Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap

When I shared a photo like this one on Instagram describing how much fun I was having shredding fabric I got some very quick reactions.  The fabrics were from my scrap basket of prints and solids so not the end of the world if my exploration into confetti quilting didn't work out!

I had an idea for the quilt I wanted to make for the Schnitzel & Boo round 3 mini swap but it didn't seem to fit right with my partners taste in fabric.  My swap partner is a big Lori Holt fan liking white backgrounds and clear bright colours.  So instead of an orange peel multi-coloured project I decided to give this technique a try. 

I saw this project by Kerry @ Pennydog Quilting in this months Popular Patchwork magazine.  It involves chopping up fabric with your rotary cutter and using fusible to hold some of the pieces in place.  Cover with sheer net and quilt over it. 

I really liked the idea of it for clear bright rainbow colours so thought I'd go for it with letters instead!

I printed these using a font called Berlin Sans FB Demi and used them to cut templates from fusible paper and trace on the fabric background (Kona Snow) with an air erasable fabric marker.  It allowed me to place the fusible letters and then sprinkle the fabric pieces in place.

I initially thought about using the water soluble stuff that you quilt over and then washes out but i couldn't find any so I stuck with Kerry's instructions and bought some fine lightweight tulle that is used for wedding veils!  It practically disappears over the bright white fabric.

To keep it in place I handstitched around the letters with perle cotton.  I hoped this would give the letters some definition too.

I did get a good bit of pulling  and puckering after the handstitching and was a little worried at this stage that this letter idea was not going to work!  I may have overstuffed them a little bit too!

Thankfully after trimming around the letters and cutting into the net the tension in the piece relaxed quite a bit.

I was quite careful on the basting too and spray basted the back, wadding and top together.  Then I made sure it was a smooth as could be and pin basted near the letters too.

It worked a treat and flattened it back into shape!

Even under the net the pieces move quite a bit so a dense quilting pattern is recommended.  I decided I'd try coloured matchstick quilting. 

I had previously made a cushion and used this technique with just white and quickly got bored with it.  Changing up the colours and straight line quilting this small piece went very quickly and was really lots of fun!

I used 9 different threads, 3 variegated and 6 solids in colours close to the rainbow letters.  Threads were Auriful 40wt and YLI 50 wt.   I used a light and a dark and spaced them 1/8" approx apart.

This round in the Schnitzel & Boo mini quilt swap is trying to support animal rescue which is a subject near to my heart.  Our Basset Wilbur is a rescue that was very close to being put to sleep.  If it wasn't for the volunteers and kindness of Ash Animal Rescue, Wilbur would not be with us. Even he decided to leave his mark on this quilt!  

Every now and again Wilbur gets bored of sleeping and eating and wants some attention (Bassets are incredibly lazy dogs!).  He has a long bony nose that he likes to stick under your arm and flip very quickly into the air.  It's funny most of the time except when you have a cup of tea or are quilting.  There is one really wobbly line because of this that I'm calling the Wilbur wobble.  As it is a special cause we are supporting I decided to leave it be and not rip it out!

Charly, on the other hand, spent the day watching out for the neighbour's cat and tearing into a new toy my cousin sent from the states as part of a Christmas parcel.    The rest of us were ignored completely!

Leaving me to crack on and finish the quilting complete with Wilbur wobble.  I was quite surprised by how much the letters changed with the matchstick quilting.  They got well and truly squished and G in our sewing group described them as organic looking. Not what I expected!

I chose purple for the binding and finished it up with a label on the back prepared for the quilt swap by Ali.  I can't show you the label as it is a secret swap and this mini is going in the post this Friday! 

Really hope by partner likes this.  It's not quite the clean and crisp Lori Holt style that I intended but it was a real learning and quilting exploration all the same!  I did put a bit of work into it and tried my best to make it work.  I hope to make up for it by adding in lots of goodies.   Fingers crossed she's not expecting something completely different!


  1. I'd seen this in your 2015 FAL post and thought it was lovely, now seeing the detail and that it's the confetti style applique I'm even more impressed, this is amazing. I might just make one like this for myself. It seems like the perfect sewing corner decoration! Thanks so much for sharing your process on how you made it

  2. Hi Ruth! This is fantastic! I love the creatice technic you used and the quilting makes it really Special! Really beautiful NEW look on your blog! It's always enjoy to see your cute dogs and hear what they have been up to! x Teje

  3. Ruth! How wonderfully unique and special. Its going to be a total hit!
    The Wilber Wobble makes my heart flutter.

  4. Love the Wilbur wobble! He's such an artist :) Doing these mini quilt swaps are great for trying out new things and I think you've done a wonderful job!

  5. This is fascinating. I loved reading about your process. I plan on trying matchstick quilting on a mini sometime soon.

  6. This is really, really stunning, Ruth! I hope your partner treasures it. I do love the Wilbur wobble, too - a little bit of love from him being passed along. :)

  7. wow, what a fascinating technique. I love how it has turned out :-)

  8. Fabulous mini Ruth! I am sure that your partner will appreciate all the work that went in to it and love it!

  9. This is absolutely brilliant!

  10. I am totally stoked that you achieved what you wanted to!!

  11. This is simply awesome! I have never seen anything like it. Now I am going to have to save my tiniest scraps for something like this :)

  12. It's fantastic. I can see why so many are inspired by it. I know I am.

  13. I love it- and your Wilbur Wobble! Great technique- I might have to try this sometime!

  14. Thanks guys! All ready for the post, fingers crossed she likes it!

  15. Awesome! I'd seen your mini on IG, but seeing the close up and process pics is amazing! Great work! I'm really loving the swaps for pushing myself to try something new and challenging. Your partner is going to love it... if not, he/she can totally send it my way! ;-)

  16. I am sure your partner will love it! I have never seen this technique before, but I might have some wedding tulle deep in my sewing box ...
    I know about Wilbur wobbles. Our dog's nickname is nudge puppy. You get a paw tap if you stop rubbing her tummy, a wet nose on the back of the calf when walking and she wants to draw your attention to something, and a nose in the armpit if she wants a cuddle. How could anyone think of putting Wilbur to sleep!?

  17. This looks fab! I seen some pics of your mini but I didn't know you used such technique with tiny scraps. Very inspiring!

  18. I seriously love how fun and honestly, creative this is!!! I'm so inspired to play!! THANKS!

  19. This looks terrific! Can't say enough about the whole wonderful thing! Plus the puppy factor... what could be cuter and more inspiring?? How fun!
    LeeAnna at not afraid of color

  20. Popping over from Celtic Stitches New to Me linky - your mini quilt is AMAZING! What a great use of scraps - so colourful but so different and modern! I love the Wilbur Wobble, and Charly (who looks like he's still pouting about Night Sky, LOL) is adorable :)

  21. This is amazing! I've never seen this method of appliqué before. It's so effective. And yes the lady was right, the intense quilting does make the letters look organic. Like they were always there, part of the fabric.


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