How to make a Minion quilt

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When I first saw the Minions fabric at Fat Quarter Shop, I told my husband, “OMG, they have Minion fabric,” and he said, “Buy it and make a quilt for Kim.”

So if the husband says buy fabric… well. Kim is an awesome lady we both work with. Some days I think she holds the place together. And she really really likes Minions.

This was a fast quilt for me, since I’m posting about the finish already. I ordered the fabric on July 4th.

If you want to make your own, you will need:
Minions Fat Quarter bundle + two panels included in the bundle (oops, out of stock. 13 prints plus two bundles)
Yellow Brick Road pattern
5 yards backing fabric
1/2 yard binding
batting

I followed the Yellow Brick Road pattern for the twin size right up to the laying out of the blocks. The twin size gives you 40 blocks from 12 fat quarters, but to go around the panel properly, you need 44.Since there are 13 FQs in the bundle, I set one aside to use as the corner blocks. I could just manage four¬†9.5″ blocks from the extra fat quarter. With the addition of the panel in the middle, it finishes at lap size. I left off the borders in the pattern.

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I did a preliminary layout here. There are two rows of seven blocks above and below the panel, and two columns of four blocks on either side. I did an initial trim of the panel to fit.

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Here’s the final piecing of the top, after some rearranging. I pieced the columns to either side of the panel first, then added the top and bottom rows.

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And then I quilted the heck out of it! For the panel in the middle, I went around each Minion and highlighted details. I used a pale yellow poly thread, top and bobbin.

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I decided that otherwise, I’d use an all over stipple, right into the background panel.

For the backing, I used the second panel with 5 yards of a yellow solid, and slightly offset the panel from the middle.

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You can see some of the quilting of the Minions on the front on the back and how they overlap the panel there. The quilting and binding were done over two days, my Friday and Saturday off work. I might have started Thursday evening, I can’t remember. I got out of the habit of writing it down and will have to do this for my other projects.

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(Kim is one in a Minion, for sure.)

For binding, I like to frame my quilts, so I picked a navy that was present in some of the prints. It was a less harsh than black.

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And then I stared at it and smiled. And took it to TWO quilt guild meetings where everyone OOOHED and AAAHHED and “where DID you find that fabric??”

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Then I wrote a nice note from the both of us, mailed it off and waited.

I think she liked it, because she cried. ūüôā ¬†I loved making this quilt, even though it killed me not to post progress shots. Kim does a lot, and it’s hard to look at this quit and NOT be happy, so I’m sure it will brighten her day every time she looks at it.

I think this was one of the faster finished this year, since from ordering the fabric to receiving the finish was three months.

Colorblock quilt, all done!

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For finish it up Friday, I got the bonding all done on this quilt. It’s now taking a spin in the wash. I always wash and dry the baby quilts then check them over for loose threads and any place where I did a lousy job seaming.

Binding all done, time for a wash!

I’m really happy with how this one turned out. I’ve been working on piecing accuracy and undoing some bad habits I picked up over the years, like pulling the fabric taut while I sew. This causes it to ripple on the edges when relaxed.

Here’s a shot of the back, upside down.
Bach

I went and bought all new fabrics for this one, from the same line. I don’t usually do that.

Colorblock Quilt top

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For this quilt, I purchased the PDF Colorblock Quilt pattern from www.bijoulovelydesigns.com. The pattern is really well written and super easy to follow, with loads of clear diagrams. Perfect for beginners, a breeze for more experienced quilters.

I also went to two different Etsy shops to get the right fabric – Mod Tod by Riley Blake, purchased from Fiber Textiles and 44th St Fabric. Both shops were fabulous and extremely helpful, and my orders (to Canada from the US arrived within two weeks and a day apart. I was impressed with both places. So impressed, I now read Bev’s blog from 44th St. Heh. (Hi Bev!)

I had to piece one of my fabric for the long strip, but I did it carefully in the print and you hardly notice. The piecing and cutting was done in maybe 3.5 hours, while I watched episodes of Dr. Who on Netflix. About half the time was ironing, because I did follow the advice the iron seams open. The white I used for sashing is poly cotton, so somewhat sheer and I knew the seams from the darker fabric would show.

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The only issue I had is something I consistently have with long strips – running out of strip at the end of the seam. However much I pin, the fabric still shifts. I could have used my walking foot, but it’s so noisy and goes slower. I guess I’ll know for next time.

One short sashing piece wound up just short enough it pulled out of the seam so I do have to make a small repair by removing the strip and sewing it back in.

Overall, I’m really happy with the pattern and the fabric – even if I did wind up getting the blocks reversed. The recipient will never know or care, it’s still a gorgeous quilt!

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I’m not sure how I’ll quilt it yet, but I am open to suggestions. I’m thinking of leaving the narrow sashing unquilted. They wind up only 1″ wide. I’ll be using Hobb’s Warm and Natural cotton for the batting.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Back in the swing of it

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Now that the room is up, I’ve been making time to spend down there. I also got some Craftsy classes, including Quilting Negative Space. I’m a HUGE fan of Angela already and this class is just great. I’m really enjoying it, even though I listen along as I’m making supper.

Tonight I had the itch to quilt so I decided to practise some¬†patterns¬†from Angela’s book along with encouragement from her course. I¬†already¬†had a baby quilt laying in a sad pile waiting for me to figure out how to do it. I took Angela’s advice to break it up into smaller sections. It’s improv pieced so there’s no real background, but since it’s so wild, I figured it was a great chance to practise different techniques all over it.

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Here I did two long pieces near the middle to start off and warm up.

 

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You can see the loops, back and forth (love this) and some swirls.

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Close up of doing the all over leaf pattern in the next “block”.

 

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In this block I marked a single line diagonally across then followed it to make the sunburst effect. I love how it feels.

 

 

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Two more long strips gave me the opportunity to try the swirl scroll and woodgrain. The scroll needs some work, but it’s good enough!

 

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And there’s all the work I did this evening. Halfway done!

It was quite fun doing a different design in each section or strip.

 

Update: I actually went through a whole bobbin last night, did a quick bit this morning and ran out of the *second* bobbin,

Jemseg Dahlia

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This is a really old quilt block that I canot even find on the Internet. It’s apparently a local variation, hence the name “Jemseg” Dahlia.

They are big blocks – 18″ square and since there is some hand gathering and hand applique I am making one whole block for a wall hanging.

I’m considering making a pattern if there’s interest.

Click through the images to see notations for each.