Simply Fat Quarters is the first book release from the Fat Quarter Shop gang, under their pattern company name 'It's Sew Emma'. The premise of the book is to use Fat Quarters (of course - what else would the Fat Quarter Shop gang use?!) to make quilts that are full of comfort and style. There are 10 quilts in the book and each has directions for 4 sizes, from crib through to king size. It's a definite must add to your wish list, because if you are familiar at all with the patterns by It's Sew Emma you will already know how clear and easy to understand they are. This book is no different, it's nicely laid out with clear diagrams and simple directions. Very easy to follow.
When Jocelyn from Fat Quarter Shop emailed me and asked if I'd like to be a part of the blog tour for the book I was at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, hanging out with my friends Lauli Pops and Tula Pink, so it seemed a no-brainer as to what fabric I would use. The Birds and The Bees. Of course. My background fabric is Laura Gunn's painter's Canvas in vanilla (a note to Laura - never ever ever stop making these painters canvas fabrics, please. Just keep doing them forever. If you stop I promise I will be at every Market hassling you).
I tend not to use regular white solids all that much. What I love about painter's canvas is it adds a little extra texture and depth, but not so much that it screams tonal blender (which I also love the look of). Another trick I like to use to add a bit more texture (which you can't really tell on the pictures but can more in real life) is I mix up using the fabric right and wrong way round - so some of it looks more obviously textured than other parts. It doesn't work so well with the darker colours, but with the whites/off whites it works really nicely. It sort of gives it a used or vintage look and works perfectly when you use soft vintagey fabrics like Bonnie and Camille's collections or repros. I don't have any formula for this - just kind of grab and flip as I'm chain piecing, so some are right way round and some are reversed. I couldn't tell you how many of each way, it just works with that random draw, probably planning it would make it look contrived.
The quilt I made is featured on the back cover of the book - it's called Marbles, was designed by Jocelyn Ueng (who is such a lovely person, I've really enjoyed emailing back and forth with her) and is perfect to use larger scale prints like the focal prints in The Birds and the Bees. You could also fussy cut favourite areas of the prints, such as the squirrels (I love those squirrels). I'd love to see it made from Nightshade as well - with the witches fussy cut and looking like they're in frames. Going back to Laura Gunn - how amazing would this quilt be made from cosmos? With the plaid as a border? I just ordered it - after I thought of it it became to too much to take and whilst I was there I stocked up on a couple more colours of painter's canvas - for emergency purposes. So expect to see that version of this quilt soon too!
Jocelyn's original version is a crib sized quilt in a fun Snoopy/Peanuts collection called Project Linus for Quilting Treasures. I wanted to make mine much bigger, so I chose the twin size (which ends up at 75.5" x 93.5") - it came together so nicely.
There was no complicated cutting or piecing, and I'll say it again - everything is laid out in easy to follow diagrams and tables with nicely spaced instructions. It's not all crammed together to make sure it fits on a page.
I loved loved loved making this quilt. I think my favourite part of it are the borders, and what a clever effect they have to the overall quilt. Noodle, my cat loves it too, which (of course) means it must be a success.
Unfortunately I couldn't get it quilted in time for the showcase - I had thought I'd attempt to quilt it myself, but it'd be the biggest thing I'd ever quilted and as it grew and grew I started to realise that was a little over ambitious of me. So off to Long Arm Chris it has gone - the backing and binding are ready and waiting.
I can't wait to get it home and sew on the binding!
So what about the giveaway then?
There are 4 winners - 3 lucky people will win a copy of the book for themselves (and you will love it!) and one person, the luckiest of the winners will win a copy of the book PLUS a kit to make the quilt I made. That's a huge prize and an absolute shed load of fabric (the prize is worth almost $200!!!). The kit includes all of the fabric for the quilt top and binding.
So, you have 2 chances to win - first chance is to leave me a comment saying how you would quilt the quilt top. I will probably choose an all over design rather than custom quilting (because I'm a bit short of cash at the moment with Christmas coming up), but I'm not sure whether a fun loopy pattern or something more fancy like a floral pantograph, or maybe feathers - it is the birds and the bees after all...help me out with your ideas!
Second chance is to leave me a second comment if you are a follower of my blog.
So that again -
1. leave one comment with your quilting ideas
2. leave a second comment if you're a follower of my blog
I'll pick a winner in a week (19th November) when the next stop on the showcase (and a further chance to win prizes) will be over on Pat Sloan's blog. I can't wait to see what she has made.
You can check out all the previous stops by clicking the links below;
GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED - thank you to everyone that entered!