Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Down on the Farm

It's time for some farm fun with Funny Farm! 
Tresa McConachie turned this playful collection into a cozy quilt, 
featured in Quilt Almanac 2013.
"Down on the Farm" by Tresa McConachie

Q. What attracted you to the Funny Farm prints?
Tresa: I chose to work with this fabric before ever seeing it in person. I live in the country with a three-story 1920 barn. How perfect! I have always wanted to design a quilt with a barn in it. But I must say when I saw it for first time I was so happy to see that the colors were rich and the images not too literal or too "cartoonish." It was just right.

Q. How did you come up with the design idea for the quilt?
Tresa: I first started out looking at the repeat and felt I didn't want all the blocks with pieces too small to appreciate how the characters interact on the fabric.  A more simple design would focus on showing off the fabric. The fence fabric had to go in the sashing and outer border. It has such a great grain that would frame each block and the whole top as well.

Q. Tell us about the paper pieced barn block. 
Tresa: I love designing paper piecing and many of my other patterns are done this way. First I drew the image using only straight lines, then using the Electric Quilt printing feature I broke up the image into block segments. When creating a paper pieced block, no line can intersect in the middle of another line. It may take many sections to make one block as in this pattern. I love this method because it is always consistent and can be done quite fast using a chain sewing method.

Q. Why did you use large blocks of the tossed animals?
Tresa:. Alternating the blocks was the only way to break up the large one-piece fabric blocks and keep the barn block from being all you see. I felt this was the best look to accomplish this so you could see enough of each of the individual fabrics. They are all so cute!

Q. Do you have a  favorite print in the collection?
Tresa: My favorite print... pigs.  They just make me smile every time I look at them.

Q. What was your favorite thing about making this quilt?
Tresa: Constructing the barn block and fussy cutting the animals into the doors and top loft area. It was fun capturing each little expression.

Q. Tell us about the machine quilting.
Tresa: The machine quilting was an allover "comb" design. An homage to the chickens. It was done with clear mat finished thread on top to blend well and not draw attention.

To see more of Tresa's work, click here.
To see the entire Funny Farm collection, click here.
To see another Funny Farm quilt designed by Tresa, click here.
To find Quilt Almanac, click here.

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