Friday, March 22, 2019

More String/Scrap Blocks

How is it that scraps just never seem to disappear, no matter how hard we try to use them??? I spent 6 hours making 30 5" scrap blocks, and there wasn't even a small dent in the scrap pile.

scraps and small scrap blocks

I keep all of my scraps in color sorted zip lock bags,

zip lock bags full of scrap fabric

and there's still a ton left. I put the rotary cutter in the picture to give a size perspective, and even I was amazed at how large my scrap pile had grown again.

I had used some of the blues and aquas for the All About Strings project coming Monday, with this sneak peak I showed in an earlier string post.

blue and aqua string blocks

Of course, using scraps to make blocks is not new to me - I've done it several times. Last year, Regatta was one of my favorites,

Regatta Quilt

along with Saxon, which now has a new home,

Saxon scrap quilt by QuiltFabrication

and a favorite wall hanging for spring, Scraplicious Florabunda

Scraplicious Florabunda by QuiltFabrication

a Pinterest favorite for the quilting.

Scraplicious Florabunda quilting detail in the border

I've also written a couple tutorials on sewing string/scrap blocks using a foundation:
Making Fabric,
Playing For More Than 15 Minutes,
String Blocks for Hurricane Michael.

Or, I've been brave and not used a foundation, as for the blue/aqua string blocks, using only a 9 1/2" square ruler, 

string block in progress using a ruler

or just stitching pieces together to make this slab block, which got cut into four smaller blocks.

scrap slab quilt block

Of course, there are other scrap options if all of this seems like a lot of work (sometimes I think it is!). Check out Recycling Scrap Fabric the Easy Way if you're drowning in scraps, like I am!

No matter what happens to those scraps, have a great weekend quilting!

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Midweek Makers #167

Welcome to Midweek Makers - come share what you're working on! 
I'll share another sneak peek of my string quilt,

easily joined binding ends on a new strings quilt

though this picture is more of a refresher on how to easily join binding ends - check out the tutorial to learn how. And besides, I can't give away the whole quilt until Monday!

This week I'm going with a star theme, not only because there were several starry quilt projects linked up, but because there has been a lull in the rain. That means clear skies for star viewing - I'm really star-struck!

From Cherie's Quilting Journey, these pretty six-pointed stars, 


from Run n Stitch, these pretty stars made by a student,


and this pretty UFO runner, in a couple of my favorite colors, from Quilting Gail.

Now it's your turn to share!

  • Please link directly to your specific post, not your main blog page.
  • Visit and leave a comment to two links: the one before and the one after your own. Everyone loves visitors, comments, and encouragement!
  • Bring a friend! Invite your fellow bloggers to the party by spreading the word! 
  • Please link to in your post or on your sidebar with the Midweek Makers badge
Have a great time at the party!

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Monday, March 18, 2019

String Quilts in Progress

Phew - I think I'm due for a vacation! The last couple weeks have been go, go, go for me and the sewing machine - we're both working overtime! It started with the Going In Circles quilt, then the Clover Field Runner, and the final finish of the Mediterranean Rose quilt

Now I'm off in a new direction, with a couple projects in the works using strings - here's a sneak peek of the first one.

string quilt project by QuiltFabrication

The top is almost done - I just need to figure out how to piece an important element within the confines of the 9.5" square. And no, I'm not telling what that element is - I'm saving that for a later post! And if it all works out, the big reveal of this quilt is next Monday, my day of the All About Strings Blog Hop, hosted by Creatin' In the Sticks.

The second string project hasn't gotten off the ground yet, and it will be a pattern from Bonnie Hunter's new book, String Frenzy (affiliate link). See what she started??? Strings and more strings!

Of course, string quilts aren't new to me as I've done several over the years. In 2018, Raspberry Cheesecake was my own curvy improv quilt design based on techniques from the book Modern Improv (affiliate link).

Raspberry Cheesecake by QuiltFabrication

And in 2017, Stock Market was my own design as a scrap buster, and is available as an intermediate quilt pattern in both a lap and twin size.

Stock Market by QuiltFabrication

Going back a bit further, to 2016, there's this easy baby quilt, A Quilt to Give, from Nancy Zieman's Quick Column Quilts book (affiliate link).

Quilt to Give from Quick Column Quilts by Nancy Zieman

There's more string quilts scattered throughout the years, but those are just a few of the highlights. There's still more to come with updates to all of my current string adventures throughout the next couple weeks - stay tuned!

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Mediterranean Rose Quilt

It's taken almost 7 years, but the hand appliqued Mediterranean Rose quilt I designed so long ago is now finished, and quite ravishing on a dark background!

Mediterranean Rose quilt, dark background

I think this shot really adds to her captivating allure, versus the one below, which provides a different, less dramatic view.

Mediterranean Rose quilt, light background

Either, way this quilt is a beauty! And she certainly garners lots of quilt love each time I show an in-progress picture. And there were a lot of pictures, as I've been slowly working on the finish since digging her out of the closet sometime in late November. Check out the Mediterranean Rose in Progress post to see what I started with.  

Over the number of weeks of construction and quilting, I shared a few insights of what I learned in making this quilt. There's a simple math tutorial to learn how to cut setting triangles for on-point set quilts, and a quilting hint for stitch-in-the-ditch quilting around applique, at the bottom of that post. These are just little bits of information I share that make a quilter's life so much easier!

Now for some closeups. First, I have to say, a black background is not the most favorable color upon which to showcase quilting. Wanting more than just a stipple, I opted for peacock feathers, which fill the space. 

Mediterranean Rose peacock feather background quilting closeup

Mediterranean Rose peacock feather background quilting

See how much I had to angle the camera to get the light to pick up on the quilting? Anything more elaborate or structured just would not have been seen. And did you know black is a magnet for batting fuzz and cat hair? This quilt will need the constant attention of a sticky tape roller!

Though some may deem this a more traditional style quilt, I opted for a more modern quilting style in the white areas - my favorite: straight lines.

Mediterranean Rose line quilting

I think it adds a really nice contrast to all the other design elements in the quilt.

Mediterranean Rose straight line quilting

As for the backing, it's a white on black flower print that was in the stash, and works beautifully.

Mediterranean Rose quilting and backing

A couple more interesting tidbits about this quilt:

1)  it measures 57" x 57",

2) it is one of two hand applique projects I have done, with the other one yet to be completed,

3) the block is based on one from Quiltmakers 100 blocks, which was all applique. I changed some coloring, made different shaped flowers, and pieced pointy leaves cause I didn't want to do all that applique. Curious question: is it still the designer's block, or is it now mine??

4)  this was a hand sewing project I took on a cruise to the Mediterranean in 2012. With the flowers somewhat like roses, it was christened Mediterranean Rose a long time ago. It's also taken me that long to learn how to spell 'Mediterranean'!

For the next month or so, this quilt will hang in my dining room, so that I may see it every day and delight in it's finished glory!

Happy Quilting!

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Linking up with the fun linky parties on the sidebar this week:

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Midweek Makers #166

Welcome to Midweek Makers! Before starting the next project, I've resolved to finish up Mediterranean Rose - the big reveal will be Friday! I can't wait to finally show you!

Mediterranean Rose Quilt by QuiltFabrication

I was a bit surprised that there wasn't much green happening at last week's Midweek Makers, what with St. Patrick's Day this weekend. So, I'm choosing a different color to celebrate -blue!

This cute fussy cute Pooh print at Silly Mama Quilts,


this incredibly awesome piano at de Jong Dream House,


a sweet semi truck at Bell Creek Quilts,


and this stunning star at Chopin, A Passionate Quilter.


And what do you have to share this week? Remember, the linky party is open Wednesday at 12 am, to Friday at 12 pm.
  • Please link directly to your specific post, not your main blog page.
  • Visit and leave a comment to two links: the one before and the one after your own. Everyone loves visitors, comments, and encouragement!
  • Bring a friend! Invite your fellow bloggers to the party by spreading the word! 
  • Please link to in your post or on your sidebar with the Midweek Makers badge
Enjoy the party!

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Click here to enter

Monday, March 11, 2019

Quilting a Custom Design

Today I want to share how I put together the beautiful quilting on the Clover Field Runnerin hopes that by seeing the design broken into parts, it won't be such a mystery and maybe a quilting style that looks possible for any project. 

Clover Field Runner quilting by QuiltFabrication

Looking closely at the quilting, it's composed of lines and stippling, easily accomplished on either a longarm or a domestic machine. It just comes down to creative design thinking around the quilt blocks, and then thinking through the quilting steps to successfully achieve the design. 

Let's start with my favorite design tools: a piece of vinyl, found at any fabric store, and a an Expo fine tip WET erase marker (affiliate link).

I used to use the dry erase markers, as they're easily found in most stores, but the ink is super hard to remove from the vinyl. Even with dry erase cleaner, the vinyl does not come completely clean. With the WET erase markers, removal only takes a spritz of water and a paper towel - so much easier!

So here's the vinyl laid over the quilt top, with the majority of the design drawn in. It becomes my reference guide while quilting. 

quilting design on vinyl

Important note when using vinyl and any marker: place tape on all edges of the vinyl to eliminate the chance of drawing on the quilt top. Yes, I have done that, and the marker did not come out. So, play it safe, and tape those edges!

My first step in quilting is to stabilize the quilt. This includes stitching down the edges of the quilt in the work area, and completing any stitch-in-the-ditch (SID) around borders and blocks. Once the SID is done, the quilting moves inside the blocks, here with the Irish chain design in the clovers.

SID and inner clover design

Oh yeah - sorry the pictures are not the best. Picture taking took a backseat to the quilting process!

The next step is to form the backbone or outline of the next major elements. Here, it's the two large squares around the four-leaf clover,

square outline

and the other smaller squares in the design. 

smaller square outlines

I always like to add a 1/4" outline stitch around elements, as it really helps the element pop. Here, it's inside the large and small squares.

quarter inch outline

Now comes the addition of one more design element, the triangles coming off the clovers. And from there, I can fill in the small area with stippling.

interior triangles and stippling

Being in the stippling mode, the other areas that need that motif are filled in.

stippling in other background areas

I could have stopped here and left the band around the square puffy, though it's a bit big in surface area. If left empty, the quilt could become 'wavy' because of the areas of really dense quilting combined with big empty areas. 
And that's not a good combo! Quilting should always be balanced, no matter the style.

The final finish is the straight line quilting, backtracking over previous stitching to fill in the area.

straight line stitching in an odd shape
See, it's really not that complicated when all the parts are broken into smaller pieces to quilt. It just takes creativity and planning, with a chance to grow those quilting skills.

Happy Quilting!

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