Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A finished birthday bear mini

Birthday season in our family is mostly in the fall. This year I decided that I didn't want to keep buying birthday cards and that I would make each person a mini quilt. In theory it's a wonderful idea (and many of you agreed with me!), however.... it's much quicker to go buy a card than make a mini! So if you decide to do the same, you might want to add some "making" time to your mimi 😊.

Birthday bear mini

If you've been following the birthday card saga, I made a Loon mini as the first birthday card for my brother. I got wise and gave my other brother a free motion quilting practice piece that he had admired a while back and then gave my niece another mini that was already made (three down, two more to go!).

I started the bear mini but ended up giving the poor thing a broken leg (by using the wrong fabric on the front leg instead of the back one), so I used it as a practice piece for my Extended-border binding tutorial. I finally finished my husband's mini yesterday, only a little more than a month after his birthday. 😊

Finished birthday bear for hubby
Forest green is his favourite colour but I didn't have enough of it to finish the mini using the Extended-border binding technique. Since I've been working with batiks lately, I found the perfect brown for the binding.

Isn't that label terrific? This is one of the foundation paper piecing patterns that I get each month in Quilting on the Square's newsletter. This 4" beauty is called Square Stop, from Collection 5, Month #1. You may also notice my printed Ikaprint label on the right side. You can get a 5% discount if you go through Sew Fresh Quilts' website (see Related links)
Foundation paper pieced label

Here are the minis I've made so far with the Made by Marney patterns.

First mini - a loon
First try at the bear - oops!

My next birthday mini, for my Danish sister-in-law, is Olaf the Viking Penguin. The pattern is by Whims and Fancies.
Olaf the Viking Penguin
my next birthday mini
What I learned

  • I still think that making a mini is better than buying a birthday card but next year I'm going to have to give myself more time to get them done. I still have a few forest animal patterns that I'm looking forward to making!
  • Since there are a few birthdays at other times of the year, I'll see if I can plan these out, or make a few when I feel like it (or have the time).
  • I really enjoy trying out new patterns, especially when they're so small. 
  • It would have been nice to make a few Christmas minis but that didn't happen this year. The only Christmas preparation I've done so far is decorate my office since I did it with a colleague, before I left for holidays. I'll be writing a post about this since I have a couple of woven Christmas pieces to showoff share.

Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking this post to many link-ups. Let's go see what's going on in the quilting world this week!
Midweek MakersLet's Bee SocialTuesday Colour Linky PartyLinky Tuesday, Moving It Forward, What I Made Monday, Needle & Thread Thursday, Design Wall Monday, Monday Making, Oh Scrap!,

Project details

Birthday bear, pattern by Made By Marney
8½" X 8½"
Materials: commercial and hand-dyed cotton, embroidery floss
Techniques: foundation paper piecing and free motion quilting


  1. He came out awesome! What do you plan to do with your first try oops? Looks like he just needs a fabric change on his leg. An easy fix or no?

    1. Thanks Susan, I'm really happy with him! I've thought about fixing my first oops, before I quilted it but there was no way that I could change the pieces and put them back together looking ok. My seams weren't always as good as they should be! I did consider just appliqueing the fabric on top but really, by bear is ok, even with a broken leg, so I'm keeping her for myself, and loving her as she is. :-)

  2. That is one cool bear! Fun idea, giving mini quilts rather than cards. I'm going to keep that in mind, since I'm horrible at sending cards. Making a mini quilt might be better incentive for me. Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks Wendy, making a mini could be an incentive to sending it instead of a card, especially if you love making minis! Happy Holidays to you also :-)

  3. Hi Moi, It's Made By Marney here, visiting your cool blog! Thanks for using my paper piece patterns. I love to see what my friends are creating with my patterns. You are a honey!

    1. Hi Mary, glad you were able to stop by. I love using your patterns and look forward to making more minis as "birthday cards". Now that my friends have read my posts, they are all expecting them :-)

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