Friday, October 30, 2020

Scrap Attack

Well, I've come down from my sugar high from last week. Thankfully is wasn't a real one, just one created by the Halloween Candy runner and the Penny Candy blocks. Just seeing those fun creations makes me happy. Now to get through the real candy of Halloween!

So, now that I'm back to reality, I'm sitting at my machine, seriously focused on attacking my scraps. My Rainbow version of Celilo is long overdue.

rainbow Celilo quilt

I started several months ago with the fewest colors: red, indigo, and violet. Indigo and violet were a bit of a challenge, especially determining what exactly indigo is and to find enough indigo in my stash. Thank goodness I didn't have to make a lot of those!

Now I've started in on yellow since those scraps were already out for the October RSC pinwheel block. Chain piecing bits and pieces together resulted in a mess, 

yellow scraps chain pieced together

but after pressing and trimming, they're now bigger chunks.

yellow scrap units of different sizes

Within an hour and half, I had all the yellow units done. Then I pulled out the orange scraps, and easily had those done. Probably because there weren't very many! 

Then I moved onto green. First, I attacked the leftover triangle bits from The Great Outdoors quilt, those on the left of the picture. 

green scraps

Sewn together, they make pieces 1.5" x 4.5", on the right of the picture, and are now quite usable. It's wonderful to finally have those scraps off my cutting table! Paired with straight pieces, they blend together nicely for these blocks. Check out my video on Making Blocks from Crumbs if you too are over-run with small odd-shaped scraps.

I'm currently about 1/4 of the way through green, and still have blue to go. 

yellow orange and green scrap blocks

At this rate, with or without sugar, I'm hoping for a finish next week. I'll keep you posted.

For more about color, be sure to enter the Color Workbook giveaway to win a copy of a great book - contest ends tonight!

Good luck and Happy Quilting!

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Friday, October 23, 2020

Penny Candy

I don't know what happened - I binged on Penny Candy this week. Do I feel guilty about it? No, not at all.

tootsie roll, peppermint, butterscotch, mint candies quilt blocks by QuiltFabrication

That's because these Penny Candies are totally sugar-free, fat-free, and even calorie-free! And totally addictive, as I had fun mimicking classic Penny Candies, most of which are still sold today.

What's a penny candy? It's a wrapped piece of candy, which years ago, was sold by the piece for a penny. Nowadays, the same wrapped candies are usually sold in a mixed variety bag, though it may be possible to find them sold individually, possibly at big amusement parks.

The first penny candy was the Tootsie Roll, which was introduced at Woolworth stores. It was so popular, that Woolworth expanded their candy aisle to include many more varieties of wrapped candies. Here's my take on that favorite chocolate roll, plus another favorite, a peppermint.

peppermint and tootsie roll quilt blocks by QuiltFabrication

I'm pretty much a fan of anything with chocolate, but if there's a butterscotch in the bowl, it's mine! Here's a delicious butterscotch, paired with a blue mint cube.

butterscotch and blue mint cube candies quilt blocks by QuiltFabrication

I really got carried away having fun creating different Penny Candies! The green striped confection has a green apple flavor, and the piece next to it is bubble gum.

green apple and bubblegum candy quilt blocks by QuiltFabrication

I like my bubble gum block better in pink rather than the blue/yellow of Double Bubble. If you decide to make it in Double Bubble's traditional colors, be sure to applique a red oval on the yellow for more authenticity.

double bubble gum

That pink block could also be a Jolly Rancher watermelon candy piece. Personally, I'm not a fan of that brand, so I decided to go with bubble gum in hot pink.

If you feel the need to binge on some guilt-free candy, the Penny Candy block pattern is available in my Etsy shop, on sale at special Halloween candy pricing. The pattern includes 3 different blocks, including a variation on one. Different colorings are shown, as are layout ideas, plus it's completely suitable for the confident beginner. 

As with any candy, they're quite addictive - it's so hard to stop with just one!

Happy Quilting!

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Monday, October 19, 2020

FREE Layer Cake Quilt Patterns

Who's got some layer cakes they'd love to whip up into a quilt? Need ideas? Then check out these free layer cake patterns from top quilt companies.

free layer cake quilt patterns
Because my current book selection is Jenny Doan's Quilter's 10" Square Precut Companion (affiliate link), I thought it would be fun to continue the theme and find a few free quilt patterns, just for layer cakes.

Though Jenny of Missouri Star Quilt Company has several great layer cake patterns in her book, competing quilt businesses also have plenty of free patterns too. Below you'll find patterns from The Fat Quarter Shop and Moda Fabrics, two other great sources for layer cake quilt patterns. 

From those, here's my top free quilt pattern choices for creative uses of layer cakes.

From The Fat Quarter Shop,

Layer Cake Custard

layer cake custard quilt

Reel Time Picnic

reel time picnic quilt

layer cake crumble quilt

From Moda Fabrics, a few very creative quilts.

Happy Scrappy Village

happy scrappy village quilt

Peppermint Candy

peppermint candy quilt

Bursting Stars

bursting stars quilt

stargazer quilt

That should be enough to get any quilter started with layer cakes!
Happy Quilting!

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Friday, October 16, 2020

Halloween Candy Tablerunner

It's almost Halloween, and stores are overflowing with candy right now in preparation for trick o' treat season. Not quite sure how that's going to work this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, but whether or not kids go door to door, everyone still wants their sweet tooth satisfied!

Whether folks venture out or party at home, a very fun way to add to the festivities is to take some those sweet treats and turn them into this adorable Halloween Candy table runner!

candy corn and green penny candy make a table runner on purple by QuiltFabrication

Though chocolate confections are my favorite, Halloween just wouldn't be complete without candy corn. Add to that some penny candy, that wrapped hard candy that seems to be in every bank, restaurant, or store candy dish, to make one very hard-to-resist bit of sweetness!

candy corn and green candy for a table runner by QuiltFabrication

Remember my Candy Corn blockWell, I had no plans to use it as is, so I took it apart, back to the individual candy corn pieces. 

candy corn quilt blocks by QuiltFabrication

With the help of EQ and graph paper, I designed the Penny Candy block (pattern coming next week), 

green penny candy quilt block by QuiltFabrication

and manipulated it to create the Halloween Candy runner.

closeup of Halloween Candy table runner by QuiltFabrication

With the addition of 2" borders in a fun Halloween print, plus the pantograph "Snack Attack" in Glide Cool Grey, I've got a very fun Halloween (and food) themed runner. Let the party begin!

Halloween Candy table runner on a table with pumpkins by QuiltFabrication

A few more details about the Halloween Candy table runner

  • it measures approximately 13 1/2" x 44" 
  • fabric requirements use both fat quarters and yardage
  • blocks are pieced NOT paper pieced
  • the pattern is listed for the intermediate quilter, though a highly confident beginner would have success following to the very detailed diagrams
  • the Halloween Candy table runner pattern is at special pricing, now thru Oct 31, 2020. Get it before time runs out!
Next week, the Penny Candy block will be available. It's a modified version, featuring a standard block size. The pattern will also include directions for making Penny Candy without the stripes, plus block layout ideas. Hmm, I'm visualizing another quilt - Christmas is just around the corner.

Until then, Happy Quilting everyone!

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Family is the Heart of Home

Welcome to another month of Quilt Block Mania! We have over 25 designers participating this month, with each offering a block for the month of October. The theme this month is 'Family'. I've designed a very modern block, Family is the Heart of Home, complete with a great family story. The little pincushion birds should be a clue.

green birdhouse with black roof and three hearts plus two red birds

Back in April, we were thrilled to have a pair of Western Bluebirds choose one of our birdhouses to build their nest. This was the first time I had seen this bird species in the yard, so this was quite the honor. 

bluebird outside a birdhouse

Of the five decorative birdhouses we have, they chose the one above, probably because of it's easy access to a nearby fence and food sources beyond. It also gave them a great spot to keep an eye on the growing family.

bluebird sitting on a fence

Each day, I would grab the binoculars and peer at the birdhouse through the bathroom window, which is approximately 25 feet straight across the yard from the nest. 

We loved hearing their demanding chirps, which got louder when they knew Mom or Dad was close by. They would crowd the opening to get whatever food was being served. It was fascinating to watch these parents take care of their young, even cleaning out the nest.

Just how many were there? Early in their nesting stage and when I knew both parents were gone, I peeked inside with a flashlight and counted five eggs. Prolific! 

But that doesn't mean they all survived. Ultimately, 3 babies died, but 2 fledged, with one hopping around in the yard for a day before making it high into a tree. Below is a grainy picture of him, taken through the screen of another window - he's only about 8 feet away from me, sitting on cement, and taking a rest in between flight trials.

just fledged baby bluebird

It was such a joy watching this little family, and I was sad to see them go. But I have hopes for next spring! We have 3 new birdhouses, supposedly for bluebirds, and we currently have had 3 bluebirds visiting a watering dish. The outlook is promising!

bluebird birdhouse on a fence

Along with the 3 houses that are meant for nest building, I also picked up this modern decorative one, replacing a log cabin birdhouse that was deteriorating. Who knows, maybe they'll choose this one instead.

modern cream colored decorative birdhouse

And it's this new modern birdhouse that I have based my Family is the Heart of Home quilt block design upon. It has the love of the family of bluebirds represented by the hearts, 

and the given Design Seeds palette to coordinate with all the other October Family blocks for one great looking quilt.

My easy Family is the Heart of Home quilt block is both beginner friendly and fat quarter friendly. The pattern includes 12" and 8" block sizes, plus applique templates for each. See the Family is the Heart of Home quilt block pattern, in two colorways and sizes, in my Etsy shop.

Feel free to tell others about QuiltFabrication and become a follower yourself through any or all of the following: direct delivery of posts to your inbox, or by following on Bloglovin, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube.

QuiltFabrication Posts to Your Inbox
And don't forget to visit the other designers to see their Family themed blocks.

family themed quilt blocks for octobers quilt block mania

Warming by the Fire
Paper Chain Family at Slice of Pi Quilts
Family is Love
Family Quote Pineapple Block by Blockofthemodotcom
Family Pumpkin Pickin' Day
Family Crest at Always Expect Moore
Old Rocking Chair at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Love@Home at Stash Bandit
Sisterhood by Michelle Renee Hiatt
Glimpse of Home at Scrapdash
We Are Family by Heidi Pridemore
Family Trees at Pretty Piney Quilts
Family is the Heart of Home by QuiltFabrication
Gathering by Blue Bear Quilts
Sister's Choice at Perkins Dry Goods
Every Family Has One at Patti's Patchwork
Orange Blossom Quilt
Wonky Nesting Hearts
Family Photo Block
Celtic Trinity Knot by Appliqu├ęs Quilts and More
Family Ring at Devoted Quilter
Tartan Block at True Blue Quilts
Flying Geese Family by Tacy Gray
Family Heart by Amarar Cracions

Edited 11-2020

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Monday, October 5, 2020

Keeping Up with the Free USA Blocks

Has everyone been collecting the FREE USA state blocks? We've toured 10 states so far, crisscrossing the country - who needs an updated list? 

Let's start at the beginning:

Massachusetts, from Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio,

Alaska, from Appliques, Quilts, and More

Washington, from Kissed Quilts

California, from Always Expect Moore

Florida, from Off the Wall Quilt

Texas, from Sarah Ruiz Quilts

Oklahoma, from Quilt 2 End Alz

Minnesota, from Quilt Doodle Designs 

Wisconsin, from Scrapdash

Virginia, from Orange Blossom Quilt

(sorry, no picture available at the time of writing!)

Enjoy these free blocks and Happy Touring!

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