I recently participated in round 2 of the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap, an online swap exchange of handmade mini quilts organized by Kristi McDonough. I was to make one mini quilt measuring no larger than 24 inches square, based on my secret partner’s preferences. This is what I made for my partner, Jess, who likes bold, bright colors and geeky retro style.
I started with a ton of scraps in a rainbow of colors. These are all 5 inch squares.
I paired up prints with their matching solid color and made a bunch of half-square triangle (HST) units.
After trimming, these are my scraps’ scraps 🙂
I arranged them on the design wall, according to the HST Alphabet pattern I’m writing. And hey! A quilting ruler doubles as a quilter’s palette!
If you’ve read my other HST Alphabet posts, you know I’m a fan of glue basting to match up the points accurately in my seams. After a bit of tweaking, this is my process:
After stitching up two HSTs to each other, make another set, and place the two pieces right sides together. Push a pin through their points and find a spot on your ironing board where the pin goes in all the way. Push it all the way down.
Lift the top piece a little and put a tiny dot of regular washable school glue above the point.
Push the pin back down and press the spot right above it with a hot dry iron. After a few seconds, I carefully remove the pin and remove the iron after about 5 more seconds.
Yesssss. #gluebasting! Sew the seam, pop open the dried glue spot with your fingers, and press the seam open.
And there’s the quilt top! A little geeky drop-shadowy color goin’ on there. Jess should like it, right?
Now to figure how to machine quilt this thing. Since I have a hard time picturing stuff in my head, I really need a way to visualize the quilting stitches beforehand. Solution: audition your quilting design with yarn! I saw this technique on Split Yarn‘s Instagram feed. Genius! My design wall is backed with foam core board, so it was easy to strategically place some pins up there and twist yarn around them.
Time to make the quilting design happen with my sewing machine.
And here’s the back, complete with a fun label. I had to keep my partner’s name a secret until she received the quilt in the mail.
Stitched fabric scraps onto blank greeting cards – why haven’t I done this before? Perfect for a little handmade note for my partner.
Want to see what I received from my secret partner?
Isn’t it beautiful? It was made by Jenny Mae. She used voile instead of the usual quilting cottons, so it’s super silky soft. Really, how flippin cool is it that a complete stranger made me something that I absolutely adore?
To see what the other folks in the swap made, take a peek at the Mini Quilt Swap Flickr group or peruse through the hashtags on Instagram #makeaquiltmakeafriend and #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap.