Thursday, November 29, 2012

What's old is new again

Ro Gregg is back, with a nod to classic style. Her latest collection, Lady in Red, features a trendy red, black and white color palette, showcased in timeless designs.

Q. What inspired you to create Lady in Red?
Ro: This line is a classic example of a very important trend: what is old is new again. I was inspired by authentic vintage swatches and updated them with architectural and botanical motifs. I  was also inspired by trips to London and beautiful English bone China, including family China that has been handed from my great aunt to my mother to me. 

Q. What are your favorite prints in the collection?
Ro: My favorite is the botanical rose and scroll. Roses are part of my signature style, and red roses symbolize love and passion.

I also love the dotted scroll in both black and red. It is much more than just a scroll texture; it holds color and adds surface texture in quilted projects. 

Q. What do you like best about these designs?
Ro: This line makes me feel romantic and a bit nostalgic, because it is a glimpse back to the past when things were much simpler, yet it has a freshness and a color palette that will always be in style. 

Q. What do you envision quilters making from the Lady in Red fabrics?
Ro: It would be perfect for an heirloom quilt, Roman shades, skirted tables layered with several prints, really any type of home dec project. 

Love this line? Head over to our website to download the free pattern for this English Gardens quilt, designed by Dawn Conery Designs. Then head to your local quilt shop to find our lovely Lady in Red waiting for you!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tutorial: Secret Pillow

Rebecca over at Our Busy Little Bunch is starting off our Blogging Design Ring free tutorials today. We know you'll love the adorable pillow (complete with secret pocket!) that she has created. After you check out her tutorial below, head over to Rebecca's blog to see how to enter a giveaway to win a fat quarter bundle of Pretty in Pink.
Here's Rebecca!

I'm excited to show you my first project for the Fabri-Quilt design team!  A secret pillow has been on my middle daughter's wishlist for quite some time - she wants a place to hide her treasures from her little brother and sister :)  The fabric for this project is called Pretty in Pink by Ro Gregg.  This fabric line is available this month, check out the 'where to buy' page for a retailer in your area. 
  • 3.5" center square (this is great for a fussy-cut or novelty fabric - I like to think that it symbolizes the 'treasure' inside)
  • optional: piece of ribbon or trim - about 15" in length
  • various 1.5" strips for the borders.  I cut these as I went along, perfect for scraps. You'll need to border the center square four times in 1.5" strips.  
  • for the final outside border, use 2" strips.
  • scrap piece of batting and scrap fabric - 13.5" square each
  • backing of pillow: two pieces 13" x 10", two pieces 13" x 3", and one piece 1.5" x 13"
  • lining of pocket: 13" square
  • 12" zipper
  • enough stuffing to fill a 12" square pillow

First, cut out your pieces:

If you want to add trim, sew with a 1/8" seam allowance around edges of center square - add top/bottom pieces first, and then side pieces.

Now, sew all your border pieces with 1/4" seam allowance. Always add two opposite strips first, press and trim. Then add next two strips, press and trim. Keep adding rows until you've done 5 borders, making sure to use the 2" borders last.  Use your ruler and rotary cutter to square it up to 13".

Next, layer your block with the batting and scrap fabric, baste and quilt it.  Then trim it back up to 13".  Put it aside and we'll work on the back now.

Take your two 13" x 10" pieces and layer them right sides together along one edge of the zipper with the zipper sandwiched between them.  Make sure that the zipper is centered.  Using your zipper foot, sew the top edge, moving the zipper out of the way as you sew.

Press both pieces of fabric away from the zipper, so your piece now looks like this:

Now, take the 1.5" x 13" strip and press it in half, wrong sides together.  Layer it on top of one of the 3" x 13" strips, raw edges together and sew together using a 1/8" seam.

Now, just like we did the other side of the zipper - layer the two 3" x 13" pieces right sides together with the zipper sandwiched between them.  Make sure to put the piece with the 1.5" strip sewn onto it on the right-side of the zipper. Again, using your zipper foot, sew the top edge, moving the zipper out of the way as you sew.

Again, press your pieces away from the zipper, but press the 1.5" strip so it covers the zipper.  Your piece should now look like this - top picture will be outside of pillow, bottom picture will be inside of pillow.  Check your measurements - this piece should measure 13" square,  but if you find it too tall - just trim a little.

Now you are down to three pieces that you are working with.  The back of the pillow, the pocket lining, and the quilted front of the pillow.

Layer the three pieces with quilted front and pillow back right-sides together, and right-side of pillow lining against wrong-side of pillow back.  Sew outer edge with a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving a 4" opening on bottom of pillow for stuffing. (Note: you can choose to zig-zag or serge the edges to reinforce the pillow.  If so, serge or zig-zag the bottom edges separately before you sew the outside edges of the pillow closed.  After you've sewn the outside edge, you can serge or zig-zag the sides and top seams together).

 Turn pillow right-side out.  Fill pillow with stuffing, making sure to get into all the corners. Handstitch opening closed.

And there it is, a finished Secret Pillow!  This one is going under the Christmas tree - one handmade gift done. :) 

Rebecca @ OurBusyLittleBunch

Thanks so much Rebecca! Head on over to OurBusyLittleBunch to learn how you can win a fat quarter bundle of Pretty in Pink, the collection Rebecca used to make her secret pillow. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Q: What can 9 bags of scraps make?

A: A whole lot of feel-good warmth for people in need, from Idaho with love!

The mother-daughter team of Alice Walter and Deb Hopkins drives from Idaho to Kansas City twice a year to purchase fabric from Fabri-Quilt for quilt retreat kits.

Burley, Idaho to Kansas City: Mapquest estimates it's a 1230 mile, 17+ hour trip!
When the ladies headed home last spring, their mini van was a little extra stuffed. With nine big bags of fabric scraps for charity quilts. Since they'd already filled the vehicle with purchased bolts, they tucked scraps into cupholders, under the seats...just trying to make it all fit.

"We got home and said, what are we going to do with these scraps?" Alice says. Alice and Deb had been giving away pattern-writing test quilts from their retreats, as well as other scrap quilts, to charity organizations for several years, but felt quilts made from these scraps needed to go back to Kansas City. "The fabric came from Kansas City; I think we need to take the quilts back there," Deb says. Enter reStart, an interfaith ministry with homeless persons in Kansas City.

Q. How did you choose reStart to receive the quilts you made?
Alice: I started looking on the Internet for an organization to receive the quilts. I found an article in the Kansas City Star about a homeless shelter, called reStart, and they said that they'd like the quilts.

Q. How many quilts did you sew?
Alice: We did up 100 quilts. Not huge bed quilts; just snuggle quilts. We both pieced quilts and I did all the machine quilting and machine binding.

Alice and Deb (who also has a full-time job outside of the house)
sewed and quilted 100 quilts in less than 6 months. Wow!
Q. Tell us about your experience at reStart. 
Deb: We scoped it out, getting a tour before bringing in the quilts. I was really impressed with the program, and the steps that they take to help people. This is something different than just a handout on the corner.
Alice: One older gentlemen picked out his quilt, hugged it, and danced around. Then he said, "I just gotta do this. I just gotta give you a hug."
Deb: Most of the time when we give away quilts [to a charity], we don't get to experience the joy of seeing the end person who actually gets the benefit of the gift. It's more of an anonymous thing. When we did reStart, we got to experience the joy. We need that human interaction--to see the instant result. That's the thing that touches your heart and makes that warm fuzzy feeling.

Q. What was it like, handing out the quilts?
Alice: Instead of just handing each person a quilt, we let them pick out which one they wanted.
Deb: I would open each quilt up so they could see the whole thing, front and back. I told them, "It's okay if you don't like it. It's your quilt and you should have something you like."

Freshly unpacked from the mini van,
these quilts are ready to meet their new owners.

Q. What drives you to make so many quilts for charities?
Deb: For us it goes back to, we can make something from nothing. It's the challenge of what can we do with this that is going to make a difference in somebody's life. To me, it's the challenge of okay, I'm given a stack of pieces. What can I do with this. I might as will put my time and talents into something that will make a difference for someone. It takes so little to make a difference.

Alice, Deb and Fabri-Quilt's own Adlai Kunst outside reStart
After Deb and Alice handed out their 100 quilts at reStart, they made their purchases at Fabri-Quilt and headed back to Idaho with more sacks of scrap fabric. When they return to Kansas City in the spring, they'll bring back another load of finished quilts, ready to make a difference in the lives of the homeless people reStart helps. 

To learn more about Alice, Deb, and their Wonder Cut Ruler and retreat business, click here.
To learn more about reStart and how it helps homeless persons in Kansas City, click here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Announcing our Holiday Block Challenge!

Sew a block for a chance to win!

Designer Heidi Pridemore of The Whimsical Workshop is sharing these four holiday-themed block patterns with Fabri-Quilt fans for our 2012 Holiday Block Challenge!

The Rules:
  • Sew one (or more) of these four blocks using Fabri-Quilt fabrics
  • Take a photo of your block and email it to, along with your name and the fabric you used.
  • We must receive your emailed photo by Tuesday, December 18th to be eligible to win.
  • We will randomly select 3 winners from the emailed entries to receive a fat quarter bundle of Fabri-Quilt fabrics.
  • For bonus entries, you can:
          a) Also share a photo of your block on our Facebook page
b) Submit a photo of a table runner/quilt top using multiple blocks

Click here to download pdfs of the block patterns from Heidi at The Whimsical Workshop.
Click the link underneath each block below to download a pdf of the pattern through Google Docs.

We can't wait to see what you make!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friends of Fabri-Quilt Gallery

Give It A Swing
Patricia Lackey transforms Ro Gregg's fabrics into wearable works of art. ''Fabric inspires me,'' Patricia says. ''When I saw this fabric, I immediately knew what I was going to do with it. The fabric just started talking."
In this case, the fabric that ''talked'' to Patricia was Ro Gregg's Marblehead stripe, with 2-1/2'' wide printed strips of different colors.

Enter, the Swing Jacket. 

Patricia first made the jacket out of the brown Marblehead stripe, and after rave reviews, remade the jacket in the red, gold and green Marblehead Xmas so that she could write the pattern. The jacket uses five different fabrics, with the stripe playing center stage on the swinging, pleated back.

''I've had all different sizes of people try [the jacket] on and everyone loves it. It has that little bit of snap to it. I really like pleats, tiny details; I like surprises in my design."

See the Marblehead Metallic Xmas fabrics here.
Purchase the pattern for Patricia's jacket here

More Show and Tell
Joanne Dubnicka, one of the quilters who helped sew pillowcases for the Million Pillowcase Challenge, put pillowcase scraps to good use. She used leftover Orleans prints to stitch one of her favorite patterns, the Barbados bag from Pink Sand Beach Designs. ''To me, the fabrics and the bag just say summer,'' Joanne says. ''I love the blue large print with the white and yellow flowers."  What a great use of leftovers!

See the Orleans fabrics here.
Purchase the pattern for the bag here.

Joanne also used leftover prints from the Melrose collection to make a magazine bag for her mother-in-law.

Thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Lone Star Shortcut

What if you only had to do half of the piecing for a Lone Star quilt? Hmmm…half the work with all of the results; sounds like a good great deal!

Betsy Smith used Ro Gregg's Marblehead stripe (consisting of 2-1/2'' wide printed strips of different colors) to construct the Harvest Lone Star quilt, featured in the October-November issue of The Quilter magazine.

Designed by: Betsy Smith
Featured in: The Quilter October-November 2012
Fabric: Marblehead by Ro Gregg

Q. What made you decide to sew a Lone Star design?
Betsy: Star quilts are among my all-time favorite designs, with a Lone Star being right at the top of the list. I almost always visualize a star design first when I start working on something new.

Q. What did you like best about making this quilt?
Betsy: I really liked working with the Marblehead stripe for the body of the star. The even width of the stripes made the process very straightforward.

Marblehead pre-printed stripe fabric

Q. What was most challenging about making this quilt?
Betsy: Making sure that the seams matched. Accuracy in the piecing really fools the eye into thinking that those star points are made up of lots of individual diamond patches when, in reality, they are made with just three strips of the striped fabric per star point!

Q. Can you talk briefly about what technique you used?
Betsy: The technique was based on the idea of working with a strip set made with 2-1/2'' strips of fabric. Using the stripe fabric was just like working with a ready-made strip set. I cut the stripe on a 45-degree bias, which gave me the diamonds for the star points.

Q. What do you like best about how this quilt turned out?
Betsy: I really like the graphic quality of this quilt. It makes a statement.

Q. How does your machine quilting enhance the design?
Betsy: The Marblehead fabrics in this quilt contribute to a somewhat elegant feel. I wanted to enhance that quality with an elegant quilting design so I machine quilted traditional feathered wreaths in the open spaces.

Also, if you're interested in making a holiday-colored Lone Star quilt, the Marblehead stripe also comes in a metallic gold, red and green colorway. 

To see all of the Marblehead prints, click here.
To learn more about Betsy Smith, click here.
To find the October-November 2012 issue of The Quilter, click here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Need a children's quilt pattern?

Whether you're making a gift for a little one in your life or to donate to a charity, you can never have too many children's quilts on hand! These cheery jungle prints and polka dot coordinates are gender neutral, and any child will love the soft flannel feel of this play or snuggle quilt. 

Meet Zoo Friends, featured in the Winter 2012 issue of Easy Quilts
Designed by: Pine Tree Country Quilts
Featured in: Easy Quilts Winter 2012 issue
Fabric: Cuddle Print Flannels

Q. What can you see this quilt being used for?
Sue: The design of this quilt is so easy to piece that it would be a great Project Linus quilt. It’s a good size for a wrap up and cuddle quilt for any child. The warm, plush flannels make it perfect for a floor play quilt, too.

Q. The block design really does a nice job showcasing the fussy-cut square. Can you explain how you came up with that idea?
Sue: The animals in the block centers are individual squares with an animal featured in each square. We thought the idea of a square within a square, within a square with the “paths” coming in from different directions looked like the animal areas at a zoo. Also, these prints are from a general flannel group, so they don't necessarily all ''go'' together. The polka dot coordinates looked great with both of the jungle animal prints, and we knew we had to separate the animals with the polka dots. This design allowed us to do just that.

Q. What do you like best about the quilt?
Sue: We think the block design is very versatile. Sometimes it's hard to come up with a way to feature small squares. This one will accommodate any 4'' finished square, or even a 3'' square if you add a frame around it. Any type of print could be featured in the center. It would be so different with cute puppies or kitties from Fabri-Quilt’s Furry Friends collection.
Furry Friends panel print

Q. Flannel tends to be a ''love it'' or ''hate it'' type of fabric to work with. How do you feel about it?
Sue: We often hear people say that they hate to work with flannel. We actually don’t mind. It presses really well and when you put two pieces right sides together to stitch, they stay put. No creeping and crawling under your presser foot. The only bad thing is the lint. But who doesn’t enjoy cleaning “felt” out of their sewing machine every now and then!!

To order a kit for this quilt, click here.
To find the winter 2012 issue of Easy Quilts, click here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Time for Some Kitchen Fun!

Has your sweet tooth subsided since Halloween has passed? Because we've got some temptations for it today--ice cream and sprinkles and cake! Today we're introducing you to Judy Hansen's latest collection, Cook's Helper, perfect for getting little ones excited to help in the kitchen!

''This line is part of my heart,'' Judy says. I was an elementary school teacher and when my daughters were little, I taught preschool. We cooked once a week."
Judy standing in front of the Cook's Helper area of the booth at Market, holding a delicious fabric cake!

Q. How did this line come to be?
Judy: It's all about the apron. Fabri-Quilt asked me if I wanted to do a Christmas apron, and I thought they'd said a children's apron. From there, it went to the recipe cards.
A 2-for-1 deal: fabric and recipes!
The child's apron panel, with size-adjustable neck and
waist ties, and add-on ice cream cone pockets!
Looks so cute on!

Q. Tell us about the recipe cards.
Judy: The recipe cards are from when I taught. I looked back through my notes from teaching preschool and wrote up easy no-heat required recipes we'd used: rootbear floats, purple cow, peanut butter sandwich, cheese and crackers…
I wrote the recipes on 3x5 rectangles in a childish scrawl. You can turn the recipe card fabric into actual recipe cards—fuse them to another piece of fabric, cut them out, and satin stitch the edges. They're great for playing in the kitchen, and they're even washable!

Q. Did you do the crayon drawing for the fabrics?
Judy: Yes. We made a font for my writing. The designs—all of them are my coloring. Very much my designs, scribbles, tweaks, etc.

Look at the fabric cupcakes and cones, plus the sweet little recipe box and cards! 

Here's a free pattern, called "It's A Party" by Judy Hansen, available on our website.

Judy is sharing a few of her favorite no-heat recipes, straight from the fabric collection's recipe cards. We hope you'll enjoy trying some of this easy "cooking" with kids in your life (or just for yourself!).


Dry onion soup mix - couple spoonfuls
Sour Cream - 1/2 cup
Mix up soup & cream
Your favorite cut up veggies
carrots, celery, cucumber, zucchini
Put on plate with dip
Eat! Yummy!

Vanilla Ice Cream
Root Beer - chilled
To Make: Put Ice cream in plastic cup
Pour Root Beer slowly over top
Stir it up & add a straw!

Eat & Drink! Yummy!
Short  Celery Sticks
Peanut Butter & Raisins
To Make:   Wash and dry Celery
Spread Peanut Butter on Celery
Sprinkle "Ants" Raisins on top
Eat! Yummy!