Three Ways to Make that Fancy Fox’s Nose

We started with the Fancy Fox this week for the Fancy Forest Quilt Along because it’s the easiest of the blocks, but there’s one part that seems to bug a lot of participants–that nose! It either get chopped off or ends up narrower at the bottom than it should be.

The way that Elizabeth has you do it in the pattern is by marking the center of the block, corner to corner, then stitching down that line.

fox nose, pattern version

You then trim and press. image

But I could only get this to work out right infrequently and at times it ended up way, way too narrow and I’d start over.

So I thought I’d try trimming the seam first, lining up the 1/4″ line on my ruler with the corner to corner where I’d stitch.



That didn’t work much better.

I wondered if it was because of that background square. It had two issues: it’s on the bias and on top. This gives it all sorts of opportunities to get squirrely, so I decided I should sew it from the other side.

First I cut the background 1/4″ bigger than originally used in the pattern.

I used a ruler to mark the 1/4″ seam allowance, then marked the middle by folding in half and adding a little mark. This is where I wanted the nose to come to a point. Both seams need to intersect that mark.

Using the 45-degree lines on my ruler, I lined up the ruler until the edge intersected the mark I’d made, then I drew the stitching line.

Marking the nose


I pinned the background to the right side of the fox face and pinned it to keep it from shifting under there while I stitched it on.image
Trim, press and repeat. Press from the front (use a little spray starch for good measure). image

Then I trimmed it up with my handy 6 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ ruler. 

Yay for a perfect little fox face!


Trying to Catch Up

You know how life is, right? Too often the daily bits get in the way of doing the things I really want to do…like update the blog, add new tutorials, finish that pattern, etc. Every New Year’s Eve I think this will be the year to get stuff done. And then suddenly it’s New Year’s Eve again and I feel like nothing was actually done.

It was the same for me this past year, but then I started looking through my pics and realized that I finished 18 quilt tops (none of which were for me) and made more than 200 projects overall, including lots and lots of store samples and custom work. I taught classes at Fabric Depot and Nic & Fig’s. I released two patterns. Despite not getting more clothes sewn for myself (my real goal for last year), I got plenty finished.

So far this year, I’ve already finished two more quilt tops and onto a third. I’ve started, but not yet finished, a coat and a dress for myself. I have two patterns at the pattern-testing stage and my teaching schedule is nicely filling up. I’m doing okay, I remind myself.

Sometimes I struggle to savor the little accomplishments, instead worrying that I’ll never actually get to the big ones.

There are big things to come this year and I’m looking forward to every one of them: my first retreat teaching gig, new patterns, my daughter will graduate high school and I have a road trip to plan for late summer.

For now, I need to get back to planning out the classes for my upcoming Fancy Forest Quilt Along at Fabric Depot. We’ve just added our third session and the first one hasn’t even started yet…this one is gonna be a doozy. I can hardly wait!