Friday, June 28, 2013

Marblehead Challenge Prizes!

We're very excited to announce the prizes for the Marblehead Challenge! 

(Find additional details about the Challenge here.) 

We've partnered with some great companies to assemble the prize packages:

~The Prizes~

1. OLFA is giving away a 5" Applique Scissors to each of the 12 winners. 

The scissors' handles are symmetrical to fit both left and right-handed users, and their extra large size means you can fit up to three fingers in a loop! The sharpened tip is great for cutting smaller pieces accurately, and the straight-edge blades slide easily through fabric, grabbing it and cutting cleanly. 

2. Pellon is giving away a variety of batting and interfacing products for the different winners.

 1st place original design quilt will receive 1 Queen sized package Legacy™ by Pellon® 100% Natural Cotton Batting
Low loft Legacy™ by Pellon® 100% Natural Cotton Batting is best used for machine work, and allows stitched areas up to 4". The cream color works for all tones except white and very light colored quilts.

1st place quilt from a pattern will receive 1 Queen sized package Legacy™ by Pellon® 100% Bleached Cotton Batting
Low loft Legacy™ by Pellon® 100% Natural Cotton Batting is best used for machine work, and allows stitched areas up to 4". The white color won't show through white or light quilts.

1st place original design small project will receive 1 Crib sized package Legacy™ by Pellon® Bamboo Blend Batting
Easy on the environment and on your skin, Legacy™ by Pellon® Bamboo Blend Batting w/Scrim is a soft blend of 50% Bamboo/50% Cotton. The batting is needle punched onto a very lightweight sheet of scrim/polypropylene. It can be stitched up to 8" - 10" apart. 

1st place small project from a pattern will receive 1 Crib sized packageLegacy™ by Pellon® Natural Blend Batting
Soft and durable, Legacy™ by Pellon® 80/20 Natural Blend Battinghas the softness of cotton and the washability and good stitch definition of polyester. The 80/20 blend allows stitched areas up to 4" apart, and the batting has a soft loft. 

2nd place original design quilt will receive 1 package of Pellon® EZ-Steam™ II Sheets
Pellon® EZ-Steam™ II is a double-sided, pressure sensitive fusible with a paper backing. The two adhesive sides temporarily stick to both the background and applique fabrics to aid in fusible web placement and allow appliques to be moved easily into another position until it is permanently fused. 

2nd place quilt from a pattern will receive 1 package of Pellon® Stick-N-Washaway™ Sheets
Stick-N-Washaway™ combines a pressure sensitive adhesive with water-soluble stabilizer. The stabilizer will wash away without placing any stress on threadwork and leaves no trace on either side of the project. 

2nd place original design small project will receive 1 package of Pellon® Fuse-N-Shape™, Medium
Fuse-N-Shape™ has a heavy firmness and is resistant to distortion. It is fusible on both sides of the material making it ideal for fabric bowls, picture frames, hats, placemats and window treatment accents.

2nd place small project from a pattern will receive 1 package of Pellon® SF101 Shape-Flex®
Shape-Flex is an all-purpose woven fusible interfacing.  It provides crisp support for detail areas of garments and . It can also add body and permanent stability when used as a backing for needlework and punch embroidery.

 3. Quilt magazine is giving away a year's subscription to each of the 12 winners.

Each issue of Quilt Magazine is bursting with patterns in a variety of styles for all skill levels, as well as articles on the industry's hottest designers and topics. Quilts are showcased in beautifully styled room settings, and 
clear directions and illustrations accompany each project. 

4. In addition to these prizes, Fabri-Quilt will be giving away Marblehead fabric yardage to all of the winners! 

20 yards to each of the first place winners
5 yards to each of the second place winners
2 yards to each of the third place winners

A big thank you to OLFA, Pellon and Quilt magazine for joining us and supporting the Marblehead Challenge! 

Don't forget! The deadline for the Challenge is October 1, 2013!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to use a focal print as background

When Cathy Miles created her "Asian Garden" quilt (using our fabric line of the same name), she chose to highlight the coordinating tonal prints, reserving one of the allover prints (butterflies!) for the background of the pieced blocks. 
"Asian Garden" by Cathy Miles;
featured in Quilt magazine, August-September 2013 issue

We love the result! What do you think? 
Read what Cathy has to say about her quilt design, which reminds her of Chinese lanterns.

Q. What attracted you to the Asian Garden fabrics?
Cathy: There is good contrast between the various fabrics, and I seem to be drawn to designs that have a definite light/medium/dark palette so the design of the blocks really shows. But really, butterflies! Who can resist?

Q. What are the two blocks you used, and why did you decide to pair them?
Cathy: The mostly purple one is Aunt Dinah and the pink one is Lucky Clover. I like the strong chain effect that surfaces when the blocks are alternated. I experimented with different ways to use the fabrics, but the final one reminded me of strings of Chinese lanterns.

Aunt Dinah block

Lucky Clover block

Q. Why did you decide to make the pink, green and purple prominent in the design?
Cathy: Green and purple has been a favorite duo of mine for years, it reminds me of spring with lilacs, pansies, hyacinths, all those great blossoms that tell us spring is here. Adding the pink in this one made a riot of color that played well with the background butterflies.

Q. How do you think that busier design of the butterfly print in the background enhances the quilt?
Cathy: I think the print used as background softens the effect of the strong colors.

Q. What do you like best about the quilt?
Cathy: This one turned into a more personal design than expected. We visited Butchart Gardens (located in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia) and the nearby butterfly garden with my parents several years ago, and I was reminded of the masses of flowers and beautiful Vancouver with hanging baskets along the sidewalks.

Q. Were there challenges to designing/making this quilt?
Cathy: Trying to achieve a good balance with strong colors was a challenge. I wanted to avoid having one color dominate the quilt.

Q. What do you enjoy most about quilting? 
Cathy: I have such great fun with quilting! If my 'play' has become 'work,' it is all good. 
My husband has also been very helpful and supportive of my projects, so it is fun for both of us. He is involved with hanging quilt shows and taking care of the racks, which was a big job last year when there was a fire in the storage area. He hand sanded every piece because he knew it was important to eliminate any possibility of soot staining the quilts or having a quilt show that smelled like smoke. He always finds someone to chat with as we visit various shops. I think he has been surprised at the number of men he meets who also support their wives in various ways.

Find the kit for "Asian Garden" here.
See the entire Asian Garden fabric collection here.
Find Quilt magazine here

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Steamy Southern Nights

Now that summer has officially begun in the northern hemisphere, it's the perfect time to talk about Southern Nights.

What does the phrase "Summer Nights" make you think of?
  • Rocking chairs on the porch with air so humid you could almost cut it with a knife?
  • A full moon rising over cypress trees hanging with Spanish moss?
  • Mosquito bites?
  • Allen Toussaint's song of the same name, most famously recorded by Glen Campbell? (See a version set to photos here.) 
  • The reality television show on CMT? (You can even find episodes from the first and only season online!)
  • Click for more on Southern Nights.
All of those things may bring to mind southern nights, but we've got something else in mind:
Romantic, plantation-style florals in a new collection, "Southern Nights."

Can't you picture these soft, delicate florals in a guest bed quilt? Gracing the sitting room of an antique-filled bed and breakfast?
We can too.
Here are close-ups of a few favorites from the collection:

See the entire collection here.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Moving over to Bloglovin'

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Happy Monday! 

Google Reader (the way some of you are notified when we put up a new post) is going away, so we are switching over to Bloglovin'. You can switch over to follow us through Bloglovin', too, or you can enter your email address in the "follow by email" box on the right. 

Here's why Bloglovin' is great--it takes the list of blogs that you follow and emails you when one of those blogs has a new post--you can adjust how frequently you receive emails, or if you prefer, you can simply sign into Bloglovin' and access your list yourself. Even easier than getting a newspaper delivered to your door...

(Tutorial from Ellison Lane Quilts, who adapted it from IFB.)

1. First step is go to:

2. Now, click on the blue button you see on your screen.

Let us know if you have any questions!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

10 Irresistible Baby Ideas

It's no secret that half the cuteness of baby clothes and accessories comes from the fabric choice. A mother of a toddler herself, Jessica Toye of Two Hens Cluckin' transformed yards of our favorite childrens' fabric, Mystic Forest, into sweet little baby gift ideas. We're sharing our ten favorite here; you can see more on Jessica's blog.

1. Reversible Bucket Hat: What baby wouldn't look adorable in this?!
Pattern: Reversible Bucket Hat by Oliver + S

2. Cutest baby shoes ever! Need we say more? 
Pattern: Simplicity 2491-C 

3. Mr. Businessman bib: the perfect complement to onesies printed with ties.
Pattern: Mr. Businessman on Little Man Bibs! by Vanilla House Designs

4. Kimono with elephants on parade! Love that lime green trim.
Pattern: Oh, Kimono from Sweet Booties!: And Blankets, Bonnets, Bibs & More by ValerieVan Arsdale Shrader  

 5. Summery Flower Girl Dress
Pattern: Flowergirl Dress from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross 

6. Easy appliqued shirts. Fusible web, fussy-cut fabric, an iron, and a sewing machine. 

7. Cloth diaper covers made from PUL (Polyurethane laminate). So cute for baby bottoms!
Pattern: Diaper Cover from Cloth Diapers Made Easy by Babyville Boutique

8. Easy Baby Blanket: monkey border stripe on the front, coordinating Minkee on the back. 
Pattern: Fuzzy Wuzzy from Sweet Booties!: And Blankets, Bonnets, Bibs & More by ValerieVan Arsdale Shrader 

 9. Sweet monkey bib: perfect for a fussy-cut print
Pattern: Baby Bibs 3 by the Little Quilt Company

10. Sweet ruffled sundress (with matching bloomers!)

11. (Okay, so we couldn't choose just 10!) Little Boy's Romper
Pattern: Austin Lee Coverall & Romper by Fishsticks Designs
Be sure to head over to Jessica's blog to see the other sweet baby items she stitched, and stop by our website to see the entire Mystic Forest collection!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Marblehead Goes Pastel

We've mentioned before that the Ro Gregg's Marblehead collection is a little, well, large (200+ and counting). Have you seen the latest addition to the line? 

Introducing....Pleasing Pastels!

These soft colors complement the primary colors, jewel-tones and brights already in the collection and have "baby quilt" written all over them! 
(Or, consider using them for an entry in the Marblehead Challenge!)

You can find the pattern for the fat quarter friendly "Pastel Star" by Cathy Miles available for free on our website

See the full line of Pleasing Pastels here.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Calling all Marblehead Challenge entries!

If you've finished your entry for the Marblehead Challenge and want to send it in, we now have a link to the entry form here on the blog. 

Click on the "Marblehead Challenge" tab above in the header (the purple arrow in the sample image below shows you where to find it), and then scroll down to the line that says, "Click here to download the entry form for the Challenge."

Print and fill out the form, take a photo of your finished project, and mail it in to the address listed on the entry form. 
If you're not done yet, don't worry! The Challenge deadline is October 1, 2013, so you still have plenty of time. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cool as a Cucumber

As summer starts to heat up, we need something besides a tangy, ice-cold glass of lemonade to keep us cool.

Like Dawn Stewart's quilt, "Cool Blue."
"Cool Blue" by Dawn Stewart;
featured in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting July/August 2013
Dawn played with the Indigo Blues collection, using a variety of shades of blue, to create this easy-on-the-eyes two-color delight, which is featured in the latest issue of Love of Quilting magazine. We asked Dawn a few questions about her quilt:

Q. What attracted you to the fabric line?
Dawn: I've always loved the fresh, clean look of blue and white together, and the large floral in the Indigo Blues fabric line reminded me of some beautiful china dishes. 


Q. What are the challenges and advantages of working with fabrics that are all one color? 
Dawn: The main challenge is keeping the fabrics from blending together too much.  Instead of color, you have to pay more attention to value, making sure there is good contrast from light to dark so that the design of the block shows through.  The advantage is that you don't have to worry about colors not matching, or some colors overpowering others in the design. 

Q. How does changing the fabric position in the block design create the overall pattern?
Dawn: I came up with the block design first, and because I was working with just two colors, I decided to go with the "positive" and "negative" effect.  Then the fun part was playing with the prints and values, using them in different parts of the blocks until I found a layout that was pleasing to me. 
Same block, two different value combinations

Q. What do you like best about this quilt?
Dawn: I like that it's look is more complex than it really is ~ It's pretty quick and easy to make with nice results.

Q. How was it machine quilted and why?
Dawn: I machine quilted it myself on my HandiQuilter Avante.  The pieced blocks are pretty linear, so even though I quilted a lot of straight lines in the background areas, I used some curvy quilting designs on the blocks and in the borders for some contrast.  I chose a navy blue thread so it would coordinate, but show up somewhat.

Q. What do you envision this quilt being used for?
Dawn: I think it'd make a nice wall hanging (Particularly in a blue & white bedroom that I have!), but it may just have to come down off the wall sometimes and serve as a cute table cover for a tea party or brunch :) 

Thanks, Dawn! You can see a few more photos of Dawn's quilt in her blog post.

See the entire Indigo Blues collection here.
Learn more about Dawn and her work here.
Find the kit for the quilt here.
Find Love of Quilting magazine here

Monday, June 10, 2013

You know you're a quilter when....

We enjoyed reading all the comments received here and on Facebook about how you know you're a quilter, so we decided to compile them and share them with all of you:

You know you're a quilter when...

Perfect strangers point it out:

A complete stranger walks up to you at the store and states, I know you are a quilter and you get this really dumb look on your face and they snicker and say, you are covered in strings and upon looking down, your jeans are covered with thread!

You go to the grocery store with the thimble pad still stuck to your finger, and the cashier wonders where she can get the new kind of band-aid.

You have to use a sticky roller before you leave the house....and you don't have a pet.

You know you're a quilter when you go to pick up your kids at school and you have bits of thread on your clothes and in your hair. 

You know you're a quilter when you go to get fingerprinted for an upcoming adoption and the clerk says, "I bet you're right handed and a crafty person." Shocked, you ask how she knew that. She tells you that you've worn down the fingerprints on your left pointer and index finger to the point where they're almost non-existent. Who'd of thought...

Your stash threatens to overtake your house:

you will never have enough fabric, EVER!

you have more fabric than anything else in your home!

when you have to buy a 12' x 10' shed to store your fabric that will no longer fit in your house.

You share the love:

When your license bracket on the back of your car says...
"Obsessed Quilter...will brake for fabric"

Your granddaughter would rather play in your fabric scraps than anywhere else!

You start seeing quilt designs in everything:
Emily C:
You see designs on the floor of buildings and think "what a nice block that would make".

when.…you see quilt blocks in floor tiles and the brickwork on buildings.

When you leave the house, quilt shops are your primary destination:
The first store you check out on vacation is a fabric/quilt store. Also, you plan trips around the stores.

Your local quilt store knows you by first name.

Thanks, everyone, for sharing!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossoms...pale, delicate flowers that explode into bloom, heralding the spring season. Gorgeous, aren't they?
Cherry Blossoms...a delicate, Asian-inspired new fabric line, available in quilt shops now. 
Gorgeous, aren't they?

These fabrics would also work really well in Marinda Stewart's Shimmering Bouquets quilt!

Make Cherry Blossom season last all year long!

  • Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website to see a time-lapse video created from over 3000 digital photos (1 every 3 minutes over an 8-day period!) of their Cherry Walk. 
  • Visit our website to see the entire Cherry Blossom collection close up and find a shop near you carrying the fabrics!

Or, to see the actual flowers blooming, mark your calendar for next April:
National Cherry Blossom Festival and Parade (Washington, D.C.)
The Bloom of Cherry Blossoms (map of different areas in Japan)
Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival (Macon, GA)

(These are just a few--you can likely find festivals in your area of the country by using your friendly Google search!)