Friday, November 29, 2019

McKenzie Quilt

That new project I just started? Finished.

McKenzie quilt by QuiltFabrication

Yes, it was that fast. Diagonally cut 10" squares can grow a quilt quickly, and bust through some stash. And with no seams to match, construction is easy.

I've given this quilt the name McKenzie, because I was thinking of a friend whom I've lost touch with. She named her daughter McKenzie, and I've always thought that was a cool name. So, McKenzie this is!

Something I like about this quilt is the design of offset squares on the diagonal. And with the bits of teal for a fun color pop, it almost has a smocking look. 

McKenzie quilt full on by QuiltFabrication

But I'm not sure I like the size of the red bands. In red, they're borderline overpowering, but the size helps bring the quilt to 55.5" x 76", which is an extra-long lap size. I don't know about you, but I like long lap quilts cause I want the quilt to tuck under my feet!

Quilting was with Glide Khaki thread and the Paperchase panto, giving it texture without overpowering.

Paperchase panto quilting on McKenzie quilt

And the back is pieced from yardage in the stash, which in this picture looks grey, but is really olive green.

McKenzie backside

Overall, I'm 50-50 on this quilt, as I think my design still needs a bit of work in regards to proportion and overall size. I may try a baby size with a few changes to see how that works. 
(Update: the baby size is a finish - McKenzie Baby- check it out!).
Any suggestions? Should I pursue this further??

For now, this one graces my living room sofa for snuggling under, and works well with the color scheme in the room. All's well that ends well!

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Winter Forest

I have just fallen in love with trees! Here's my second tree project, the absolutely enchanting Winter Forest table topper!

Winter Forest table topper by QuiltFabrication

Based on the same trees as those used in the Christmas Tree wall hanging,

Christmas Trees wall hanging by QuiltFabrication

these Winter Forest trees are loaded with snow!

Winter Forest tree table topper by QuiltFabrication

Six curvy white trees circle around a single snowflake, creating a striking pattern, don't you think? I'm not sure which tree pattern I love more - the Christmas Trees or the Winter Forest. Fortunately, one can be displayed during December for Christmas, and the other in January for some winter cheer.

And just like the Christmas Trees wall hanging pattern, Winter Forest is also suitable for the confident beginner quilter. The pattern walks through cutting the wedges, placing the fusible trees and snowflake, and even how to do the binding on the those 120 degree angles - nothing is left out!

Last, but not least, the quilting on Winter Forest. I was originally thinking of stippling, as the background is not the feature of this piece. But it just wasn't quite right. Instead, I opted for a snowdrift look of rolling lines from the border up to the snowflake. 

Winter Forest table topper quilting by QuiltFabrication

And I even added in a few snowflakes here and there.

Winter Forest table topper quilting detail by QuiltFabrication

A couple of simple snowdrift lines finish off the border.

Winter Forest table topper border quilting by QuiltFabrication

Now I'm set for decorating in January: Winter Forest for the table, and Winter Feed for the wall.

Winter Feed wall hanging by QuiltFabrication

Can't wait!!

Happy Quilting!

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Monday, November 18, 2019

FREE Christmas Tree Patterns

Since I'm having fun working with trees right now, how about some FREE Christmas tree patterns from around the web?

There's a lot of patterns out there, and all appear pretty easy.
Enjoy the following list of 8 FREE Christmas tree patterns!

A quilt full of Evergreen trees from Cluck Cluck Sew,

           Evergreen Tree Quilt Tutorial

the Patchwork Forest quilt from Diary of a Quilter,

                                             Patchwork Christmas Tree Quilt Block Tutorial featured by top US quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter

the Little Trees quilt from Sew Can She,


a striking Holiday Wall Hanging by Studio E Fabrics


something a bit different with Figgy Pudding from Moda,

or a visit to Windham Fabrics Christmas Tree Farm,


a fun little tree block from Sewing Under the Rainbow,


and last but not least, a Christmas tree block from The Spuce Crafts to create your own quilt.

                          Christmas Tree Quilt Block Pattern

Enjoy all of the inspiration as there's still time to work a small project - Happy Quilting!

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My Favorite Patterns

Monday, November 11, 2019

Christmas Trees Wall Hanging

Just in time for the holidays, and as a gift to a special friend, my newest creation, a Christmas Tree wall hanging.

Christmas Trees wall hanging by QuiltFabrication
Snow capped trees made of Christmas prints - what a wonderful way to set the mood for the holiday season! 

Christmas Trees by QuiltFabrication

Created just in time for Christmas and the Stitch It and Gift It Blog Hop hosted by Carla at Creatin' In the Sticks, my friend is getting an early present. I'm so pleased with how this turned out, I'll have to stitch up one for myself.

Made with both easy fusible applique and piecing, a beginning quilter would have no problem putting this together. The hard part is choosing from all the fabulous Christmas prints available!

prints used for a Christmas tree block

Wondering how I got all those tree pieces to be identical? Check out the Creating Identical Fussy Cut Fusible Pieces tutorial for an easy way to do that.

creating identical fussy cut fusible pieces

And can you tell I had fun quilting this? 

snowflake and snowball quilting on the Christmas Tree wall hanging

Full of falling snowflakes and snowballs on a string, it's a modified ruler design from the Ruler Work Quilting (affiliate link) - see page 111 of the book for circle quilting ideas. This is just one fill idea for the tree background, as there's so many to choose from!

Desiring trees and snowflakes yet? The Christmas Tree wall hanging pattern is available at Etsy

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, November 8, 2019

Creating Identical Fussy Cut Fusible Pieces

I'm working on a really charming Christmas project using fusible feather pieces, 

fussy cut fusible feathers

and because I'm making several blocks, I want the pieces to be identical across the blocks, especially that big plaid feather.

While arranging the feather on the plaid for the most attractive orientation before fusing it down, I devised a way to have all the other #3 pieces look the same. I just needed to make some aligning marks on the yet-to-be-fused pieces.

aligning marks on fusible backing to match an already fused piece

In the above picture, the first piece is fused down - there's just a little bit of the paper showing at the feather point. On top of that is another piece of fusible, with paper backing up and aligned with the fused pieced. Little tic marks near the T's correspond with the lines of the fabric. 

Now all I need to do is find where that pattern repeats in the fabric, line up the marks, and fuse.

aligning marked fusible with the fabric pattern repeat

I got lucky with this fabric that the pattern repeat was such that I don't have a big piece of swiss cheese leftover. Can't say that for the green with white snowflakes piece - the repeat was widely spaced. But it's the consistency I want for the pattern pieces, so I'm willing to put up with holes in a fat quarter!

Now that the tic marks on the pieces are aligned with the fabric and fused, all that's left is to cut them out, 

three identical fusible pieces

and finish my project, which is coming on Monday for the Stitch It and Gift It Blog Hop hosted by Carla of Creatin' In the Sticks. Ultimately, I'll be gifting this project to a dear friend - hope she likes it!

Happy Quilting!

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Houston Wrap Up

If you ever get the chance to go to International Quilt Festival Houston, even if you don't have a quilt in the show - do it! I'm glad I can now say I've been to the Houston show!

Mediterranean Rose and QuiltFabrication

Where to start the recap? How about the weather? Warm and humid when I arrived, then temps into the high 30's in the AM, rising to maybe 55-60 during the day. Colder than home in Northern CA!

Classes? Awesome! I like that most of them are short, around 3-4 hours, cause I've noticed enthusiasm can wain in the afternoon of a full day class. It also allows for a nice wide variety of classes to sample.

My first class was the Pet Portrait Pattern with Jane Haworth. We were to bring a 18 x 22 black and white photo, and a smaller color photo for reference, of our pet. Being a fast worker, I brought five pictures, planning to work on three, which I did. Here's a sample of Winston, and his pattern.

QuiltFabrication's Winston

QuiltFabrication's Winston pattern

Looks like a lot of pieces doesn't it? I may simplify it when it's gets to the fabric stage, but for now, I have a rough idea of value and color changes. Who knows when I'll start working on it though - maybe a once a week project?

The next day was the Confetti Landscapes class with Noriko Endo. Can't believe she's 80! And my, what a talented and charming lady - she told us we were all her children, and we in turn, called her 'Mom'.

She had pictures for us to choose from, and a big suitcase full of sorted scraps to create with. Here's mine, just before she added black and blue bits for realism.

confetti landscape project with Noriko Endo

Then we placed black tulle over it, and freemotion quilted the layers together with smoke monofilament.

layered and quilted confetti landscape project with Noriko Endo

In real life, this piece looks a bit more dull because of the tulle and the thread. When I posted about it on Instagram, a suggestion was made to use water soluble stabilizer instead of tulle, so I may try that next time. If there is a next time, as my style is not quite this free form, plus I'll have to save ALL of my scraps - ugh.

BTW, classes are a great way to get a deal on a new sewing machine. We used Janome 9450's, which were very nice machines, especially with the extra pull out light. If I charged it on my credit card right then, I could have brought one home for around $2600 - they normally run around $5400. Wow! 

Ok, back to classes. The last one was an EQ8 class for advanced users/pattern writers. Though the presentation was good, it was not what I was looking for from the description. But at least I gave it a chance, and learned one or two things.

Festival also has other short talks, lectures, meet the teachers, and workshops going on, both in classrooms, and on the vendor floor. Some were free and others $10-$40, and a nice way to take in some learning if all the other activities hasn't worn one out. The vendors alone take days to get through!

view of the vendors at International Quilt Festival Houston 2019

Over all, I enjoyed the experience, and the quilts submitted where just lovely - I think this show gets the cream of the crop! Sorry I'm not showing pics of them, cause a) I don't have permission from the makers, and b) I don't want anyone to think they're mine. But I will show you one thing - my quilt, Mediterranean Rose, was published on page 12 of the Commemorative Program book!

Mediterranean Rose on page 12 of the 2019 International Quilt Festival Houston guide book

What an honor, and an incredible show experience, cause this quilt was not made for entering shows - it was for perfecting hand quilting and providing an activity on a cruise. I am completely blown away by the continued reception it receives. So thank you, Quilt Festival Houston, for adding a bright spot to my quilting life!

Happy Quilting to you today!

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Friday, November 1, 2019

November 2019 Book of the Month

Though I enjoyed last month's book feature, it's time to move on to a new selection. Continuing with quilting ideas for finishing quilts, how about the Rulerwork Quilting Idea Book (affiliate link) by Amanda Murphy?

I'm a big fan of ruler quilting, because for me, it adds order to a quilt design, and it's easy to execute. Plus, it's perfect for a quilt that needs that special quilting design to really enhance the quilt top.

This book is the second by Amanda Murphy that has a ton of ideas for quilting designs. The first was the Free Motion Quilting Idea Book (affiliate link), another resource on my shelf.

Now to dream up a project to stitch some ruler designs on - we'll see what I come up with!

Happy Quilting!

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