Monday, January 14, 2019

Mini Art Quilts and Slow Stitching

Mini Art Quilts
✔Two minis done, and two more to go!

Blooming Yellow

The yellow mini art quilt is finished.

My original intention was to wrap the mini over the canvas. I had a difficult time because the seams in the background made the corners bulky. When I trimmed on of  the seams to reduce the bulk in the corners, I ended up ripping it. It was a pretty frustrating mess!
Blooming Yellow Mini Art Quilt
I ended up finishing the art quilt like a pillow case. I then added a background using one of the fabrics on the mini quilt and then wrapped it around the canvas. I used my scary but efficient staple gun to attach the background to the canvas. Then I very carefully stitched the mini quilt to the background fabric.

Blue Moon

This time I used a larger selection of blue fabric to make the background of the quilt. Using improv piecing, I sewed strips of fabric together, then cut them up, added more fabric and sewed everything back together again. The fabrics were mostly different values of blue, but there were some bits of other colours included.
Playing to create a mini.
I have to admit that I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with the background. I took out some bits of yarn and started playing. I found a silvery blue piece that I liked and coiled it. On my table, I had a bag of batik pieces that I used to make hexies. I found a few pieces that had leaves and flowers and cut these out and Voila!

For the center of the coil, I used a blue foil paper from a chocolate I had just finished. 😊 On top of it, I added a crystal that I wore for years as a pendant until the string broke. Since the crystal has a hole through it, I was able to stitch it in and re-purpose it.

You can see the blue glittering through the crystal
This time, I didn't bother trying to attach the art quilt directly to the canvas. I finished it using the pillowcase method and found a piece of light blue flannel to cover the canvas. Again, I just stitched the mini to the background.
Blue Moon Mini Art Quilt

Slow Stitching with Take A Stitch Tuesday (TAST)

I found another project to follow. It's a Stitch Along on Facebook for embroidery. Every week Sharon of Pintangle highlights an embroidery stitch from her stitch dictionary. It's very low key with a Facebook group. It's been around since 2007 and still going strong.

Frankly I just wanted an excuse to keep doing embroidery. Since I have an embroidery course from Craftsy, I can use multiple sources to figure out the stitches.

Week 1 featured the Chain Stitch and Week 2 was the Fly Stitch.

As I'm writing this, I just realised that I did the Stem Stitch for week 1 instead of the Chain Stitch - so I'll have to add the Chain Stitch to my sample. 
First two weeks of the Take A Stitch Tuesday (TAST)
Isn't the fabric amazing? I think it's a Kaffe Fassett fabric. I've been wanting to stitch on printed fabric for a while, ever since I bought a Wild Boho book for my daughter. I spent a great evening last week just playing with these stitches.

Stitching on beautiful printed fabric

What I learned
  • I learned that stretching fabric over canvas is pretty tough on the fabric. It's also important to avoid having seams where the fabric needs to be folded around the corners.
  • I was using the canvas to ensure that my mini art quilt was the correct size. All I had was to make the mini roughly the same size as the canvas. It turns out that that wasn't very easy to do! It's really a good thing that the canvas was there.
  • For the blue mini art quilt I decided right from the start to attach the quilt to the canvas in the same way as the first. It was even wonkier than the first but it looks good against the canvas frame.
  • I've included a reference from Quilting Arts that includes different methods of binding art quilts. Of course I didn't look at it until it was time to write this post! I might help me for the next two.😊
  • It's a good thing that I trust my intuition because I would never have figured out what to do with the blue mini art quilt since I didn't really want to do an abstract piece. I must remember this for the next two....which I've started and still have no idea what I'm going to do!!!
  • When attaching the silvery blue yarn to the background, I just sewed through it since the thread showed too much when I tried to couch it
  • I just used a glue stick to attach the blue foil and the batik fabric to the background. I then FMQ the whole thing down.
  • I'm pretty happy with the amount of contrast in the blue piece. It still reads blue, and hopefully it will be the right blue! I figure that if it's surrounded by other pieces with the correct blue in them that they will each play off each other.
  • I've been wanted to stitch on printed fabric for a long time. I love it!!!
Related Links
Linking parties
I'll be linking this post to many interesting linking parties. Let's go see what's happening out there! Main Crush Monday, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, What I Made Monday, Oh Scrap!, Tuesday Colour Linky Party, Linky TuesdayLet's Bee Social, Silly Mama Quilts WIPsNeedle & Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Friday, Friday Foto Fun, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Slow Stitch Sunday,
I'm also linking up to To-Do Tuesday because I have two more of these to do before next week - Yikes!

Project details

Blooming Yellow Mini Art Quilt
5" x 7"
Material: cotton quilting fabric, embroidery floss, pearl cotton, batting, silk thread, staples.
Technique: improvisational piecing, embroidery, free motion quilting, hand-stitching.

Blue Moon Mini Art Quilt
6" x 6"
Material: metallic yarn, batik, foil, crystal, canvas, cotton quilting fabric, flannel, silk thread, staples.
Technique: improvisational piecing, free motion quilting, hand-stitching,


  1. Beautiful work, as always, and as an aside, I really like the way you organize your blog posts. I'm going to look at that embroidery group--it's a skill I've been intending to work on for AGES, but never seem to make the time for. Thanks for linking up to What I Made Monday!

    1. Thanks Becca. I'm very lucky that I manage our intranet at work. It's great to be able to apply what I've learned on my blog. Unfortunately I can't be quite as creative as I'd like since Blogger is not very fond of regular HTML!
      Do consider the embroidery group. Sharon's stitch dictionary is really great. She has all kinds of options for things to do with each stitch.

  2. Some lovely stitching and lovely art pieces. I love the start of TAST each year because some of my favorite stitches come up right away. =) Your play with them was fun, and something a little different.

    1. Thanks Susan. It was great to play with the stitches on something other than solid fabrics. It also inspired the different uses of the stitches, which I find is the hardest thing about embroidery. When and how to use each stitch. Sharon has some great suggestions in her stitch dictionary. What a great resource!

  3. I hope to be able to play with fabrics like this. I especially love Blue moon.

  4. so interesting! I like the pendant that got repurposed. I'm not a art person, but I love to see what other people make

  5. Loved reading your experiences with mounting your minis. I also stitch so totally appreciated what you have done with your Kaffe Fassett - very creative.

  6. Your art quilts are just amazing. I like how you were able to accomplish the task of getting the yellow quilt onto the canvas.

  7. Wow, Blue Moon is a ripper! I really like this one. I'm glad I am not the only one scared of my staple gun... which I only ever use for stretching quilts over canvas :)

  8. Interesting post! I like your creativity, thanks for sharing!


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