Fully embracing Mini Quilts

If you are not on Instagram you probably are not aware of the flurry of mini quilt swaps that have been happening over the last year or so.   Hundreds and hundreds of mini quilts have been made a swapped all over the world and people’s homes now have walls adorned in beautiful little quilts.  After resisting for nearly a year, in February I finally signed up for my first mini quilt swap – the Cotton and Steel mini quilt swap.

I shared my first quilt for this swap a couple of months ago, including the paper piecing pattern I used for this quilt on my original post…….

Economy block mini quilt copyI liked it but I was not exactly what I wanted.  So I went back to the drawing board and came up with this beauty…

cotton and steel sampler mini quilt copyI loved making this 15 inch square sampler and shrinking all these quilt blocks down to 3 inches was fun.  Nearly all these blocks were paper pieced as I find it is the easiest way for me to get accuracy at this small size.

cotton and steel sampler close upI really loved putting this quilt together…and even found some prints I could fussy cut at this small size!

So with my Cotton and Steel mini done I felt the need to sign up for another mini swap… this time the Lizzy House mini quilt swap.  Now Lizzy House is my favorite designer… I love her prints. As so many of my quilts end up going to kids charities Lizzy Houses fun, modern novelty prints were an instant hit with me.

So what do you do when you have a huge collection of fabulous Lizzy House prints… you make hexagons of course…

lizzy house hexagon mini wipSo this is my Lizzy House mini work in progress.  The day I signed up for the swap I started making hexagons and once I had them all I had a blast arranging and re-arranging them until I had a layout I was happy with.

Lizzy House hexagon close upThis quilt has been so much fun to make…though a little tough on my hands as there has been a lot of hand sewing…

lizzy house hexagon cu I started making this mini before I had my partner details (yes I was that excited!).  After you sign up you get assigned a partner, you get sent a list of likes and dislikes and you can stalk them on Instagram so you can make something appropriate for them.  So as much as I love these hexagons, I was not sure it was totally up my partners alley… so I made another mini…

lizzy house NY beauty mini quilt..which is much more her style. This quilt is uses four different New York beauty patterns… and I love the unity of the similar shapes of the New York Beauty block combined with the disconnect of the different patterns pieces.

lizzy house NY beauty mini quilt detailI am sure my partner will love which ever mini I end up sending.  I have a couple more weeks before the quilts have to be sent and there is a chance I will change my mind again and make something else.  This is the joy of mini quilts…they are so quick and easy to make.

So I can now say I am a mini quilt addict, though I have controlled myself this month and not signed up for any more swaps…yet.

A modern baby quilt…

This week I finished the binding on my Paper Piecing Monday baby quilt.  I am so thrilled with how this quilt turned out…and how easy it was to make.

WQ Snowball baby quiltAs you can see the quilt used just four of my paper piecing Snowball patterns, and they really are the stars of the show.   My favorite block is definitely this one…

free paper piece patternBut you can find the free paper piecing pattern for all the blocks under the “Free Paper Piecing Patterns” tab if you want to make your own version.

pink snowball quilt detail 2To build out the quilt I cut a bunch of 6 1/2 square blocks from my black and white stash.  The blocks were just the perfect size so I could play with layout and see how I wanted the quilt to flow.

I originally started with the pink blocks running down the side of the quilt, but after some procrastination went for the layout I have now – one row below the paper pieced blocks and 5 above.

bw block detailI had some serious fun fussy cutting… this block in particular seemed so appropriate for a baby quilt…

favorite bw blockThe quilt could easily have been made longer by adding another row or two of black and white blocks but I liked the square format.

black and white blocksFor the quilting I ran straight lines down the quilt and then sewed intersecting vertical lines thru the paper pieced squares.

pink snowball quilt detailFor the back I used some fun pink number fabric and some black and white dots.  Nothing too fancy.  The binding was of course scrappy pink solids!

quilt backThis quilt is destined for an exciting life when my friends baby is born.  They are an amazing couple that lead a slightly unconventional life.  A traditional baby quilt was not going to do…

Quilt Details:

Technique:  Paper piecing and simple patchwork.
Block size:  12 inches
Quilt Size:  48 x 48 inches

Scrap busting quilt…

This morning I managed to finish up the improv baby quilt I started last week.

easy scrap baby quiltI started making blocks last week as a way to take a break from doing old WIP’s (see my original post about the process) and found myself making blocks here and there as I worked on other things.

improv quilt detial 2The blocks are all random improv and used up quite a nice selection of my low volume and pastel scrap stash.

quilt detailThere are lots of novelty prints with enough bits and pieces to play a good game of I spy (aka eye spy).   But for me the most fun of this whole process was the quilting.  If you follow this blog you know I am determined this year to get better at free motion quilting and this week I got some help.

maching bindingLast Friday I took delivery of a wonderful Bernina 550, which I have on loan to play with and oh what a difference a good machine makes.  When it came to quilting this baby up, I was excited to attach the free motion foot and stitch regulator and really play.

quilting detailNow the quilting is far from perfect but it is okay and so much better than anything I have free motioned before…. and most importantly it was great fun to do.  I just free motioned squares and I am now chomping at the bit to try some new things.  I have dusted off my Angela Waters books and bought Christina Cameli’s new book “Step by Step Free Motion Quilting” and I am ready to get serious about this quilting thing.

Starflower Quilt block

For today’s Paper Piecing Monday block I did something a little different.  The block still uses the simple square block, but only one…

Starflower block..and yes kitties are still involved.  It follows the rules of the other vintage blocks – 9 patch of four-inch blocks blah blah blah…

componentsThe components of the block are…one (1)  WQ Simple square block, four (4) Triangle blocks and four (4) Starpoint component blocks.  Just click on the links to get the PDF of the patterns.

Starflower block 2So what did I do different…. I blew this block up to make a 21 inch block.

solid quilt block

As the local hospital was now requesting 42 inch square quilts, I thought this would be a great way to make a quick and easy baby quilt… and I was right.

simple modern baby quiltMy quilt is unbound, but you get the idea.  Simple pattern, bright solids and you have an easy quilt.  The pattern components are the same but just 7 inches instead of 4…XL Triangle component and XL Star component and of course XL Simple Square component.

 

 

A Briar Rose finish

This week I finished the first of the quilts that I am dragging back to Australia in November.  I know I am cutting it close, but I am a girl who works well with a looming deadline…

briar rose quilt

This darling quilt, made using just Heather Ross’s Briar Rose and Kona white, is for my cousin’s daughter, Annabel.  I started it in October last year (I really am slow to finish stuff without a deadline), and you can find out more about the pattern on my original post.

briar rose quilt detail

A few years ago I made Annabel a baby quilt, but never got it to her (I am also slow to post things!).  After she was no longer a baby, I gave her quilt to Project Linus and started making this quilt… which is much more young lady appropriate.

briar rose quilt detail 2

I used about 1/4 yard of each of the fabrics in the line, which means I still have enough of the fabric in my stash to make something else.  I love these prints, but am particularly smitten by the bees…

Briar Rose bee detailFor the quilting I used some of the lines of the block as a guide and ended up with a really cool pattern of stitches, some straight and some diagonal.

Briar Rose quilt back

I pieced together a back using a large cut of one of the floral prints and some little bits of my favorite strawberry prints…. and finished it all off with some scrappy pink binding…

binding detail

So one Aussie bound quilt done, two to go!

Quilt Details:
Pattern:  Labyrinth by Red Pepper Quilts
Fabric:  Briar Rose by Windham Fabrics
Size:  52 x 52 inches