shapes and a blanket stitch.
There are twelve blocks in this wall hanging and it uses the following AccuQuilt GO!® dies: GO! Holiday Medley (55043), GO! Holiday Accessories (55321), GO! Sleigh and Snowflakes (55322), GO! Circles 2", 3", 5” (55012), GO! Star 2", 3", 4” (55028), and GO! Carefree 3" Numbers (55099). The first time I made this wall hanging, I cut and stitched it block by block using colors similar to those shown on the AccuQuilt pattern. Because this design set uses six different dies and each block uses shapes from multiple dies, I want to take you through the process that I am using to make more of these quilts to give as gifts. This process will get you started and on the way to a successfully completed quilt.
QuiltShopGal will be sponsoring a Stitch Along at her blog starting in October where you will find all the community and support you need to complete the Winter Bliss project. Not only will there be stitching support, but she will be showing additional ways to use the Winter Bliss machine embroidery designs to make other projects like a fabric book.
Are you ready to start this project? Follow the steps below and you will have kits for each block that are ready to stitch at a moment’s notice. This is particularly helpful to me as sometimes my work and family responsibilities leave only short bits of time for stitching fun things for myself.
Select Your Applique Fabrics.
Choose a color scheme and the fabrics that you will use for your blocks. Fabrics that work well for applique are small prints and blenders. Make sure you include a good mixture of contrast and coordinating colors. You are using fabric to paint a picture, so keep that in mind as you select the fabrics to be used.
There are several ways to choose the fabrics. One way is to pull fabrics and scraps from your stash or scrap bins. Another way is to purchase a set of coordinated fat quarters or fat eighths supplemented with yardage for the sashing and borders.
Select Background, Sashing and Borders, and Stabilizer.
Background fabric. Choose a neutral background fabric for the blocks. This fabric should be a good medium weight quilt shop quality cotton. I like to use Kona Cotton as it takes the stitches well, and comes in a range of colors that are suitable for background fabric. This fabric should coordinate with the colors that you have selected for your applique shapes.
Sashing and Borders. There are two schools of thought on choosing sashing and borders. These fabrics may be chosen when the applique fabrics are selected, or you may want to make all your blocks and then audition fabrics for sashing and borders after the blocks are finished.
Stabilizer for Machine Embroidery. If you are making this for machine embroidery, remember to select a cutaway or tearaway stabilizer in a light to medium weight for your embroidery hoop. Stabilizer is one of the most important factors in successful machine embroidery. A satin stitch requires a cutaway medium weight stabilizer while motif and blanket stitch require a lightweight stabilizer.
Cut the Shapes.
Background fabric: One yard of fabric is needed to cut the twelve background squares. The background fabric should be cut into ten-inch squares and each square should be starched and pressed.
Applique shapes: There are two ways to prepare fabric for applique. One way is to apply a fusible to the back of the fabric before cutting the shapes. Do not remove the paper backing until the shape has been cut. The other way is to starch the fabric with a heavy starch before cutting the shapes and to use water-soluble fabric glue to apply the shapes to the background while making the blocks. I cut fabrics in six-inch squares in preparation for die cutting. Most shapes will fit within a six-inch square and by cutting carefully, I have leftover scraps that can be used for smaller shapes.
As you cut, lay the shapes onto a square of the background fabric, then step back and look at the block to be sure you are pleased with the colors. If not, this is the time to cut the shape from a different color.
This chart lists each shape required for the individual blocks. It is a helpful way to organize the cutting process.
With this project, it was helpful to me to have the dies on the cutting table and to cut each block individually with the exception of the numbers. All of the numbers were cut at one time because they were all from the same fabric.
Organizing into Block Kits
Once the shapes were cut, I put all the shapes for a single block into a small sandwich bag. Each bag was labeled by including a picture of the block that I cut from the chart. Remember to recycle and reuse those baggies for your next project.