A little over a week ago, I had a very exciting day of quilt design. I came up with several ideas that I am going to continue playing with that I call “combinatorics”: using a two step, simple piecing process to create shapes that look a lot more intricate. Needless to say, the first HUGE step after my ideas was to go to my stash and see if the ideas translated into reality. And the answer was: NOPE!! It didn’t even phase me at all. In fact, I loved what actually resulted and now I have a lot of ideas rattling around in my head. Oh, and then I got back to work and figured out just how to get what I was after in the first place. OK, I’ll stop yammering for a second and show you the Combinatorics Mini Quilt.
While I said I was able to figure out how to get the shapes I was looking for, it still had a surprise or two for me. No big deal! Learning is fun and learning while sewing together fabric? I’m in! I used part of the Studio e Just Color fat quarter bundle I received from Studio e a few months ago. I know there are a lot of quilters out there who are not fans of the color brown, but let me tell you – this mini quilt blends right in with my hardwood living room furniture and will be happily displayed in my home!
In a stroke of good luck, the correct Janome even feed (walking) foot for high shank machines arrived in time for me to test out on my Juki TL-2200QVP Mini as I quilted this mini quilt.
I put the walking foot to quite the test, too. I started out with 50wt Aurifil 2600 (Dove) and stitched in the ditch around all the shapes in the mini quilt top and then stitched down the perimeter of the mini quilt. Then I dove in and matchstick quilted (approximately 1/8″ space between each line) each light section of the quilt. When matchstick quilting, I typically start with less dense quilting, then cut it in half, then cut it in half again. Not this time. I just went for it.
Then I switched to 40wt Aurifil 2370 (Sandstone) and matchstick quilted all the dark brown shapes in the mini quilt using the same go dense on the first pass method. I am showing a detail photo of the back of the mini quilt above which can give you a sense of the change in thread weight because the thread colors blend in better on the front and the thread weight change is less obvious to the eye as a result.
Verdict? I love the new walking foot – even areas that looked “puffy” and were slightly wavy to the touch prior to quilting were relaxed easily into submission without a pucker, wrinkle, or distortion! Quilting with 40wt thread with a walking foot worked really well and I would like to explore how it works free motion quilting more in the future, too.
I tried a “new to me” machine binding technique. Instead of my standard 2.5″ double folded binding, I used 2.25″ double fold binding and attached it by machine to the front. Then I ironed and carefully folded and clipped the binding around to the back. I then ran my needle around the inside edge of the binding from the front of the quilt to catch the binding on the back. It’s not perfect (it was my first attempt!) and I am already planning to glue baste the next time I give that a try.
The Combinatorics Mini Quilt finished at 17.5 inches square. And in case it wasn’t obvious, this is the general shape I was trying to get to work for my original “combinatorics” idea. I am super excited to play around with more combinatorics piecing ideas. Stay tuned!