Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Elemental Lines

Have you paged through any home decor catalogs lately? It's all about texture. And rich earth tones. Subtle, yet beautiful.
We've got both right here, in our new Elemental Lines collection. 

Which one do you like best? They're all frame-worthy, we think.

So much so that the free pattern we're offering on our website uses just that concept. The "Fabulous Frames" pattern by Airborne Heirlooms uses 3 mottled prints to frame large pieces of the Elemental Lines fabrics--the perfect showcase!
"Fabulous Frames" by Maria Pate of Airborne Heirlooms

Download the free pattern and see more of the Elemental Lines collection here.
Fabrics available in your local quilt shop.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cosmos in style

With so many gorgeous large-scale prints available, designs that show off these fabrics are a hot commodity. That's why we think you'll love Terry Albers' Cosmos quilt, featured in the spring 2014 issue of Quilt Trends magazine. Terry used our Cosmopolitan collection, highlighting the large leaf print in the border and in a few of the snowball blocks, all of which pop off the white background. Below, Terry talks about how she used EQ7 to design the quilt, and then shares the same quilt with a black background--talk about drama!
"Cosmos" by Terry Albers; machine quilted by Sandy Schilawski
featured in Quilt Trends magazine spring 2014

Q. What appealed to you about the Cosmopolitan fabric collection?
Terry: It was definitely the big leaf print that grabbed me right away! The greens, white and black on gray make the look both contemporary and soothing. The rest of the pieces complimented that main print beautifully both in color and scale.

Q. Why did you decide to use/showcase such large pieces of fabric?
Terry: I felt that the pieces would lose some of the drama if I cut them up too much. Each one is pretty enough to stand on its own but then the large print pulls them all together.

Q. This is such a neat variation on the traditional snowball block. How did you come up with the idea of setting on point and having the "floating" lime squares?
Terry: I have to thank the editors of EQ7 for giving me the simple tools to test out my blocks on a straight or on-point setting very quickly. I admit that I often test my designs in both, never knowing what might take my fancy. In this case, by having the snowball corners, the sashing and the setting triangles in a single color, the blocks appear to float. When I added the green cornerstones, they seemed to twinkle…all very Zen.

Q. Do you have a favorite print in the collection?
Terry: Oh, yes…definitely the big print but I love how the bright green brings everything alive.

Q. Can you tell us about the sashing squares?  
Terry: Once again, thanks to EQ7, I can quickly add sashing, change the sizes and switch out the colors. I usually have a pretty good idea about what I want to do with a fabric line before I go to the computer. It just speeds up my ability to test other combinations.

Q. Can you talk about your border choices?
Terry: I began the design around using the big print as a wide border. Once I had the layout including all the other pieces that I wanted to use, the first green border was an easy choice to match the cornerstones. But then I wanted one last separation between the outer border and the rest of the quilt. My friends jokingly call me the “flange lady” because I use them so often…to pull out a specific color, to separate colors and as an extra layer of texture. Also called a “flat piping”, the flange is an easy way to add extra detail and easy enough for a beginner to do.

Q. Can you tell us about how it was machine quilted?
Terry: Sandy kept it simple with a loose, loopy leaf design. I like how it echoes the leaves in the border without distraction.

Q. How fun to see this quilt with two different colored backgrounds! How did the black background come to be?

Terry: I actually started with the black background. But the editor of Quilt Trends Magazine wanted to see it in white, too.  And we both liked it even better. I’m so glad she found a way to use both in the magazine. It shows how one simple change from white to black can be so dramatic.

See the entire Cosmopolitan collection here.
Find out more about Terry Albers here.
Find the kit for the Cosmos project here.
Find Quilt Trends magazine here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tutorial: Star Sampler Quilt Assembly

Today we're so excited to share the finished quilt top tutorial from the Star Sampler Blog Hop held recently here on the blog! The quilt top features 9 star blocks made by various designers/bloggers, all using Ro Gregg's Marblehead Venetian Glass fabrics with a little solid white added in.
(If you missed any of the star block tutorials from our blog hop, scroll down to the bottom of this post for all 9 links.)

Before we begin the actual tutorial, we'd like to share some insight on our process: 
  • Our blocks showcase a variety of colors because designers were given the option of using any fabrics in the Venetian Glass collection (which includes 3 colorways!). We opted for a scrappy-looking pieced sashing that would help tie all the colors in the blocks together. If you'd prefer a single fabric sashing, we give you the requirements for that as well.
  • Among the things we considered in block placement: background color of the blocks (the 4 non-white background blocks were spread out), balancing complex blocks vs. simple, and balancing color placement. There's no wrong answer in block placement!
  • If you'd prefer a smaller project (maybe a 4-block wall hanging or a 3-block table runner), simply make fewer sashing strips and add the borders on when your center is complete. 

You'll Need:
  • Nine 12-1/2" square star blocks
  • 1-1/3 yards solid white
  • Fat quarter each of 6 coordinating prints (for sashing; if you'd prefer a single fabric sashing you'll need 1/2 yard total)
  • 1-3/8 yards large circle print for outer border (or 2 yards for lengthwise border cutting*)
Assemble the Quilt:
1. From the white solid, cut eighteen 2" x 12-1/2" white strips and eighteen 2" x 15-1/2" strips. Sew the shorter strips to opposite sides of each block; sew the longer strips to the top and bottom. Note: If you're concerned that the range of blocks may have a slight variety of finished sizes due to piecing discrepancies, cut these white strips slightly wider and then trim blocks after white frame has been added to measure 15-1/2" square (unfinished). (Be sure to center block before trimming!)

Here, all the blocks have the white frames added. This allows all of the blocks to float, and also helps to tie the different blocks, particularly those with non-white backgrounds, together with a common look. 

2. Cut three 3" x 21" strips from each coordinating print for piecing the sashing. Ours uses the identical fabrics and order in each sashing strip; feel free to change yours up for variety. Sew six 3" x 21" strips together lengthwise. Make 3 strip sets. Crosscut the strip sets into twenty-four 2" wide strips. Note: If you prefer to use a single fabric for the sashing, cut twenty-four 2" x 15-1/2" strips. 

3. Cut one 2" x 42" white strip and cut into (16) 2" white squares. Decide upon your block placement, and use a design wall to lay out the blocks, pieced sashing strips, and 2" white sashing squares. 

4. Make 3 block rows by joining 3 blocks alternating with 4 sashing strips. Press seams all in the same direction. Make 4 sashing rows by joining 3 sashing strips alternating with 4 white squares. Press seams all in the opposite direction from the block rows. Join the block rows and sashing rows together.

5. Cut six 2" x 42" white strips. Sew short ends together into a long strip and use to add the inner border. Cut seven 6" x 42" large circle print strips for the outer border, join together, and add to the quilt. (*If you prefer, from 2 yards of border fabric, cut four 6" lengthwise strips. You'll have a little leftover fabric, but you'll avoid piecing the borders.)

What a star-studded beauty! 
What do you think? Do you  have a favorite block from the quilt? Would you/did you make them all? Are you drooling over that cool outer border print? 

If you missed the star block tutorials, find them here: 

     Star #1: Connie of Free Motion by the River
     Star #2: Joanne
     Star #3: Fabri-Quilt blog team
     Star #4: Dawn from Spring Water Designs
     Star #5: Heidi from The Whimsical Workshop
     Star #6: Fabri-Quilt blog team
     Star #7: Shanna from Fiber of All Sorts
     Star #8: Tammy from Tamarinis
     Star #9: Monica from Diary of a Quilt Maven

And just for fun, an outtake from a windy day:

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I Spy a Zany Zoo!

This just in...or technically, out, as in "out and available in your local quilt shop": 
These fun cartoon-like zoo animals are looking for a good home! Is it yours? 

There's so much to look at in these prints--each time you look, you'll likely see an animal you hadn't noticed before. And the variety of background colors means they'll make a cheery, brightly colored quilt. 

What kind of quilt, you ask? While the possibilities are endless, we'd suggest trying an I Spy design--perfect for little ones to spend hours hunting for their favorite zoo friends.

Want to join in the I Spy fun? Check out the links below:

  • Try this tutorial for an I Spy disappearing nine-patch.
  • Here's another easy tutorial--cut large squares for the blocks and fussy-cut smaller squares for the sashing squares. Lots of I Spy fun!
  • And of course, you can't forget the more traditional hexagon I Spy quilt.
  • Looking for more ideas? You can find a bunch of I Spy designs here.
  • More inspiration here--not all with tutorials, but plenty of ideas, and some are easy enough to do without a pattern!
  • See the entire Zany Zoo collection here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Let's Celebrate!

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? What, nothing?! 

If you think about it, quilters are the ultimate recyclers. We take something that already exists (fabric, batting, thread) and repurpose it into something that's not only new, but more beautiful than it was! 
Okay, so maybe the fabric, batting and thread were created in the first place just so we could do this, but hey, that's splitting hairs! 

What can you do, quilting-wise, to help the Earth? Here are few suggestions:

  • Piece scraps of batting together to make what you need for a larger quilt. Find a tutorial here. You can also use batting scraps for smaller projects, like hotpads, mug rugs, and wallets, or use them as padding in boxes when you ship items.
  • Save those fabric scraps! Even small pieces and skinny strips can be used in beautifully scrappy string quilts. See some mouth-watering examples here.
  • Love those online patterns? If you can, save paper by following the pattern on your computer or tablet screen rather than printing it out. 

Find a few more thrifty (and Earth-friendly) quilting tips here.

So go ahead! Celebrate the Earth by making time to sew today!
Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

AccuQuilt Block Contest!

Imagine seeing a quilt block you designed as a 17-foot square sign in Nebraska...
Pretty amazing to think about, isn't it?!

And that's just part of the Grand Prize from AccuQuilt's Quilt Block Design can see the remainder of the prizes here. (Pretty impressive!)

We're one of the sponsors of this fantastic contest, so we wanted to make sure that all our Fabri-Quilt friends new about it and had the chance to enter! 

If you don't have an AccuQuilt cutter, don't worry--block designs can be submitted without using die-cut shapes. (And if you do have one, lucky you--they sure are fun!)

You can find all of the entry requirements and details here
but we'll give you a brief overview:
  • Block designs must be submitted digitally. (In other words, you don't actually have to sew the block.)
  • If you don't have block design capabilities on your computer, don't worry--you can even use graph paper and colored pencils (download a printable graph design tool from AccuQuilt here).
  • Winning design will be featured in Quiltmaker magazine, as well as winning a Grand Prize worth over $22,000.
  • Entries will be accepted now through May 27, and voting runs May 1-27. Winners will be chosen by popular vote. (So the sooner you enter your block, the more time people will have to vote for it, starting May 1.)

Again, find all the details you need here!
Let us know if you enter...we'd love to see your block! (See blocks that have already been entered here.)
Good luck!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Let your imagination run wild...

...with the new Running Wild collection.
Horse lovers, this is for you! 

Painterly, realistic-looking horses gallop through grassy green fields with wide open sky behind them, available in two prints that can easily be fussy cut--instant blocks for an equestrian's dream quilt! 

Cut the squares for quilt blocks and use the running border as sashing or as a border for the entire quilt.

And don't forget great tonal prints with texture that  will create that oh-so-important contrast. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Totally Topaz

When you hear the word "topaz," what do you think of first? November's birthstone?
Photo credit

A gorgeous gem, certainly, but we'd like the idea of topaz to bring something different to mind, namely our new fabric line.

Introducing the Topaz collection, done in richly colored reds, browns, golds, and corals, with just a touch of gilded metallic. This on-trend palette is perfect for a bedroom makeover (if you don't believe us, just check out these similarly colored bedding ensembles from Pottery Barn)!

A close-up look at a few favorites:

Find out more about the Topaz mineral here and November's birthstone here.

See the entire Topaz fabric collection here. Available in shops now!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Want to make a pillowcase?

We really enjoy following along with American Patchwork & Quilting's 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge! Each quarter, their team creates two new designs and makes up sample pillowcases featuring new fabrics. Here are the two most recent designs:

Tumbler Band Pillowcase
featuring Ro Gregg's Calypso Goldfish collection
Find the free pattern for the tumbler band pillowcase here.

Honeycomb Band Pillowcase
featuring the Coral Sea collection and Ro Gregg's Marblehead fabrics

Find the free pattern for the honeycomb band pillowcase here.

You can find these two pillowcase patterns, as well as 39 others, here.
Find more details about the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge (they're up to 541,184 cases donated!) here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

March Madness Wrapped Up

After starting with all those colors (64 college teams in the March Madness tournament, translated into the closest-matching Marblehead print), the Championship game ends up as blue on blue (UConn vs. Kentucky). 
And in the end, the darker navy (UConn) prevails!
Thanks for following along as we filled in our Marblehead March Madness bracket! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

What do you see?

Four-petal flowers or black and white stars?

We love how Monique Dillard used the Hannah collection to create a brighter version of Diane Nagle's "Out of the Blue" quilt featured in the June 2014 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine! Monique's version was included as the Color Option in the magazine. Bright colors mixed with black and white and packed with flower!

*Original quilt designed by Diane Nagle of Peddlecar Quilts. Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. Copyright 2014 Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Find this brand new issue  (featuring the pattern for this quilt) here.

Like what you see? Find the entire Hannah collection here.
See a tutorial for making a puff pillow featuring Hannah here.