Fancy Forest Quilt Journal - Part 3

Fancy Forest Quilt Journal - Part 3

Thanks for reading another installment of my Fancy Forest Quilt journey! Today we are talking rabbits. Not the pesky ones in my yard that eat my dill down to nothing every time I turn around. Nope, we are talking about cute fabric ones that wouldn't hurt a fly! I finished one Bunny Block last week. The large quilt calls for 8 bunny blocks, the small for 2. I probably should have pieced both bunnies at the same time for my quilt, but by the time I was done cutting the blocks from one fabric I was too anxious to get sewing to cut the second fabric. Luckily I have the background, white and black fabrics cut already for my second bunny, so this next round shouldn't take as long. Again I found it super important to be really organized with the pieces as I cut. I labeled scraps of paper for each pile (A through Q for this block!) and that saved me a lot of time during the block construction. No searching for pieces or trying to remember which fabric pile was which.

Bunny backside

One more quick time saver I finally soon as I am done cutting I draw diagonal lines with a frixion pen to the back of any squares that will need it in the steps ahead. Doing that step all at once saved a lot of fumbling between the sewing steps. You know, things like you have to get out the ruler, but where's the frixion pen, how did I lose the cover again, just hurry up and draw it I want to sew the seam, crud that was really crooked I should fix it, etc. Now, let's talk about precision. I'm getting better at this! I know a good chunk of it is that I'm focused and really trying to be precise, but the rest of it is all about having the right tools. The Olfa Rotating Cutting Mat is my new favorite gadget. One of our dear customers recommended it to me, and boy was she right! Cutting and sub-cutting strips that can be as small as one inch means a lot of picking up, moving, and smoothing out fabric on a traditional mat. These small steps can stretch and distort fabric and take a lot of time. The rotating mat means you never have to touch the fabric! Just rotate your mat for each cut. Here's a quick little video to show you how it works.

I also love the 3-1/2 x 12-1/2" ruler from Creative Grids and the 28mm rotary cutter I used in the video. For some reason when cutting small things I feel more in control when I use smaller tools. Plus it's so darn cute!

Rotating Mat = New Favorite

Best Press = Old Favorite

I'm sure you've heard us sing the praises of Best Press before. While working on the Fancy Forest I've gotten in the habit of (become addicted to) using Best Press before and after every step. Seriously. Spray and press before I cut, sometimes spray and press after I cut, spray and press each seam open, and so on. It stabilizes the fabric and flattens out the open seams really well. Maybe you can see the difference in the photo below. The seam on the left was sprayed with Best Press is nice and flat and crisp. The seam on the right was just pressed with a hot iron. See how the seam allowance is flipping up. It may not seem like a big deal now, but once you starting merging those seam allowances together multiple times it can create a lot of unwanted bulk. Best Press all the way. In extra exciting news we now carry large refill bottles of Best Press - more for your pressing money! (And just try to type Best Press that many times and NOT call it Brest Press. I dare you.) So there you have it! An adorable bunny added to my growing forest. We also had our first Fancy Forest class last week! We made Fancy Foxes for hours last Saturday. This is the only photo I grabbed, but aren't they adorable?! I made another set of fox for class step-out purposes that are going to become a pillow I think. I'll be back to show those soon! The August class covers Hedgehogs, and then bunnies in September - I would love to have you join me! Happy Quilting! Roxanne

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