Sunday, May 27, 2012

Play! Mini Quilt Competition

Somewhere, during the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway day(week) I read a comment that recommended this fun blog: SewHappyGeek.  I was intrigued and definitely liked what I saw.  PLUS, there was a little competition (please go check it out and vote for your favourite!!!) I could totally try!  I decided to fit with my theme of "jumping right in" I would join the party and make my FIRST EVER(!!!) quilt!

A mini quilt, of course. (13" x 13" or so) Just dipping my toes into the quilting world, I'm not ready to take the full plunge yet!  For my first go at it, I think I did a pretty decent job.  I'm very proud of my "Whooo's got an Ace?" mini quilt.  In fact, I've been seen carrying it around the house.  He's actually sitting next to me on the couch right now as I type this! 

The premise of the contest, Play Mini Quilt Competition, was to take a playing card and let it inspire you to make a quilt!  See the flickr group here for all the inspiration and completed cards:

When I read about the competition, I knew exactly which cards to get from my stash!  I have some fantastic vintage owl playing cards that belonged to my wonderful Grandma.  PERFECT!!!

She was a social woman, for the most part, and had bridge parties all the time for as long as I can remember!  I have many fond memories of helping her clean the house (okay, fond may be stretching it when referring to all the dusting I had to do...), setting up the card tables, putting out the cashews and other mixed nuts, and then getting out all the decks of cards from the hexagon side table in her gold living room.  My grandmother was one of my best friends.  Always encouraging, always believing in me, always loving!  I wanted to be her when I grew up!  She's been gone more than ten years now and so this quilting project really held special love and meaning for me.  Especially since it is coinciding with an unpleasant anniversary for my family.  Making something beautiful, creative, and fun from inspiration that was my grandmother's just really makes me feel wonderful.

So thank you Jenna, of SewHappyGeek, for having this competition!  I really needed it right now and I am just pleased beyond belief with myself and my results!

From those two cards above I drew a little sketch of what the pieces of my quilt would look like.

Then I started choosing fabrics!  I loved my choices, many of which are more than 10 years old!  Perfect for my vintage card!  The tail fabric, and ears, is from a dress I made myself during my 'dirty hippie' years more than ten years ago.  The breast of the owl is from fabric for a skirt that I never finished.  It's actually crocheted fabric in the shapes of peacock feathers.  The wings are a paisley print I also used 8 or 9 years ago to make a messenger style bag for myself.  Actually, the only 'new' fabric (as in less than 1 year old) on the entire quilt was the yellow used for the leaves, highlights in the eyes, and highlights to the one green owl sitting in the 'club'.  All the other fabrics range from 2-12 years old!  How fun!

I definitely enjoyed making this quilt.  I cut all my pieces and laid them out.  

Then carefully used a bit of liquid stitch to baste each piece.  Then, I got to work stitching everything.  I wanted to leave all my edges raw on the applique because a bit of fraying will look like feathers!  

I used a lot of decorative stitches on the owl side.  And free form stitching on the club side.  

I even made the eyes glow in the dark!!!  Hard to capture in a photograph, even in fireworks mode, but I tried!  

glowing eyes...if you can tilt your screen back and forth or up and down, or move around while looking, you might be able to see it better...(looking from above seems to work well on my screen)
Once I was satisfied with both sides, I quilted them together using straight stitching on my machine on the borders only.  I really decided I didn't want to go into my feature squares that much!  I just didn't want to ruin them.  Plus, I didn't have a good thread to blend in very well to the foundation pieces.  

I had fully intended on using this awesome 'lime' bias tape from 1974, but I realised it was single fold.  I tried to make it work by doubling up and just stitching it together, but I just couldn't do it.  So yellow with lime green stitching worked!

Again, I couldn't be more pleased with my results.  I bounded out of my sewing room (yes, bounded!) to show my husband my glorious accomplishment late last night.  He was impressed!  Knowing that I have never quilted before and that I finished it in 2 days!!!

I can't wait to do more!


Also, there's voting involved for part of this competition.  Voting begins Tuesday, May 29th at 5 AM EST and ends Friday, June 1st at 6 AM EST.

Please vote for your favourite here:  (I'd love it if it was mine!)


  1. Liz,

    Seriously. OMGosh. That is incredible. It is beautiful. It is whimsical. I love it. I would carry it around all day too!

  2. This is a fab card! I love both sides :)

  3. This is so fun! I love how you did both sides of the card, the owl is fantastic!

  4. Great mini! I love that it's a tribute to your grandma on top of all the other firsts!

  5. good job Liz! you're making quilting look cool :)


I really love to hear from you! Thanks!