Tag Archives: mini quilts

Tropical Pumpkins

A few months ago, Vicki of Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting gave me this little roll of vibrant Island Batik fabrics.

Tropical Pumpkins - Island Batik fabrics - piecefulthoughts.com

I finally came up with an idea. While the fabric made me think I needed to do something with a tropical theme, I realized I could make some fun pumpkins from the pink and orange fabrics.

Today is all about keeping it real, as I show you that sometimes ideas don’t exactly come out like planned. Honestly, I debated about whether to even post on this, but I think it’s okay to show the imperfect too.

My idea was to make improv pumpkins. I just cut a few strips of the pink and orange fabrics and put them together. They are a bit more “cubist” than I had planned, but hey, it’s improv, so it’s all about going with the flow, right??

The stems are made from small improv pieces of the green and blue fabrics from the bundle. The cream background fabric is a piece from my stash (I don’t know what line it is from). Once I made the pumpkins, my plan was to add improve squares/rectangles to the corners to create the rounded pumpkins. That worked until some of the corners disappeared when I put the borders on. Voila! “Cubist” pumpkins.

Tropical Pumpkins - mini quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

Once I put the top together, I was debating the thread color for the quilting. I thought to use this rust-colored thread. It worked okay, although if I were to do it again, I’d go with a lighter thread color. I learn better through trial and error, so I’m okay with this too.

Tropical Pumpkins - quilting detail - piecefulthoughts.com

As long as I was learning things from this quilt, I decided to take my first whack at a flanged binding. I’m not happy with the way it turned out. Not everything lined up and the corners didn’t miter as well as usual. I found it difficult to stitch through the flange and the quilt sandwich, much of which I think is due to the density of batik fabrics, and I wobbled around on my stitching too much.

Tropical Pumpkins - bad flange binding - piecefulthoughts.com

Anyway, I had fun making it, I learned some things, and, in the end, it’ll do. It’s my finish for the week.

Tropical Pumpkins - mini quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

Linking up today with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wendy

Improv Play

Improv play is my happy place lately. My goal this week was to finish my daughter’s quilt top so I could get it to Connie to quilt. However, just as I was putting on the last border, I ran out of fabric. Ugh. We pulled the quilt together on the fly while in a local quilt shop, and miscalculated on the second border fabric. The quilt shop didn’t have any more of the fabric, but I managed to find some online. Phew!

So, with nothing else to do (hahaha, right), I decided to play around with improv blocks. I have one improv in progress and I’ve been posting little peeks on my Instagram feed. I very excited to see how it — if it — turns out!

In the meantime, I came across a stack of 20 squares in my stash and decided to cut them up. I just grabbed them as they came off the pile.

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Then I just start to sew them together in sets of two.

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Then I sew those sets together.  Blocks are starting to form!

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Pretty soon I have a bunch of colorful blocks and it’s time to trim.

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

After trimming, I begin to play with layout. I got so absorbed in doing that, I forgot to take a picture. Once I’m happy with the layout, I stitch them together. This can be the most challenging part of the project, because my blocks are often different sizes. It’s like fitting a puzzle together.

Once it is sewn together, there are a mess of seams on the back!

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Now it’s time to quilt it. I’ve decided to use three colors of thread this time. Fun!

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com
Thread is Aurifil: turquoise #5005, green #1231 and orange #2145 (not sure of the actual color names).

With the turquoise and green threads, I just did some random straight line quilting in both directions. With the orange thread, I decided to quilt wavy lines, crossing over the other threads if I felt like it.

Improv Play - quilting - piecefulthoughts.com

I had this piece of fabric in my stash, just enough for the back. You can see a bit more of the very random quilting on this side.

I decided on green for the binding. I had one fabric I planned to use, but I would have had to cut several short pieces to make the binding. Who has time for that? I pulled out this fun polka dot. I think it works well.

I’ve named this quilt “Lunch at Frenchy’s”. Before we flew home from Florida after moving our daughter, we drove to Clearwater and ate at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill. We sat on the deck where we could see all the colorful beach umbrellas while we had our lunch.

Come January, when things are dull, cold and dreary around here, I will pull this out and put it on my table. It will be a good reminder of sunny days!

That’s my Friday finish! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! Stay safe, friends!

Linking up today with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Amanda Jean at  Crazy Mom Quilts and Myra at Busy Hands Quilts.

Wendy

 

 

Improv Stripes

Debbie Jeske of A Quilter’s Table started an improv stripes QAL recently, and today is the day some of us will be revealing our work. This has been such a fun little QAL;  check out #improvstripesqal on Instagram for more inspiration.

We were to pick some fabrics and/or scraps and sew them into strip sets. I had a couple of oddball fat quarters tucked away in a drawer. Oddball not because the fabric was ugly, but oddball because I really couldn’t figure out what to do with them. I’m glad they came to mind for the project because they seemed to work well. I happened to stop at a quilt shop during the sewing, so I also picked up a couple FQs I thought would be a fun addition.

There is something very relaxing and fun about cutting randomly and then just sewing away. I didn’t really think much about what should go next to what, or how big the strip sets were. I just sewed them together. My first sets looked like this. If you follow me on Instagram at @piecefulwendy, you can see my progress as I went along.

Improv stripes - piecefulthoughts.com

I sewed strips together until I had no more fabric left, adding in a bit of gold here and there. Thinking I’d make a little mini square quilt, I squared some of the blocks right away, but left some as they were until I figured out how to fit them together. In the end, I moved them around and made a runner.

Improv Quilt - Runner 1 - piecefulthoughts.com

The runner measures about 11″ x 25″.  I used a piece of gray fabric from my stash for the backing and binding. I’m not sure where I picked it up, maybe at SRHarris. I realized as I was working with it that there is a very light staining on the fabric. I’m wondering if it is from water damage, or maybe it just wasn’t a good run and that’s why it ended up at the store. It’s barely noticeable, so I’m not too concerned.

Improv Quilt - back view - piecefulthoughts.com

I quilted it with a lime green Aurifil thread. I originally intended to add one more color of thread, but I was enjoying the green so much that I just kept going. Keeping with the improv feel, I made organic lines both horizontally and vertically in groups of three.

I also set some of the longer strips aside. A few people mentioned how the longer stripe groups looked like birch trees, and I couldn’t resist going with that. So I made this.

Improv Quilt - Birches - piecefulthoughts.com

It’s a little mini runner, about 9″ x 30″. I’ll call it “Birches”. The gold fabric makes me think of  little streaks of golden sun along with the other purples and pinks of the sunset. Sunset through the birch trees — see? It works for me.

Improv Quilt - Birches back detail - piecefulthoughts.com

I used a variegated gold thread (Gütermann) to quilt this, just stitching some organic lines here and there. Once again I considered adding in another color of thread, but ended up with just the gold. The same gray fabric was used for the backing and binding on this mini as I did in the other.

Improv Quilts - runner and Birches - piecefulthoughts.com

Have you ever done improv? Did you enjoy it or not? I’d enjoy hearing about your experience. I’ll respond to every comment; however, I won’t be responding until next week after I return from the road trip.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wendy

Fishy Stash

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a relaxing weekend with some fun sewing! Things were a little fishy around here, so let me show you what I worked on this weekend!

Last week, Nancy from Grace and Peace Quilting posted a picture of the mini quilt she made from a pattern in the current issue of Modern Patchwork magazine. When I saw her quilt, I knew I had to make one of my own. So I did. You saw a little peek of this on Friday, and many of you knew what I was up to. Here it is, all done.

Fishy Monday Quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

Well, actually I made it for someone else, but more about that in a minute.

I chose to make only four fish rather than five. Why? Because I only had enough of the background fabric for four fish! It’s a fun low-volume polka dot, which I thought worked well. I also made the red fish and the bottom blue fish out of prints rather than solids. Again because it’s what I had in my stash. The bottom blue fish is actually made using the wrong side of the fabric. The right side was just a smidgen too dark, so I just flipped it over and used the wrong side, which was just right! Do you ever do that?

This was my first time using straight line quilting, and I really enjoyed it! I didn’t measure other than to add a few little marks to try to keep me somewhat straight. I wanted to make sure I stitched straight through the middle of the fish first, then I just kept adding lines around it. I didn’t get too worried if the lines bent a little. It was fun to use the red thread for the red fish and then switch to a light blue on the rest.

Fishy Monday Quilt - detail shot - piecefulthoughts.com

This is going to a sweet friend of mine. She and her husband are pastors to missionaries. They travel often, and this is a welcome home gift for her when she arrives home next week. She is one of my closest friends, and we have walked through much together. The symbol of the fish has much meaning to her. The colors in the quilt are not only colors in her home, but colors of her heritage. The red fish swimming the other way will have special meaning to her as well. I cannot wait to give this to her, although she will likely read this post and know it is coming her way.

Fishy Monday Quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

This is a really fun quilt to make. Go grab a copy of Modern Patchwork and make one of your own!

I’m linking up today with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts and Em’s Scrapbag

See you Wednesday!

Wendy

 

Mini Garland Tutorial

Well, wow! What a fun week it has been for the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop! Thanks so much for all of your kind and encouraging comments! I hope you have been visiting the blogs each day and finding some great ideas for Christmas!

So many of you commented on the little JOY mini garland that I thought I’d do a really quick tutorial on how I put it together. It really goes together quickly. Depending on the number of blocks you in the garland, this can easily be made in a day or less. So let’s get started!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

You’ll Need These Items
  • Your colored block. I’m using a leftover block from when I was drafting the garland. If you are just joining us, you can read about how to make the colored letter blocks here.
  • Four 1″ x 5″ strips of fabric to use as borders around the block. You can adjust the length of these strips to match the size of your block after it’s cut. I used a charm pack square, so I cut mine 1″ x 5″.
  • One piece of background fabric. I also used a charm pack square here, but you can go scrappy with this. It needs to be just a bit bigger than your trimmed block.
  • One scrap piece of fusible fleece or regular batting the size of your backing fabric.
  • Chopstick or other turning tool

Take the colored block and trim it down to the size you want. I leave 1/2″ around my letter, to allow for 1/4″ seam allowance and some space around the letter.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Next, gather your scrap strips, or charm pack square for your border, and cut them 1″ x 5″, or 1″ by the length of your colored block square after trimming.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Take two of the strips and sew one strip to each side of the colored block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Trim them even with the colored block. Then take the other two strips and sew them to the top and bottom of the block. Trim them to the size of the block. Now you have your bordered block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Next, take your scrap piece of fusible fleece and fuse it to the wrong side of the block. (Note: If you are using regular batting, place it on the wrong side of the block. You can either secure it with a quick spritz of spray baste or with pins.)

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Here it is with the fusible fleece added — you just can’t see the fusible but it’s underneath there!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Next, take your backing fabric and trim it to the exact size of the bordered block. Lay the backing fabric on top of the block so that the backing and block are right sides together. Stitch around the block, using a scant 1/4″ seam. Make sure to leave an opening so that you can turn the block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Clip the corners to reduce bulk. Just don’t clip through the stitching!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Turn the block, and use a chopstick or another tool to push out the corners.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Give the block a good press with the iron, tucking under the seam allowances of the opening. Stitch close to the edge all the way around the block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

All done and ready to hang with a cute mini clothespin!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

I hope you enjoy making this little mini garland. I’d love to see pictures of what you make!

Don’t forget to keep following the Blog Hop and commenting — you don’t want to miss out on that giveaway. You can find all the details over on Sarah’s blog at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Happy stitching, friends!

Wendy

 

Color Me Christmas

This is the 4th day of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop, and today I’m one of the stops along the way!

Be sure to check out the other blogs for today; I have them listed with links for you at the end of this post. Remember that commenting on all of the blogs today makes you eligible for giveaway, too!

Kids and Christmas

When my kids were little, I recall having a mad scramble around Christmas for gifts for teachers, friends, grandpa and grandma — you know what I mean, right? I was always looking for something fun for them to make that didn’t add further stress and cost to the works!

Today I want to revisit an old craft with you for an easy kids sewing project that is relatively easy to do and can be used in a variety of ways. Using some scrap material and a few art supplies, this easy project goes together pretty quickly. So let’s get started.

Gather Your Tools

You’ll need the following items:

  • Light table or sunny window
  • Tape (opt)
  • Simple drawing or design with bold lines for tracing (or you can freehand the design)
  • Pencil for tracing
  • Freezer paper (optional)
  • Crayola® brand crayons (other brands don’t saturate well)
  • Crayon sharpener
  • Two sheets of paper towel OR a sheet of clean paper
  • Iron
  • Small piece of light background fabric (I used a 5.5″ square)
Kids’ Fun for Kids of All Ages

We’re going to be tracing a design on fabric, coloring in that design, and then setting the color with the iron. (Remember doing that as a kid?) Kids should be able to do all of this with a little guidance, depending on their ages.

You can use plain white fabric or a low volume fabric. I experimented a bit and found that low volume fabric adds a bit of fun to the background, yet the crayons cover it quite well.

Color Me Christmas - piecefulthoughts.com

If you are going to be tracing a design onto the fabric, this is where you use the light table or sunny window. Choose a design that is simple and easy to trace. I used letters, but you could find a fun pattern from free online clip art or a small coloring book (you might have to reduce the image), etc.  Place the design under the fabric and center it. Trace lightly around the design. Don’t worry if the lines get dark, it can be covered up in later steps. Besides, those little imperfections will bring a smile in years to come!

Color Me Christmas - Tracing with Light Table - piecefulthoughts.com

Tip: If you are going to freehand the design, or have the kids draw rather than trace a design on the fabric, consider stabilizing the fabric with freezer paper to keep the fabric from stretching and frustrating those little fingers as they try to draw. Taking a scrap piece of freezer paper and lay it shiny side up on your ironing table. Iron the shiny side of the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric. The freezer paper will adhere to the fabric and is easily removable once the project is done. Leave the freezer paper on for the next step.

Color Me Christmas - Freezer Paper Stabilizer - piecefulthoughts.com

Okay, now to the fun stuff. Have the kids color in the design with the crayons. Let them be creative and use whatever colors they wish. Encourage them to color with bold strokes; darker coloring shows up better. This is also where that sharpener comes in handy.

Once the coloring is done, remove the freezer paper (if you’ve used it) by simply grabbing a corner of the paper and pulling it away from the fabric.

Place the fabric between two sheets of paper towel (or paper) and iron to set the crayon. Just run the hot iron over the paper towel or paper a few times, holding it briefly over the design.

Color Me Christmas - How to - piecefulthoughts.com

Working Together

Now that the coloring is done and set, it’s time to jazz it up a bit. This is where you can have all kinds of fun and let your imagination go. Kids can also do this with guidance, depending on their age, but you may have to do more oversight on the following steps. I’ve kept my designs pretty simple, but you can feel free to use your imagination and give your block some personality!

You can embroider around the design, as simple or elaborate as you like. This can be done by a child if they are comfortable with using needle and thread. You can stabilize the block before stitching with a bit of fusible interfacing if you wish.

Color Me Christmas - Embellishing - piecefulthoughts.com

Or you can just outline the design with a permanent ink pen designed for fabric (I use a Micron pen). Be sure to set the ink with a quick press of the iron.

Color Me Christmas - Mug Mat - piecefulthoughts.com

For the mug mat above, I used a 5.5″ square of Moda Grunge for the background. I simply drew a freehand snowman on my block, so you can see how easily and quickly this project can be done. This is helpful for those little ones who just want to quickly draw something and be off on another adventure! I didn’t embellish the snowman much, other than adding some outlining and three tiny buttons on his tummy.

To finish the mug mat top, I used two 1.5″ x 10″ strips of fabric, one light, one dark, and sewed them together on one long side, pressing the seam to the dark fabric. Your strip should measure 2.5″ wide. Then I cut the strip into five 1.5″ pieces and sewed them back together, alternating the red and white squares to form a checkerboard. Sew it to the right side of the snowman block. Spray baste the top, add batting and backing and a little quilting. Bind it, and done!

Here are a few samples of some fun things I did with this crayon art. Let your imagination flow.

A mini quilt with a touch of improv. I just cut around the letter in a wonky shape and added scraps of fabric by following the shape.

Color Me Christmas - Mini Mini - piecefulthoughts.com

A fun little mini garland to hang in a little nook or cranny.

Color Me Christmas - Mini Garland - piecefulthoughts.com

Here’s some other ideas:

  • Rather than mini garland, add a magnet to the back of each letter for use on the magnetic board.
  • Add a colored block to a zipper pouch for a personalized gift.
  • Make ornaments — you could even date them using the fabric pen (don’t forget to set the writing with a press of the iron!)
  • Using a fusible like Steam-A-Seam, fuse the small block to a lunch-size brown paper bag for a cute gift bag.

See? All kinds of ideas! Have fun with this project! I’d love to see a picture of what you and your kids create!

Don’t forget that in order to qualify for the giveaway, you need to leave a comment on my blog as well as the others scheduled for today.

Here are the other blogs to visit today.

Ok, friends, leave a comment and then hop on over to the other blogs!

Wendy

Happy 4th

I’m taking a break from Cool Tool Monday to celebrate July 4th with family. Watch for Cool Tool Monday next week.

I’ll just post a few red, white and blue small quilts of mine for you today.

Happy 4th - mini banner - piecefulthoughts.com

This little 6″ mini was fun and fast to do. A little straight quilting and it’s done. The hanger is made by my brother and sold at What A Hoot Quilting.

Happy 4th - tablerunner WIP - piecefulthoughts.com

This tablerunner is one of the WIPs languishing in a pile waiting to be quilted. Maybe, just maybe, I can get it done for next year!

Happy 4th - mug mat - piecefulthoughts.com

Here’s to a happy, relaxing and safe 4th celebration for my American friends!

Happy Stitching!

Wendy

A Madder Mini

Last fall, I participated in a QAL hosted by Lori of Humble Quilts where we made a mini quilt using Madder fabrics. I got the quilt top finished, but that’s all the farther I got. Until now. Over the last weekend, I finished off the little quilt, using my new machine to quilt it.

Mini Madder Quilt - piecefulthoughts.com
The deck was pretty wet from all the rain we’ve had, so I snapped this shot then moved inside.

I kept the quilting simple, just diagonal lines through the quilt. I used a thin batting. When it came to marking the quilt for the quilting, I tried my hera marker, but I couldn’t see the lines well enough, so I opted for a light (or not so light, in places) pencil line. It worked much better for this one.

Mini Madder Quilt View 2 - piecefulthoughts.com

All the fabrics used are shirtings and madder prints from our local quilt shop, Reproduction Fabrics.

Mini Madder Front and Back - piecefulthoughts.com
This is a photo after I washed the quilt, but haven’t touched it up with an iron.

I’m currently working on a quilt top using some leftover batik jelly roll strips in blues and greens. I hope to get a bit more progress on that today. This weekend will mostly be spent on the road, as I travel to celebrate birthdays with two of our aunts.

Linking up today with Amanda of Crazy Mom Quilts, Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts and Myra at Busy Hands Quilts. 

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Wendy

Mini Quilt Finish

Awhile ago, when I first joined our quilt group, we had a challenge where we picked a napkin with a design and made a quilt using the design on the napkin or colors in the napkin. I was told we didn’t need to copy the design exactly, but could use it as inspiration, which I did. I no longer have the napkin or my written description to show you, but I can tell you that my mini didn’t look at all like the napkin!

This little top has been languishing in my pile of WIPs until now. I have wanted to finish it just because I love the color and the fun I had designing it. All of the fabrics are from my stash.

Mini Quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

I decided to quilt it with freeform wavy lines with orange thread. I didn’t think too much about creating the waves, I just let them happen. I started by stitching wavy lines down the center of the quilt, then added additional wavy lines, spacing the wavy line pairs about 3-4″ from each other. Once that was done, I filled in more wavy lines between those until I felt it was done.

Mini Quilt Detail - piecefulthoughts.com

The colors are very bright orange and deep blues. It was a challenge to get a photo showing the intense color.

Mini Quilt Detail - piecefulthoughts.com

For the backing, I pulled out this bright batik.

Mini Quilt Back - piecefulthoughts.com

The binding is another piece of orange batik that I had in my stash.

Baby Quilt Update

I handed off one of the baby quilts today, with a request for some pictures in the baby’s nursery. It was a rainy morning yesterday and I wasn’t able to get any good pictures, even in natural light.

I will be delivering the other baby quilt this weekend, so I’m hoping the weather cooperates enough to let me get some good photos of that one beforehand.

Linking up today with Susan at Quilt Fabrication, Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, and Wednesday Wait Loss with Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter.

Happy Stitching!

Wendy

 

 

Work In Progress Wednesday

This weekend was a mix of busy and quiet, depending on the day. We attended a wedding on Saturday and served in the kitchen, so we were grateful for the cool weather. The reception was outdoors and it was a beautiful day for it. It was a simple, beautiful wedding.

Thank you to all of you who commented on the Devil’s Claw quilt. I meet with Connie today to hand off more quilts, and will  relay your good thoughts to her as well. I enjoy hearing from each of you, and do my very best to respond back to each of you!

Continue reading Work In Progress Wednesday