Years ago, I had a quilt plan in my head that called for a LOT of different fabrics. I thought that the best/easiest way to get the fabric variety I needed would be to use precut strips, and I purchased a bunch of different Hoffman Bali Pops from the Fat Quarter Shop, and found one “locally” at the Army Arts and Crafts shop in Germany. If you’ve been around a while, you may remember this post, in which Crazy Accuracy Freak Girl had conniptions over the state of those precut strips. They were crooked and cut off grain, and I couldn’t see how you could use those strips for anything that required any accuracy at all.
I heard from both Hoffman and Fat Quarter Shop about that blog post, and there were offers to replace and/or refund the costs of the bundles which was lovely of them obviously. I never bothered with that since I’d have had to mail them back to the States from Germany, and I didn’t plan on using them right then in the end anyway.
Fast forward to December of last year. The folks at Hoffman Fabrics wrote to tell me that the Bali Pops are now cut with a laser-guided fabric cutter, and they asked if I’d like to try the new strips in a project. I chose the Hoffman Bali Pops in the Gemstone colorway, and got to work designing!Let me tell you, these precut strips are soooo much better than they used to be! With the laser-guided fabric cutter they’re super straight–no annoying “V” at the fold line–and nearly perfectly on grain. That means that creating beautiful quilts with precut fabric strips is even easier now. Crazy Accuracy Freak Girl is humming away in her corner, quite happy that all’s right with the world. 😉
When I was designing the quilt, I wanted to make something that would really put accuracy to the test. There wasn’t any point to cutting a bunch of squares or rectangles and sewing them together. I decided on a chevron/herringbone type of design, since there would be a lot of angled cuts, bias edges and points to match. Designing this quilt also prompted me to create a fabric library for Electric Quilt that includes all 372 colors of the Hoffman 1895 Bali Watercolor Batik fabrics, which you can download for your own use.
Bali Breezes is a dynamic modern design and the quilt was a lot of fun to make. I do love designs where I can blend colors for colorwash effects across the quilt, and Bali Pops are perfectly suited to this technique. Fair warning though: I wanted to use as much of the precut strips as possible, and consequently Bali Breezes is a LARGE quilt! It’s so large that getting a decent photo of it, even in flimsy stage, is nearly impossible. Here it is though, just to say there is one!
Want to make your own Bali Breezes quilt? I strongly recommend using the new laser cut strips–they’re a big improvement over the previous strips! You can check the label on the Bali Pops, which will say “Strips cut with laser-guided fabric cutter.” If your local quilt shop doesn’t have these new Pops in stock, you can find them online in Gemstone and many other colorways at the Fat Quarter Shop. Head over to Hoffman Fabrics, where you can download the Bali Breezes pattern for FREE!
Have you used the new Bali Pops? I’d love to see what you’ve made with them!