Bali Breezes quilt by Nadine Ruggles

Bali Pops Precuts and Bali Breezes Quilt Pattern

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. Read More

Hoffman 1895 Bali Batik swatches for Electric Quilt

Hoffman 1895 Bali Batik Swatches for Electric Quilt

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working with a new Watercolors Bali Pop from Hoffman Fabrics to design a quilt. This Bali Pop has 40 2½” x 43″ strips of Style #1895 Handpainted Bali Batik fabrics, and came with a neat color card with a list of all the colors in the Pop, including color numbers and names. Sweet, right?

I had an idea for the quilt in mind, so I fired up Electric Quilt to play around a bit. Once I had a rough design, of course I wanted to fill it in with fabrics that matched what I had in the Bali Pop. I knew that there were already some Hoffman batik fabrics in EQ by default, so I tried using those. The problem was, I couldn’t tell if I had exactly the right fabric swatches in the sketchbook on the screen compared to the fabric I had in the Bali Pop.** What’s a girl to do? Read More

Moda Fabrics + Electric Quilt = Quilt Design Coolness

I was shopping for charm packs today for a small quilt I’d like to make and since Moda markets all of these cool charm packs, jelly rolls, layer cakes and other whatnots, I took a trip to the Moda site to see what’s out there now, and what’s coming up. I discovered something totally cool, and I don’t know whether it’s new, or it’s been around a while and I’ve just missed it.

If you visit the Designers page on the Moda site, you’ll see a list of all (or most?) of their current fabric designers. Click on a name, like 3 Sisters, and another window will pop up and show you a bit about the designer, and their current lines for Moda. See those dots down below the fabric line logo pictures? You can click on those and see the fabrics.

Click on the light colored solid dot for an Adobe PDF file of swatches of all the fabrics in the line, or try the darker colored solid dot to download a .zip file of .jpeg graphic files of all the fabrics plus pictures of the FQ packs, jelly rolls, charm packs, layer cakes and sometimes a quilt image that go with the line. You can also click on the outlined dot to visit the Moda section at a site called Fabric Matcher. Fabric Matcher seems to be a site where you can “shop” for Moda fabrics and find patterns, and put them together and save them as a project, but I didn’t spend a bunch of time on that, since it doesn’t seem that you can actually buy patterns or fabric there, so I’m not sure what the point really is, and that’s not really the cool part anyway.

The cool part is that if you download the .zip file with the fabric pictures in it, you can import the fabrics into Electric Quilt and design quilts! The pictures seem to be actual scans of the fabrics, and are in scale with one another, so designing a quilt with the actual fabrics you want to use is really easy and looks great when done. See?

Quilt Design with Electric Quilt and Portobello Market fabrics from Moda

This is the Portobello Market line from 3 Sisters for Moda. I love these fabrics, so I stopped in at The Fat Quarter Shop and scooped up a charm pack and some other yardage to go with it, and I can make my quilt when it all arrives! Now if only all the other fabric manufacturers would catch on to this. What a great way to market and advertise the fabric lines especially in our current economy where every trip by car counts. If I hadn’t found this today, would I have bought $50 worth of fabric online? Probably not. I checked out RJR Fabrics and Michael Miller Fabrics, and if they have anything like Moda does, it wasn’t easy to find.

Do you know of any other fabric manufacturers that share such great images of their fabrics like this? If so, share so we can all go download the latest fabrics to play with!

P.S. I found another cool page on the Moda site, the What’s New page. If you go there, you get the same fabric line logo pics with the dots, only they’re arranged by release month instead of by designer. It’s a great way to see what’s on the horizon from Moda!

Monday’s Melange #2

Monday's Melange

I’m back in my Bookmarks folder today to bring you another Melange on this happy Monday. I think I’ll spend some more time in the quilting section:

Embroidery Font Shop—This is a great source for pre-digitized fonts for all your embroidery projects. I have a few fonts available in my Bernina software, but when I need more, I know where to go. Great pictures, a fast loading site and delivery by download makes purchasing easy!

Electric Quilt Software–I’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating (especially since I keep forgetting about it myself!). If you have Electric Quilt Software already, it’s worth a monthly trip back to the site to grab the free fabrics of the month. These are palettes of fabrics that you can import into Electric Quilt to use on your quilts when you’re designing. And something new I just found: EQ6 Show, an add-on slideshow viewer for your projects! There’s also an EQ5 version of the viewer. Much more awaits at the site, including free Block of the Month Clubs, and it doesn’t seem like you even need EQ for those! Read More

Not quilting, just playing musical rooms!

Not much quilting going on here, but lots of activity. We decided that we should move a few rooms around in the house, so that the girls would have a little more privacy and separation from each other. Their “rooms” were on the top floor of the house, and while the space is sort of divided into two areas, there’s no door in between them. There’s a hallway with a bathroom, but no doors except for the door that leads to the whole set of rooms. This setup was okay when the girls were 8 and 3 years old, but now they’re 15 and 10 and it really no longer works.

So, GuitarGirl (that would be DD#1, now 15 years old) moved into my office/studio, and LittleOne (DD#2, 10) moved into GuitarGirl’s old room, since it’s cooler in the summer. So far so good. Now, the biggest part of the problem (notice I said “biggest” not “only”) is that the only other room in the house that’s available to house all of my own activities is the basement, where ITMan hangs out. It’s not big enough to handle all of my machines, tables, shelves, and cabinets, not to mention my fabrics Read More

Getting ready for Diane Gaudynski!

I’ve made my plans and reservations to go to A New Tradition in Quilting workshop with Diane Gaudynski at the Museum in Paducah in the beginning of March. Three whole days of quilting with my quilting idol! Woohoo! Not to mention a whole week in the States with my buddy Dawn since she’s taking the class as well! I decided yesterday that it was probably time to really start looking at the supply list and order some things, as well as piece the sample quilt that we’ll be using in class.

EQ6 shot of small quiltI did finally load EQ6 after the holidays, and I used it to redraft a pattern that I found in a quilt calendar. Diane said this pieced wall quilt needed to have a 12″ light colored square in the middle, so I made this block 24″ total, then added 3″ borders. The pic you see here is an exported .jpg file from EQ6, and the export feature is much improved in this version. I used to have to take a snapshot of the quilt, paste it into a graphics editor and save it in the size I wanted. With EQ6, I can just do an export, and the program will ask what format to export to (.bmp, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, .png are the choices) and then I can tell it how big I want the picture, and what resolution. Sooo much better!

The pic of the quilt was easy, the piecing was painful. My own fault, obviously, since the thing has these diagonal seams that have to match up. It’s done though, Read More