Fab Farm Sew Along – Fabric Selection

[The formatting of this may be a bit strange due to problems with how my email provider is sending this out].

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.

My Process

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!

Sort Fabric.
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.

Cutting Fabric

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.

The Schedule

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, 2023Fabric Selection
Monday, April 24, 2023Block 1 Strawberry
Monday, May 1, 2023Block 2 Horse
Monday, May 8, 2023Block 3 Goat
Monday, May 15, 2023Block 4 Cow
Monday, May 22, 2023Block 5 Chicken
Monday, May 29, 2023Block 6 Bee
Monday, June 5, 2023Block 7 Pig
Monday, June 12, 2023Block 8 Sheep
Monday, June 19, 2023Block 9 Short Sunflower
Monday, June 26, 2023Block 10 Tall Sunflower
Monday, July 17, 2023Parade 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.

Coming Up on My Blog

Fab Farm SAL Begins (4/17)
Diatom Row 2 
Fixing a T-Shirt Quilt
Ships Ahoy

Linking To:

Fabric Stash

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!

Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.

My Favorite Tools

Pins with Numbers & Arrows
Annies Soft and Stable Foam Stabilizer
By Annie’s Clear Vinyl
Heat N Bond Iron On Vinyl
Omni Thread, Purplelicious
Aurifil 50 weight thread
Hobbs Tuscanny Wool Batting
Freezer Paper Sheets
Binding Sasher
Nexcare Clear Skin Tape
Cluck Cluck Sew Tape
Simple Folded Corners Ruler
Free Motion Quilting Workbook
Shape by Shape Collection 2
Shape by Shape
DayLight Wafer 1 Light Box
Freezer paper
Siteground Web Hosting
Dream Cotton Batting
Sidekick Ruler
Hex N More Ruler
4″ Circular Plastic Needlepoint
Awesome Ocean Pattern
Schmetz NonStick Needle
Sulky Totally Stable
Barn Quilt by Sherry Shish
Applique Pressing Sheet
Mary Ellen’s Best Press Starch
Clover Bias Tape Maker 12mm
Woven Diamonds Pattern
Hobbs Premium 80/20 Batting
Woven Star Pattern
Wefty Needle
Quilt Hanger
Fat Quarter Shop
Westalee Sampler Template Set
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Sewline Grey Pencil
Backyard Birds
Wing Clipper
Quilt Pounce
Hobbs Thermore Batting
Clover Chaco Liner – silver
Turnabout Patchwork by Terese Mairal Barreau
Sewline Glue Pen
Fusible 1″ Hexagon Paper
Fusible Appliqué Paper
Electric Quilt 8
Quilter’s Dream Select Batting
Quilt in A Day Log Cabin
Judy Martin Log Cabin
Emiko Toda Loeb
3M Command Strip Clothespins
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Clover Wonder Clips
Thread magic
Clearly Perfect Angles
Slotted Triangle Trimmer