Wednesday, October 21, 2015

jumping on the bandwagon

I'm actually a little surprised at myself.

I'm not exactly a 'jump on the bandwagon' type of person.

In fact,
It's quite likely 
that I have never before
in the history of
on a bandwagon.

I was not the least bit interested when I started seeing 
mini minis
around blogland.

I don't even like working with tiny pieces.
And I've never even made a pincushion.
Or a regular mini.
(well - I did make that mug rug that one time....)
Why on earth would I make a mini mini?

But then,
darn it,
Allison posted the sweetest mini mini,
(complete with a pattern/tute!)
that she made for Kitty.

This was (sorta) getting personal.
 I pop in on both Allison and Kitty
about once a week.
And they pop in to visit me on occasion.
And I've had comment/e-mail correspondence with both of them.
So when Allison
talked about this quilt, however blasted small, 
she made for Kitty,
and why she made the choices she made,
I totally got it.

for my friend, Carole, because she just loves chickens with quilts. heehee)

I love making things for people that are 'them'.
And man, she nailed it with The House Where Kitty Lives!

I told her,
"Darn it, Woman, you just might suck me into this tiny craziness!"

And darn it, 
if she didn't reply with, 
"Well, how about you swap with me??"


Once I started thinking about what kind of a mini mini I'd make for Allison,
and sketching out some designs,
resistance was futile.

I really wanted to make a flowering snowball,
but I figured it'd be tough on such a small scale,
that center piece is pretty small anyways.
While searching for a paper piecing pattern for it,
(which I didn't find)
I found a pattern called night and day,
and knew it would be perfect.
Allison lives in Germany
(where we once lived...)
and I live in Arkansas.
It's not exactly opposite sides of the world,
but pert' near it.
Near enough that that when it is late at night here,
her day is beginning there.

I printed off the pattern
then shrunk it down to tiny,
cut off the now tiny seam allowances
and added proper 1/4" seam allowances back on.

I gathered my fabric scraps,
choosing ones I thought Allison would like:
a few Anna Maria Horner fabrics,
some Allison Glass and Carolyn Friedlander,
and of course, I had to throw in a piece of Jenean Morrison,
(because if it's remotely possible, I try to add at least one JM print to every quilt)
and an assortment of low volumes for the background.

I got all set to start paper piecing
and my mind went completely blank.
I couldn't make sense of how I needed to go about it!
I'm not a fan of foundation paper piecing anyways,
so I thought 
I could either spend a long time trying to wrap my poor brain around it,
or I could figure out how to piece it without paper.

I went the paperless route.
(because that required too much brain power, too)
just paperless piecing.

I quilted it in my signature style,
a mix of machine and big-stitch hand quilting.

And I am just tickled with how it turned out!
I hope Allison likes it as much as I do :-)


I actually didn't have a ton of fun making the (mini mini) quilt top,
the finished result was so darn cute,
I hadn't made any of my own designs,
so I decided to make her another one.

'Home' is precious to most people,
but especially so for Allison;
She lives in Germany,
but she isn't German.
And sometimes she feels a bit displaced.
She has come to realize 
that home is where your heart is,
it's just that,
some people's hearts
are in more than one place...

So for my second mini mini for Allison,
I made houses
based on some houses on a pillowcase she'd pinned.

Because she loves green
as a sign of growth,
I set the houses on lush green lawns
and because she has a thing for birds, and orange,
I used Waterfront Park Flight in clementine
as my sky.

This mini mini was easy.
After sewing the grass to the sky,
I just cut tiny house shapes after I'd added interfacing to an assortment of scraps
(My kids said, "Oh - you're doing mouse shapes on this one!" 
Yes. I guess I am:-)
and lightly glue basted them in place,
strategically covering birds that would've looked stupid 
with only half showing.

Then I added batting (bamboo)
and thread-painted  my words and outlined my houses.

Allison is not a huge fan of blue,
but I think she'll forgive me for using it on the back,
because this fabric is just too perfect!
It has both places that are home for her.
And hey - it's half orange...

After adding the backing piece,
I echo - outlined the houses
by hand, using a cream colored guterman sew-all thread,
because shockingly, I didn't want those stitches to stand out.
Then I bound it in a leftover strip of fabric from one of my very earliest quilts
folded in half, then cut to 3/4".
Because I think sometimes my corners look better on the back than the front,
I opted to attach the binding backwards.
(I'm not sure how I feel about that.)

It's a totally different style than the first quilt,
but I still like it very much 
and hope Allison feels the same.


After all that,
I still had one more mini mini that wanted to be made.
A little challenge for myself, 
if you will.

You see,
everyone says mini minis use such tiny pieces,
that it's best to paper piece for accuracy.

I wanted to see if I could make a patchwork mini mini.
without all this paper piecing nonsense,
and without using interfacing.

(Sure I'd managed to piece the day and night quilt
fairly accurately,
but it only (only!) had 24 pieces,
and was kinda big, for a mini mini)

(Oh gosh.
I forgot to tell you the sizes!
The color wheel day and night quilt is 4 1/2" square,
and "home" is 3 1/2 x 4 1/8)

this one was fun!
Of course, it helped that there was no pressure whatsoever,
I was using favorite favorite fabrics....

I counted out 48 scraps
and then roughly cut them out a little bigger than a square inch.
Laid them all out on my ironing board and sprayed 'em with my favorite sizing.
Ironed them, 
and grouped them by 3s for cutting.
(the top fabric on each pile would be fussy cut)

After cutting 48
1 inch squares,
then I added bamboo batting
and an Art Gallery backing,
machine quilted in a crosshatch
with off white Aurifil in the needle
and teal some kind of thread
on the bobbin.

I bound it with a strip of Cotton & Steel,
this time cut to 1 1/2"
(which was too tiny, I had to trim the quilt about 1/16 of an inch)

A patchwork quilt, with squares that finish at 1/2 inch?
Mission accomplished.
And now,
I want to give it away!

For a chance to have this
50 fabric
3 1/4" x 4 1/4"
baby patchwork quilt
show up in your mailbox,
tell me,

are you a bandwagon person??

(be sure that you leave your email address if you are a 'no reply blogger')
(or if you don't have a blog)

Allison, I will get your babies in the mail on Monday, after I choose the new owner of the patchwork mini mini :-)

As adorable as these little mini minis are,
it's back to
regular size sewing for me.
Like I told my daughter in law,
in the time I spent playing with these babies,
I could have made a good sized quilt for a real baby...

this picture makes me laugh :D

p.s. If you like the teeny tiny patchwork, and want it,
you don't have to be a 'maker' to get your name in the pot.
It would make a very fine coaster ;-)
or tiny doll quilt...

Linking up with tiny-piecer extraordinaire, Amanda Jean


  1. Ha! As I was reading, I kept thinking "Show a photo of it next to something for perspective so I can tell how mini this thing really is!". In the end, it is a coaster! That is tiny. I love the houses one the most. I just swoon over the detail you put into that one -- I so enjoy seeing the love in your work.

    Nancy -- not entered in the give-away (I'm a sorry consumer, not a maker!)

  2. oh Nancy, you crack me up!!
    "in the end, it is a coaster!" I have already laughed 3 times. no, make that 4. :-)

    (and I love putting love in my work, and trying to make something *just* perfect for the recipient (which, I suppose, is also love...) That said, I get the most enjoyment out of sewing a 'just because' project. Which is interesting, considering my strong desire to really understand a person, so I *can* make something totally suitable. Maybe its my introvertedness - I get drained on the full of love projects, because even though not physically present, I am still very much 'with' people, and the just because ones re-energize, because I am alone. (Except for when I am squealing and shoving things in Tyler and the kids' faces so they can see how stinking cute x is...) Hmmm)
    (I'm pretty sure I heard a rumor that you are, in fact, a maker.... ;-)

    Tracy, overuser of parenthesis

  3. Soo adorable!! I'm not a bandwagon person (at least not for the sake of jumping on bandwagons). If it's done at least three times in a row by people I know, I'll try my best NOT to do it! haha! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the colors in your baby patchwork!! They just say, "be happy!" I'd love to win it, and would use it often in my decorating! I can just see it on a stack of old books, under a vase or candleholder.


  4. Not a bandwagon person. Guess I would need to be current on things to know if I wanted to join in, but who time for that? I'm usually about 2-3 years behind on things. Love the mini-minis!! I love seeing what others are creating , but generally, they go into the "I'm loving it and will have expectations of doing it before I die."

  5. Oh Girl. You know I hear ya!
    I am just now working on (as in, here and there for the past few weeks...) cutting out the templates from my Farmer's Wife book. I bought that how long ago?? (And that was long after the wagon had left the station)
    Jolene ~ I totally agree on the 'be happy' colors!

  6. Baahahahahaha!!! Oh, yes, I just LOVE chickens with quilts! Doesn't make me nervous at ALL. (said in laughingly sarcastic font!)
    Oh, my...that was great...thank you! *still chuckling* :-D

    I'm generally not a bandwagon person, but I've learned to never say never! Like you, I can be sucked in on occasion. It's usually a fun detour, so why not?

    Your minis are delightful, and so skillfully executed...absolute gems in the mini world. Your house quilt is beyond special for your friend in Germany. Every detail is well thought out and perfect for her. Nicely done. I also thought it was smart of you to use your "give away" mini to illustrate a technique. (Clever girl!)

    Everything is more adorable when it's tiny, isn't it? The smallest block I've ever pieced (not paper pieced - just pieced) finished at three inches, and had 52 pieces. I made three of them (out of the five I'd planned) for a project before I came to my senses and did something different to finish things off!

    Thanks again for the surprise belly laugh! If the chicken didn't eat it (or poop on it - ha!), I'd love to give that mini a home!

  7. :D my hubby had a good laugh at that, too. I had to work pretty hard to get that picture for ya ;-)
    aww ~ thank-you!
    52 pieces in 3 in? mercy! Good call on finding an alternative finish. This is why I am dragging my feet on the FW ~ so many pieces... And I know most of the blocks could be made much more efficiently, but figuring out how, exactly, almost seems like it'd take as much time as making up the blocks as written...

  8. So cute. I am a bandwagon person. Right now I am working on Cora's Gypsy Queen Mystery Quilt and I must say it has been a mystery, but I love a good puzzle and am catching up but have spent hours trying to figure out how the odd numbers of 4", 5", and 6" blocks are going to all come together with the remaining 2x12" strips and still equal a 67 inch square quilt top! But it has been fun and that is point of quilting - right?

  9. I've been known to ride a bandwagon or two, although I've not thought about it in those terms. I've participated in a few block of the months, and even finished one. I'm still working on the others so there is hope yet. Your mini minis are fabulous. I'm making some minis right now, but they look like monsters compared to yours!

  10. Same here. Not so much of a joiner, but once I started, I was hooked. I have designated the wall above my machine at the as my wall of "minis". So fun.

  11. Wowser! Those ARE gorgeous teeny tiny quilts! I have not jumped on THIS bandwagon but I have been sucked into a few others! I try to resist the draw to pile more projects onto the list!

  12. Aw such cute tiny quilts and you are a super thoughtful friend for making these!
    pamelajd on Rav

  13. Not usually a bandwagon-kinda-gal...As a close (and very wise) friend once put it..."I like to wait to see if the wheel is gonna fall off before I get on..." 😃 I really enjoyed reading your blog.

  14. I do enjoy seeing lots of quilts on blogs and sometimes making one or two, but am very limited on sewing time so I usually miss the bandwagon. Thanks Darlene

  15. Those are seriously adorable and aren't your friends lucky! I'm not a bandwagon girl, but I recently jumped into the Farmer's Wife sewalong and find that very absorbing.

  16. I think I must be a bit of a bandwagon person, because I always want to try everything! I haven't sewn any mini minis yet, but I love them, so I can feel myself jumping!

  17. Wow! Amazing! 50 fabrics in 3 1/4 x 4 1/4. I made a set of mug rugs with little squares...but cheated, using strip piecing. Still, I think the bride liked them. I am not so much of a band wagon person. But would love your mini mini! (Did I read that you are from Arkansas? I live and quilt in the boot heel of Missouri, on a cotton farm, just a few miles from Arkansas!)

  18. Ramona ~ that does sound like quite a puzzle with all those sizes. I wonder if it'll be a medallion style? I don't think I could bring myself to do a mystery quilt. I would AGONIZE over every single fabric placement.

    I could see myself (someday) doing a block of the month, too, Joy (that's my mom's name :-) I'm not on instagram so I didn't have the 'rules' for the mini minis when I started - I just charged ahead before hearing back form Allison what size. I was afraid my 4 1/2 in square was going to be too big. Glad it wasn't; I spent a ridiculous amount of time on that ;-)

    Teri ~ If I didn't have such a long list of things to sew (and people needing my attention. and food...) already, I'd be hooked too. They are so stinkin cute! Your sewing machine wall will be awesome. Are you swapping some too? or just making your own?

    A 'wowser' from you, is high praise, Kathy :-) Thanks!! Ugh - my list is sooo long! I am so glad you are back to being able to sew regularly!

  19. Becki ~ haha that's great :-)

    Thanks, Pam :D

    That's where I usually am, Darlene ~ love the inspiration, but succumbing to 'peer pressure' isn't usually an issue...

    Margaret - I did have a little bit of a hard time resisting the FW, and one day I'll make one. I'm currently cutting out templates from the first book. I'm thinking maybe I should just combine my favorite blocks from both books (are the FW2 blocks 6 inches also?)

    LPQ ~ you've got space to hang some minis (clever set up for your design wall!) Just go into it knowing each little quilt will suck up a good bit of time....

    Yes, M, I live in AR (near the ok border, though, so not super close to you.) A cotton farm?! Sweet! I bet that is a lot of work! We just drove through an area of AR with miles of cotton farms. My husband had to hop out and pick a few bolls :-) Nice to meet ya!

    ~ Tracy

  20. So Cute! I'm glad you jumped on :) I'm usually not jumping on until everyone else is jumping off. I'm always 4 seasons behind everyone else's favorite show and as much as I'd love to do a plus quilt, still haven't gotten around to try it. I just gotta do things in my own time.

  21. This is an absolutely hilarious and touching post... and all in one swat! First there was an "awe, how sweet" comment that crossed my lips, followed by an outloud chuckle, followed by a "wow, how did she remember that!?!" moment, and then back to chuckle again. Thank you so much for thinking out every little detail and every little stitch that you put into this... all so very sweet and so well thought through - I love them! I guess there's no pressure to nail yours, right?

    Just remember, the next time someone entices you to jump on the bandwagon, you can always tell them "no", just as you've done over a lifetime ; ) Just so you know, I am not a bandwagon person - I actually jumped on because it sounded like fun, and now I've just gotten carried away.

    Totally amazed that you did not paper piece these!... I actually paper piece so I DON'T have to think.

  22. These are all quite wonderful! And incredibly tiny! And to answer your question, I can be a bandwagon person. But on this wagon, I'll just watch it go by!

  23. These are so fabulous, and SO sweet! Allison will surely love them and I'm so glad you jumped on the bandwagon, even though it's unusual for you. I gave a good think to your question.... and I feel like it's a toss-up for me. I jump on bandwagons if I love whatever the bandwagon is "selling". But if it's not my style, I let it pass. These mini mini quilts were just too adorable and because of their misleading "quick make" status, I figured I could crank out a few no problem. Then I started making them. And coming up with teeny tiny detailed, labor intensive plans. And here I am with maybe 4 mailed and 3 more that have been in progress for months (including Allison's---someday it will get there!!). But I love making them, and the swapping and heartfelt work that goes into each one is what really draws me to it. <3

  24. I love your Night and Day mini. The colours, the fabrics, the quilting - absolutely beautiful. I would never make a 'mini' mini though, looks far too fiddly.


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