When Leah Day asks you to collaborate on a project, you say yes.
Last fall Leah asked me if I would work with her on a new series she has going, where a designer makes a mini quilt, no larger than 14-inches on any one side, and sends it to her to quilt. Leah uses it as a challenge to work on pieces that are outside of the realm of what she normally designs and quilts over at the Free Motion Quilting Project and LeahDay.com.
I was just super excited to work with someone who I have used as inspiration as I learned to quilt. So, of course, I said yes. And then thought later about how I had never actually designed or made a mini quilt. Details.
My first challenge was to figure out how to take what I do, and shrink it down. Almost immediately I settled on using strip piecing and making half square triangles from squares as a way to get a lot of little pieces in without too much fuss. That idea worked great. There are more than 400 fabric pieces in this quilt that measures 12-inches square and 102 of them are eighth-inch triangles. But thanks to the strip piecing, your really just have to be careful when you are trimming to get the teeny tiny triangles. We’re not actually piecing the individually.
The second challenge was finding fabric to make the design pop. We all know I love batiks. But for this project I wanted solids. Since the pieces would be so small, I wanted the colors to pop, not the prints on the colors. Plus, something that reads red could be yellow if you happen to cut a print in the wrong spot. And that wouldn’t work for this quilt.
That’s when I ran into Wendy Paskus from Stipples Ect. Wendy has been hand dying fabrics since the 90s and has more than 200 color recipes of rich vibrant solids to choose from. I felt like a kid in the candy store pulling all the strips to create the color changes I wanted to see in the mini.
I just love the final result of the Strippin’ Mini, and now I feel like I am hooked and need to make more. Maybe I’ll use a 60 degree ruler with the next one. We’ll see.
But for this project, watch the tutorial above to learn how to put this mini together. Then head on over to LeahDay.com to see how Leah used rulers to create the straight line quilting that really emphasizes the piecing on this tiny quilt.
If you like this quilt, you can click here to get the pattern (there’s a coupon code for it at the end of the video) or you can click here to get the kit that includes all 25 colors of hand dyed cotton from Stipples Ect. for the top, back and binding and the pattern.
You can also learn more about Leah Day and Wendy Paskus on this week’s episode of Sit & Sew Radio. Click here to listen for free.