My partner was Caryquilter (Suzanne). She lives in North Carolina where she helps care for her ill mother, sews quilts for wounded soldiers, participates in making quilts for Project Linus (quilts for kids in hospitals), has a family including a puppy and still somehow has time to make swap quilts and blocks. She is amazing--I feel like a total slacker. :)
For someone so fabulous, I wanted something to cheer and brighten her days (because when you work that hard, you'rsome down dayse going to have ) the way she cheers and brightens so many other lives. I designed the mini quilt in bold vivid summer colors with a pinwheel pattern (there's just something happy about pinwheels). For added interest, I created some 3-D pinwheels with fabric folding. I used this tutorial, but cut the measurements in half. And, for that little extra color pop, I added round yellow vintage buttons to the centers of the 3-D pinwheels and a matching yellow binding. I quilted around each 3-D pinwheel (somewhat tricky) and wave lines through the rest (trying to give the feel of wind). Here it is, in all its 12 inch glory:
For the back I used a white with orange flower fabric. The flowers kind of reflected the pinwheel shape and looked like they were blowing through the air.
Here's a closer look at the 1/4" binding--very tiny to work with, but the scale fits the miniature quilt size better than half inch. (Still working on getting those corners perfect.)
A better view of the 3-D pinwheels. They really are quite easy to make, just watch your fingers when ironing something this small!
Of course, you don't just send a miniature quilt by itself in a swap (well, you could, but where's the fun in that?) and so here's a look at the goodies I sent along to Suzanne.
Two fat quarters of quilt shop fabric from my stash. Stars's favorite treats for her new puppy to enjoy. A postcard from Oregon so she can see the mountain I see everyday from my town. A cooling neckwrap that I made for her--North Carolina gets hot and humid!
The hankerchief doll is one I made as a reproduction of a vintage one I saw in a book. A little notepad for jotting all those great quilting inspirations in. Little citrus candies because, sadly, it's already too hot in North Carolina for mailing chocolates. (Truly tragic in my mind.) Pretty floral binding clips, quilters use them to hold bindings in place while handstitching them to the back of a quilt and on minis they also can help hold the layers in place while basting the quilt sandwich together. And, finally, a little magnetic needle book with 3 John James #10 Betweens needles (love these, they are so nice to sew with).
It was a lot of fun to try fabric folding and paper piecing the regular pinwheels helped to ensure accurate points on these small blocks. I hope this mini quilt brings her happiness everytime she looks at it!