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!
Linking up with TGIFF and Finish it Friday.
38 thoughts on “Combinatorics Mini Quilt”
Hi i love this block it looks fantastic on your wall. I have a Juki DX10 which came with a walking foot did they not give you one with your machine or is the Janome one better? Many thanks xxx
Perfect with the chair, lamp and books on the shelves. A fantastic design and wonderful quilting.
I had to look up the new word, and see it fits your small quilt perfectly. , matroid or graph theory,? were they used here? I am fascinated to a huge degree. And will read up more about all this.
I’m not sure what combinatronics means but I love the end result . I think Brown is unfairly maligned . A load of brown florals competing with a brown floral carpet is , just , well sooooo brown . But brown used on its own or as a foil is calm cool and collected. I think brown is under used. Bring back brown !
I love all your tutorials. After looking at your work on the wall, I was wondering if you thought about hanging it on the side? Love the brown on the front & back.
I love your mini! I agree the trying new things and letting those ideas that are rattling around out is always exciting and fun.
Love it! It looks fabulous.
It’s fun to hear the excitement in your voice as I read through this post and as you described the fun you had designing and constructing this mini quilt. It is very cool. I love the lines created by the two colors, as well as the quilting you chose to do! Glad that even feed foot is working out!
The mini-quilt is fun and listening to your design process is inspiring. Love the contrast of the heavy and light thread and so glad your foot is working properly. I have done that type of binding too, and agree that it is not perfect, and gluing helps. I have thought that once glued it could be sewn from the back, but don’t think I have remembered to try it when doing it….
Your mini looks perfectly at home on your wall Yvonne. I think brown gets a bum rap – it looks great in your space. I love straight line quilting, it’s a design I fall back on a lot, and it was the perfect choice for your quilt. Great job!
This is definitely a great piece for the modern home (as that last picture shows!). I’m always interested to hear what size people usually cut their binding. I’ve been doing 2.25 for as long as I can remember, just because I like the thin look! Your walking foot quilting looks fantastic. Did you have to adjust the tension in a special way to accommodate the 30 weight thread?
i love it! The simplicity and intricacy of an engineer’s mind.
I really enjoyed your post and hearing all about your explorations – sounds FUN! And I really like your design – very striking.
Glad you’re having success with the foot. And I look forward to seeing more of these designs.
That’s my binding technique — 2 1/4 strips sewn to front, pressed and glue-basted to back making sure to cover the stitching line, then stitched from the front riiight in the ditch which juuust catches the back. It’s taken me 5 years to come up with the best machine binding technique for me but this is it! The last two quilts I’ve done have been my best ever using this method.
I love the brown and white/beige combination. The combinatorics design is complimented by the solids and the quilting is wonderfully even. I admire your talent for design and execution.
This is so neat! I love the simple color combination and can’t wait to see more!
Love the rocking chair … (and the quilt looks great!)
First of all, I love the mini!! I can’t wait to see what other designs you have up your sleeve!! Secondly, I’m so glad you had success with the new walking foot! And I do my machine binding the way you said too – but with 2 1/2″ strips so it catches on the back. After ironing it from the front, I flip it over and iron it flat to the back too. I don’t use clips or pins or glue, but I’m not brave enough to try 2 1/4″ yet! 🙂
Looks great on your wall! I like your bold color combo and design 🙂
It turned out gorgeous, and looks really great in your house! I liked seeing the difference in the thread weights- you’ve inspired me to get some 30 wt and try quilting with it.
Your new mini quilt looks right at home and I love the quilting. It is so much fun to try new ideas, and even though it didn’t turn out the way you thought it would, it turned into a nice piece of art and a great practice piece for your new walking foot. Win! Win!
This lovely! It fits right in and feels very midcentury meets modern quilting <3
I love your quilt and the quilting really helps to make the design so striking. I’m glad the Janome Walking Foot is working well on your Juki 2010Q.
What you describe is my preferred approach to binding. If your Janome foot will accept the ditch quilting foot (for my machine, it is the SD attachment), it is well worth the investment just for finishing the binding.
This block is stunning. It is simple but the effect is really nice. Matchstick quilting was a good choice. – overall, quite a success. Perfect for the space where you have it hanging too. I am looking forward to seeing what else you come up with here!
So glad your trial was a success. It looks great in your home.
Yvonne, lovely art work for your home! Glad to hear the the Jonome foot works well on the Juki. I haven’t tried mine out yet. Lately, I’ve been cutting binding at 2 1/4″ as well.
Hi Yvonne: I love this little quilt and it looks great with your rocking chair. 30 weight thread maybe with practice I’ll get there. Very nice quilting.
Your new term “combinatorics” made me smile! I love to make up terms & new words. The block & stitching is quite wonderful. It gave it a very nice texture & it sounds like you had fun creating this!
Great mini! I love where you are going with this concept and can’t wait to see more experiments.
Hello Yvonne! I love your new block design and the walking foot quilting design you choose to quilt it with. When I first was looking it rather seemed to give off dimensional sections in each section. Which really caught my attention and held it, I just had to keep looking at the quilt from this and that view and it was fabulous! As always, your creative side has come up with a marvelous quilt! I hope that you continue to have a great time creating these mini quilts!
Your mind works in such an interesting way, Yvonne, and I love the concept you have come up with and this little quilt. As an aside I also love your furniture!
Congratulations on a very sweet little mini. I didn’t use to like brown, but it brings a richness to some projects you just can’t get any other way.
Such a fun quilt, Yvonne! The quilting is absolutely perfect. I’m interested to see where this technique takes you 🙂 I’m not quite sure why modern quilters so dislike brown…sometimes it’s the perfect choice. I’m actually using a gorgeous Northcott brown print as a background now. And I always cut my binding at 2.25″.
This visual is awesome. I love the design and color combo. Brown when used with the right palette can be immensely attractive.
If this is a failure I can’t wait to see the successful versions! Beautiful quilting as ever! I have had no luck on my machine with the even slightly heavier thread which is disappointing.
I love those brainstorming happy days when ideas are everwhere. looking forward to seeing more of your inspired ideas!