Monday, September 5, 2016

Shadow Block Mini Quilt Quilt Along Reveal Day


Why make one mini quilt when you can make six? It was fun adapting my Shadow Block Mini Quilt tutorial to make this set of colorful place mats for my kitchen. Janice, from Color, Creating and Quilting, and Jen, from A Dream and a Stitch hosted an awesome quilt along that wraps up today. Of course I had to join right in. But before I dive into the making of these, here are all the fun gals who participated in the quilt along. Click on over to their blogs to check out their Shadow Block mini quilt making:

Jen Rosin at A Dream and a Stitch
Janice Holton at Color, Creating and Quilting
Amanda Everest at Quiltologie
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Bonnie Stapleton at Institches with Bonnie
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Joanne Harris at Quilts by Joanne
Anja Clyke at Anja Quilts
Mary Schuberg at Needled Mom


At first, I planned to make just one mini quilt, using the tutorial exactly as it was written, but I'm not one to make the same project over and over, so I changed it up just a little so that it could become something useful and beautiful. For color, I decided to lean on trusty ROY G BIV. Do you remember learning the colors of the rainbow this way? And, since the original mini quilt was made using fabrics from Kaffe Fassett and friends, I pulled out my Kaffe stash and lined them up.


Choosing the fabric is what takes the most time for me. Cutting the squares took no time at all once I knew where this project was going.


I made one change to the assembly process from the original tutorial. The original mini quilt has twenty blocks. Each place mat has twelve blocks, but there are six place mats, which means there are 72 total blocks for this project. That was going to be a whole lot of tiny squares and rectangles to piece.


For the shadow fabric, I cut a 2 1/2 inch strip and a 3 inch strip. From the background, I cut two 1 inch strips. A background strip is stitched to the shadow strip, then 1 1/2 inch segments are cut to go on the two sides of each focus square. It went much faster this way.


It was fun to watch the design wall evolve with finished tops. And I am not great at secret projects so it was quite the challenge not to share all the progress as it was happening. The border on the right side is wider than the others, to add a little interest and make a special place to put your fork.


Each one is quilted differently. The red mini was done exactly as the quilting on the tutorial.


Orange was quilted with free motion circles in the shadow and a trio of straight lines on each sashing strip. The center line of each trio is in a darker thread to match the shadow. This was one of those happy accidents. I forgot to change the thread color after quilting the circles and just decided to go with it rather than having to pull out the trusty seam ripper.


Yellow is quilted with free motion circles in the sashing, and long lines of quilting in the shadow. My goal for quilting when it isn't an all over design is to quilt the shadow heavily and the background a little less so that the focus blocks, which have no quilting, pop up off the quilt, emphasizing the dimension and shadow.


Green. This one is my favorite. This is the first one where I ignored the blocks and went with an all over design. I love the big spiral in a variegated thread.


The quilting on the blue mini was done using a free motion loopy stitch in the sashing. It is hard to see the stitching on this one but it is not hard to see those lumps near the blocks. The pressed seam allowance kept bumping up against my free motion foot instead of going under it. I have not had that happen before. It was a little frustrating, but I persevered. The shadow is stitched with a decorative stitch on my Janome. That part was fun and reminded me that I need to experiment with some of those decorative stitches more often.


For the violet mini, I went with a wavy cross hatch. I didn't want the green mini to be the only one with an all over design, and, by this last one, I was ready to be finished, so I confess that the easy quilting on this one was intentional.


Here they are from the back, doing their best to pay respect for all the ROY G BIV going on on the front. They had to be cute enough to turn over, just in case there are any spills on the front. Each place mat finishes at 13 inches by 17 inches.


Don't they look fantastic on the kitchen table?! Thanks so much Janice and Jen for organizing this quilt along and encouraging me to revisit the Shadow Block Mini Quilt tutorial. I cannot wait to see what everyone else has made.

30 comments :

  1. Oh, I love that the placemats coordinate but are each an individual color. How fun to pick a place to sit based on the color! I think that your method for sewing the shadow pieces makes a lot of sense when you had so many (72!) to make for these. :)

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  2. Debora! I. LOVE. YOUR. PROJECT!!!! Wow! What a great idea to make placemats! Thanks so much for designing this project and joining in on our blog hop. I super enjoyed seeing all your different quilting methods too. Fun post to read and look at!

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  3. I just love these! As usual you rock! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I love these in the different colorways. I did my shadow piecing the same way. Love your NY Beauty quilt on the wall too. I've been working on one for my dining room wall too.

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  5. Oh my goodness, what a great idea to make placemats! All all those colors! Beautiful!

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  6. Your placemats are gorgeous... just the colors alone are fantastic but then the shadow piecing. I'm not sure I would ever want to use placemats that pretty! Thanks for the tutorial. This has been a super fun quilt along.

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  7. I love your placemat idea! I was thinking about how much better strip piecing would be, after I was 1/2 way through piecing those tiny squares. Thanks for doing the math - I'll make a note on my pattern for next time. And thank you so much for sharing your pattern.

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  8. Love how you made these into placemats! Great idea using ROY G BIV and the fabric choices make them extra special

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  9. I am glad that you brought up that new way to make the shadow pieces. I was thinking about doing that same thing. The placemats are just gorgeous! I love how each one is unique, yet they all go together.

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  10. Great idea to make place mats, and they look wonderful on your table! Thanks for showing us so many different ways to quilt our minis!

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  11. Amazing and beautiful. Your table is so well dressed. I love your fabric choices.

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  12. Great project. Assembly line sewing does make quick sewing.

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  13. They look FANTASTIC on the table, and I love how you simplified the process!

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  14. What a great idea-placemats! That gives me some ideas for other mini things. Love your colors-so vibrant!

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  15. Yes. The placemats looks fantastic!!

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  16. I can only echo everyone else, your placemats are lovely. I particularly like the way you did a different quilting design on each one, great inspiration.

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  17. I love your mini's place mats what a great idea.
    gandn74@ymail.com

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  18. WOW!!!! You did Super job! Such cool Pattern! Making Mini's is Contagious!! giggle...

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  19. I was reading through your post again and just noticed the way you cut your shadows. GENIOUS!! I bet that went a lot faster!

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  20. There always has to be at least one over achiever! Beautiful, thanks for sharing.
    cork@pa.rr.com

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  21. Great placements! Next one I make, I need to try some different quilting. Procrastination doesn't leave much opportunity to be creative LOL

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  22. Wonderfull rainbow placemats. 24Tangent@gmail.com

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  23. These are the BEST! I totally agree that choosing fabrics are the most time-consuming actions. But I still enjoy it! Your placemats do look fantastic on your table. I'd like to make a set just like them!

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  24. Your mini shadow quilts are awesome! Love all the beautiful colors!

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  25. These are fabulous, the fabrics, the backings, and the quilting. and as well, so useful. 6, a perfect number for your table settings.

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  26. What a great idea! It makes a fabulous fall table set-up.

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  27. Those are beautiful and how neat to see all the different fabrics and colors!

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  28. These are really cute and what a great opportunity to try different quilting techniques.

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  29. Making placemats was a great idea. They certainly add a bit of color excitement to your dining table. This project along looks like it was a lot of fun.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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