Mini Madness Wrap-Up (Mostly)

This past summer, I joined four swaps, then had my head examined and swore never to do it again.  It was sort of a good thing to have some small things to try out my design skills and to keep me quilting, so I guess another title for this post is “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.”  I do plan to do individual posts on a couple of them (so you’ll see them again), plus I have one more mini quilt that I made with quite a story (not shown, but soon).  But so far, here they are, in the order they rolled out from my house.

Mini House_frontlabeled

The Heart’s Solace: Home, Sweet, Home (No. 147)

House Mini Gift

Although a little bit late (she had fabric and pattern issues), Emily sent me mine and I am so in love with it.  I ended up drafting her a pattern on my QuiltPro quilt software, which I’m happy to share with you.  It’s in a PDF file: Emily’s House  On the first page, the piece for the narrow sashing around the central patchwork square is cut off.  I’d recommend using the width of the pattern piece as a guide and cutting a strip to fit your work after you start sewing it together.

Rainbow Gardens

Rainbow Gardens, No. 148

This post has links to my Craftsy/PayHip store where you can purchase the pattern.

Kaffe Mini Gift

Here is the creative and beautiful quilt I received from that swap–a lovely Dresden-plate type circle of houses.  I love them all and love the variety of sewing machine fancy stitches that my partner used.  I hear there is a pattern out there for it called Dresden Neighborhood (by Persimmon Dreams) and you can buy it from Craftsy.

Little pouches for swaps

One hallmark of swaps is the little gifts that you send, although I did join a swap titled “Simply Mini.”  (More about that one later.)  I made two of my swap partners Dumpling Pouches and filled them with interesting PostIt Notes, some washi tape and quilty trinkets.  I’ve seen some swap loot that is over the top; I hope my partners aren’t disappointed (all of them have received their packages).

Rolling Rainbow sent off Rolling Rainbow_front

Rolling Rainbow Star–I made one for the Simply Mini Swap and then had to make one for myself.  I changed up the binding on it to tell them apart.

Rainbow Rolling Star_back

I love this backing.

Flying Geese

Flying Rainbow.  The last one I made was for the Schnitzel & Boo swap–the grandmama of all swaps on Instagram, now in it’s fourth year.  I wanted to say I did that one, and now I can.  The quilter I was to send to liked bowling, cooking and classic comic books, so I bought her some bowling score fabric to use the quilt, and backed it with fabric showing wee chefs and bakers.

Flying Geese_back

Now my To-Do list looks like this:

Mutts To Do Lists 10_8

 Just kidding.  Now I have to clean out the garage before our hoped-for El Nino rains arrive.  (Fingers are crossed!)

Mini House Quilt Finished!

Mini House_frontlabeledMy mini houses quilt is finished!  I know you’ve heard that line before, but let me go back in time to a galaxy far far away, to this:

Fail Mini House

Mini House Fail.  Yep.  That center certainly is puckery, demonstrating clear signs of the Training Bra Effect. Evidently, something, somehow was just not right.

Sewing Skeleton

It feels like I’ve been sewing on this for ages. . .

Mini House Redo

But, armed with new templates, I persevered.  I cut six different combos for the center before I was finally happy.  If the center fabric was too busy. . . fail.  If the center was too washed out. . . fail.  The yellow and the pink below are really strong colors, but the visual texture is “flat.”

Mini House Redo_2

Everything seamed and pressed.

Mini House Redo_3

To quilt a small  quilt, I use straight pins to baste, sinking the point into the batting.  First stabilize the quilt by sewing the strong verticals and horizontals (think: nine-patch), then sew around the rest of the straight line pieces, using a walking foot and fine thread.  (I use Bottom Line by Superior Threads for this work as the thread is nice and fine and disappears.)

Mini House_front detail

I stitched in clapboard on the houses, horizontal on the flatter houses and vertical on the squares, but broke out into curvilinear on the dotty houses.  I swirled in a bush, did a curvilinear on the front porches and the yellow points of the Lemoyne Star, then outlined and stitched in the sky in a random fluffy cloud effect.  A strong binding finished it off. Mini House_back detail

To help with hanging, I cut giant 6″ squares, folded them in half diagonally, then attached them in to the corners; I’ll insert a dowel cut to size, insert in the corners, and suspend the quilt from a push pin.

Mini House_frontlabeledThis is quilt # 147 on my 200 Quilts List and is 18″ square.

Houses Label

I still feel this way about my home!

Tiny Nine-Patch

Note: For an excellent video with tips for the traditional construction of the Lemoyne Star, head *here.*