Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mini Madness: Amish Glow

Starting units for Amish Glow blocks
McCalls Magazine is hosting a "Mini Madness" Quilt Along that continues for 14 consecutive weeks, with each week unlocking a new set of instructions via video tutorial and pdf instructions to construct 4 miniature quilts.  I've enjoyed following along and learning all the wonderful tips and techniques to construct each quilt.  First up was an amish inspired quilt:  Amish Glow.

Mini Blocks--each finishes a little over 3"









When I first decided to follow along, I assumed that due to their petite size, these would be quick and easy projects.  I quickly realized that this assumption was way wrong.  While they are small, they still have the same number of pieces that go into the construction of the individual blocks and overall quilt top!  Moreover, there are lots of tiny pieces (many just over 1") that require precise cutting, piecing and pressing in order to get all the seams to match up nicely.



Quilt Top pieced and basted



As I follow along, I have set the same 3 goals for each mini quilt (although more may follow as I progress through the 4 different quilts):
1.  Learn some new techniques for constructing a mini
2.  Use fabrics from my stash (preferably scraps whenever possible)
3.  Add my own unique style to each quilt

The instructions for Amish Glow called for a variety of solid blues and purples, which I had left over from the Technicolor Safari Sweet Dreams and Fields of Quilted Dreams.  But I also decided to add a pop of lime green which I really love as it adds sparkle and is a great contrast to the raspberry sashing intersections.







Once pieced, it was time to quilt.  I started with the sashing and did a back and forth ribbon with circles at the raspberry intersections.  I then did some loop de loops around the background in each block giving more loft to the colorful units.

But when it came to the 3-4" solid black border--I was stuck.  I originally wanted to quilt in some cables but did not have any stencils and really did not want to do much marking.

Then on Monday, I did some more research on Amish quilting and kept seeing feathers.  So I sketched out a very loose wavy line around the border to serve as my feather spine that I filled in with chain of pearls and free form plumes in teal thread (all threads used were Aurifil).

Border feather quilted with only teal thread
I loved my feathers but decided this was the perfect quilt to try out Patsy Thompson's Hyperquilting from her Ultimate Free Motion Quilting Craftsy class.  Using a lime green thread, I echoed each plume and then added 2 accent lines within each plume.  It was immediate gratification as I added this extra layer of quilting and color.  It totally transformed the border and just added so much sparkle and interest, especially on the solid black border.  I will definitely be incorporating more hyperquilting in future projects as I am hooked!!

While single fold binding will be covered in the final week of the Quilt Along, I simply could not wait to finish my quilt.  So I pulled out some of my quilt edging/finishing books for some guidance on single fold binding and found it fairly simply to complete.

I am working my way through the next few lessons on the Button Flowers and Petite Dresden minis...so stay tuned for posts once they are complete!

Amish Glow--Hyperquilted and Finished at 17" x 20"

1 comment:

  1. Wow Mel, your hyper quilting looks great! It really does glow.

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