Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Mini

Lately, I can't seem to get enough of all things miniature!  So with Easter right around the corner, I thought it was high time that I made an Easter mini.

I designed this simple little 6" project around the Easter egg buttons.  Aren't they darling?!

They're Just Another Button Company buttons, specifically the "small blue," "small pink," and "small lavender egg(s)."  I've had these buttons for a while now, waiting for the perfect opportunity to use them, and I'm thrilled with how they look tucked into a wool appliqué basket.

I thought about framing my project, but decided instead to layer it with batting and backing fabric, and to bind it with a wide binding that does double duty as an outer border.  I'm so happy I did, because I just love the look of the wide binding!  This is my first time using single fold binding as a wide binding and it turns out that it was super easy!  For the half-inch wide binding, I cut my fabric strip 2¼" wide.

To display my little project, I decided to attach a length of the gingham ribbon to the back of the mini so I can hang it wherever I like—preferably directly in front of me!  

Here's a link to the pattern for the Easter basket. And if you don't happen to have gorgeous Easter egg buttons in your stash yet, don't despair!  I think this project would also be cute with little wool eggs, maybe even embellished with a bit of embroidery.  Hmm... now my wheels are turning again!

Happy Easter and Happy Stitching!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Tiny Houses

Last week my daughter was home on break from college and feeling crafty, so I taught her to paper piece.  It's my latest attempt to turn her into a quilter and I think it's working!

We made tiny houses, and I mean TINY, and my daughter handled the bits and pieces like a pro.

Here's my house pre-embellishment:

The colors for my little house were inspired by this beautiful house in Providence:


I just love this house.  Definitely going to have a yellow house someday!

Here's my daughter's house:

This color palette is so her.  She loves Halloween and all things spooky.  I never would have thought of making the sky black and the grass burgundy, but I just love it!

After we paper pieced our tiny houses, we embellished them with a bit of simple stitching and popped them into 3" frames.

Here's my finished house with window boxes, flowers, and a few seagulls—in my mind this house is on the coast, hence the seagulls.

And here's my daughter's finished house, complete with a scary tree, moon, stars and a ghost peeking out of an upstairs window.

Even the Gothic frame that she chose screams of my daughter's personality—very Haunted Mansion!

Here are the two finished houses together:

I find it amazing that, in the hands of two quilters, one little pattern can result in two very different, but equally charming quilts!  I'm also struck by what a difference a little embellishment can make.  The original houses were sweet, but the little stitched details took them to an entirely different level—food for thought!

If you'd like to try your hand at some very tiny paper piecing, here's a link to the pattern that I drafted.  

You may have noticed that the above pieces don't really look like they'll fit together into a square block.  Here's how to make it work:
  1. After you piece all of the units, stitch together units E and D (these are the two sections of the first floor of the house) 
  2. Stitch unit C to the top of the E/D unit
  3. Join a 3/4" x 1 3/4" strip of background fabric to either side of the C/E/D unit
  4. Stitch unit B to the top of the above unit.
  5. Join a 1 1/4" x 2 3/8" strip of background fabric to either side of the above unit.
  6. Stitch unit A to the top of the above unit.
  7. Finally, join a 1 1/4" x 4 1/8" grass fabric strip to the bottom of the above unit.

Your pieced tiny house block should measure 4 1/8" (unfinished).  The excess background fabric around the house will give you enough leeway to wrap the block around the piece of glass that comes with a 3" frame before you reinsert it into the frame.

But before you frame your tiny house, don't forget to embellish it with some tiny stitching! 

Happy tiny quilting!!