Monday, April 29, 2019

Dragon Fruit Quilt Fill

Today, it's all about the Dragon Fruit quilt fill.

Dragon Fruit quilt fill on the United runner by QuiltFabrication

Quilted on the United runner made for the Be A Diamond Blog Hop, it's a fill I created specifically for this runner. With all of the star prints, I wanted some kind of a star motif in the background. But drawing a star, and nesting them attractively in a small space was not an adventure I wanted to take on. Hmm, what else would look nice?

So, I got my handy piece of vinyl and my favorite Expo Vis-a Vis WET erase marker (affiliate link), and started drawing over the background space. I tried swirls and pebbles, swirls with feathers, right angled lines that crossed each other, triangles, and stars. Nothing felt right. 

Then I put the swirls together with straight line spikes - now the design is coming together. Add in some echoing around the spikes, and fill is born!

drawn out Dragon Fruit quilt fill

Below are the four steps on how to make one motif of the Dragon Fruit fill - it all starts with a curl, then back a bit to make a hook, add three triangle spikes, then echo back around those spikes.

the four steps drawn out to make the Dragon Fruit quilt fill

Below are three of these motifs put together. Starting with the 'in' arrow, each motif is drawn with a changing swirl direction, so as to move around and fill in the space.

 Dragon Fruit motif to make a quilt fill

Now that the basics of drawing the Dragon Fruit quilt fill are covered, here it is in action:

Keep in mind that I was quilting this fill to get it done, and not to focus on perfection. That's only necessary for show quilts. But there are a couple of things to notice when quilting:

1. Don't worry if the echo is narrower, shorter, or even a bit curved. Or sometimes it's only halfway or missing. It depends on the amount of space that the machine is in at that moment, and the area that the machine needs to travel to next.

2. Backtracking is your friend. Use it in the ditches to move from one area to the next, or use it over previous stitching if all of a sudden the design is boxed in with nowhere to go. The golden rule is to not have more than 3 layers of stitching. More than that, and the thread buildup is really noticeable.

3. Just let the quilting flow! Repeat this mantra - curl, hook, spike, spike, spike, echo. Repeat. After several repeats, the design will become second nature.

So why is this named after Dragon Fruit? Well, hubby went shopping with me, and discovered Dragon Fruit.

a pile of Dragon Fruit

Quite a beautiful pile, yes? Though we didn't buy one, their uniqueness stuck in my head.

Dragon Fruit

With this view from the bottom, I think the Dragon Fruit fill is aptly named, don't you think?

Dragon Fruit bottom

Go ahead and bookmark this page for that one day when Dragon Fruit happens to be the perfect fill for your project. Be sure to send me a picture when the quilting is done - I'd love to share it with everyone!

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, April 26, 2019

United Runner

Welcome to my day of the Be A Diamond Blog Hop, hosted by Carol of 
Just Let Me Quilt. May I introduce my United table runner!

United table runner by QuiltFabrication

This table runner received the name United, because lately, I feel we all need to set aside our own agendas and come together as one for the good of all. And of course, it helps United was done in patriotic colors, though any other color scheme would look just as fantastic!

Ready for some closeups? Here goes!

United table runner closeup by QuiltFabrication

Just look at the awesome fill - I'm calling it Dragon Fruit because of the spikes. There's now a tutorial/video on how to quilt this - check out the Dragon Fruit Quilt Fill. And yes, it can be done on a domestic machine too.

Here's a closer view:

United table runner quilting closeup by QuiltFabrication

such yummy texture! Notice that the red/white/blue lines are stitched in the ditch - I wanted them to have a different dimension than the dense fill.

And one more pic, showing the patriotic backing fabric on this 15.5" x 41" runner - the perfect fit!

United table runner with backing by QuiltFabrication

Oh - did I mention how easy the United runner is to put together? A couple strip sets plus a very easy, creative way to cut the background triangles make this a project that can be done in a day. I know I'll be making another with a fall theme - stay tuned for that later this summer.

I also want to give Carol a big thank you for hosting this hop, plus all the others I've participated in - they have been a ton of fun! I do hope there's more in the future. 

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Fabric Storage

Now that both kids are gone from the house, very little of their stuff remains - woohoo! To not wade through clothes, shoes, and other stuff scattered on the floor and chairs throughout two rooms is heaven!

And in the process of cleaning out, several under bed boxes were freed up, one of which I quickly laid claim to for a growing stash of gray fabrics.

gray fabric bin

What is this particular box? It's a clear Sterilite under bed box, 6 1/2" tall, with square corners and a latching lid system. These are found where storage supplies are sold, for around $8.

Steirlite under bed box

The other boxes had curved ends, no locking handles, and where a bit smaller, not good candidates for fabric storage.

So, why do I like these boxes so much? For me, they are the perfect way to store fabric! Here's 7 reasons why these under bed boxes are great for fabric:

1.  clear, so you can see what's in it

2.  keeps fabric organized, by theme or color

3.  big enough to store several yards of fabric, but won't become so heavy that it's impossible to lift or move

4.  allows fabric to be stored out of sunlight, which can cause huge damage to a stash

5.  latching covers cuts down on dust collection

6.  easily stacks - I have 4 groups stacked with 3 or more

7.  when properly folded, fabric is stored on edge, meaning it doesn't get crushed by the weight of other pieces on top. This also makes each piece easily visible, like going through a file folder. 

So, just what is properly folded fabric? Fabric that is folded to have a 6" dimension on one edge. Since I buy mostly 1 yard cuts, I'll show that one first, followed by larger cuts.

Fold the 1 yard in half, fold to fold, and selvage to selvage.

1 yard of fabric folded in half

As the fold lines show, fold on a third,

1 yard of fabric folded in one third

then a third again.

1 yard of fabric folded on a second third

Fold in the opposite direction by a third,

1 yard of fabric folded on a third in opposite direction

and once again, which is the final fold.

1 yard of fabric folded on a second third

This piece measures approximately 8" wide by up to 6" tall, a perfect height for the box.

A 2 yard (or more) cut is handled a bit differently, just because there's so much fabric to fold. Start again by folding the 2 yards into a piece approximately a half yard tall.

2 plus yards folded to a half yard size

Instead of thirds, fold it in half,

2 plus yards folded in half again

then in half again in the opposite direction.

2 plus yards folded in half again in the opposite direction

And fold once more, in the opposite direction, which is the final fold.

2 plus yards folded in half again in the opposite direction

This piece is a bit wider, around 10", but the height comes in around 6", again a perfect height for the box. Here's the two pieces, end to end, showing they're equal in height for the box.

1 yard and 2 yard fabric cuts folded for a six inch edge

And now they go into the box, on edge, easily seen, accessible, dust-free, not crushed by weight, etc, etc. The two pieces folded for the demo can be seen at the white arrows.

1 yard and 2 yard fabric cuts placed in the box

Now, not only am I happy with a de-cluttered house, but all of my grays are together, not in several shoe boxes, a drawer, or mixed in with the black/whites - hooray! Hmm, looks like I have a bit more room in this one, don't you think??

Happy Quilting this weekend!

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Crumb Jumble Pink

It certainly has been a very exciting week, seeing quilts of Bonnie K Hunter's from her String Frenzy book (affiliate link). And as promised, I'm showing off Crumb Jumble Pink,

Crumb Jumble Pink baby quilt

the girl's version of the Crumb Jumble baby quilt in blue from Monday.

Crumb Jumble baby quilt

I didn't set out to make two quilts. Turns out I miscalculated the number of blocks needed to make a baby quilt size. 

crumb blocks

I had all of these done, then started laying them out, and realized that 16 crumb blocks were all that I needed. Oops! With 14 blocks left in my hand, I just had to make 2 more for 16 and thus 2 baby quilts - one can never make enough baby quilts!!

These blocks really looked good with the blue background, but I didn't want two quilts exactly the same. Background color auditions ensued, cause whatever I chose, it needed to be strong to go with the blocks. My first thought was yellow, but there was plenty of that in the sashing cornerstones, which would get lost. 

Hmm, could do green, but I wasn't feeling it. Purple? Not really a first choice color for me. Aqua? Makes for another boy-leaning quilt. All right, pink. But it needs to be a strong pink to work with all the bright bits in the blocks - pastel pink just won't do here.

Rummaging through the stash, I found a perfect raspberry pink. The backside that is!

front and back of pink fabric in Crumb Jumble Pink quilt

The lower half of that picture shows the small black circle print on the pink. The upper half shows the backside, on the quilt top front, with a slight bit of circle print showing through. You wouldn't know it though unless I told you - yep, the secret is out!

This is not the first time I've done that - the solid looking blue blocks in the boy Crumb Jumble are really the backside of this print!

actual blue print used in Crumb Jumble

Just more creative ways to use up the stash!!!

The crumb blocks in the pink version are just as cute, and I found a very fun small print to work as the border.

Crumb blocks and border

Plus the frogs on the back makes this one a super fun quilt!

Crumb Jumble Pink with frog backing

Lucky kid that gets this one!

Crumb Jumble Pink and frog backing

I hope these quilts have inspired you to dive into those scraps of yours - they really can make beautiful quilts!

Happy Quilting!

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Monday, April 8, 2019

Crumb Jumble Baby Quilt

Today I'm sharing a quilt from the String Frenzy (affiliate linkbook - a baby size version of Crumb Jumble!

Crumb Jumble Baby quilt
Bonnie K. Hunter has done it again - created beautiful quilts from scraps in her new book, String Frenzy (affiliate link).

String Frenzy by Bonnie K Hunter

Yes, that's right! For all of you Quiltville Mystery fans who make up her mystery quilts each year - this book is for you! It's a scrap buster's heaven! 
I chose the Crumb Jumble pattern, because it's a great pattern for busting some my bright scraps for a baby!

scraps and crumb blocks

Those little crumb blocks on the right, went on to become pretty blocks,

Crumb Jumble quilt blocks

and when set on point and alternated with a solid block,
the result is a pretty awesome baby quilt!

Crumb Jumble baby quilt

Can't you just see a little one rolling around on this while in the park with Mom and Dad? And there will be fun things to find too: a cat, a frog,

Crumb Jumble quilt with a cat and frog

and a butterfly too!

Crumb Jumble quilt with a butterfly

The backside is just as fun, with the sun, the stars, and the moon.

Crumb Jumble quilt backside

The original Crumb Jumble pattern in String Frenzy (affiliate linkis for a 72" x 84" quilt, which being my usual self, I resized for a baby quilt. Turns out, I over-estimated the number of blocks, and so will have two baby quilts instead of one. Once I get the second one together, I'll show it off too - it's going to be a girl's version.

Happy String Quilting!

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