Monday, April 3, 2017

A Finish! Mini Quilt Exchange

When I began my blog earlier this year, the very first person who reached out to me as a fellow blogger was Kate @ Smiles from Kate.   I'm sure a lot of you already know what a sweetheart she is. In the process of getting to know each other, we decided to do a mini quilt exchange for Christmas.

Kate and I have very different styles.  She tends to like solids and tone on tone fabrics where I tend to like bright riots of color.  And I wanted to do something that reminds me of our friendship.  So what to do?  Well, for starters, back in June, 2016 Kate had her very first giveaway on her blog and I was the lucky winner!  Here is what I won:

I resolved to use something from this stack to make Kate's mini.  During the same week, I won a charm pack of Kaffe Fasset fabric.  Out of this stack, I noticed that this particular square went really well with the orange piece in the stack of squares Kate sent me.

So here comes the start of an improv mini!  
I began by sewing a black frame around the square and then a wider border using the orange fabric.

Then it sat like that for a few days while I was deciding what I wanted to do.  So I just waited and watched for ideas and then I cam across this fabric.  It is called Pecking Order by Quilting Treasures.  I should have bought more than I did,   I didn't have enough to make borders.  Oh well.  Improv!

I'm pretty sure Kate is not a big chicken person but there were three reasons I bought it.   
1.   It made me chuckle and I hoped it would make her laugh too
2.   I was living on a farm that had a lot of egg laying chickens while I was making this for her, so it will be a 2016 memory, and 
3.   I imagined that these chickens, being as bright and colorful as they are, probably must have some cool looking poop that looks just like this Kaffe Fasset fabric, So that's this mini's name.  Chicken Poop!  

So I sewed a row of chickens onto the top of what was already going on.

Earlier this year, Kate made a beautiful quilt called City Lights. 

So my thought was to add some blocks using this design around the edge of what I had done so far and just keep building it up.  Well, that meant making some pretty tiny blocks and I have little patience for teeny tiny.  So I scrapped the whole border idea and ended up just making a bottom row in honor of City Lights.

 After this, even after asking for advice from others, (thanks Tish and Paige!) I kept waffling back and forth about what to do (I'm rather indecisive) and by then Christmas was over!  I finally just added a row of flowers from the chicken fabric and then framed everything with the black and white polka dot just to get done!  

Now, how to quilt  it?  To make it even more about our friendship,  I started by using a stitch that Kate taught me!  So in the orange parts, I quilted three lines of serpentine stitching.  I'm still kind of new at it and I was happy that 3 out of 4 of the strips had good spacing.  

In the "poop" and the chickens I quilted swirly lines that remind me of the way chickens might meander around.

On City Lights, I'm not so sure I like my choice  of quilting there.  It turned out kind of Frankensteinish.  But that was another new stitch I learned this year.  So this little mini is kind of a reminder of a few things that happened during our first year of friendship.

Ah, FINALLY done with all but the binding and I had a curious observer whom I had to gently dislodge before I could finish.

So may I present . .  . "Chicken Poop!"

I have to confess, I am not very good at binding corners yet.  What is the secret?  It kind of makes the whole think look a little lumpy.

So Kate, I hope this little mini will make you smile and think of your friend in Idaho!

Linking to:
Monday Making at Love, Laugh, Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Moving it Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag


  1. Oh Janice, I am giggling my head off!!! It's wild, wacky and wonderful, just like our friendship. I am so happy I met you, our friendship has brought me such joy. I love, love, LOVE it! Thank you so much Xx

  2. What a excellent little quilt! I just love those sassy, little chickens. This is a wonderful way to represent your friendship. So much thought in the little details. I love it!

  3. Oh I so love this Janice and I'm sure Kate will. You have managed to include so many aspects of your friendship in such a wonderful way.

  4. I LOVE how this turned out!! So much meaning and love behind every little stitch. I love the buttonhole stitch you used on the small City Lights blocks, it gives it a cute little patch work feel. I wish we could all see Kate's face when it arrives to her. I'm sure she will be beaming :)

  5. Oh, Janice! Only you would look at one of Mr. Fassett's classic dotted designs and think "chicken poop!" You crack me up :) This is such an adorable mini quilt. I love the orange and green and black together, and those chickens are just so darn cheerful as they magically poop all over the center.

  6. Oh my goodness! It's adorable! I'm cracking up too! I know Kate is thrilled!

  7. Very cute. What a nice celebration of a friendship.

  8. It's fun and bright, it definitely reflects your style. Kate will be reminded of you every time she looks at it!

  9. Good friends, good quilts! Also good cat!

  10. Thanks for linking and the inspiration you give us Show and Tell Monday !! Bambi Hug

  11. Too fun! Love the name! Sounds like you hit a home run with Kate (the other one).

  12. What an awesome to celebrate your friendship with Kate - it's wonderful!!

  13. Your little quilt is wonderful! I love the colours, and I love the very cute little chickens. :-)

  14. Hi Janice. I am assuming you are applying binding the traditional way and the mitered corner is the tricky part. After quilting for years I finally realized that if I stopped a bit more than the 1/4" before the corner that it turned easier. I have spent years trying to be so accurate with 1/4 " not realizing its that measurement that is really too small:). Hope that helps.

    1. Hi Linda, You are a "no reply" commenter so I am replying here instead of via e-mail.

      You can be sure that I will try that! Thank you!

      Another tip that someone else shared with me is that when they get to the 1/4 inch from the corner, to head toward the corner itself and sew a 45 degree angle right off the edge. I haven't tried that one either but I sure plan to!

  15. Oh Janice! What a great quilt you made for Kate ..... it really poops!!!! Such a fun story behind it! And I love your take on Kate's City Lights!
    I'm very new to machine quilting so I've really enjoyed reading about the Serpentine Stitching especially.
    I'm just trying my first machine finished binding this week, so I'll be testing out the tips on the mitred corners!
    Barbara x

  16. Your little story made me smile - all the way down here in New Zealand!! Chicken Poop - I love the name!!

  17. A great improv quilt! Love the story and the thought put into it. You do such nice FMQ!

  18. Great mini and story behind it! The name is awesome too!

  19. I will never be able to look at that Kaffe fabric again without thinking of Chicken Poop! Love seeing the process as to how the mini evolved. My corners, after 20-odd years of quilting, still sometimes get a bit lumpy, though lately they've been coming out lovely, and it has to do with folding the about-to-be-sewn binding down. Once I figure out how to explain what I do, I will write it up and I will let you know. Fab colours and fabric, love the nod to Kate's beautiful City Lights. Friendships like yours (and like mine and Tish's for another) are incredibly special. :-)

  20. You and Kate certainly put a big smile on my face this morning. I've been traveling, so I'm a little behind, but am catching up this morning. Practice makes perfect, Janice. Looked pretty good to me!

  21. What a perfect compliment to your friendship. And the name! Kate will just love that. Love the fun, easy improv way you made this. The result is perfection!

  22. Cute mini! I understand about binding! Here is my go to tutorial that has never failed me: Good luck!


I LOVE meeting new quilting friends and always respond to comments so I'd love to hear from you!