Monday, July 13, 2020

Making Blocks from Crumbs

Hi all! It's a tutorial day and all about making blocks from crumbs!

making blocks from crumbs youtube QuiltFabrication

Every time I post my RSC2020 pinwheel blocks made from crumbs, they always receive a lot of love, as they should. Not only are they fascinating to look at because of all the different fabrics in them, but they are such a great way to use up all those small bits and pieces leftover from other quilt projects. My favorite is the pink one from June.

pink pinwheel block made from crumbs

Ever since I launched the Celilo quilt pattern, I've been wanting to make the rainbow lap version. And what better way to do that than with block units created from the scrap bag, especially those crumbs. So I've pulled out the bags that are ROY G BIV, and like RSC2020, hope to sew a color a month. I've got some squares, rectangles, strips, etc, but there's also those oddities that lurk there too.

ROY G BIV color scrap collection

I love this method of creating blocks from my scrap bag, as all those small, odd pieces give such dimension to the block. And I'd thought I'd share my process with a video tutorial of Making Blocks from Crumbs. You can watch as I group and stitch pieces together, offering suggestions and tips along the way. At the end, I show a few quilts made from crumbs, along with some construction hints too.

Enjoy the video, and embrace those crumbs - they have every right to go into a quilt and get the love they deserve!

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, July 10, 2020

Quilting and Covid-19

Today's post is a bit unusual for me, as it's not full of pretty quilts or a helpful tutorial. Instead, I'm pulling out my crystal ball to view the state of quilting, or any business for that matter, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

crystal ball surrounded by hands

So here we are, 4 months after my county became the first to issue stay-at-home orders, shuttering businesses and laying off workers. The immediate impact was astonishing, with long, masked and social distanced lines of people attempting to acquire basics necessities to live. And yes, there were shortages, some of which have recovered, and some that have still not. 

So what's this have to do with quilting? Many quilters turned into mini factories, making masks for those who had none. Some, with new found time on their hands, dusted off the sewing machine and are learning to quilt. From my fellow bloggers, many find this a chance to finish those UFO's, start projects that have been held in waiting, and use up what's in our extensive fabric stashes.

But eventually, we're going to run out of fabric, thread, batting, etc. Really? Is that possible? We've already seen it with elastic for masks becoming a scarce commodity. So, yes, there will come a time when there's not enough of some supply to finish a quilt, and we'll need to go shopping.

Which brings me to: Have you been to you're local quilt shop or fabric store lately? I visited JoAnn's two weeks ago in search of a few greens. And this is what I saw: 

half empty fabric aisle in JoAnn fabrics in June 2020

another half empty fabric aisle in JoAnn fabrics

a lot of empty shelves, and bolts still in plastic wrap. I'm not sure if the plastic was due to lessening contamination, or if there just wasn't enough staff to unwrap them. Visits to other quilt shops, or any store for that matter, reveal their shelves are also becoming bare, with expected orders delayed. It is a disheartening site.

Now, if we think about this, country-wide shutdowns happened in March. Which means manufacturing of new goods was halted, as were deliveries. Stores that were allowed to stay open used or sold what they had in stock. If they received ANY new stock, it was most likely from what was held in a warehouse.

With no or curtailed manufacturing, the warehouses are now becoming depleted. This affects not just the quilting industry, but many others as medical supplies are once again becoming scarce. Manufacturing has not fully ramped up in order to restock the warehouses. 

Which brings me to: Have you tried to order fabric (or anything) online? I have, and have been met with 'out of stock - provide your email and we'll let you know when it's back in', to 'out of stock - expected delivery mid-August'. With shut downs happening again, who knows if and when deliveries will happen. A massive snowball is just starting to form: if there's no manufacturing, there's no deliveries, translating to no sales, and worst case, more out-of-business signs.

The supply chain is not looking good, and I'm concerned about what we're going to see 6 months to year from now, not only in the quilting industry, but other goods too. I truly hope it does not get worse, and that our country can get back to work, and our economy humming again. 

As quilters, we'll make do with what we have, as is the history of quilting. And if we have to return that UFO to the pile, then so be it. It will get finished eventually. As for new projects, who knows?

I'm sorry for the distressing view from my crystal ball. A year from now, I want to look back at this post and say that my prediction was wrong, along with a more positive, uplifting view of the future. But the way things are headed, my prediction just may become reality - consider this a heads up. And if it does, we will find a way to cope, as humans have done for thousands of years, in even more dire circumstances than now. 

We will get through this.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Midweek Makers #235

Welcome back to another week of Midweek Makers! Did anyone do a ton of sewing because of cancelled gatherings, or did you gather anyway, 6 feet apart of course? For me, no gatherings, just more computer work, though I did manage to squeeze in making scrappy dark blue pinwheel blocks for RSC2020.

dark blue pinwheels for rsc2020

Carrying on with the blue theme, I saw these pretties at last week's party. 
From Purring Cottage, this house quilt,

from Kathleen McMusing, the Portland Headlight,

and from That Fabric Feeling, this paper pieced star.

Now it's your turn - what do you have to share from last week?
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  • use the Midweek Makers badge or link on your post
Have fun!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Summer Fun - Surfboards!

Who wants to make fun surfboards and an entire quilt from FREE summer themed blocks? 

QuiltFabrication Summer Fun Surfboards quilt block pattern

Introducing a new quilting adventure, Quilt Block Mania, featuring free monthly quilt blocks from numerous designers, with a new themed block each month. We're starting off with summer - how hot is that?

summer quilt block mania on an orange background

The theme for July 2020 is Summer Fun, full of everything summery from flip flops to cool drinks to water fun and just about anything you can think of that's summer related. Just look at all these fun blocks!

photo collage of 28 different quilt blocks depicting summer

It's definitely a full list of links to all of the creators of Summer Fun blocks in this year's Quilt Block Mania Summer Series:

Camping Tent by Carolina Moore
Beach Umbrella by Jennifer Fulton
Flip Flops by Becca Fenstermaker
Summer Cocktail by Marian Pena
Beach Ball by Laura Piland
Popsicle by Sherry Shish
Curvy fish by Velda Roy
Angelfish by Lisa Amundson
Bucket and Shovel by Heidi Pridemore
Wonky Beach Umbrella by Jamie Siel
Starfish by Leanne Parsons
Sailboat at Sunset by Glenda Wilder
Yacht by Sue Griffiths
Food/Ice Cream Truck by Laura Strickland
Crab by Afton Warrick
Sleeping bag and star by Sarah Vanderburgh
Funky Flower by Kathryn LeBlanc
IceCream Cond by Sarah Marcina
Sunglasses by Celine Perkins
Sun by Charisma Horton
Hello Summer by Amarar Creacions
Tall Ships by Kris Driessen
Life Saver Preserver by Sandy Fitzpatrick
Dragon Fly by Julie Luoma
Up in The Air by Judit Hajdu
Surfboard by Susan Arnold
Beach Treasures by Linda Bratten
Two Scoops by Shari Butler
Free to Fly by Marcea Owen

For my design, I've chosen a super easy applique block of rotated surfboards, named Summer Fun Surfboards, perfect for a beginner quilter. 

QuiltFabrication created Summer Fun Surfboards, three vertical surfboards on a blue background

They're shown in modern prints, though batiks and Hawaiian fabrics would look just as wonderful. As for the center stripe, I recommend using a coordinating or complimentary color. The fabric placement could even be reversed, with a solid colored surfboard and a fabric print for the stripe. It's completely up to you!

QuiltFabrication created a Summer Fun Surfboards block of three solid colored vertical surfboards on a blue background

The Summer Fun Surfboards pattern is offered as an immediate PDF download, free until the next block comes out. There is no pattern preview, redirection to another site, or an email sign up form to fill out. Clicking on the link automatically downloads the PDF pattern to your computer. If an error message occurs, please clear your cookies. 

In downloading the pattern, I ask that you not share the file with others, but direct them to the Fun Surfboards post. I also ask that you consider becoming a fan of QuiltFabrication through any or all of the following below: signing up for direct delivery of posts to your inbox, or following on Bloglovin, and/or by following QuiltFabrication on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. 

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******   BUT DON'T GO JUST YET!   ******

Since I had sooo much fun designing surfboards, I made an additional fun fusible surfboard block, which includes a beach background - Surfboards in the Sand

QuiltFabrication created a Surfboards in the Sand block with three different surfboard surface designs on a beach

This complete Surfboards in the Sand block pattern includes three surfboard designs, all directions and block diagram, PLUS the full Summer Fun Surfboards block pattern from Quilt Block Mania. That's two patterns in one, for a total of four different surfboards - that makes for plenty of mixing and matching! Find Surfboards in the Sand at the Etsy/QuiltFabrication shop and start this summer surfing!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July!

Wishing everyone a very safe 4th of July holiday! 

fireworks collage

Though the current pandemic keeps us from family cookouts and fireworks shows, it doesn't mean we have to stop the celebration. I'm still plan on having a burger and watching fireworks on TV.

For us quilters, though, the celebration also includes viewing patriotic themed quilts full of red, white, and blue - my favorites! Fellow quilt friends of mine through Facebook have put together two videos featuring wonderful patriotic quilts. Take a look them on YouTube and see if you can spot two of mine, Patriotic Wave and Fireworks

For the links to quilters and/or the patterns, here's the list from video 1

              True Blue Quilts –Starlit Night Skies

              KISSed Quilts – Flyover – Dangling Diamonds

              Seams Like a Dream Quilt Designs – Harbor Lights

              Appliques Quilts and More – American Flag with Eagle

              Patti’s Patchwork – Panel Plus (option 1)

              Puppy Girl Designs – Fly like an Eagle

              Dragonfly’s Quilting Design Studio – Patriotic Friends

              Blue Bear Quilts – Firework Flowers

              QuiltFabrication – Patriotic Wave runner

              Masterpiece Quilting – Patriotic Stars

And here's the list for video 2

              Appliques Quilts and More – Flag with Military Silhouettes

              Patti’s Patchwork – Panel Plus (option 2)

              QuiltFabrication – Fireworks

              Appliques Quilts and More – Military Quilt

              Your Sewing Friend – Patriotic Waves

              Textile Time Travels – Home of the Brave

              Charisma’s Corner – Homebase

              Blue Bear Quilts – Sparklers on Liberty Square

              Sugar Free Quilts – LOVE Quilt

              Wendt Quilting – R-W-B Boise

Enjoy the day!

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Friday, July 3, 2020

July 2020 Book of the Month - Triangle Block Tool

Hi all! Today I'm sharing a book for those who love quilts full of triangles, diamonds, and hexagon blocks - it's the Quick & Easy Triangle Block Tool (affiliate link) by Sheila Christensen, and C&T Publishing.

quilt book with 100 triangle, diamond, and hexagon quilt block ideas

And WOW! Does this book offer a variety of block designs to really up the drama in your quilts! Just look at these examples:

triangle quilt block made of hexagons and triangles

hexagon block with interwoven stripes

and my favorite, Orchid.
striped diamonds joined together to make a triangle quilt block called orchid
Full of pictures, diagrams, and size charts, plus thorough cutting instructions given in the beginning of the Quick & Easy Triangle Block Tool book (affiliate link), even a beginner could learn how to cut triangle, diamond, and hexagon shapes. And not just the easy way, with rulers of those shapes, but the instructions ALSO include using straight rulers. This makes me super happy, as I'm someone that limits the number of specialty rulers in the studio, so the instructions for using straight rulers is greatly appreciated. And it's easier than you think, especially with the easy-to-follow pictures and drawings.

a page giving instructions for how to cut triangles from fabric for quilting

Each block (there are 100 of them!) includes an outline drawing of the pieces, a suggested color layout, a diagram of the block parts, and finally, a picture of the block in fabric.

emporer triangle quilt block drawing and pieces

Each page also includes the cutting size chart for each shape and for different block sizes. Each block comes in four different sizes. How convenient is that - no need to do quilt math!

Emporer triangle block cutting chart

Finishing off each block page, there are quilt layout ideas for each block, which certainly gets those creative juices flowing.
Emporer triangle block quilt layout ideas

Here's what a full block page looks like, this time with the Floating block.

Floating block diagram page from Triangle Block Tool book
What more could you ask for in a quilt book? If you're a triangle, diamond, or hexagon lover, you really seriously need the Quick & Easy Triangle Block Tool book (affiliate link) to make even more stunning quilts! If your not, there's also the companion book full of square blocks, the Quick & Easy Block Tool (affiliate link), in the same format, with 110 blocks in 5 sizes - another must have. 

Happy Quilting! And thank you, C&T Publishing for providing great quilt books!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Midweek Makers #234

Welcome to the Midweek Makers linky party! My share this week is, drum roll please ... absolutely nothing! Take a look at my cutting table: depending how you look at it, it's either incredibly clean, or I'm uninspired to start a new project. 

cutting table and Innova quilting machine in QuiltFabrication's studio

For the moment, let's go with option 1, incredibly clean. I'm sticking with the story that it just makes for a better view:  of the hummingbird fights over the feeders, the birdhouse that the nuthatches have piled full of redwood hair only to just visit and serenade me with their singing, the lovely blooms of 4 of my 52 orchids, or of numerous neighbors walking by with masks on. But soon, that table will be cluttered again, and my attention directed away from what's outside.

In all honesty, I actually have four projects fighting for my attention over the next month, with most in the design stage on the computer right now. Those that are close to the testing phase won't be stitched up just yet, because for deadline reasons, the others come first. But I am excited that one project finished up yesterday, though without a fabric version, for a big reveal next Tuesday - I think you're going to like what's in store!

Until then, did everyone see the medallion style quilts last week? How about this beauty, using John Deere panels, from Gretchen's Little Corner?

Or this customer quilt that Kathy, from Kathy's Quilting Blog, quilted?

Or this quilted beauty from Kat of Scrapbox Quilts?

And this now-in-progress UFO from Mari at The Academic Quilter?

They're all so lovely!

Now it's your turn! What do you have to share this week??
  • Please link directly to your post.
  • Visit the other guests, and leave comments.
  • Use the Midweek Makers badge or link to in your post.
Have fun at the party!

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