Welcome to our Fancy Forest Quilt Along!

Fancy-Forest-EH023-cover-web.jpgWe first saw the Fancy Forest quilt at Quilt Market last fall and fell in love with it, along with the rest of the quilt world! Elizabeth Hartman designs fun-filled quilts and this one combined new and previous motifs to create an exciting new quilt that we knew you'd love, too.

We joined forces with our friends at Hoffman California and used their Me+You batiks for the entire quilt. It turned out so well, we thought maybe our customers would want to make it for themselves. And boy, have you! We sold out of 42 spots in our in-store classes and decided we should offer some of the same tips to our friends and customers around the world right here on blog and also on our Fancy Forest Quilt Along page on Facebook.

Let’s talk about organization.  Elizabeth Hartman is a stellar patternmaker and the Fancy Forest Quilt is no exception. To work our way through it,  it’s very important to stay organized.

• Grab yourself 8 large (gallon-size) ziplock bags, six for the different animals, one for the sashing and one for scraps. Mark them clearly with a permanent marker to so it's easy to find the block that you'll be working on. 

• Divide your fabric into the eight color groups you are using, stacking them light to dark. While in these piles, snip out small, roughly 1/2" squares, from each fat quarter. Using either the chart on the second page of the pattern, or a photocopy of that page, lay your fabric choices out, following her instructions. and tape them down. You will use this chart several times in the construction and it can prove invaluable if you forget which fabric went in which order.  

Let’s talk tools. To keep the construction as easy as possibly, you’ll need a variety of tools, some of which you may already have. for cutting, marking and sewing.

Teamwork with quilt cutting

Cutting Tools: You’re going to be doing a lot of cutting for this quilt, so make sure you have a 45mm rotary cutter that you find comfortable and start out with a new blade. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as a dulling blade! Safety is super important with rotary cutters, so please keep blades closed and fingers away from the edge of the ruler.

We recommend both a long (8 1/2" x 24 1/2") and short (6 1/2" x 12 1/2")  ruler for ease of cutting. You’ll be making some very long cuts and the beginning and many short ones, so having the right length of ruler for the job will result in better cuts. Why do we recommend the 6 1/2”  ruler instead of the 6” ruler? Because the blocks finish at 6 1/2” making your final trim quick and easy.

Teresa Coates and student

You’ll be trimming lots of threads as you go, so keep a nice pair of snips nearby as you piece. Teresa wears them on a lanyard so they don't get lost in the shuffle. 

An 18" x 24" cutting mat is best for this project since it fits the full fat quarter on the mat, but is small enough to not need it's own table in your sewing are. You will want to keep it nearby when you start sewing so you can easily trim your seams. 

Marking Tools: The Fancy Forest quilt, as well as Elizabeth Hartman’s other patterns, depend on lots of straight seams and 45-degree angles. There are a few ways to do this, including the technique Elizabeth suggests in the pattern book. Teresa chose to use Marti Michell's Perfect Patchwork Corner Trimmer to cut the strips before stitching which allowed her to use a 1/4"-foot with a flange to piece everything.

If you prefer to mark the stitching line, you'll want to grab a 45-degree triangle ruler and a marking tool that suits you best. We recommend the Chaco-Liner for it's thin, precise line. Other choices include water-soluble felt tip pens and mechanical chalk pencils.  

Sewing Tools: Once you have everything cut and ready to go, it will finally time to sew! The need for precision continues and that includes having the right tools to get you a scant 1/4” seam. The most important step is measuring your seam allowance, whether you are using a 1/4" foot or a guide. Quilt designer Amanda Leins shares some tips on why and how you can make sure you're getting an accurate seam allowance. 

Make sure that you are using quality thread and fine pins when piecing, as well. Even if you are normally not a pinner, you'll want to secure your blocks with pins to keep those seams and angles as perfect as possible.

Let’s get started. The first step in making Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Forest quilt pattern is prepping all the fabrics. This might have included pre-washing your fabrics, but it might not. It’s up to you! There are pros and cons to each. Teresa prefers to wash fabrics and then spray the fabric with Best Press or Flatter while pressing to give it added stability in both cutting and stitching. This includes the background, detail fabrics and fat quarters.  

Grab your long ruler, your rotary cutter and your pattern so we can get started! You'll work through the various color stacks, carefully following the cuts for each as outlined in the pattern. In our class, we are adding 1/4" to all the cuts and then will trim as we go, giving us some wiggle room in piecing and cutting.  

Go ahead and start cutting, dividing the fabrics between the labeled ziplock bags as you go. Next week we'll be back with tips on making that adorable Fancy Fox! 





February 29, 2016 at 10:37 PM

Don't you mean a 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" ruler. Today you told us the smaller one would work better.



March 2, 2016 at 1:03 PM

Can you show us the fabric key using the Fabric Depot fat quarter bundle?


Mary Dorchak

March 3, 2016 at 11:26 PM

Is there a printable version of the direction?


Teresa Coates

March 8, 2016 at 2:19 PM

You can find directions in the pattern, we are simply offering some additional tips.


Pam Keeling

March 4, 2016 at 11:54 PM

For the class March 6, the Fox, are we to have completed all the subcuts before class?
Anything else we should have prepared?


Chris Mars

September 19, 2016 at 7:55 AM

Are you adding 1/4" to both width AND length on all strips? Also, what's the best way to cut the super long background strips that must run parallel to the selvedge? I don't want to repeatedly fold the fabric, because I'm afraid the strips will come out wavy.


Kate Aardema

December 31, 2016 at 5:57 AM

Hi! It's NYE of 16/17 and my pattern is arriving in the mail today! Is this whole set of posts available? I made it a favorite to help me out thru my fancy forest assembly!!


Barbara White

April 27, 2017 at 7:43 AM

Do you know how many hours this quilt will take? My daughter is expecting twins in November of this year


Susan Cochrane

May 22, 2017 at 2:11 PM

What is the background fabric pictured above? Is it available for sale?


Maria Naiti

May 27, 2017 at 4:34 AM

I just saw this. Wish I was near you so I found raid the class in person. I've been looking but can not find further posts following this initial one. Please can you share the next link. Thank you.



June 6, 2017 at 10:19 AM

Which fabric did she use for binding?


Lara Koplin

June 16, 2017 at 3:23 PM

Can the animals be made from 1/4 yard WOF cuts instead of FQ's? Thanks!


Mimi Lewis

June 22, 2017 at 5:58 PM

I'm puzzled over a part of the Hazel Hedgehog pattern - specifically how to sew piece M to piece A with a result that looks the the picture in the pattern relating to that step.


Hannah (Sewcial Media Coordinator)

July 19, 2017 at 10:30 AM

@Maria Naiti, If you follow the link: www.fabricdepot.com/blog and type Fancy Forest into the search bar on the righthand side, then all of the Fancy Forest Quilt Along Posts will show up for you.


Hannah (Sewcial Media Coordinator)

July 19, 2017 at 10:35 AM

@Jakki, the binding is Robert Kaufman's Essex Yarn-Dye Linen/Cotton Blend fabric, I believe the color in the kit is called Olive.


Margaret E. Dawson

July 21, 2017 at 8:38 AM

I just received the pattern as a gift and it seems difficult. Would love to follow you.


Hannah (Sewcial Media Coordinator)

July 21, 2017 at 10:12 AM

@Margaret E. Dawson, this Quilt Along happened last year but you can read through all of our posts, ask questions , and I can do my best to assist you! Cop/paste this link: www.fabricdepot.com/blog and type Fancy Forest into the search bar on the righthand side, then all of the Fancy Forest Quilt Along Posts will show up for you, if you like that option. Another option is to take an Open Sewing or Quilting class and get assistance from our Sewing Instructors. I'd recommend you contact the instructor to make sure they are able to give you the amount of assistance you need!
Here's a link to Open Sewing: https://goo.gl/QbUW4W
Here's a link to Open Quilting: https://goo.gl/Bos8ym


Glenys O'Shea

January 8, 2018 at 5:55 AM

So very helpful. Am organised for once. Thank you