Friday, August 4, 2017

Did I Do That?

Do you remember the sitcom with the skinny, nerdy guy that used to ask that question all the time? I think the character was Steve Urkel, but I don't recall the name of the show.
Anyway, his voice sounded that question in my ear when I finally had this sewn together.
If you read my last post, you know that this is based on Bonnie Hunter's Garden Party from her book, Addicted to Scraps. You will also know that a cutting error on my part was the cause of the alteration of my plans from 2.5" finished blocks to 1.25" finished. I think I will name this Fairy Garden Party.







Here is some perspective.
This was obviously prior to adding borders.












 
I realize not all readers may be familiar with the size of the U.S. quarter.
The color on this photo is really off (took it at night without a flash), but it gives a comparison that may be more recognizable for some.





Something of which I never tire with mini quilts is watching how much they shrink as they are assembled.
Even my 30-something son that was visiting as I took this photo got a kick out of this.

Three things I can't do without when assembling a quilt like this are my Itty Bitty Eights 5x15 ruler and the two original smaller ones from Creative Grid, my Clover Fine glass-head pins, and my Ott-Lites.


These rulers are a mini quiltmaker's dream come true, though they are perfect for any size quilt where accuracy is critical. I reviewed the smaller two here, and after being asked what I would like for Mother's Day last May, the larger one found its way to my sewing room. It quickly became indispensable!




The thin, dashed lines, and markings in 1/8th increments make precision much easier to achieve.
 
 Every thread counts when making a mini.

When sewing seams on a little quilt I pin copiously! Every seam that matches up, and the beginning and ending of every seam gets its own pin--and sometimes the spaces in between. The slim pins cause almost no distortion, and I do sew right over them. I stitch very slowly on minis, so the pins don't go flying, even if I do hit one (which isn't often). All of the blocks for my Fairy Garden Party were stitched on my Featherweight, but the rows were stitched and assembled on my Pfaff.
I also like the fact that if I do need to press anything with pins in it, there is no melting risk, as with plastic headed pins.

Last, but not least, is my Ott-Lite. I have been sewing with an Ott-Lite by my machine for about 20 years. I know there are newer "full-spectrum" lights available, but I am very happy with my Ott-Lites. I now have 9 of them at my house.

This is one of the two that I added to the flock this week when Jo~Ann had them 50% off and there was a one day coupon for 20% off your total purchase. DD#2 and I made a quick run to Jo~Ann and each came home with 2 new lights. Featherweights aren't equipped with the brightest of lights, but this lamp spotlights the stitching area beautifully.

Are you doing the Temecula Mini Monday blocks? If so, how did you do on this week's blocks?
I struggled with an inexact seam allowance, so I opted to make my blocks 49 patches, on a 7x7 grid. The squares  were cut at 1" (actually most of the blocks were strip pieced), and the blocks are unfinished at 4" without having to play with the seam allowances. The fourth one is almost finished, and pieces for #5 are waiting to be sewn. There are multiple SALs I intended to do this year, but this is the only one I have actually followed.

Well, I think that covers it for now. The pile of mini quilt flimsies is beginning to grow again. I do NOT want a repeat of last year, so I had better get some quilted very soon!
Until next time, 
Janet O.

49 comments:

  1. Oh my!!! Your Fairy Garden Party is absolutely ADORABLE!!! I love it!!!

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  2. Your mini Garden Party is breath taking. You have such perfection and exactness for these.....that's why Bonnie made you famous on her blog :) This one is just wonderful!

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  3. Your fairy Garden is so beautiful--that is an amazing shot of the shrinkage before and after!! This is a beauty you've finished--loving the colors hugs, Julierose

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  4. OMG! That is absolutely fabulous!

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  5. Yes, you DID do that.... to my amazement!! It is so pretty! Thanks for the insight on how you sew such small pieces. Amazing!

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  6. In a word, your miniature Garden Part is a "WOW"!

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  7. Amazing! I am so tempted by Mini Monday, love Temecula quilts, but I have too many on-going projects so just cannot start another. Wish we were neighbors!

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  8. Fairy Garden is beautiful! How wonderful your mistake turned out to be such a lovely quilt.

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  9. Gorgeous quilt. I love to make minis but haven't mastered to make any blocks that small yet. You inspired me to give it a try.

    I am collecting the patterns for Marvelous mini Mondays.

    Thanks,
    Charlotte

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  10. Your Fairy Garden quilt is Amazing!! I just love how it turned out! Thanks for sharing your tips for making mini's!!

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  11. Another wonderful post with lots of information and beautiful projects. I am in love with your Fairy Garden. Hugs

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  12. WOW! That Fairy Garden mini is fabulous. It's easier to appreciate just how tiny when you put objects next to it. OMG. Your piecing is fabulous!! And the not-so-marvelous Monday Minis are adorable. Your calculation was perfect. I finished one and it's the right size. I thought we needed 6...
    Thanks for your suggestions. 49-patch is ridiculous!!

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  13. Hallelujah! What an incredible quilt! I can't believe how tiny your blocks are! And yes, the shrinkage from blocks to assembled is amazing. It almost looks like 2 different quilts. Love your colors as well.

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  14. The mini version is wonderful! Your efforts were worth it :-)
    I have recently discovered Creative Grids rulers. Mine isn't the mini but I'm finding the extra details very useful.

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  15. I had to get one of the itty bitty rulers. Your Mini quilt looks so different in the first 2 pictures. I can hardly wait to see it in natural light. Yes Steve Irkle said that on Family Matters. lol, with a snort.

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  16. Fairy Garden Party is stunning! Every photo in this post is a treat for the eye - seeing the scale at which you work is always mind-boggling to me, and that shrinkage as your tiny blocks are stitched together - amazing! The photos of your mini-rulers show up on the blog at probably twice their actual size, lol! And that tiny purple crocheted spool guard on the Featherweight is just too precious.

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  17. oh janet...you are indeed the mini expert....sooo beautiful! i agree about the ott lites AND the rulers...mine was indispensable with the 365 little blocks....beautiful...you blow me away with your skills!

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  18. Omg...... That quilt is so cool.......

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  19. PERFECT name for that cute little quilt Janet! I rarely press any of my seams open - I might have to rethink that bit..... I'd like to add another OTT light to my collection of one - will have to watch for the next sale (or good coupon). So glad you were able to find some quality quilting time this week!

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  20. Wow! I'm speechless! This is incredible!

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  21. Simply adorable and I love the name you have given the little quilt. My mother used to sew over pins (all the time) with her featherweight and never had a problem. But, it was those little tiny flat head pins not the big honking quilting pins I use. I was so tempted to come to Brigham City and take one of Bonnie's classes. They weren't full when I checked but I had to get ready for the reunion last weekend. Drat!

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  22. That tiny Bonnie quilt is beyond adorable! I'm doing the Temecula blocks on the down low since I vowed not to do anymore samplers, but I couldn't resist. I did have a lot of trouble with those blocks until I realized I was doing 25 patches instead of 36 patches. It works out a lot better if you follow the instructions--lol!

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  23. You and your work never cease to amaze me. Your Fairy Garden mini is exquisite. This is also my favorite pattern by Bonnie, if there is such a thing.

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  24. so cute! Love it, great mistake...

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  25. I absolutely love your Fairy Garden Party! I hope you send a photo to Bonnie. She might get a kick out of it. You are incredible.

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  26. Excellent work, Janet!
    Methinks I need those rulers.

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  27. I meant to ask, what do you set your stitch length at for these minis? Thanks.

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  28. Oh, my, Janet. Is this the tiniest block you've ever made? I could use all your tools and tips and could never and I mean never, be able to stitch something as awesome as what you did! It's a marvelous mini! You truly have outdone yourself.

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  29. Your Mini Garden quilt is just gorgeous! I cannot imagine how you do it. I was always told I had the patience of Job, but you my friend have me beat!! I hope you sent a picture of it to Bonnie Hunter. She will absolutely love it too!!

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  30. So tiny! I thought the strips were woven. Your piecing is so precise. From your confession it sounds like you best get quilting!

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  31. Oh my!!! I just loooooove this little fairy garden quilt! The colors, the size....it's marvelous! :-)

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  32. 1.25inch blocks! That is amazingly insane but really cute! Yes, I agree you have to pin like crazy and use thin pins. Great job!

    Mary

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  33. Well...a person goes away from blogging and seeing what everyone is doing - only to come back to find that the awesome miniature quiltmaker has created even more wonders!! What a stunning piece!! The scale is incredible.

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  34. OK........did you hear the angels singing "HALLELUJAH" when you finished this quilt top? Because I am no angel, but, I did just shout it when I saw this! I am sure Bonnie Hunter will too! Simply amazing work, and thanks for sharing the intricacies and details of making it!

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  35. Amazing! Positively amazing that you can cut and sew such small pieces of fabric AND do it so accurately. I've never seen the Creative Grid rulers. I'll have to keep an eye out because they look great. No Mini Monday blocks for me but I do have a stack of 1 1/2" blocks that I've been thinking about sewing into 16- or 25- or 36-patch blocks. No ideas what to do with them yet but it's on my mind. I need some color in my life!

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  36. Your finished mini looks fantastic, it definitely needs to be enter into a show, its a prize winner for sure! While I was on camp this weekend my friend has some rulers, not sure if they were the same brand as yours so will check, but they had all the markings on them, so going to try and buy one for my mini making as well. I have definitely been converted to Aurofil thread, the finer thread makes a world of difference with my accuracy with the mini I pieced at camp, thank you for suggesting it.

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  37. ...love your mini blocks and quilts! It take patience to work that small...

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  38. Oh my goodness that is amazing! It's stunning! I think you should enter it in the miniature category at Paducah!
    I struggled with my 25 patch blocks for the Temecula project also... mine were too small for some reason?

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  39. I cannot even imagine how you piece those little things soooo accurately. You are a true inspiration! It is stunning.

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  40. The itty bitty rulers have made such a difference (improvement) in my quilting. Don't want to think about quilting without them. Haven't tried the glass head pins but have added them to my shopping list. Yes, when I start sewing the quilt together am always amazed at the shrinkage.

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  41. I've often heard you talk about these "mini" tools so I was happy you've shown them to me today. I can see how they would make a "mini" quilter happy. Your Fairy Garden Party is spectacular. I'm sure Bonnie was impressed when you shared your project with her. Sandi

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  42. Not sure how I missed this post, but oh my goodness, your Fairy Garden Party quilt is beyond incredible!! Plus, love all the little details you provided here - the rulers, the lights, the comparison between sewn and not sewn!! You never cease to amaze me dear friend!!

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  43. Your mini Garden Party is a triumph of reduced sizes. I loved all the pictures of it's construction.

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  44. Your tiny blocks are amazing! The colors are so bright and it is adorable. The Garden Party pattern is so pretty in any size.

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  45. Your work is amazing. If you have not, you should enter your work at Paducah.

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  46. Your "tininess" always amazes me!! Love the Fairy Garden quilt...such an apt name!!!

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  47. I love the photo with the nesting dolls - it matches your process perfectly.

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  48. You really have to get the LED light for the Featherweight! It made a huge difference for me. The best place to buy it is at singer-featherweight.com. Love your miniature quilts - I have to read back for more of what you've done!

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  49. A friend of mine got a mini LED strip that she attached to her machine-it lights up everything!
    Your minis are fantastic! How big is your seam allowance?

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