Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sew & Tell ~ 3-4/52 #52MiniQuilts

Last week I had an email stating that the author of the message had several quilt tops that had been pieced together by her Mom who recently passed away.  I calculated the estimates to finish them for her... she was accepted the quotes and shipped off two boxes.  

As I wrote up my quotes, I was researching the cost of batting and backing fabrics.  Happily, I discovered that Connecting Threads was having a "Finishing Sale." This meant that I was able to get the fusible batting I prefer at a 20% discount and 108" wide backing fabric for 25% off.  Sweet!  (Sale prices available through 2/14) (no affiliation with CT... just sharing the good deals with some of my closest friends.)

An even sweeter find was that Patchwork Phoenix still had a good selection of fabrics available at deep discounts.  I was able to find fabrics for 6 of the 8 quilts after it was confirmed that she was sending all of them.

Two boxes soon arrived... A larger box contained all of the quilts... a smaller box contained a variety of pieced blocks, assorted scraps and more.

What I discovered as I unpacked the boxes was that some of the quilts are made with silky/satiny fabrics.  All of them are not carefully pieced... points are missing, and seams don't line up...  I will do my best with them as I quilt them.  They deserve it just as much as a perfectly pieced, prize winning quilt... because they are family heirlooms to that family.

As I sorted through bag of assorted blocks and scraps I found...

1) that the quilter must have LOVED green.  There are three quilt tops with green, AND a large stack of blocks in greens.

2)  She had a large stack of pieced crazy quilt blocks... they could easily make another top (at least full-sized).

3) There were lots of classic calico blocks (probably from the 90s)... again, enough for another top and the ones with the black outlines could be a table runner lickety split!

4) The bag of miscellaneous had a couple sunbonnet sues, some partial circle pieces in green and brown...

Some little hearts made from a lightweight fabric that I plan to use on a few labels... 

but the two items I focused on became Mini Quilts three & four out of 52... that pieced diamond and the piece with the bright pink...

The screamed to me for attention and since none of the backing or batting has arrived, I had ample time.

As I mentioned last week, I wanted to try what Rebekah and Hattie over on Instagram call "Dimple stitching."  And these two pieces were calling out to me for it.  I obliged and got right to work.

The first one was easy... cut to size, sandwich and bind... then I did the dimple stitching.  It is completely random in the black strips... The process of doing it is hard to describe.  I learned that I needed to do almost a back stitch to get the dimple... otherwise it just looked (to me anyway) like regular quilting stiches poorly executed.  lol!  

After taking a backstitch, I would place the needle (on the back) at an extreme angle, making certain that the needle would come out a good distance away from a previous stitch on the top.  

I have no idea if this is the same method that others have used, but it worked for me.  I like the organic randomness of the stitches.  This piece was fun to create, with no pressure or expectations.

The words are all key words that stood out to me during my Bible readings this week.  My daughter and I are almost done with Genesis and the stories of Jacob and his dream of the ladder and Joseph who prospered despite the plans of his brothers who sold him off but then forgave and saved them when the famine hit.

The binding for both of these minis also came out the miscellaneous (mystery) bag that came with the quilt tops and blocks.

This piece wasn't quite large enough for my 5"x7" size... a wedge of the green circles sufficed. (The light green was already on this piece... there were two of the diamonds.)  Regular quilting stitches grace this piece, with the exception of the small section of dimple stitches.

I have no deep or profound thoughts to share of this mini... other than it was just a fun creative time and an opportunity to "color outside the lines." Quilter, Amy Ellis shared Creative Affirmations last year on her blog... "Letting go and drawing outside the lines is fun in practice but can also be a big mental hurdle too! Encouraging yourself to release perfection and see where inspiration takes you is a great starting point for any project." 

Good advice... that I have taken to heart making me more open to quilting techniques and styles different than just what I like/prefer.  This was an important step for me to become comfortable with doing quilting for hire. 

Do you allow yourself to color outside the lines?  

What does this look like for you?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you.

It is now your turn for Sew & Tell.  Link up a blog story, a fb post or photo from Instagram... Last week I even had a youtube video from Lora Brinkman linked!  A first for Sew & Tell. :)

Nancy at Grace & Peace Quilting deserves a shout out for her fabulous share of 7, SEVEN!, rainbow scrap quilt finishes.  👏 WOW...

As I wait for the delivery of the supplies on order, I'll be creating two wall hanging quilts for a customer this week.  One will be a duplicate of one I designed with the flag of Colorado as the main body of the quilt with a few small, appliqued additions.

Your turn...  I look forward to seeing what you have been up to.

Keep Piecing,


Linking with:

Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Monday Musings at Songbird Designs
This & That at Days Filled with Joy
To Do Tuesday at Quilt Schmilt
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese 
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Free-Motion Mavericks at Quilting & Learning



  1. Hi Melva. Those quilt tops look like a sentimental journey for the family. Have fun with them and the bits that came along with the flimsies.
    Tried to link up, but your site wouldn’t let me. Carol

  2. Your new client entrusted her mother’s work to the right person. I’m going to enjoy watching these blocks become finished pieces.


  3. Bless your heart for helping this family have some treasures and memories of their loved one.

  4. Wow kudos to you for taking all of those quilts on! I would find it so hard to pick up where someone else left off--maybe because starting a project is my favorite part. I'm sure they'll be so happy to have them done! Do I allow myself to color outside the lines? Not usually. I feel that if we're given a talent, we should always use it to the best of our ability. I guess feel that I "color outside the lines" in other creative ways--for example, pushing the limits with certain fabrics and/or colors, etc.

  5. I'm so touched by your tender care of the client's mother's work. She will be so thrilled to have such beautiful pieces finished.

  6. Thank you for linking with To Do Tuesday and for fixing my little problem. Good luck this week with your incredible list. Hope you stay warm and have fun! :)

  7. I like your little piece. I am all about going outside the lines. I try to make something truly me somehow.

  8. What cute mini quilts! I wonder what scraps and abandoned I have hanging around my stash to find...Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss, my weekly show and tell linkup.

  9. Hi Melva, that is a lot of quilts and should keep you busy :-) Take care.

  10. Those mini quilts are just adorable! Love them!! I hope you have a great week. You definitely have enough to keep you busy!!

  11. You will stay busy for a bit. Such treasures that you are fortunate to complete. Thank you for linking up to PYFD.