Quilter’s Spotlight: Belinda Karls-Nace Talks Appliqué, Punk Rock, and Dogs

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Belinda Karls-Nace

Needlework designer Belinda Karls-Nace knew at six years old she wanted to create things with a needle and thread. She became obsessed by all hand creations after watching her grandmother do embroidery, knitting, and crocheting. Today, Belinda is the proud owner of Blue Ribbon Designs, a needlework design company she started over 10 years ago. She is happy that her passion for needlework now allows her to make a living with it.

Tell me more about your Quilted Cats and Bats wall hanging that you uploaded to Quilter’s SpotlightWhat was the inspiration behind it?

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Quilted Cats and Bats Wall Hanging

I’m a big fan of AccuQuilt, and I love doing any type of appliqué. Adding new AccuQuilt dies to my collection always sparks my creativity. I seem to have quite a few Halloween fabrics in my stash, so I decided it would be fun to play with the GO! Cat & Bat and GO! Pumpkins. I started by cutting a couple cats and bats and a large pumpkin. Next, I decided I needed a moon, so I grabbed my GO! Circles die. The GO! Rick Rack die was brand new at the time, and I thought it would make the perfect embellishment. I knew I wanted a seasonal quilted piece for my front door, so I did a little measuring to get the size for my appliqué background and started placing all the pieces on my design wall. As with most of my projects, it evolved as I started cutting and playing with fabrics.

(You can download Belinda’s Quilted Cats and Bats pattern for free here for a limited time!)

What do you love most about the GO! Fabric Cutter?

Probably the accuracy and the convenience. It’s so quick. I just finished four appliqué pieces for a customer. It’s just fun when you do it with the GO! because it’s instant gratification, and it saves a tremendous amount of time. I have both the GO! and GO! Baby fabric cutters as well as the Studio cutter.

Do you have a favorite die you’ve worked with?

The qppliqué shapes are really my favorites. I like the flowers because they’re so easy to use, but I enjoy the traditional piecing shapes, too – both save time.

For those who aren’t familiar with AccuQuilt, which product(s) would you recommend that they try first?

Organized bookshelf in Belinda's studio

Organized bookshelf in Belinda’s studio

I brag about AccuQuilt a lot. Between the GO! Fabric Cutter and GO! Baby, purchase the one you can afford. If you only have a small space, then GO! Baby. But if you can afford more and have the space, then get the GO! Fabric Cutter. As far as dies, you can make a ton of things with the GO! Value Die—the value die and appliqué of some sort because it shows you how easy it is to cut and to get these shapes.

Who is Belinda Karls-Nace? Describe yourself in three words.

Organized, analytical, obsessive- compulsive.

What’s the name of the last book you read?

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Belinda’s music room with over 5,000 vinyl records and other memorabilia

The last book I read was, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. In my younger days I was a punk rocker. I have an extensive music collection and all sorts of memorabilia in a designated room. I have over 5,000 vinyl record albums, autographed guitars, pictures, albums, etc. The neighbors are always impressed and say, ”Can we see the music room?”

That’s truly amazing, and I don’t blame them! What additional hobbies do you have?

Everything I do pretty much involves needle and thread, but I love to cook, garden, and play with the dogs—Schatzi, my German Shepherd and Simba, my Shih Tzu.  Our German Shepherd wants to play all the time and the Shih Tzu is like whatever, leave me alone. I call Simba the grumpy old man, and Schatzi is the young, energetic child. I train with my German Shepherd for 6-10 miles a day for the breast cancer walk that I volunteer for every year. We have a walking team called Twinkle Toes.

I love that name. Tell me more about your walking team.

This year we have four on our team including myself, and we will walk 60 miles in three days in Dallas this coming November. We do quite a bit of creative fundraising throughout the year, as we are all stitchers, quilters, sewists, and crafters. I design an exclusive needlework pattern each year as a ‘thank you’ to all who donate $15 or more to my fundraising page, and all proceeds go to the Komen 3-Day. I am also designing and making several wall hanging quilts that I will auction off, again with all proceeds going to the Komen 3-Day.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Probably successfully running my own business for more than 10 years in a creative field doing what I love for a living.

How many quilts would you estimate that you’ve made?

Several hundred, if you include all my quilted projects. Half have been for people who commissioned me to make them; the other half have been me playing around in my studio. I thoroughly enjoy sewing for our home and quilting for gift giving. I also do goodwill sewing and finishing, along with donating to quilt drives and those who need comfort.

What is your favorite part of the quilting process?

Actually piecing or the appliqué and the design part. But what I love the most when considering the entire process is to play with my EQ7 and design new things.

Would you say there is a therapeutic element to quilting?

Oh, absolutely. The reason I really got into hand sewing and stitching is because of the relaxation. I started getting into it more because of the calmness. I always hashtag things #sewingforsanity and/or #stitchingforsanity because it definitely keeps me sane.

What is your dream-quilting project?

Something with a lot of different blocks. Maybe like a Dear Jane. It’s one of those quilts that will take you several years to complete. It’s the assortment of blocks, curved piecing, traditional piecing, beautiful border. It’s every technique all in one quilt.

Have you ever recruited someone into the world of quilting?

Well, I definitely recruited people into the world of AccuQuilt! Probably all of my friends have the GO! now. A lot of people say they started making quilts because of me, so I’d like to think that I’ve inspired people to take up quilting.

For more information about Belinda Karls-Nace, visit blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com.

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Lynette A. Griffin is a new member of the AccuQuilt team, and she’s looking forward to sharing your projects and stories in a regular feature called ‘Quilter’s Spotlight’. Quilters will be selected from the Quilter’s Spotlight section of our site. Upload your projects today, and you could be the next featured quilter! 

     

AccuQuilt Teams up with the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild to Deliver Quilts to Tornado Victims in Nebraska

AccuQuilt and the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild teamed up earlier this summer to collect donated quilts for people in Pilger, Nebraska, whose town was virtually destroyed by twin tornadoes in June. Now, as the OMQG completes the quilt drive, they are hoping the quilts bring comfort to those whose lives were changed in a matter of moments.

The OMQG, spearheaded by its director, Lori Bain, took on the effort because of seeing news stories about the devastation. They wanted to do something to support the victims and to show them that people care about what happened to their community.

Although many quilt shops and guilds were enlisted to collect quilts for the cause, the OMQG realized they needed a larger central holding facility for the quilts to make the logistics of the deployment as efficient as possible and to protect the quilts. AccuQuilt welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the worthy cause.

“We are honored to be a part of this great cause and appreciate the team effort it took to make this quilt drive happen,” said Steve Nabity, AccuQuilt’s Chief Energizing Officer.

In addition to serving as the central holding facility for the quilt drive, AccuQuilt also opened up its Dream Studio for volunteers to conduct sew-ins in their state-of-the-art studio. The Dream Studio is fully equipped with fabric cutters, sewing machines, embroidery machines, a longarm machine, and much more. The sew-ins provided camaraderie and allowed quilters to create beautiful projects with a great support system and plenty of inspiration at their fingertips.

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Volunteers making quilts at AccuQuilt’s Dream Studio.

After collecting over 500 quilts, some of which were made by volunteers during the sew-ins, Bain is still overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people.

“We received numerous quilt blocks that were hand cross-stitched, some that were hand quilted, and some with applique work. Those quilts took hours and hours and hours of time. Donors gave huge pieces of themselves,” said Bain.

OMQG members and volunteers in front of 500 quilts. From left to right: Kristina Morrow, Cathy Hichert, Lori Bain, Gary Fitch, Scott Bain

OMQG members and volunteers in front of 500 quilts. From left to right: Kristina Morrow, Cathy Hichert, Lori Bain, Gary Fitch, Scott Bain

The OMQG received a lot of support for the quilt drive from other local quilt guilds, including the Lincoln Quilters Guild who made over 30 quilts and donated many more. Bain is thankful to everyone for the team effort.

Last Friday, Bain and her team arrived at AccuQuilt to pick up the heartwarming amount of quilts. Her team, along with AccuQuilt employees, created an assembly line in order to load the quilts onto the van much faster. While loading, there were a lot of “oohs” and “ahs” as everyone caught glimpses of the beautiful work.

The OMQG and AccuQuilt employees create an assembly line and load the quilts.

The OMQG and AccuQuilt employees create an assembly line and load the quilts.

In Pilger, Bain and the other volunteers teamed up with Omaha’s Rejoice! Lutheran Church who they learned would be in the community providing services like painting, cleanup, and a spaghetti dinner for the residents. They met at the Pilger Swimming Pool Hall, one of the few buildings that survived the tornadoes, with an assortment of quilts to distribute to those affected by the storms. It was a prime opportunity to distribute the quilts since many residents were there for the spaghetti dinner.

Shirley Spence of the Nebraska State Quilt Guild presents quilts to Kristen and her dog George.

Shirley Spence of the Nebraska State Quilt Guild presents quilts to Kristen and her dog George.

Approximately 350 quilts were distributed to Pilger storm victims. The remaining quilts will be distributed during the quilt deployment to Beaver Crossing in October.

It will be a long time before Pilger and the surrounding areas recover from the destruction caused by the tornadoes, but hopefully the quilts will provide some level of comfort to them as they continue to rebuild their communities. And when they feel the warmth from their new quilt, they will feel the love that went into making it and know that many people are still thinking about them.

To learn more about the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild, visit omqg.blogspot.com. To schedule a tour of the AccuQuilt headquarters and Dream Studio, please call 888.258.7913, or email at tours@accuquilt.com.

Something BIG is Here!

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The GO! Big Fabric Cutter is AccuQuilt’s NEW electric fabric cutter! GO! Big is our fastest cutter – it can cut two dies at a time! Enjoy accurate cuts from up to six layers of fabric. The GO! Big Fabric Cutter is compatible with all GO! dies – including the five NEW GO! Big dies that measure 14″ x 16″ for even more design possibilities.

Watch the video below to see what all the GO! Big buzz is about!

Die Spotlight: GO! Snowflake

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The GO! Snowflake die is the easiest and fastest way to cut out three different snowflake motifs. While there are endless design possibilities, one of our favorites is in Disney’s Frozen Sisterly Love quilt, featured in Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting. This quilt is the perfect gift for all the Frozen fans in your life!

Fons & Porter is offering both the quilt kit and a pattern for this fun project. You can also make the GO! Snowflakes/Wall Hanging!

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Follow along below to see how easy it is to cut and sew with the GO! Snowflake die. Each snowflake is 7″ across, so to cut one snowflake, cut a 7 1/2″ square. Apply fusible using the manufacturer’s instructions.

GO! Snowflake

Place the fused fabric over the snowflake you’d like to cut.

GO! Snowflake

Since we are just cutting one snowflake, use a 10″ x 10″ mat to just cover the section of the die you are cutting with. This helps conserve your mat!

GO! Snowflake

Roll through the cutter…

GO! Snowflake

And there’s a perfect snowflake! Use both the positive and negative space of the cut for even more options in your snowflake projects.

GO! Snowflake

Create Your Most Fascinating Machine Appliqué, Efficiently!

Are you ready to create machine appliqué projects with more interest in less time? Join quilting expert Kimberly Einmo for her online Craftsy class, Amazing Appliqué, and find out how!

Boost your machine appliqué aptitude as Kimberly helps you achieve speedy, accurate die-cutting results with the AccuQuilt GO! Fabric Cutter. Plus, you’ll make your appliqués pop like never before as you learn snazzy single- and twin-needle decorative stitching methods and even Kimberly’s signature stitch-stacking techniques.

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Learn the techniques for swift, accurate and gorgeous appliqué alongside an award-winning quilter, author, international instructor and quilt judge — Kimberly Einmo! She’s written five books published by the American Quilter’s Society, including Quilt A Travel Souvenir, Jelly Roll Quilts and More, Jelly Roll Quilt Magic, Precuts Bonanza and her newest book, Modern Quilts and More!

Kimberly has also written articles and designed original patterns for numerous publications like American Patchwork and Quilting, McCall’s Quilting and Quick Quilts. She’s even appeared on television and radio programs such as America Quilts Creatively and Pat Sloan’s American Quilting and Patchwork radio show.

When you sign up for Kimberly’s online Amazing Appliqué class, you’ll receive patterns for three fabulous appliqué quilting projects and all the guidance you need to bring them together beautifully.

lotsa_dotsStart by creating the Lotsa Dots! quilt. Kimberly will help you use the GO! Fabric Cutter to cut flawless pieces for your project, before you see how to adhere perfect circles to your background fabric with fusible web. Get the best tips for stabilizing your fabric, using special twin-needle appliqué techniques to add pizazz to your work, and removing stabilizer without distorting your stitches. Then, Kimberly will take you step by step through assembling and finishing your gorgeous Lotsa Dots! quilt.

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Next, make a personalized sewing machine cover project you can finish in an afternoon! Kimberly will show you how to customize the cover to fit your machine, make fun appliqué shapes quickly with the GO! Fabric Cutter, and create super-cute side ties for the project. You’ll also learn to stitch around points and curves with ease as you embellish your project with complex appliqué shapes.

Move on to creating the Good Morning Sunshine quilt. You’ll begin by cutting out background fabric squares. Then, use the GO! Fabric Cutter to make customized Dresden wedge shapes, and create perfect points on your wedges. Kimberly will also teach you how to sew your Dresden wedges into perfect units, attach your Dresden plates to your background fabric and secure them with tiny appliqué stitches.

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Last but not least, learn Kimberly’s signature stitch-stacking technique as you work on your Good Morning Sunshine quilt. You’ll create layers of different stitches and thread colors to bring eye-catching textures and interest to your appliqué! Kimberly will also cover how to assemble the Good Morning Sunshine quilt in a variety of different layouts, and talk about some beautiful options for quilting your project.

With Kimberly’s online Craftsy class, you’ll receive instant access to her lessons, which you can watch any time and as many times as you want — forever! You can even ask Kimberly and your classmates quilting questions, so you’re always just a click away from answers.

Sign up for Amazing Appliqué today to master fun new stitching techniques and tips for efficient, accurate die cutting with the AccuQuilt GO! Fabric Cutter.

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By Nick Linkow for Craftsy

Pattern Spotlight: GO! Rectangle Reflection

The GO! Rectangle Reflection is just like a Disappearing Nine Patch – quick, easy, and you can cut it out in a flash with your GO! fabric cutter! Download this fun pattern for FREE for a limited time.

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Follow along below to see how to cut and sew this block. First, gather your dies. You’ll need the GO! Rectangle – 2 3/4″ x 5″ (2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ Finished), GO! Square – 2 3/4″ (2 1/4″ Finished), and the GO! Square – 5″ (4 1/2″ Finished).

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Start with the GO! Square – 2 3/4″ (2 1/4″ Finished) die. Cut a strip of fabric that is 9 3/4″ wide. Fan fold the strip across the die to cut up to six layers of fabric. Position your fabric on the die so that the selvedge edge of the fabric is in line with the label on the die and the cutter handle. This ensures that the lengthwise grain is traveling perpendicular to the roller.

SONY DSC Place the cutting mat over the die and roll through the cutter. Slide off the cutting mat to reveal your squares.

GO! Square

Next, grab the GO! Rectangle die. Cut a 10 1/2″ strip of fabric. Fan fold the strip across the die to cut up to six layers of fabric. Position your fabric on the die so that the selvedge edge of the fabric is in line with the label on the die and the cutter handle. This ensures that the lengthwise grain is traveling perpendicular to the roller.

GO! Rectangle Place the cutting mat over the die and roll through the cutter. Slide the cutting mat off the die to find perfect rectangles.

GO! Rectangle

Using the GO! Square – 5″ (4 1/2″ Finished) die, cut a 10 1/2″ strip of fabric and fan fold up to six layers across the die.

GO! Square Place the cutting mat on top of the die and roll through the cutter. Slide the mat off the die and you’ll find your 5″ charm squares.

GO! Square

Cut more charm squares with the color you are using as the background.

GO! Square GO! Square

Check out all your pieces that are ready to become the GO! Rectangle Reflection.

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Sew each of the four units together.

GO! Rectangle Reflection

Sew the four units together to create the GO! Rectangle Reflection block!

GO! Rectangle Reflection

Pattern Spotlight: GO! Storm at Sea

The GO! Storm at Sea Quilt is a classic made easy with die cutting! Cut this quilt out in a flash and you’ll be sewing before you know it! Download this pattern for FREE for a limited time!

GO! Storm at Sea

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Follow along below to see how quick and easy it is to cut all the shapes you need for the GO! Storm at Sea. First collect the dies you need – GO! Triangle in Square – 3″ Finished, GO! Half Square Triangle – 3″ Finished, GO! Square – 3″ Finished, and the GO! Half Square Triangle – 1 1/2″ Finished.

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We’re cutting for a four color block. Starting with the GO! Half Square Triangle – 1 1/2″ Finished die, cut 7″ strips from each of the four colors you are working with.

GO! Half Square Triangle - 1 1/2" Finished

Fan fold the strips across the die to cut up to six layers of fabric. Position your fabric on the die so that the selvedge edge of the fabric is in line with the label on the die and the cutter handle. This ensures that the lengthwise grain is traveling perpendicular to the roller.

GO! Half Square Triangle - 1 1/2" Finished

Place the cutting mat over the die and roll through the cutter.

GO! Half Square Triangle - 1 1/2" Finished

Slide the mat off to reveal your perfectly cut half square triangles.

GO! Half Square Triangle - 1 1/2" Finished Repeat the same steps for each of the colors.

GO! Half Square Triangle - 1 1/2" Finished GO! Half Square Triangle - 1 1/2" Finished GO! Half Square Triangle - 1 1/2" Finished

After cutting with the same die, you may notice threads caught in the blades. Use your die pick to clean out the die.

GO! Half Square Triangle - 1 1/2" Finished

Next use the GO! Square – 3″ Finished die to cut squares with the aqua color. Fan fold a 7 1/2″ strip across the die. Position your fabric on the die so that the selvedge edge of the fabric is in line with the label on the die and the cutter handle. This ensures that the lengthwise grain is traveling perpendicular to the roller.

GO! Square - 3" Finished

Place the cutting mat over the die and roll through the cutter.

GO! Square - 3" Finished

Ta-da! Perfect squares.

GO! Square - 3" Finished

Next, on to the GO! Half Square Triangle – 3″ Finished die. Cut 9″ strips from each of your three accent colors – not the background fabric, in this example the lightest green. Fan fold the strips across the die. Layer up to six layers of fabric.

GO! Half Square Triangle - 3" FinishedPlace the cutting mat over the die and roll through the cutter.

GO! Half Square Triangle - 3" Finished

Perfect half square triangles!

GO! Half Square Triangle - 3" Finished

Repeat the same steps for each of the other two colors.

GO! Half Square Triangle - 3" FinishedGO! Half Square Triangle - 3" Finished

Next, moving on to the GO! Triangle in Square – 3″ Finished die. Cut 6″ strips of the dark green and dark blue fabric. Layer them together over the center triangle portion of the die to cut four layers, two of each color.

GO! Triangle in Square

Cut a 5 1/2″ strip of your background fabric and fan fold over the outside triangle pieces.

GO! Triangle in Square

Place the cutting mat over the die and roll through the cutter.

GO! Triangle in Square

You’ve just cut everything you need for the Triangle in Square units!

GO! Triangle in Square

Lay out all your pieces!

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Download the GO! Storm at Sea pattern – free for a limited time – and lay out your blocks before you start sewing! The color placement in the Storm at Sea is important – so follow the diagram!

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Pattern Spotlight: GO! Fish

Looking for a fun piecing project? The GO! Fish Quilt creates this fun motif with just two pieced units. Download the pattern for free for a limited time!

GO! Fish Quilt Pattern

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Follow along below to see how quick and easy it is to cut and sew this quilt! Start by gathering the dies. You’ll need the GO! Triangles in Square – 4″ Finished Square, GO! Quarter Square Triangle – 4″ Finished Square, and the GO! Half Square Triangle – 2″ Finished Square. The 2″ finished half square triangle is available both on the GO! Value die and the GO! Half Square Triangle – 2″ Finished Square Multiples. We’re using the GO! Value die below.

GO! Value Die

Cut a 3 3/4″ strip to fan fold across the half square triangle units on the die board. Position your fabric on the die so that the selvedge edge of the fabric is in line with the label on the die and the cutter handle. This ensures that the lengthwise grain is traveling perpendicular to the roller.

GO! Value Die

Since the fabric is doubled, fan fold up to three times across the die to cut the maximum six layers of fabric.

GO! Value Die

Cover the die with the cutting mat and roll through the cutter.

GO! Value Die GO! Value Die

Slide the mat off the die to reveal perfect half square triangles! Notice the notched corners? These are so helpful because you don’t have to trim dog ears after sewing.

GO! Value Die

Next, grab the GO! Quarter Square Triangle – 4″ Finished Square die. Cut an 11″ strip of fabric. Again, make sure the selvedge edge is lined up with the die label and the cutter handle. Fan fold the doubled fabric three times across the die to cut six layers of fabric.

GO! Quarter Square Triangle - 4" Finished SquarePlace the mat over the die and roll through the cutter.

GO! Quarter Square Triangle - 4" Finished Square

Slide the mat off the die to find lots of quarter square triangles.

GO! Quarter Square Triangle - 4" Finished Square

Next, on to the GO! Triangle in Square – 4″ Finished Square die. Cut a 3 1/2″ strip from the same color fabric as the half square triangles. Also cut a 5″ strip of fabric for the center triangle.

GO! Triangle in Square - 4" Finished Square

Line the selvedge edge of the fabric up with the die label and the cutter handle to ensure you are cutting on the lengthwise grain. Fan fold the doubled fabric up to three times to cut up to six layers of fabric.

GO! Triangle in Square - 4" Finished Square

Place the mat over the die and roll through the cutter.

GO! Triangle in Square - 4" Finished Square GO! Triangle in Square - 4" Finished Square

Slide the mat off the die to find the piece needed to construct the triangle in square units.

GO! Triangle in Square - 4" Finished Square

Lay your cut pieces out to show the two units you’ll be sewing – the flying geese and triangle in square.

GO! Fish

Sew the triangle in square unit by sewing one side to the center triangle. Press the seam.

GO! Fish

Sew the second side to the center triangle and press the seam.

GO! Fish

Sew one half square triangle to the quarter square triangle. Press the seam.

GO! Fish

Sew the second half square triangle to the quarter square triangle to finish the flying geese unit.

GO! Fish

The entire GO! Fish Quilt is made with these units! Download the pattern for free for a limited time to make your version today!

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BOB Blog Hop Projects

The BOB Blog Hop was a huge success! BOB (aka Block on Board) make cutting easy. All the shapes needed to make the block are included on one die board.

We’ve teamed up with some of our favorite creative folks to see what they make with BOB. Explore all the great projects below!

Samplings from a Blue Ribbon Girl - GO! Flowering Snowball

Blue Ribbon Designs

Strip Quilter - GO! Ohio Star

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Freemotion by the River - GO! Log Cabin

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A Quilting Life - GO! Dresden Plates

DresdenPleasant Home - GO! Blazing Star

pleasant homeLiving Water Quilter - GO! Hunter Star

livingwaterquilterRay’s Sew Crafty - GO! Double Wedding Ring

rayssewcraftyBlue Feather Quilt Studio - GO! Rob Peter to Pay Paul

RPPP-flowerOne Stitch at a Time - GO! Double Wedding Ring

One Stitch at a Time Beaquilter - GO! Log Cabin

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 8.46.51 AM Sew Incredibly Crazy - GO! Rob Peter to Pay Paul

sew incredibly crazy Sew Fresh Quilts - GO! Ohio Star

Sew Fresh Quilts

Interested in seeing all the BOB dies?

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