I joined up with an Instragram quilt swap, #veryminiquiltswap hosted by @alissaknits. The challenge was to make two mini quilts smaller than 5″ square. I’ve wanted to try weaving for a while and this seemed like a good time to give it a go!
Earth and Fire
All three mini quilts were made with 1/4″ bias tape. I made mine with starch and a bias tape maker. There are a million tutorials on how to make bias tape so I won’t beat that horse other than to mention it is useful to use more starch than you may expect. I made Earth first and it was a total experiment. It is probably my favorite pattern, but certainly the messiest of the three. I thought I was going to make an 1/8″ binding. Turns out, there is a reason people don’t do that! For Fire, I took some photos along the way. Earth and Fire are both straight weaves. To keep my pieces straight, I used an embroidery stabilizer, Sulky Sticky+. This stabilizer has a sticky side and stabilizer side. I used a blue marking pen to draw a 5″ square grid with 1/2″ marks all the way through on the stabilizer side. I hooped the stabilizer sticky side up and removed the paper from the square area + about 1/2″ all around. Since the stabilizer is translucent, I could see my drawn grid through it.
I laid out roughly 19 black strips with the bias opening on the sticky side. They vary in length, but are roughly 7″ each. I then tucked the hoop under my foot and sewed a single line across the top to tack them in place.
And then we weave… I doodled out this little design for Fire, but they are also all over the web. I used a design I found on an image search for Earth and I’m sure this Fire’s is probably a common one too.
After everything is all woven, I stitched all the way around the piece to tack everything down.
At this point, I added a black piece of fabric on the back and stitched down the right/left side. The idea was to keep the integrity of the weave while I pulled away the sticky stabilizer. Once it is removed from the hoop, the stabilizer can be pulled out between the two lines of sewing on the right and left. I finished Fire the same as Earth with a little bit bigger binding. I still didn’t quite get it right and had some wavy in it that I wasn’t too thrilled with so I tried one more weave.
Wind is a three color weave and a little more complex than the straight weaves. Because of that, I abandoned the sticky stabilizer and used a more traditional pinning method and a large eye yarn needle.
This one I’m happiest with overall. I FINALLY worked out how to manage the binding and the left the back uncovered so you could see it from both sides.
I will absolutely keep playing with these and working toward perfecting that finish! I feel pretty sure that it can be done. I hope my partner enjoys having them and can appreciate the learning process as much as I do. They are far from perfect, but I’m still really happy with them!