But then I set a goal to improve my free-motion quilting and realized that minis are the perfect way to accomplish this! So I exercised my female prerogative to change my mind and made a couple. And now I get it! They are like the cuteness of a cupcake compared to a whole three layer job. And it is so much easier to concentrate on mastering the motion and speed of quilting without wrestling the bulk of a large quilt.
Here's my first one:
I put it together from some orphan blocks and scraps I inherited from my ex-step-mother-in-law (yes my husband's family is complicated) Robyn. So it went together pretty quickly.
Here is the back. Some fun batiks in a pretty blue palette.
My new BQF (best quilting friend) Vicki from orchidowlquilts.com gave me some tips at our next guild meeting. Namely that I needed to stop doing all my quilting in white or off-white or black and try to match the color of the fabric better. I thought that was great advice. Especially since her minis look like this:
So on my next attempt, I took her advice. And I also tried one with a bit more negative space to work with. This is what I came up with:
She had also given me some advice on how to do feathers and those cool swirls so I gave them a go.
I struggled with the center. When I finished the applique petals it looked like this:
Then I thought about adding an applique center; something like this:
I've also been practicing hand binding on these minis. I machine bind all my quilts and love how quick and secure that is. But I know that if I want to eventually enter my quilts in larger shows I'm going to need to hand bind them. I kind of hate doing that but with a mini at least the torture is short-lived.
I also used a different kind of thread on this mini. I've always used cotton thread. Usually Gutterman or Connecting Threads and sometimes Aurifil. But I had purchased some polyester Superior thread from my friend Christa Watson of christaquilts.com. Among them was a lovely red. It was 60 weight thread called The Bottom Line. And it worked like a dream! It has a nice shiny sheen to it and didn't shred or break once! I'm pretty sold.
So there you go - my first two minis. The blue one became a birthday gift for a dear friend. The red one is hanging on the wall over my sewing machine. And I'm already thinking about my next one.