Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Power of a Pillowcase

Is yours white? Blue? Striped? Every night you lay your head on one, likely without giving it a second thought. Yep, we're talking pillowcases.

A pillowcase can mean so much to so many. This simple idea, combined with the opportunity for quilters to make a difference locally, is why we are proud to be involved with AP&Q's One Million Pillowcase Challenge, and also so excited to be part of this blog hop.

(If this is your first time visiting our blog, welcome! We're so glad you stopped by. 
If you've been here before, welcome back! Make yourself at home, stay awhile, and come back soon.
And now, back to the purpose of today's post, pillowcases...)

Quilters from the Kalamazoo Log Cabin Guild helped us transform 35 yards of our favorite prints into 25 cheery, brightly colored pillowcases to donate.

Guild members met at the local Saturday morning hang out, the Bernina Sewing Center & Quilt Shop of Kalamazoo, to get sewing. Shop owner Karen Kortman says, ''I thought making pillowcases was an easy thing people could do,'' and she's right! Using the roll-up pattern, guild members sewed each pillowcase in about 20 minutes—so quick!

After the Guild's October meeting, all accumulated pillowcases will be donated to Family & Children Services, an agency that offers behavioral health and child welfare programs and services in the area. Seeing the bright results of a day of sewing, it's easy to imagine the joy a child or parent will experience when they receive a fresh, new pillowcase, sewed with love. Thank you, ladies!

Sherri Tucker sews a pillowcase ''burrito'' on her featherweight.

An accent strip adds a little extra color to the basic roll-up pattern.

Roxanne Nigg creates the French seam on a Marblehead pillowcase.

Joanne Dubnicka loves the gorgeous swirls of this elegant case, 
made with the Dancing Cranes fabric.

Garden Whimsy makes a cheery pillowcase, shown off by Karen Kortman.

Continuing the Challenge
We want to continue helping American Patchwork & Quilting toward their goal of 1,000,000 pillowcases. Will you help too?
Leave a comment telling us why you want to make pillowcases and what charity you would donate them to. We will randomly choose one commenter and send him/her fabric to sew cases in the push for one million. Every pillowcase counts! Leave your comment by Wednesday, October 3rd at 11:59 PM EST for a chance to receive fabric to make charity pillowcases. Check back on Thursday, October 4th to see if your comment was selected.

Missed the Blog Hop?
September has been a month filled with pillowcase love on the web! Check out the other what the other 30 participants have been up to!

1. Welcome from American Patchwork & Quilting (
2. Rashida Coleman-Hale (
3. Olivia and Alayna's Pillowcase Project (
4. Morgan’s Smile Factory (
5. Pat Sloan (
6. Northcott (
7. Betsy Chutchian (
8. Vanessa Christenson (
9. Andover Fabrics (
10. Laurie Simpson (
11. Oak Hill, Ohio (
12. Robert Kaufman Fabrics (
13. Pam Buda (
14. Indygo Junction (
15. 4-H (
16. Katie Hennagir (
17. Anni Downs (
18. FreeSpirit Fabrics (
19. American Patchwork & Quilting Staff (
20. Patty Young (
21. Moda Fabrics (
22. Monica Solorio-Snow (
23. Moda Bake Shop (
24. Andover Fabrics (
25. Roseann Kermes from Rosebud’s Cottage (
26. Ann Kelle for Shannon Fabrics (
27. Therm O Web (
28. Edyta Sitar (
29. Fabri-Quilt (
30. Cherri House (

Friday, September 28, 2012


Thanks to everyone who left a comment to enter our giveaway for the Harvest Home kit.

Courtesy of random number generator, our winner is:
Cat Lady, who commented: I am definitely a follower, both through Google and email. I love all of the Marblehead fabric lines, especially the latest one Marblehead Global Brights. I also love the Focus fabrics as I work with tone-on-tone fabrics a lot. Joan's quilt is truly inspirational.

Cat Lady, please email fabriquiltblog (at) with your mailing address. 
Thank you!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vintage-Style Apron

Today we're bringing you a free pattern for a double-sided Vintage-Style Apron, designed using the bright and cheery Peggy Sue collection.
Both the apron and the fabrics have such a 1950s look to them, don't they?! The front side of the apron is scrappy patchwork, embellished with topstitched detail. The back side is made up of four larger panels of fabric and accented with a cute rounded edge pocket.

1/4 yard each of 10 bright floral prints
1/2 yard of a small print (for the apron tie)
Squares cut from the Peggy Sue fabrics

From each of 3 bright floral prints:
(1) 8-1/2'' x 12-1/2'' pieces (for apron back)
(3) 4-1/2'' squares

From each of 5 different bright floral prints:
(3) 4-1/2'' squares

From the last bright floral print:
(1) 8-1/2'' x 12-1/2'' pieces (for apron back)

From one of the prints:
(2) 5'' x 6'' pieces (for pocket)

From the small print:
(2) 5'' x 42'' strips
(1) 5'' x 24-1/2'' strip

1. Lay out (24) 4-1/2'' bright floral squares in four rows of six squares each. (Extra squares are provided for layout options.) Sew the squares into rows and join the rows.

2. To create a vintage look, topstitch 1/4" on each side of the patchwork seams.

1. Lay out the (4) 8-1/2'' x 12-1/2'' bright floral pieces in two rows of two. Sew the pieces into rows and join the rows.

2. To create a vintage look, topstitch 1/4" on each side of the patchwork seams.
3. Layer the (2) 5'' x 6'' pocket pieces right sides together. Using a round object, trace and cut curves on the two bottom corners. 

4. Sew around all four sides, leaving an opening for turning along the long side between curves. Clip seam allowance by curves.

5. Turn right side out and press raw edges in. Topstitch the top straight edge. Position the pocket on the pieced apron back, 6'' down from the top edge and centered on right panels. Pin in place. Topstitch the pocket in place along sides and bottom.

1. Sew 5'' x 42'' small print strips to both short ends of the 5'' x 42'' small print strip to make a longer strip. Press in half lengthwise, right sides together.
2. Use the 60 degree line on the ruler to trim both ends of the strip, creating pointed ends.

3. Sew the raw edges of the strip from the pointed end in to 2'' from the center strip seam. Repeat on the opposite end.

4. Turn the apron tie right sides out. Press one long raw edge over 1/4'', wrong sides together.

1. Position the apron top and bottom right sides together, matching raw edges and lining up the patchwork seams. Using a bowl or plate, trace and cut curves along the two bottom corners.

2. Sew around all four sides, leaving an opening for turning along the long side opposite the curves. Clip seam allowance by curves. Turn right side out.

3. Position the unfolded side of the apron tie raw edge matching the top edge of the apron back as shown and pin in place. Stitch to secure the one side of the apron tie.

4. Press the tie up and position the second folded edge along the front side of the apron. Pin in place. Starting at the pointed end of the apron tie, topstitch along the bottom edge of the tie, closing the gap and securing the tie to the apron front.

 Enjoy your apron! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What A Girl Needs

We talked to designer Kris Poor, who stitched up this trendy cosmetic bag and jewelry/make-up bag duo using our St. Croix collection for the fall issue of Simple Quilts & Sewing magazine.
The bags feature a mix of the pre-quilted fabric and coordinating prints in traditional cotton, making them quick to sew. 

Q. How did you come up with the idea for these cute bags?

Kris: Like all quilters these days, I am pressed for time! So I thought, how can
I get ahead before the holiday season? I need small gift ideas that can be
completed in one sitting...and these bags are quick to make.

Q. Who did you make this project for?

Kris: My sister-in-law has recently retired and is able to travel, so I think these would be perfect for her! She can tuck them into her weekender bag for short trips or into her suitcase for long trips.

Q. What attracted you to these fabrics?

Kris: I always love timeless paisleys, and the border stripes add versatility and polish to any project. I can definitely picture making a quick tote bag with the pre-quilted fabric and using the border stripes as an accent and for the pockets!

Q. Did the pre-quilted fabric make your project easier?

Kris: I was so excited to use this beautiful pre-quilted fabric! The fact that it is pre-quilted saves so much time and really adds to the durability of the finished piece. I look for products that don't scream "home-made"!

Q. What is your favorite part about these bags?

Kris: I love using the Iron On Vinyl [inside both bags]! It's quick and easy to use and provides a flexible, water resistant finish. Iron On Vinyl can be added to any project that requires some weather protection. The possibilities are endless: Add it to fabric that you are going to use for gift bags- they become picnic bags! Placemats become wipe-able, and aprons become art smocks!

Thanks Kris!

Find Simple Quilts & Sewing here.

Purchase a kit to make the cosmetic bag here.
See the entire St. Croix collection here.
Find out more about Kris and her work here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Meet Our Cover Girl! {and a giveaway!}

Joan Shay designed this fall-themed wall hanging for Quilt Trends magazine using her Appli-Bond© technique and our Marblehead fabrics.

Don't you love the dark brown marble fabric creates such a rich background for the quilt?
Harvest Home by Joan Shay, 36" square

About the quilt:
''Since the quilt was for a fall issue, I started thinking about what was representative of the season: leaves, corn husks, pumpkins," Joan says. "The pieces are all attached with some sort of embroidery stitch. For machine quilting, I basically outlined the sashing strips."
''My favorite part is the cornstalk—a real challenge. I wanted to make it look round and dimensional, and I think I was able to achieve that with layering."

About the fabric:
''The Marblehead fabric worked perfectly for it all. I never use solids, because the objects I'm making are not one solid color in nature. There were wonderful variations in the colors, from dulls to brights."

About the technique:
To create these 3-D results, Joan fuses two pieces of fabric together using HeatnBond® Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive. Then she traces and cuts out her shape, and stitches it to the background fabric. The adhesive prevents fraying because all the fibers will be glued together, and it also allows pieces to be curled and shaped. ''It's a great segue for people who are afraid of appliqué,'' Joan says. ''And you can shape the pieces so that they're very dimensional, by reheating them and holding in them in place until they cool."

About the designer:
Joan came up with this idea after a dream one night, back in 1997. Her first quilt using this technique was a Nantucket basket filled with blue hydrangeas. She just finished writing her fourth book with AQS, and the technique she developed for flowers and leaves has expanded to birds, dragonflies, fish, and even mermaids. Visit her website, Petal Play.

And…great news for fans of Joan's work. She'll have a winter-themed wall hanging made from Marblehead in the next issue of Quilt Trends!

Order the Fall 2012 issue of QuiltTrends here.
Order a kit for Joan's Harvest Home quilt here.

The giveaway is now closed.
In celebration of our cover quilt, we are offering a kit to make Joan's project, including the issue of Quilt Trends containing the pattern. To enter to win this kit, leave a comment on this post telling us how you are a follower (Google Friend Connect or via email), and then tell us your favorite Fabri-Quilt fabric collection. The giveaway will be open through Thursday, September 27 at 11:59 pm EST. Check the blog on Friday to see if you won!
**NOTE: You must be a follower of our blog. (If you're not a follower yet, either join via Google Friend Connect or sign up to follow by email, both in the right sidebar.)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Count to One Million...Are You In?

American Patchwork & Quilting is challenging quilters and sewers everywhere to help reach their goal of donating one million pillowcases to local charities. Fabri-Quilt is a sponsor of the One Million Pillowcase Challenge, and on September 29, we'll be posting about some pillowcase-making activities and the charities the cases are going to support. Sewing a pillowcase is so simple and can really make a difference in someone's life--just knowing that someone else cares.

If you have a pillowcase story or photo to share, please email us at or post it on our Facebook page. We'd love to see what you've made!
Don't miss our blog post on the 29th, but In the meantime, check out the blog links from the month-long hop below to read about others' efforts to help AP&Q get to 1,000,000. The counter currently reads 432,000+. Imagine if everyone who reads a pillowcase blog during the month of September makes just ONE pillowcase. We could help that number grow!
September 2: Rashida Coleman-Hale
September 5: Pat Sloan
September 6: Northcott
September 7: Betsy Chutchian
September 8: Vanessa Christenson
September 9: Andover Fabrics
September 10: Laurie Simpson
September 11: Oak Hill, Ohio
September 12: Robert Kaufman Fabrics
September 13: Pam Buda
September 14: Indygo Junction
September 15: 4-H
September 16: Katie Hennagir
September 17: Anni Downs
September 18: FreeSpirit Fabrics
September 20: Patty Young
September 21: Moda Fabrics
September 22: Monica Solorio-Snow
September 23: Moda Bake Shop
September 24: Andover Fabrics 
September 27: Therm O Web
September 28: Edyta Sitar
September 29: Fabri-Quilt 
September 30: Cherri House

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friends of Fabri-Quilt Gallery

Each week, we'll feature a quilt or sewing project made by one of our blog or Facebook followers. 

Today, Fabri-Quilt friend Jane Kenney shares her striking African animal quilt.

How did you come up with the design?
I just made the pattern up. There were 4 different animal panels so I started with them.  I also made up and pieced the block with the hut and the one with  the drum.

Tell us about the embroidery blocks.
I like to do a lot of machine embroidery, so I bought the companion fabrics [to the animal patterns] and chose some of my animal embroidery designs to augment the panel blocks.

What else can you tell us about the quilt?
As I made each block, I came up with another idea and went from there. It was so much fun to make—I just love making quilts. This one measures 86" x 75''

Tell us a bit about you.
I have been quilting for 7 years and have made about 140 quilts, including wall hangings.  I am 72 but think I am 55.

Take it from Jane. Quilting keeps you young at heart!
Thanks so much for sharing!

Can anyone name the fabric collection Jane used? We'll send a prize to the first person who correctly identifies it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Marbled Beauty: Tuscan Mosaic

 Our Marblehead fabrics have been incredibly popular because of their versatility and the rich depth of colors. Did you know that the line also includes a few prints? Appropriately, these prints look like intricately tiled marble floors. We think you'll really like playing with them!

Tuscan Mosaic
featured in The Quilter magazine, November 2012

Designed by: Sue Harvey and Sandy Boobar of Pine Tree Country Quilts
Featured in: The Quilter magazine, November 2012 issue
Fabric: Marblehead collection by Ro Gregg

At first glance, this show-stopping quilt appears to be meticulously appliquéd. Impressive, but not every quilter wants to cut and stitch all.those.tiny.pieces. Good news! These gorgeous block designs are preprinted, ready to be cut out and added to your design.

Sue and Sandy offered a look behind the scenes at their Tuscan Mosaic design.

Q: What about this fabric spoke to you?
Sue: Sandy and I both would love to have [the main print] as flooring. We really like working with panels and printed squares because it's a challenge to come up with something to do with them that's creative.

Q: And the color palette?
Sue: Those are really our kind of colors; we are both autumn color lovers. Natural sorts of things appeal to us.

Q: How did you decide upon the Log Cabin-style treatment around the tile squares?
Sue: The squares are large, so by setting them on point, we had more space to work with and could using piecing to add texture. I like that it forms a design within a design, and that it really looks like a tile floor.

Q: What do you like best about this quilt?
Sue: The whole design stems from the color. We love the palette, and the tile look the squares and piecing creates.

Click here to find out more about The Quilter magazine.
Click here to purchase a kit for this quilt.
Click here to see the full line of Marblehead prints.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Market Fresh

What's at your local farmer's market? Boxes and bins that have been overflowing with tart berries, oversized zucchini and juicy corn for the last two months are being replaced with apples, pumpkins, and butternut squash. Fall is here!

If you're missing the berries and other summer-inspired produce, check out these mouth-watering prints from Farmer John's Garden, guaranteed to stay fresh all year long!

Now what to do with these garden prints?
Click here for access to Tresa McConachie's FREE quilt pattern, Market Town Squares.
And if fruits and veggies aren't your thing, try this pattern in the Marblehead prints!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fun on the Farm

If we asked you what you'd most like to make out of our Marblehead fabric, would you say a stuffed, almost life-size horse?

How about a cow?

Still no?

Well, maybe those wouldn't be our first choice either, but we had to show you our Funny Farm friends. At spring Quilt Market, the industry show where we launch and promote new fabric lines, we decorated the Fabri-Quilt booth using the Funny Farm line. The more props the better, so we brought along a few farm buddies, made primarily out of Marblehead.

But back to Funny Farm. The line is available in both cotton and flannel, and it is pure humor. How can these prints not make you smile?

Look for this collection at your local quilt shop and check out the free pattern using these prints that we're offering on our website.
Don't Fence Me In
designed by Tresa McConachie
Have a great weekend!
From your friends at Fabri-Quilt, the horse, the cow, and the pigs

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

''Tavupo,'' the Hopi Opportunity Quilt

Recently we showed you a close-up of this gorgeous quilt, made with our Marblehead fabrics. Today, we're sharing the entire story. Enjoy!

Hopitutuqaiki, the Hopi School on the reservation in Arizona, is dedicated to developing an educational process derived from Hopi language and culture, preserving Hopi language and craft forms while preparing students to thrive on or off the Hopi Reservation.
Butterfly and Badger Clan & Rabbit and Tobacco Clan symbols
Five Hopi women worked with quilter Linda Visnaw to design, sew and quilt an opportunity quilt to raise money for the school. Linda shared the background of how this quilt came together.
Clouds, rain and lightning symbols

Q. How did you get involved with this project?
A. This is the second year that I have taught quilting at the School. The Hopi learned quilting since the early 1900s, when missionaries taught the skill. They still make quilts by tying them, and one of my goals was to teach them to machine quilt, making their quilts more durable. One of the school's biggest problems is funds, so I suggested that we make an opportunity quilt at the end of my teaching days for the year.
Eagle and Coyote Clan symbols

Q. Tell us about the quilt design.
A. I designed the quilt using their ideas and Marblehead fabric. I cut everything, and two ladies did all the artwork, painting with Tsukineko inks, and three sewed. Every piece of artwork on the quilt is original, created by two of the gals. We had three days to finish the quilt top.

Mary Duwyeni paints a design on a block.

Lorna Quamahongnewa sews block pieces together.

Eleanor Tenakhongva shows a finished block, ready to be embellished.
Eleanor Tenakhongva (left) and Ella Humetewa stand with the finished quilt top.

Q. What about the meaning behind the design?
A. Multiples of three are used throughout to note the importance of the three mesas to Hopi life (the Hopi live on three mesas in Arizona). The ladies used clan and other Hopi symbols to decorate the individual blocks and show the Hopi peoples’ ingrained artistic talent.  Even the pieced blocks look like things you would see in their designs.
Migration symbol

Q. Talk about the machine quilting.
A. The Hopi artwork is really wonderful. Jewelry, painting…there is not one line, not one mark that doesn't have meaning for their culture.I took a lesson from them and tried to make sure everything in the quilting was meaningful. I sat down with the ladies, laid Golden Threads paper over the top, and drew right on the paper to see how designs would look. There isn't one line on that quilt that isn't representative of something: Swirls representing prayers, corn, waves. I also chose thread colors that would blend into the background, because their work was what you are supposed to see. It was so much fun to quilt!
Hopi prayer feathers

Raffle tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. The quilt will be raffled off July 14, 2013
For more information about The Hopi School, or to buy tickets for the opportunity quilt, contact:
Robert Rhodes  Ed.D            
P.O.Box 56                       
Hotevilla, AZ 86030

Spider Clan symbol and pumpkin
Center motif: Dawa, the most important of all the Hopi deities

Hopi Snow Maiden

What have you made with Fabri-Quilt fabrics? Send a photo to or post a photo on our Facebook page