It’s spring here!
I played hookie this week…shhhhh. I have so many things I “need” to do and “should” do. I love what I do so most of them are fairly pleasurable things. But none of them included any activity starting with a “q” and one of them had “tax” in it – yikes! Sometimes you just have to go off course.
I went way out of the box and worked a mini. I don’t do minis and I rarely piece. This might not seem like a radical step, but it was for me. And besides, it sounded like fun and it was!
This is the sample photo from Kellie Willey‘s pattern, Little Modern Mini. Kellie says she teaches “miniature quilting for the everyday quilter”. My guild recently had Kellie visit and I missed the class but was intrigued. I only started one mini before, back in the days when they were super-fussy. Suffice it to say, I did not finish that one.
What Kellie does NOT do is those uber-accurate minis. What got me interested was that she said you would probably finish your mini in a 6-hour workshop. Now that appealed to me!
I like that I can work a mini in this diminutive space, everything there that I need. One thing I wanted to try was to not press every seam as I went with an iron. At in-person workshops, you are usually limited to 2 irons/classroom and that is such a pain. Every class has an Iron Hog.
These were my tools of choice. The Acorn Precision Piecing System is a game changer. I have used it before, but this time I wanted to nix the iron and use my wooden Seam Pressing Bar. The Acorn pressing solution commands your seams to go flat and they go F.L.A.T with a finger press. It’s a wonder! Once I had constructed the central portion, I pressed with my LAURASTAR and then again at the end. That would make it so much easier in a class to only press twice. The Acorn System plus the pressing bar made that process easy and accurate.
I also used this thread combo that I call, the Alex Anderson system. While taping my segment for The Quilt Show, there was some down time. Alex and I shot the breeze for a good while. It was so fun to absolutely geek out on the minutia of thread with Alex! When she started piecing with the 80 weight poly in the bobbin and the 60 wt poly/cotton on the top from the Quilters Select brand, she said her accuracy improved exponentially.
I’m a fan of these threads and used them to piece this mini. I use the 60 wt poly/cotton a lot to free motion quit and hand sew bindings down. I love it – it is a rare combination of strong and thin. The poly I only use in the bobbin, it will not free motion quilt in the top. The combination is so skinny that your piecing accuracy improves instantly.
Kellie’s directions were accurate and easy. You do trim after construction, leaving this delightful pile of scraps – aren’t they pretty?
I call this the “throw down” – you throw them on the floor to see what you’ve got. Okay, there’s a Visible Learning Curve there. Some I like, some not so much. I did not necessarily intend for this to go “Modern”, I was aiming for scrappy. I overshot the “scrappy” mark and some of these are little more “scrappy” than I’d like.
Since I went out-of-spec and not Modern, this was waaaay too scrappy for a mini. I decided to play with some possibilities by breaking them down into bits:
I think these 3 play well together.
These 2 are Besties.
Maybe all 4 with the light-colored setting squares will work together?
Well bless their little hearts, maybe these sad squares can find their place in life eventually.
In other news, I did make progress on my hand stitching. Now that I finally have a hand stitching project that I enjoy, I can’t imagine zooming without it:
A few detail shots:
Of course I had to get more thread!
Their panels are just so charming!
All of a sudden I have maybe 5 UFO’s, unusual for me. But they are all exciting and if I had nothing else to do besides quilt and create, I would be finishing them all in short order. It’s actually kind of fun to have all these exciting projects just waiting for me to get to!
I’ll be linking up: