Monday, November 30, 2015

Autumn mini quilt

It's hardly a triumphant return, but I have finally finished my first post-move project: a little Autumn mini quilt.  I gave it as a host/hostess gift to my husband's cousins, who generously hosted our whole crazy clan for Thanksgiving.

Fall squirrel quilt
The finished project.  The quilt measures approximately 16"x44".

I had hoped to be back in the sewing room long before now, but we had a nightmare move that took months to completely sort out.  Before we were packed up, I did a total overhaul of my crafting room and organized everything in to labeled tins and totes.  I had the movers label every box by room and area within that room so our unpacking job would be easier at the next house.  The company who moved us in to the new house, however, was awful.  When I saw my studio after the movers left, I could have cried.  They had dumped out boxes from a half dozen different rooms in the middle of the floor, and there was a pile halfway to the ceiling of craft supplies, garage tools, children's clothes, bathroom items, and more.  Tins of tiny materials were dumped out and scattered, and my sewing machine and embroidery machines were on their sides or upside down and covered with heavy things.  As we sorted through the house, I tried to take care of the important things first, which meant sewing went by the wayside.  It didn't help that both my sewing machine and embroidery machine were broken.  I managed fix the former, but I can't work on my PoD until I get the embroidery machine realigned.  Good thing I have a ton of Christmas gifts to work on in the meantime!

Fall squirrel quilt
Acorn pattern by Claudia Hasenbach.

This free acorn pattern is courtesy of Claudia Hasenbach, and is available from  The original size was 3"x4", but I blew it up to a 12" square block for my quilt.  It pieced easily and beautifully, and would be a great starter block.  In the original size, it would make really cute corner squares for an autumn quilt.  You can see here that I did a bit of a meandering pattern with a few gentle swirls mixed in.  This was my first time doing a large, all-over pattern on a quilt, and while my arms ached afterward and I can see some errors, I am pretty proud of my quilting progress to date.

Fall squirrel quilt
I love this squirrel, in a soft patterned red.

The squirrel was not in my original quilt plan, but I just didn't have time to do the block I had wanted to do.  I made four acorns in order to make a second quilt for myself later, and on my quilt I will be using Sewing Under Rainbow's free Maple Fox pattern as the center block.  I have my fabrics all picked out for him and had hoped to do one for this quilt as well.  When I realized I had to do a rush block, however, I decided to applique a different fall critter instead of paper piecing.  I cut this squirrel on my Cricut using an image from the Folk Art Festival cartridge.  It's one of the cartridges I use the most for a variety of projects.  To cut applique shapes on the Cricut, I simply iron fusible interfacing to the fabric and put the fabric on the mat, backing paper and all.  Once cut, I remove it from the mat, peel the backing paper off, and iron as usual.

Fall squirrel quilt
Orange quilty packages tied up with string ...

The beautiful thing about mini quilts is that they practically gift wrap themselves.  I simply rolled it up and tied it with a pretty ribbon.  This backing is funny; I bought it in the store because I loved it, then when I got it home, I couldn't figure out how to use it in a quilt without it looking strange.  I think it just screamed "background fabric" to me, and I love how it looks there.  In the interest of time, I did a cheater binding using the backing, and I love the little pop of orange on the front of the quilt.

Fall squirrel quilt
Thanksgiving table with a mini quilt centerpiece.  

The quilt served as a lovely centerpiece to this beautiful Thanksgiving table.  We had a great holiday with great family and I came back tired, happy, and refreshed for the Christmas season.  In the next couple of weeks I will be sharing primarily Christmas projects as I finish them, but I will be continuing to work on my Game of Thrones quilt patterns as well.  I have sent the full pattern pack to several people who needed to finish their quilts before Christmas, and if you need a copy, I'm happy to oblige.