Anchor Mini Quilts


I think I’ve finally made peace with being home from Quilt Bliss .  What a fun weekend it was!  When Pamela asked me to help with some sewing in preparation for the retreat, I jumped at the opportunity.  Soon thereafter, a pile of DaySail by Bonnie & Camille was on my sewing table for cutting.

These anchor mini quilts were used as gifts for the teachers (Pamela’s awesome idea!), and were a lot of fun to make.  I used my Anchor Quilt block and made four separate blocks.


Instead of leaving them at 14.5 inches square, I trimmed the two sides so the block was 12.5 inches wide and 14.5 inches tall.  I then sewed 1.5 inch squares together to make strips which were used as borders.  A white border followed the scrappy squares.


I love how they turned out!  In fact, I keep thinking I should make another one to hang with my other mini quilts, but I’m not sure which color/print is my favorite:




The red floral print above was one that surprised me.  I didn’t anticipate it being in my top 3 favorites in the Daysail collection, but I really love it!  Which one is your favorite?


There are so many great blender prints in the Daysail collection, as well as several that make awesome bindings.  I really enjoyed putting these together and experimenting with different combinations.


The stippling was done by Ella Lung , who did a beautiful job!


Much as I loved having them all hanging together, it was even better to see what Pamela did with them.  She had the fantastic idea of inviting all the Quilt Bliss attendees sign each quilt in the outer white border as a thank you for teaching.  I loved watching people sign their names.  I was also just brave (or dorky) enough to ask Camille Roskelley for a picture with her and the quilt she ended up with:


I really enjoyed making anchor blocks again.  I love my original anchor quilt , but it might be fun to make another version in some colorful nautical themed fabrics.


While finishing these mini quilts, a friend suggested one more use for them that I hadn’t thought of.  I’m working on it now and am excited to share it soon!


Spools Mini Quilt


I participated in the Secret Sister Swap at Quilt Bliss, and was happy to have Lori assigned to me.  When I read her list of preferences, the first thing I noticed was that she loves blue fabric.  A girl after my own heart!  After some back and forth and stressing about what to make, I settled on the Spools Mini quilt from the Liberty Love book.


I pulled some favorite blue fabrics and settled on a scrappy low volume background.


The block was fun to make and came together quickly and precisely.  I think this one was my favorite:


The final product:


I would quilt it differently if I made it again.  I chose straight line quilting in a diagonal grid, but wish I’d done some free motion quilting on each spool.  I was nervous, however, because I’m out of practice and even when I’ve been practicing my fmq leaves much to be desired.  So I went with something I knew I could do, but I’m not sure it was the best choice for this mini.  Still, I do like it and I was out of time so it had to work!

A couple of things I re-learned in making this mini:
1.  When I sew for myself, it’s generally relaxing.  When I make a gift, I generally enjoy it.  When it’s a swap, I’m a total stress case.
2.  I really, really love low-volume fabrics, backgrounds, everything.  The trend hasn’t bothered me a bit and I’m not at all tired of it.  I love the visual interest it gives a quilt.  Low-volume makes me happy.

And there you have the story of this mini quilt.

I hope Lori enjoys it!

Nine-Patch Mini Quilt


In November my friend Pamela hosted a mini quilt exchange.  I was so excited to be invited to participate, but nervous as could be about it.  I’d never done an exchange before and was afraid my offering wouldn’t be good enough.  I had an idea I’d thought about for weeks but had to skip because of time constraints.  Finally I got out some of the leftover scraps from Scarlet’s quilt and started playing with them.  I settled on this layout and got started.


The inspiration for this mini quilt was three-fold.  I’ve never made the granny square quilt I pinned forever ago.  I also bought Camille Roskelley’s Niner pattern, but have never even opened it up.  Finally, I’d been looking at some photos of stained glass windows, admiring the beauty of the light and color between the leaded glass.


I sewed a dozen little nine patches and then started sashing them with a thin strip of black with gray polka dots.  I used the last of my dark gray solid (I love this color and can’t believe I never wrote down the manufacturer, color, or even where I got it!) for the center block and setting triangles.  Soon it was all put together and actually looked good!  Relief!


Next came stress about quilting it.  I wanted to do something to make the center block awesome but didn’t want to highlight my poor fmq skills.  At last I chose straight line quilting and went to work with the hera marker.  Above is what it looked like with all my quilting lines marked.  It looked awesome so I knew I was on the right track but I did wish for a minute that the lines would magically become quilting.  I was so afraid to mess it up!


Here it is, quilted in a medium gray thread.  Not too bad!  Actually, I was ridiculously happy/relieved that it worked.


Even the back looks cool!


I learned some good things through this experience.  While I am likely my own worst critic, I am also accepting of my own work.  I know the story behind the decisions, the time constraints, the intention and the vision.  So I roll with the imperfections pretty well because at the end of a project I’m reminded what a gift it was to squeeze it in at all.  It terrifies me to sew for money because I feel like getting paid would require total perfection.  Sewing for a swap felt a little like this.  I didn’t want the person who opened mine to be disappointed!  I was crazy nervous at the party and realized I may have a few lessons to learn about confidence when surrounded by quilters I admire.


When my package was finally opened, no one looked my way.  It took a few minutes for them to figure out who made it.  I knew the design was outside what might be called “my style” and yet I really love it.  It was harder to give away than I thought it would be, a reminder that when we create things, we put pieces of our hearts in them and letting them go can be bittersweet.


It would be fun to make a second one to hang in my laundry room with the three other mini quilts there.  We’ll see if I ever take the time to do it.  I’m so glad I got to participate in the swap despite my (out of character) nervousness.  It was a good experience in creativity and self-expression!


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