Thursday, February 27, 2014

Christmas Reveal: Little Mermaid Wall Quilt

I am a huge fan of mini quilts as gifts.  They are small enough that they don't require a large wall or bed for display, they can be changed out and stored easily, and they can be made in a lot less time.

Since my sister-in-law has never lost her childhood obsession with the Little Mermaid, I came across this pattern and had to make this quilt for her:

Little Mermaid Wall Quilt
Little Mermaid wall quilt.  Pattern by DebraHarryArtQuilts.

The 3'x3' quilt is made from a pattern by DebraHarryArtQuilts.  The pattern is available for sale in her Etsy shop; you can find the listing here.  While you're over there pattern shopping, be sure to take a look at some of her ready-made art quilts.  They are really quite stunning.  The border of this mermaid quilt is designed to be pieced, but I was in a time crunch and went with large sashing instead.  The mermaid is done with a raw edge applique technique.  I used fusible webbing because that's what I'm most comfortable with.  The pattern is easy enough for beginners in piecing and applique, but you can add personal touches that really liven it up and add to the artsy aspect.

Little Mermaid Wall Quilt
This was actually my first time FMQing, and I used my new darning foot.  The scales are a little wonky, but I'm sure even a real mermaid wouldn't have a perfect tail.  :)
Little Mermaid Wall Quilt
I added a few sequins to the hair after FMQing it.  They help anchor some spots where the applique comes together and add some fun sparkle.

I had a lot of fun experimenting with different techniques on this quilt.  When I assembled the sashing, I included some lace to act like foam, then quilted a long, wavy line on top.  I zig-zagged around all my applique to make sure it would hold, then outline stitched the mermaid.  I FMQed the scales on her tail and some lines in her hair.  The hair turned out to be my favorite part, and I added some sequins for more fun.  If I had more time, I probably would have added in some beads or charms, but I had to "scale" back (haha) on this quilt.

Little Mermaid Wall Quilt
Lace trim and a wavy line create stylized waves at the top of the quilt.

Little Mermaid Wall Quilt
I zig-zag stitched around the large and small starfish, then stitched an interior line on the smaller one. 

I made this whole quilt out of scrap fabric.  The background actually has gold sparkles in it, and all the borders are done in various batiks.  The original pattern calls for one large piece of background fabric, but I thought I would add some interest to the quilt with a sea bottom.  I had the stone bottom from making my Book of Monsters block, and it worked perfectly here.  I scratched my head for a while trying to decide how to liven up the side sashing, and I finally decided to sketch out some sea plants with a chalk pencil and zig-zag quilt them.

Little Mermaid Wall Quilt
Zig-zag seaweed offers some interest in the side sashing.

I hope my sister-in-law loved it!

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