Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Windham Fabrics: Mini Quilt Challenge

Nearly three weeks ago I had the opportunity (thanks for posting, Stephanie!) to enter a mini quilt challenge from Windham Fabrics. The first 18 to comment were sent a bundle of fabric from one of Windham's collections, and instructed to make a mini (18x18) quilt using as many of those fabrics as possible.

I was the seventh commenter, as it turned out. I hadn't expected it - I looked at the post, said "No, I don't have time..." and closed it. And then I thought again - the quilts are being displayed at Quilt Market in Pittsburgh! That's probably the closest I'll ever get to a quilt market...and this could be a lot of fun. A big challenge for me, for sure. I'm not a quilter, much as I'd love to be - quilters need far more patience than I have, and baby quilts for friends and family is about as quilty as I get. (Besides ever-so-slowly working on my 2014 Personal Challenge Project.)

So I went back, frantically opening the webpage again - only a few comments! Yay! I went for it. And then I found out that the comments page was being a little glitchy, so no one was exactly sure just how many comments there actually were. Oh well. Wait and see...

I missed the FedEx guy twice, but third time's the charm! I opened up the envelope excitedly, and...


Oh dear. I hadn't planned for flannel at all.

I was sent select prints from the Precious collection by Another Point of View. The prints are adorable, with little baby carriages, safety pins, and birds floating around on backgrounds of white, pink, and blue. Though they sound like typical themes for baby fabrics, these fabrics are unique in my opinion. The shapes, placements, and colors are not what I was expecting to see.

But I'd been thinking of - well, I don't know what. I'd been poring over my collections of quilt patterns and blocks on Pinterest, trying to get some to stick in my head, so that when I received my funky printed fabrics I'd be able to pull out something incredible...(I can dream, right? ;) )

Baby flannel. It threw me for a loop. I don't know why, since it should be right up my alley - but all the baby quilts I've done to this point have been either embroidered, or plain squares/strips. That wasn't going to be good enough for this challenge!

 My mother actually came up with my idea for me! She's ridiculously creative, so it didn't surprise me at all that it took her about 30 seconds to come up with something amazing for me to work with. (If you want to see some of the stuff she does - go here. She works at a family run bakery, decorating cakes - some of hers are posted on the Facebook page!)

I took her idea, ran with it, and came up with a sketch...

and then the finished product!

I'm very happy with how it turned out, and there are quite a few "firsts" for me here. First mini quilt, and first challenge like this (I hope it won't be the last - this might have intimidated me, but I think I conquered it!) First "art quilt", first appliques. First time quilting curved lines (!!). First time binding with flannel.

That last "first" may be a "last", too. The only part I'm NOT thrilled with is the binding. I had planned for wider binding, but with the limited amount of fabrics, I had to get creative. I used two of the pieces for the binding and still had to cut my width in half - and had JUST enough to go around. I think there are about 6 inches left of the binding! Needless to say, with the flannel top, batting, backing fabric, and then essentially four layers of flannel in that narrow strip of binding, the corners are less than perfect. You win some, you lose some. A good pressing helped!

Also, it was my first time using piping, and first time manipulating fabrics to make new ones.
(I remember I never did post that mini tutorial last week for that fabric weaving on the basket, either. TOMORROW. I promise. I'm writing that post right after this one! ;) )

The creator of the "favorite" mini at Quilt Market will win a 1/2 yard bundle from Windham Fabrics - I would love to win, but I won't hold my breath. It's enough to know that something I did is going to be somewhere that big - and with my name on it! That's the biggest "first" of all for me.

And thank you, Mom - I don't know (really, I don't) what I would have done without you!


  1. Really beautiful! I love the weaving and all the details. Great job

    1. Thank you Chelsea! :) It was completely different than anything else I've done, and lots of fun!

  2. This is SO neat! I'm so glad you signed up! Super duper cute, they're going to love it.

    1. Thanks Stephanie!! I hope you're right! ;) Regardless, I love it, and it was so much fun! A unique challenge for me, for sure. Thanks again for posting!