Friday, September 5, 2014

Just a mini...

I've fallen in love with mini quilts, and I blame thank the lovely Sue Miller of Fabric Garden and the super talented Julie Herman aka Jaybird Quilts

With my quilting buddies, Di B and Sue M, I signed up, through Fabric Garden, for the 6 month Jaybird Mini Quilt Club at the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair in July, and the postman brings us a different Jaybird mini quilt pattern every month.

To add to the fun, the three of us get together for a full day once a month to sew our minis, each using our own fabric. It's amazing how different one pattern can look when three friends put their own stamp on it. I'll show you what I mean a little later in this post.

For July's pattern, the Mini Radio Way Quilt, I decided to keep the white frames but use a rainbow of fabrics in a colour wash effect across the quilt, so my first step was to draw up a grid and plan the hues for each block. Overthinking? Quite possibly :-)

Next I went to my scrap bin, pulled fabrics in every colour of the rainbow, rotary cut them into 1 and a 1/2 inch wide strips and stacked them in colour groups. I love playing with fabrics!

Following my sketched plan, I crosscut my strips and arranged them into blocks. This was where it started to become exciting!

Once I had also cut all my white framing strips I was ready to label each group with masking tape and pack them into plastic bags to take to our sewing day. Obsessive? me?

With the thinking part done, I could relax and enjoy all  the fun, laughter and chatter that's inevitable when we get together.

As I sewed each block, those masking tape labels went right back on so I could keep track of my overall scheme.

This little quilt, once assembled, had quite a radiance, almost like sunshine, so I decided to quilt it in concentric circles.

As a guide I drew the first few rings with a compass because these were quite tight curves that I needed to free motion quilt, but once I had moved out a bit to where my curves were gentler I used my walking foot and its space guide to keep me on track. 

For the first time I used Aurifil invisible thread for the top quilting, and Aurifil white Mako 50 in the bobbin. The invisible thread worked like a dream, and although I anticipated tension issues there were absolutely none! 

I was very happy with the result, which was just as I had envisaged. It's not often I can say that ;-)

For the binding I decided that no single colour was going to do it justice, so I used red, green, blue and purple, in unequal quadrants, to stay within the rainbow theme.

In the Bible the rainbow symbolizes God's faithfulness, and as I mark off the second anniversary of Boak's death this week it seems no-so-coincidental that I should find myself playing around with rainbows. After all, it's only because God has faithfully held me close that I've managed all the fresh challenges I've faced.

Here, as promised, are our three finished, but unquilted, Radio Way quilts. The top right is Sue's, which she has made a little larger by adding extra blocks, and this will become a Blanket of Love for RPA Newborn Care. The one on the bottom is Di B's, a delicious creation that somehow reminds me of lollies!

We have more five months of Jaybird mini quilt making, and I can't wait to share them with you. Hope you're ready!


  1. Lovely to see the creative process at work. Look forward to seeing your blog posts over the next few months.

  2. Love your new header pic. Is that your quilting?

  3. What a fun design! It doesn't matter how large or how small your quilt is - making it has given you pleasure.

  4. I absolutely love what you did with your gradation of rainbow colors!

  5. As we move into our second month of travel I think next time mini quilts might be the way to go.

  6. You made a beautiful quilt, Di. It's apparent that it's not your usual (so very little pink!), and that you stretched yourself making it. I'm happy you didn't have any tension problems with the Aurifil... and you taught me something new. I didn't know Aurifil makes an invisible thread! I'll have to look for it. It's great to see Sue and Di's lovelies too. The three of you are obviously having too much fun with this! It's good to know you found some symbolism and peace while remembering Boak's passing. I know how much you miss him.

  7. Love a mini. And your rainbow version is so cute. Looking forward to seeing the others

  8. Di this quilt is so special - a beautiful reminder of God's love and also the love of your dear husband. I know you will treasure it for those things as well as the memories you have of time spent with friends. I love the way you chose to quilt it - the circles really added dimension to the piece. blessings, marlene

  9. Two have done a lot..... there will be more happy things to come. So thankful you know your God holds you close..... without Him I would be lost.

  10. Love your rainbow!!! Creating beauty with friends...nothing better!!! Rainbows are definitely a gift from God...just as our friends and family are.

  11. Just gorgeous! But that header picture is what makes my heart sing! Fun and fanciful. I love it!

  12. Yes, like licorice all sorts! I love your saturated rich colours and spiral quilting.


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