Picking fabrics is one of the things that I thoroughly enjoy doing. For 17 years, I worked in a fabric store and did this all the time, and vicariously made many a quilt with customers. Sometimes, it solved my need to have a particular fabric, and other times, I that same fabric pile went home with me! Well, today’s exercise is gather fabrics for the Fab Farm pattern, and I am excited to show you how it all unfolded for me.
The Fabric Requirements
Elizabeth Hartman’s fabric choices are fun and her new fabric line is delicious. Unfortunately, it is not in the stores until later this summer, and, I rarely use the same fabrics a designer does. I did a little analysis on her choices – most of the animals require 2 or 3 shades of a fabric. The colors include greys, browns, yellows, reds/pink and some white. Off to my stash I went.
Here are some of the fabrics laid out. Not all of this will work, but here is where I began. That one funky print would look great in the right place. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have place in the final pull but I am keeping it with the project bags in case I change my mind!
My background is a medium blue green Kona Cotton called Sage and the dark detail will be the Dimple Brown. I have often used a white background, but, because there are white or light animal, you definitely need a medium to dark background fabric. I was sort of thinking sky/grass and think this fabric fits perfectly.
Once the fabrics were gathered, I began pulling fabric by the block and picking from the pile. If there is nothing there, I go hunting. Sometimes, the piece you need is in a scrap bin. I found a little bit of that blush that will be perfect for someone’s nose! Then, they are put in bags, with a label and the cutting instructions for that block.
There are a few supplies that are helpful in this process. In addition to fabric, the supplies include ziploc bags, tape and a sharpie. I keep the pattern book nearby so I can look and see what I need.
Photocopy the instructions for cutting your fabric.
The way that I do this is to scan it to my computer then crop out the part I want and enlarge it. I am not cutting yet, but when I do, I will cut the pieces apart and pin them to each piece. There are a lot of pieces so this is helpful. If I copy by hand, I run the chance of miscutting, so this helps have fewer mis-cuts.
Pull your Fabric.
This is where you have fun. I don’t think I am done, but I am well on my way to making this quilt. I have a few colors I need more of, and I will keep my eyes open. For instance, I can see a curly white fabric for the sheep that is not in my stash, so I will look for that as I am in stores/shops over the next few weeks.
Make your Labels.
I pulled a few lengths of masking tape on my cutting mat, sliced them into smaller pieces, and labeled with my sharpie. This is not rocket science, but it works!
I then took a labeled bag, and went shopping in the pile with the pattern book nearby for reference. Right now I have the beginnings of nearly all the blocks and am ready to begin cutting.
The beauty of this is you have your fabric ready to work with. I will begin with the background and dark detail and the first two blocks and get that cut [Small quilt page 3 and Large quilt page 5].
Hint #1: Cut the borders at the end.
I rarely cut sashing, borders or binding in the beginning. I like to give myself room for options at the end. For instance, I might make my borders a touch wider in the small quilt. This will depend on whether I remember or whether I have enough fabric.
Hint #2: Cut the background fabric, label and put in bags prepped for the blocks.
I have a feeling there is extra here, but I won’t know until I get sewing!
Hint #3: Dark Detail:
Cut the strip at 1 1/2″ x WOF, then cut the last piece first, then the 11 other pieces. I had to cut a second piece because of the width of that last piece, but cutting in this order will save you.
Here’s the schedule. If you want to pick a block and co-host with me on a particular week, I would be thrilled, please email me if you are interested.
|Monday, April 3, 2023||Fabric Selection|
|Monday, April 24, 2023||Block 1 Strawberry|
|Monday, May 1, 2023||Block 2 Horse|
|Monday, May 8, 2023||Block 3 Goat|
|Monday, May 15, 2023||Block 4 Cow|
|Monday, May 22, 2023||Block 5 Chicken|
|Monday, May 29, 2023||Block 6 Bee|
|Monday, June 5, 2023||Block 7 Pig|
|Monday, June 12, 2023||Block 8 Sheep|
|Monday, June 19, 2023||Block 9 Short Sunflower|
|Monday, June 26, 2023||Block 10 Tall Sunflower|
|Monday, July 17, 2023||Parade of Quilts|
Pattern and Kits Available
I am listing some links for patterns and kits. They are affiliate links, so a little comes to me (no additional cost to you) to support the costs of running the blog.
- Amazon: Fab Farm pattern*
- Annie’s: Fab Farm Pattern*
- Fat Quarter Shop: Fab Farm Pattern*
- Fat Quarter Shop: Fab Farm Quilt Kit* (currently scheduled for July)
Coming Up on My Blog
Fab Farm SAL Begins (4/17)
Diatom Row 2
Fixing a T-Shirt Quilt
I went shopping and some fabric came home…3 backings and binding for a few quilts! So, I have more fabric than I am using, for the time being. I expect one or two finishes this month, there are 3 tops that need quilting. Unfortunately, there is one more show to go before the shopping temptations end, but end it will.
Fabric in this month: 11.0
Fabric out this month: .5
Fabric in this year: 35
Fabric out this year: 28.25
NET Fabric: +6.75yards!
I spied some potential background fabric at a LQS last week, so I’m thinking on that. Going to shop my stash first. You are far more organized than me!
Great organizing tips, Kathleen! I need to decide on a background…
Hi Kathleen, you wouldn’t believe how much I enjoyed reading your post. You offer excellent advice here, a couple things I would not have thought of like enlarging the pattern bits for example. When I tackle my next machine stitching this week, I will reread this post. I lack confidence in these all important aspects of a project. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all this.
Looks like you are going to have so much fun making this quilt with those adorable animals. Seems to be a good one to be so organized on. Thanks for the tips!