One Million Pillowcase Challenge

As you probably already know, American Patchwork & Quilting is challenging quilters, sewers, and crafters to help them reach the goal of donating one million pillowcases to local charities. Nearly 508,000 have already been created and donated! Handi Quilter is proud to be one of the sponsors for the One Million Pillowcase Challenge.

American Patchwork and Quilting recently sponsored a Pinterest contest featuring their 20 favorite pillowcase patterns from the One Million Pillowcase Challenge. This pillowcase with a train appliqué received the most pins — and was the winner of the contest. Here’s a link to the pattern if you want to make your own version.

As a sponsor for the One Million Pillowcase Challenge, Handi Quilter was challenged to make our own version of the winning pillowcase. Here’s what we came up with:

Before we fill you in on all of the details of how we made our quilt, we want to first thank the folks at AccuQuilt for generously providing us with the train die so we could use our AccuQuilt GO! Baby Fabric cutter.

Of course, we wanted to do a quilted pillowcase. We think it would be darling as a pillow sham and it would be the perfect addition to a quilt made using the same train appliqué pieces.

Our first step was to select our fabrics.

We consider a variety of juvenile prints, but ended up selecting polka dots from a couple lines from RJR Fabrics:

  • Pillowcase border: Crazy for Dots and Stripes by RJR Fabrics (8172-007)
  • Middle car: Crazy for Dots and Stripes by RJR Fabrics (8174-006)
  • Engine: Crazy for Dots and Stripes by RJR Fabrics (8174-061)
  • Caboose: Crazy for Dots and Stripes by RJR Fabrics (8174-041)
  • Windows: Crazy for Dots and Stripes by RJR Fabrics (8174-101)
  • Wheels: Pin Dots by RJR Fabrics (4928-022)
  • Yellow solid, green hill, and blue inner border fabrics were from our scrap pile

After selecting our fabrics, we used the AccuQuilt GO! Baby to cut our train pieces.

We stitched the green hill fabric onto the yellow pillowcase fabric. Then HQ studio educator Cheryl Duncan created the wording with her embroidery machine and she stitched out “I think I can, I think I can” as if it is the smoke coming out of the train’s smoke stack. Love it!

We next loaded the quilt onto an HQ18 Avanté longarm machine equipped with HQ Pro-Stitcher – yellow backing, 80/20 batting, and the pillowcase top. Now it was ready to quilt.

HQ studio educator Angie Balling selected a digital edge-to-edge design called Blustery Breeze (included with HQ Pro-Stitcher) and quilted the body of the pillowcase.

Next up was to appliqué the train pieces, which we also did on the HQ18 Avanté longarm machine. Angie glue-basted the pieces onto the pillowcase quilt top and used a squiggly, herky-jerky stitch all around their edges. Yep, they’re on there to stay!

All that was left was to finish the pillowcase which we did with a serger.

Another close-up:

This was definitely a group effort. Thanks to Angie to did the cutting, quilting, appliqué, and serging. Thanks to Cheryl for the machine embroidery. And thanks to Nancy for donating the polka-dot fabrics from her stash.

We’re still deciding where we will donate the pillowcase. Perhaps we’ll give it to Primary Children’s Hospital? Or to the Ronald McDonald house? We’ll let you know when and where we donate it.

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HQ Engineer’s Football Raffle Quilt

We were so impressed when we learned that one of our engineers, Shaun, decided to make a quilt for his son’s football team fund-raiser. Shaun is one of the software engineers who works on HQ Pro-Stitcher.

First, here’s a look at the entire quilt:

Shaun used Art & Stitch to digitize the great football design for the borders and the grizzley bear in the corners.

The CH emblem in the center stands for Copper Hills, the name of the high school.

Great job Shaun! It’s nice to see our engineers using the HQ products they create for our customers. Let’s hope it brings big bucks at the fund-raiser!


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HQ Studio Educators Featured in American Patchwork and Quilting, October 2013

The HQ studio educators are at it again. They quilted the color option for the Drunkard’s Path quilt (called A Different Path, by Kathie Holland) in the October 2013 of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

The color option, in a barn-raising setting, by quilt tester Laura Boehnke, was quilted by HQ studio educators Marie Eldredge and Angie Balling.

The pattern is available at American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.

Here is Marie busy quilting the light butterfly print area:

And here’s Angie using a circle ruler to stitch around the arc appliqué area.

Here’s a close-up of the “loopy” background fill with a metallic thread:

And, last of all, here’s the back of the quilt (not bound yet, and as you can see, the backing was just some fabric from the stash — not necessarily chosen to match the front of the quilt). But it definitely shows the quilting.

Great job Marie and Angie!


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