Bob, the wonderful fellow who hosts ManMade is an extremely talented quilter, knitter, spinner and all around super crafter. He recently made up Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Fox II pattern and we think it is just amazing!
Hi Fancy Fans! Bob here. In the last couple years, I’ve done a lot more quilting, and I’ve had a lot of fun making many different quilts. I absolutely loved making the Fancy Fox II pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. Her patterns are fun and whimsical, and the technique she uses (no paper piecing or very difficult techniques, just making complex units from simple ones) was easy to follow and a blast to sew.
Pattern: Fancy Fox II Quilt by Elizabeth Hartmann
Fabric: 3/8 yard each of four plaid fabrics, 1-1/8 yd each of 4 solid fabrics for background, 1/2 yd muzzle fabric, 3/8 yd eye/nose fabric
Size Made: Lap Quilt 60" x 72"
I received the Fancy Fox II pattern from my sister for Christmas last year and I was able to have a great time selecting the fabric with my Mom who was in town after Christmas. For me, fabric selection is always a big part of the joy in making a quilt. Color theory and play is one of the primary reasons that I love quilting. Finding colors that both work together in a quilt as a whole, as well as finding the bits that pop and make the quilt hum are the exciting parts of selecting fabric. And for this quilt, being able to do that with my Mom, who is an avid quilter herself, was even better.
I chose to use plaids, like Hartman does in her sample, as a way to have a starting point for the faces so I wouldn’t be completely unguided. I liked the look of the different plaids, and since I was making this for myself I wanted to make something I really liked. I found 4 plaids that really had some fun colors, and once I had those to work from, I was ready to go! Fancy Tiger had all the coordinating solids I needed! I used a couple solids from Kona Cotton and Cloud 9 for the backgrounds, and the eye, nose and muzzle colors were filled in by some extremely low volume prints.
I usually don’t follow patterns. I tend to design my own quilts, so working from someone else’s pattern was a different and fun experience. The actual piecing was straightforward, and after I made a pillow in the smaller of the 2 sizes to practice, I was ready to go. The 4 large blocks came together quickly, and in short order I had my top all pieced!
And I can’t forget the glasses! Hartman’s directions for the optional glasses are easy, and as I myself wear glasses, at least one of my foxes had to as well! They were easily applied with fusible interfacing, and they add a ton of character to the quilt.
For the backing, I chose a variety of prints that I had collected from Fancy Tiger as remnants or odds and ends left over from other quilts. For me, piecing a back is just as fun as working on the front, as I get to see favorite fabrics like a Botanics print by Carolyn Friedlander or the necessary Fox Faces print from the Charley Harper by Birch Collection. (I mean, what is better on the back of a Fox quilt than more foxes?!)
Once I got the whole thing together and basted, I spent quite a long time at my sewing machine quilting! I chose to do pretty narrow horizontal quilting with slight undulations to give a bit of movement. Wrangling that quilt through my Janome was a challenge at times, but a lot of fun!
Once quilted, I trimmed the quilt square, and bound it with some coordinating odds and ends of fabric that I had. I really like the look of a scrappy binding, and it creates a bit of interest as it changes around the quilt. I finished off the binding by hand and tossed the whole thing in the wash to give it that wonderful wrinkled surface and super soft warmth. It now lives on my couch and is my go to quilt for wrapping myself up under for a movie or just a nap! Thanks for reading and I hope you like my version of the Fancy Fox II, and try it out for yourself!