Thursday, August 30, 2018

August Mini of the Month, and Swapping Minis

Originally I had lined up 3 mini quilt swaps for 2018. Not one of them has gone/is going according to plan, and that is fine. Life happens.
First up is my August mini for the Mini a Month SAL with Wendy (constantquilter blog). I made it for my swap with Randy.
Randy (barristersblock blog) and I had decided on a basket theme for this year (which we were originally going to complete in May or June), in repro fabrics and somewhere in the vicinity of 12" square. This is what I ended up making for her.
I think this finished at a little over 11" square. The baskets finish at 2", and the pieced sashing is 1" wide.
I had a really hard time settling on the final design of this quilt. Initially I made 9 baskets and in my mind I planned to place them on point with a scrappy variety of setting squares. But when I tested it out, I wasn't excited about the results.
These weren't necessarily the fabrics I would have used for setting squares. I just grabbed some random mini charm squares to try out the idea, once the basket blocks were made. But it didn't click.

Next I tried eliminating one basket (remember the one that didn't make the cut?), and using leftover bits of 1" wide bindings to simulate sashing.

Hmmm, the navy blue sashing seemed too intense for these blocks, but I couldn't find any other color I liked with them any better.
Then something came to my mind. A few years ago Pam Buda designed a quilt named Every Little Bit. It was published in the June 2015 American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. It is a churn dash design, but the "bar" section of the block is foundation pieced with tiny bits of fabric. It immediately grabbed me, and I have longed to make it, but have been afraid to start it. You can see her post about it here.
I wondered if those foundations from that design would work as sashings for my baskets. I dropped 3 more baskets, pulled in some 4-patches for the cornerstones, and I had found my design!

This gives you a better size perspective of the work when it was in progress.

I used a vintage looking muslin for the setting triangles, so I could quilt some feathers.

I find I get in the zone when I quilt feathers. What used to make me crazy now soothes my soul.

This is what Randy made for me. Isn't it sweet? And I really like the corner blocks--very clever. You can see Randy's post about it here.
It is based on a Lisa Bongean design, and aren't those fabrics pretty?
Love the wool basket in the center.

The funny thing is, Randy and I have not received our quilts from each other yet. We agreed to share photos of them with each other so that we could post our August minis before the month is over. :)

My first swap of this year was to be with my friend Kris (lavenderquilts blog). We had planned to swap sometime during the first quarter of the year, and I squeaked under the wire, getting mine to her just before I went under the knife for shoulder surgery the end of March. 
Well, Kris has been a bit busy, what with vending at quilt shows, and basically rebuilding the fixer-upper she and her brother live in. I wasn't worried. I knew she would get it done.
Today, out of the blue there was a package from her.
She knows how to do presentation. 

Underneath all that pretty wrapping I found these delights. Lovely fabrics in two colors Kris knows I love, some Aurifil thread (which she also knows I love), the new book of Quirky Little Quilts from Temecula (aren't you sneaky, Kris?), and her wonderful little swap quilt! A very generous package!
Look at those beautiful chains criss-crossing the quilt (I love chains), and notice the fussy-cut centers in the setting squares. This quilt is subtle, and it draws you in for a closer look at the details.
Kris is new to longarm quilting, and she has quilted a pretty floral pattern across the quilt.
My quilt to Kris was my March mini (which you have seen several times). You can find it here.
My final swap for this year is with Mary (quiltin'grandma's blog). It was supposed to be happening soon, but we have mutually agreed to postpone for now. 
My sewing room is currently serving as a guest room, but I prepped some handwork, if I should find the time. But right now it is all about family! It will be over all too soon!
Until next time,
Janet O.


  1. Love your new basket you received....such a beauty!
    Really enjoyed your detail of your design process for the swapped baskets you made. You brought a lot of elements together for a win! Interesting how both of you used the similar layout for the baskets on point.
    Good swag too:)

  2. I just love to see your work and enjoy seeing your process to completion. The feather quilting just elevates the quilt to the next level.. I need to practice and get better on feathers. Randy's quilt is darling and Kris did good with great gifts and pretty quilt. Thanks always for sharing.

  3. Absolutely beautiful quilts! Your mini is incredible; I'm just amazed that those baskets are only 2 inches square. Do you paper piece those? You must have so much fun with your swap partners.

  4. I like the setting you used for your basket blocks. A bit different in style. And, oh the feather quilting is marvelous!

  5. Oh, Janet, those feathers on the basket quilt are magnificent!

  6. I love that the insanity has become the sanity! :) Kris does do good presentation! I'd love a review of the book -- I've been eyeing it! Your basket mini is really a wowzer! Sign me up for next year, okay? I enjoyed swapping rugs! :)

  7. Your mini of August is just....terrific ! Ohh what a great and clever choice you have had, adding those strips ! Congratulations ! And your feathers are simply perfect !
    I love a lot too the mini of Randy !! So charming ! And all these details ... fabulous !

  8. Two really sweet basket quilts! I enjoyed seeing your process and especially the outcome you chose to border your basket blocks. Perfect! I might have to steal that idea for a future (not-so-mini) quilt of my own!

  9. I would've loved any of the settings you played around with. All of them are fabulous. I can't wait to get the final version in person!! Great job! And those feathers??!!! WOWZER
    I think it's hysterical that our settings are so very similar! Brilliant minds think alike, right?? VBG
    Love the package you got from Kris as well. That little mini is adorable!
    Let me know how you like the book. I've been looking at it!
    Thanks again!!

  10. You have made some ambitious goals for the year with your many swaps. I love the way the baskets turned out. It's hard to imagine it is so small. Hope you can get back in your sewing room soon.

  11. Thanks for sharing your design process. The finished quilt is beautiful. You are an inspiration.

  12. Sometimes I think the creation of a small quilt takes longer then a big quilt, as trying to get things to look right takes time! But you nailed it with your baskets, and the quilting is fantastic. Lucky you getting the new book, look forward to seeing what you choose to make.

  13. What fabulous feathers! Don't you love pretty wrapping paper, I love the effort made to wrap a gift, my friend Julie (mythreadbearlife) always does this so well.
    Hugs from the far away land.......NZ xx

  14. I really love your basket quilt with the colorful sashings! But I am partial to basket quilts anyways. I can't believe how tiny it is. I really wish I could see it in person. You must have quite the collection of mini quilts.

  15. Darling little quilts! Your feather quilting is so beautiful!

  16. A trio of sweet little quilts. Your monthly mini is adorable and the pieced sashing just works with those basket blocks. You'd think at first it would be too busy, but no, it's fabulous. And, of course, your feather work is awesome. It's a beautiful way to soothe the soul.

  17. Love your finished Mini. So worth trying out those different settings and sashing and you came up with an absolute winner! What a lovely parcel you received. Good luck with your surgery.

  18. Beautiful minis & swap gifts Janet. I love your work, all of it!! I would've been pretty chuffed to receive those beautifully wrapped parcels in the post. Hope your family time goes well Janet.

  19. Wonderful minis! I am a sucker for small quilts, especially with baskets. Love how you chose to set them.

  20. Love your basket quilt! The feathers are magnificent!
    Enjoyed seeing the progress shots of the layout ideas and fabrics that you didn't love.
    It's like looking over someone's shoulder as they work... so fun!

  21. Perfection! I love your final layout choice. What a gorgeous quilt. I'm sure Randy is over the moon! I have updated the August post with yours and Randy's. Your friend Kris made a sweet little quilt too. So soft and pretty.

  22. Oh, my, what precious LITTLE quilts!

  23. Sweet little quilts!
    I love the nine blocks with scrappy setting squares.
    Your machine quilting is really pretty too.

  24. Your mini is so sweet! How do you manage such small pieces? Randy's basket quilt is so cute with the wool center and those clever corners! Wonderful surprise package from your friend, Kris, too :)

  25. So, so tiny! Love the sashing you made for your miniature baskets. The feathers are stunning quilted around them! Randy's project for you is just as beautiful. I adore all the colors and fabrics used. Well done!

  26. Oh my goodness! I love the Feathers on the basket mini. I'm glad we put our swap off a while. Fair prep took a bit more time than I thought. Now a new baby quilt to get ready. No pressure in January. Hopefully we can get our Swap done in 2019. Thanks for sharing.

  27. I really enjoyed watching ur basket quilt process. You know i love a good basket block. Overall I think you’ve had some excellent swaps this year. Enjoy the family time and I’m looking forward to seeing your hand stitching. I can guess what project it’s not - I think you only work on “that” one when locked in the car for long trips...

  28. what nice swaps. I ADORE the basket quilt you sent to Randy. I also really liked reading and seeing the progression of design.
    Your quilting is so so lovely!
    what a nice package of surprises too -

  29. How fun to see the process you went through in deciding the final cut for the basket mini quilt. And now you have mini basket blocks left over for another creative project! And who doesn't like getting such wonderful packages in the mail? Lucky you!

  30. I love the sashing on this basket quilt Mom! It has such character! I just don't know if I would ever have the patience to do something like that :)

  31. You were so right to persevere; the chosen setting for your little baskets is JUST RIGHT! (Not to mention how lovely your quilting is!) Your swap gifts are precious, I love that pretty chain quilt that does invite the eye to come closer-- what a treat! Enjoy every minute of your family-time; it goes by in the blink of an eye.

  32. How interesting to see your auditions and read about your decision-making process for this little quilt. I love reading about what people see and how they think when working on a quilt. It's perfect!
    I love Kris's little quilt. For some reason it makes me think of square dancing (at high speed) with skirts and feet and bodies whirling and flying. What great gifts she sent with the quilt, too.

  33. I love your new mini. It's so colorful and pretty! :0)


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