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Monday, March 11, 2019


It seems that since the first of the year, I am one step behind! For the February Island Batik Ambassador challenge we were to make a mini. I did start it in February with the purpose of finishing it in February! Well, I came close.

I have made many minis. I went through a period in late 1996-97 making minis because I never could seem to finish larger quilts. I would make quilt tops but quilting them seemed daunting on my domestic machine. I hadn't gotten my longarm yet. Making minis was great because I could finish the top in a short time and quilt and bind it in record time!

Here are some of the minis that I made:

Pennsylvania Star
Pattern and templates available on my website. (Click on link above.)
The first quilt I entered in the Miniatures from the Heart contest in the Miniature Quilt magazine (which is no longer in print). It won a Innovative quilting prize and the Glorified Nine Patch won a first place ribbon in a local quilt show. (The later is one that I teach a lot to quilt guilds.)


For this challenge I had lots of small fabric strips left over from the Spring Breeze quilt that I made. (Pattern is available on my website, click on link under image.)
Here are the scrap strips leftover from that quilt.

I was thinking since the strips were all about the same size (1") I would do a log cabin block. I have a favorite curved log cabin block that I have used in quite a few patterns and I miniaturized it down to a 2-1/2" finished block in my EQ8 program. Then I printed the paper pieced blocks on freezer paper. Since the block was so small I could print multiple blocks on one page. On a log cabin if you make the strips smaller on one side it creates a curve illusion.

Here are some full size quilt I made (patterns available, click on links under image) with the same curved log cabin block.

Here is what the block looked like after I finished it.

Here is what the back looks like. I trimmed the seams to 1/8" since it was so small.

After finishing 16 blocks (I wanted to get it done so I didn't want to make too many blocks) I played with different settings.

Here is the setting I decided to go with.

I thought how do I quilt it? I decided to focus on the curves so I quilted circles. That is not easy on a quilt as small as this! I started with a small circle from the bottom of a pill bottle and then used the edge of my machine foot to follow it for the concentric circles. Sometimes I had to sew two stitches at a time and move the quilt! I quilted it with a light blue Aurifil thread.

I wanted to make the binding scrappy but luckily one of the fabrics I used in the quilt had multiple colors and worked perfectly! For miniature quilts I cut the binding at 1-1/8" and use a single fold. Before I sew it on I press it in half (wrong sides together) and then press the edges to the center for my 1/4" seams. This makes a perfect 1/4" binding.

I hope you enjoyed the process of making my mini. I had fun. My husband helped me name it Bullseye! If you think you would like a pattern of it, please let me know. I will add it to the list of patterns that I have to write.


Congrats to Sharon Aurora who won a fat 1/8th bundle of Island Batik fabrics. Leave a comment and you will be entered into a drawing for a  fat 1/8th bundle of Island Batik fabrics. Be sure to leave your contact information so I can reach you if you won.

As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading and feel free to forward and send to your quilting friends.

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Gene Black said...

I love it. I also reallyt like the second layout - which I am calling Four Plus. ha ha. But it looks great the way you finished it.

Turid said...

I love your little quilt and the way you quilted it. Hope to win more fabric. I miss Island Batik.

For the love of geese said...


babsinmass said...

Love it! Also love the first layout, minis may be the way for me to go, lots of tops-not quilted

scottylover said...

Love the layout you went with. Those are some skinny strips you used, too! The colors are gorgeous.

Sandy A
scotty4me39m (at) yahoo (d0t)com

Lisa Marie said...

Beautiful! One of my favorite things about log cabins is all the varied layouts than can come from a set of blocks.

GranChris said...

I love Log Cabins, all shapes and sizes.

Kathleen said...

Love your log cabin and the circle quilting - just so perfect. I can’t imagine doing circles that small - they look great.

mi'chele said...

Toby, I am so glad to see this post! I recently became enthralled with miniature quilts - after visiting the National Quilt Museum. I have chosen to spend some time exploring methods and techniques to make these, and had actually decided to start with the log cabin! I will present information to my Modern Quilt guild in May and will share your blog and site information with the members. Your layout is exquisite!!! Thank you for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

I love the final placement you chose. As beautiful as your mini quilts are, I don’t think “mini quilts” are in my future. Blessings, Robin.

Kathleen said...

I love this, Toby. I have been a bit behind with my Island Batik following, so wanted to catch up. I know I saw this, maybe on our facebook group, but didn't comment. I love the different layouts, but I think you picked the best one and I do love the quilting you did.

KaKa said...

Your quilts look amazing! Each of your work is unique and admirable! Thanks for sharing your work with us! Certainly, many people get inspiration from your blog!