The April Aurifil Artisan prompt or challenge is to share about our favorite thread weight, and the Trussed mini quilt is a great example of my most used thread weight, 50wt, coupled with the fact that I love using other thread weights to accentuate details. When I last shared about the MDL Mini Quilt Challenge, I went through my process with improv piecing and was ready to begin quilting the mini quilt.
I started by using color matched 50wt thread to stitch in the ditch around all the pieced elements, which shows up best on the back of the piece. I also quilted in the cross bracing from the water tower at this stage. I used 1114 (Grass Green), 2024 (White), 2600 (Dove), 5004 (Grey Smoke) and 2692 (Black).
Because this mini quilt needs to finish at exactly 15″ square, I started with an oversized piece. After the machine piecing, I taped off an area that was 15″ square to prepare for hand quilting more detail. I did not want to have to cut through any of the hand quilted areas, so I carefully considered where the boundaries of the 15″ square would fall and where I would hand quilt within the square.
I wanted the hand quilting to give more definition and texture to the finished piece, so I found coordinated Aurifil thread in 28wt for the lighter three bands of color [2021 (Natural White), 2600 (Dove), and 2605 (Grey)] and 12wt in 2692 (Black).
I continued the theme of the quilted cross bracing by adding large cross-stitch like hand quilting or embroidery detail between the pieced trussed towers. This was work that was easy to pick up and make a little bit of progress on and set back down over the past month. I don’t know about you, but I needed to have a smaller project to pick up and feel like I was making good progress on without feeling overwhelmed, and finishing one section at a time was just the right amount of focus and attention for me.
After I finished the quilting, I removed the tape boundary, soaked the quilt in the sink, and blocked it flat and square in a rare day of sunshine. As I am preparing this post, it is raining again and we have snow in the forecast for tomorrow night; spring comes late to my mountain pass town.
After blocking, trimming the finish to 15″ square worked out beautifully. Ideally, I would have finished this mini with a facing, but the challenge requires a traditional binding and hanging triangles tucked into corners of the quilt backing (which I forgot and had to go back and insert, oops!). So I decided to tackle a super matched binding to continue the design around the edges of the small finish and make the piece feel larger than its small size. Overall, I’m pleased with my work, but the 3-dimensional nature of a binding and seam joins (which I did my best to minimize) makes the alignment of the tiny green strips not quite as perfect as I’d love to see.
As a reminder, the inspiration photo is above.
Overall, I am really pleased with this mini quilt finish. What have you been working on?