Monday, September 28, 2015

I Am A Mini Mini Quilt

Hook, line and sinker!!  That's what happened when I read a blog post by Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl ~  Mini Mini Quilts.  Like her, I was intrigued and right away had to check out this swap on Instagram using the hashtag #miniminiquiltswap.  

And that's when the madness began!  When I saw the swap, I was piecing my Heavy Metal quilt together.  Since there were lot's of corners to cut off, I decided they may come in handy for a mini mini quilt.  Normally, they make it to the trash...this time I just couldn't!

You can't have a swap with out a partner however.  That isn't any fun!  Yvonne and Michelle are my partners and we soon conspired on color, style and inspiration.  Just to get the ball rolling.  

Beware...Mini Mini's can be addicting!

I believe I was looking for a distraction and these came at the right time.  If I can put off quilting a quilt...I will!

I started with Michelle's Mini.  I wondered how small a chevron could be without being stupid crazy about it.  I trimmed up my half square triangles at 1" (bigger isn't always better) thinking I would see what happens.  

It was a little tricky getting things to line up, but they turned out pretty darn cute!!  And pretty darn small!

They look a bit distorted around the edges in this picture.  I need to take care of that!

Adding borders gave the chevrons a nice frame.  Plus it helped to increase the size, just enough!    

4 1/4" x 4 1/4"
Now a side note.  As I was making this, and having a grand old time in the process, I showed my husband, my son, my daughter what I was doing.  After they called me crazy, each one of them said 'it's a coaster'!  To which I said 'the hell it is, it's a mini mini quilt'!!

My husband had to take it a step further by asking if I was a  'Coaster Poster'.  Yes dear, I'm posting on Instagram, my blog and I may even share them on Flickr!!  His sense of humor is endless...I just want to smack him!  

Let's move on!

This one will become a ROYGBIV rainbow for Yvonne.  These little squares are so, cute!  I couldn't help playing and pawing them!

I was plowing ahead, marveling at the madness and so glad I wasn't messing up quilting the Heavy Metal quilt!

I tried this with a border in dark blue, but wasn't feeling it at all.  Off with the border!  Leave it alone, it's plenty cute enough!

The back in pretty interesting, don't you think?!  

4" x 4"

I don't often bind such tiny pieces.  But it is a mini mini quilt after all.  The chevron mini has the regular method of binding.  

For the rainbow, I used a method I saw on Crazy Mom Quilts a while back and thought I would give it a try.  It was a little tricky for me, but it worked well.  

I have never machine stitched a binding on from beginning to end, and really didn't think a mini mini was the time to start learning (a big quilt would be a challenge for me).  I hand stitched them to the back.  I had to.  It's my thing!  They are so small it didn't take any time at all either!

I didn't do a lot of quilting on either of these, just enough to call them quilts!  Mini Mini Quilts! I think I need another partner...I got the sickness!  


Friday, September 25, 2015

Heavy Metal

So, today was all about experimenting.  Colors, fabric & design.  This design may look familiar to many of you.  I made an original block for Fabri-Quilt New Blog Block Hop, the tutorial for the block is here:  Casual Link

Top: 36" x 36"
I will admit that I love my block, when it is combined with other ones.  So excited in fact, that I had to make a quilt faster than a speeding bullet!  You can see a shot of it here:  Just The Basics Ma'am.  I have yet to finish it, by finish it I mean quilt it!  I'm waiting for an idea to hit me.  In the mean time I wanted to play with the design and see where I could take it.

The fabric I picked is Heavy Metal, a Windham Fabric.  I bought a fat quarter bundle in June, bound and determined to use some of it, any of it.  It has a little sparkle and shine with the metallic spots.  Gold, silver and bronze.  

The colors are gorgeous and picking just a few for this project was so hard!  I even asked my daughter to 'advise' me.  She wasn't much help except to say 'go with your gut mom'! No help at all!

This is kind of a tropical palette.  There are times when I want to go crazy and wild, pick an unexpected combination, live on the edge!  

This is my idea of living on the edge!  Hold me back!  The yellow-ish, green-ish, chartreuse-ish...that's wild!  This piece has been sitting on my shelf for a year.  One year!  I haven't a clue what it is exactly, I just know I love the color.

The project...oh yeah!  Colors picked, fabrics cut.  But wait, what was I thinking?  I had to do some fast thinking when I cut the white/grey color.  Remember I said I bought a FQ bundle? Not enough for four blocks!  I don't think you can tell where I pieced together the 2" squares, but I was short 2 of them.  At this point I'm thinking I'm screwed!  What was I thinking?!

Then I fiddled, scrimped, and finagled myself to finishing the four blocks.  Hindsight:  I would have used a solid that I had plenty on hand of.  

Once I added the borders, it not only framed the center well, but beefed up the size!  I was thinking it should become a baby quilt.

Looking back, there are a few things I would change or do differently.  Color placement for one.  I think using four colors for inside and four outside would be interesting.  I might even make the corners angled.  

Which leads to many more ideas!  That I like!  I enjoy taking a design, playing with it and changing it up. 

It was fun cutting in to fabric that would otherwise sit for far too many months.  And especially fun to use my block again.

When you work with a pattern, do you like to change it up and make it your own?  Or strictly stay inside the lines?  


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Illusion Number Two

I fell in love with my  Black + White = Illusion  quilt I made back in June.  It was a quilt I had pondered over for some time.  After finishing the first one, I was ready to put the black & white fabric away and start something not so eye crossing.  In the frenzy of moving on, I also put away my directions/measurements for the quilt.  You know, somewhere safe and secure.  It was so safe and secure that I couldn't find them!  After tearing apart my closet, looking here and there and finally giving up, it eventually turned up.  Why would I put it in the low volume tote is beyond me!  Found and secure...again!

51" x 75"

I made one little mistake during the piecing of the blocks.  Now I have a nice stack of poor little orphan blocks.  It didn't really make me mad, just slowed down the progress!

There are not any blocks with one square in them...hmmm...  

I was so excited seeing all the blocks I took this picture before realizing the mistake!  It is certainly better to catch it early!

Just putting the blocks on the design wall can be confusing!  I thought I had it too!  After sewing a few rows together I posted a picture on Instagram.  Turned out to be a good thing too!  Cynthia who blogs at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, had a keen eye!  She pointed out what she thought was a misplace block...and she was right!  The block with the pink pin, yeah...wrong!  It was an easy fix (thankfully)!  Thank you so much Cynthia, you saved what could have been a disaster!

The first quilt had a beautiful aqua backing, so naturally I wanted something different for this one.  I went with black.  And white.  

I also decided I would quilt this one myself.  I loved the long arm design on the first quilt and thought I could do a variation of that with my machine.  I was worried it wouldn't be as effective, but it turned out great.  I was very pleased!

Kona Black & White Fabric
51" x 75"
Aurifil White Thread
Warm & Natural Batting
Machine Quilted


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mini & Mat

How is it that I didn't get one piece of fabric for my birthday?!  In all honestly, right now I don't 'need' anything.  I want.  I wish.  But, I'm set for at least this week!

What I did get instead, while not fabric it is related:  a folding cutting/ironing mat and a mini iron.  How could we quilt without a cutting mat?  Or a great steam iron?  You got it, we couldn't!  I suppose we could, but imagine the results if we didn't have our 'tools of the trade'! 

When asked what I wanted for my birthday I couldn't think of a thing!  Nada!  Nothing!  After thinking about it for a while, I thought....hmmmm....this set up might be nice to have next to my machine when I do Improv piecing.  Both items are available at Craftsy.

Not that I'm lazy, but sometimes working on a project (improv), I must get up 237 times just to iron one little seam.  It wears on you after a while!  Plus, I can take it to my guild meetings too!

The Mat is 12" x 18" and folds up very nicely.  It appears to be nice and sturdy, no slipping and sliding as it lays on the table.  

How about Mini?!  Small and compact.  Steam or no steam, variable temperature settings, nonstick soleplate.  

I fired it up as soon as it arrived and I have to say I'm impressed.  It heats up quickly and has good steam, everything a quilter needs!  



Not bad at all for a little bitty iron!  This iron needs to sit upright when not in use.  I'm worried about that.  I just know I'll forget, leave it down, burn my new mat!  Darn my Oliso iron for getting me use to leaving irons sole plate down!!  

The folding mat and iron will be yet another tool to make my quilting life easier.  If it saves a little time here and will be worth it!

Sunday Stash  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner!!  

Thank you for all the birthday wishes and for entering by Birthday-Eve giveaway!   You made my day, my year actually! 

The lucky winner is:

Again, thank you all so very much! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Stained Glass ~ Play Time

Thank you all for the lovely birthday wishes!  I appreciated each and every one of them!  If I could have, I would have shared my cake with you!  

I decided it was 'Play Time' on Saturday!  I could after all do whatever I wanted to...being the birthday girl and all!  With an idea brewing in my head for some time, I knew it was time to have fun and play with it!  I have to give credit to Yvonne @quilting JETgirl, her Rainbow Scrap Quilt inspired me to get on the ball and get my idea on the wall! 

Solids scraps are always fun to play with.  Lord knows I have plenty on hand!  For each block I picked 4 to 5 different shades of each window.  There wasn't a specific number I planned on making, but you know, once you start a rainbow...there's no turning back!  

The size for each block varied.  From 4" to 7", but that wasn't important.  I knew I would be adding, cutting, changing things as I went along.  The joy of Improv, right?

At first, I was going to connect all the blocks with just black.  I debated, added black strips to some of the sides, but I wasn't feeling it.  After adding black to each side, I was stuck! Which means it was time to stop for the day.  Plus it was time for food, family and cheese cake!  

Bright and early the next day...

...after dousing myself in coffee while wondering what to do next,  another idea popped into my head.  I do love when that happens!  By adding the colored strips to the outside, I could make the black frames not only stand out, but 'wonk' the hell out of them!  (truly a technical term)  

By this time I was feeling it and loving it!

I worked for a while on layout ideas.  There were possibilities.  Endless possibilities.  

I settled on this layout, which I really, really like!  The shape of the layout reminded me of a surf board.  

Working from the center out, and picking a row, I added black to the top or bottom of each block and connected them with a strip in the middle.  The sides would prove to be the easy part!  I wanted to keep the blocks staggered, wonky or uneven.  I had to plan ahead to some extent to maintain the design.

Which was well worth it in the end to me!  I rushed to sew the sides on, flew through sewing the rows was after all Sunday, and you know what that means, right?!  Football! First game of the season was not going to be watched over the top of my sewing machine!  

The next day was spent on quilting.  How to quilt it, what to quilt, thread know, the usual decisions that weigh heavily on your mind.  I came to the conclusion that free motion quilting inside each block was the best idea.  Bring on the rainbow!

Each block contains a section of pebbling.  Other than that, I didn't have a plan.  

I was playing around, doing all kinds of different designs.  FMQ mayhem! 

While I maintain that I'm not great at free motion quilting, it was easy to overlook the flaws after seeing the back.  

If I were a quilt back, this is what I would want to be!  Colorful, playful and bright!

I cannot wait to wash it and see the results!  Bring on the crinkle magic!

With the binding nearly finished, I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.  I'm excited to start another Improv project, the ideas are filling my head!  I thought getting this idea would clear my brain clog, but it only added to it!  You know the routine!