Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Twist on Tradition with AccuQuilt

One of my favorite quilting motifs is the oak leaf. I spotted this lovely block in the traditional colors of red and green at a quilt show a few years ago.


So it's not surprising that I immediately fell for the Fall Medley die set from AccuQuilt (below) when they so kindly let me select some of their dies to try. It not only has an oak leaf but an acorn, pumpkin, and maple leaf! 


To step outside my comfort zone, I decided to put a twist on tradition by making an oak leaf and acorn block in velvet instead of traditional quilting cottons. Yes, the AccuQuilt Go! Baby cuts velvet beautifully! I happened to have a bolt of a light sage green velvet, so thought I'd make use of it. If you don't have velvet, you might try velveteen. To prepare my velvet, I first ironed it from the backside and on a towel to avoid crushing the pile.


When cutting velvet on your AccuQuilt Go! Baby, do keep in mind that you won't be able to cut as many layers simultaneously as you can with quilting cottons. In my earlier Go! Baby post, I mentioned you could cut up to 6 layers of cotton fabric at once. I've cut up to two layers with the velvet and been very pleased with the results. The AccuQuilt team recommends you start with one layer and gradually experiment with more layers until you see what works best for you. For a tutorial on how to use the AccuQuilt Go! Baby and other projects I've made with it, see my earlier post by clicking here


With my pieces cut, I was ready to play! I made a simple block with the oak leaves and acorn shapes. Instead of using the traditional colors, I opted for soft sage green and a dusty pink in velvet. After all, acorns don't have to be brown in the creative world of quilting, do they? Don't have velvet in all the colors you want? No problem! Just mix it up with your regular quilting cottons. I used regular quilting cotton for the background print and the acorn top. 


To make quick work of the appliqué, I sewed the shapes down with a blanket-stitch on my Bernina. And to add a little panache, I feather-stitched the leaves by hand and embellished them with pink beads. 


I guess the creative lesson of this story is to feel free to experiment with a non-traditional color and fabric palette. I hope this post will inspire you to give it a try. And to help inspire you even more, be sure to check back here tomorrow for your chance to win your very own Go! Baby cutter AND your choice of three dies! One of my lucky followers will soon get to experiment with her own Go! Baby! 

For more information on AccuQuilt fabric cutters and dies, check out accuquilt.com or sign up to receive all the latest AccuQuilt news here.