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Finish: Light in the Storm

So this weekend I started and finished TWO quilts!! This sounds impressive until I mention that one was 18″ x 24″ and the other a mere 4.75″ square. It’s okay, I’ll take it!


I wanted to share the 4.75″ square one first, which was part of the mini mini quilt swap (#miniminiquiltswap on instagram). I haven’t been a part of any swaps in a while because it got a bit overwhelming for me, but this is something I can get behind. I even like that there’s no secrecy about the partner, which I thought I’d miss. But it’s great to be able to choose who you swap with and also talk openly about the design ideas.

I first read about the swap on Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl‘s blog, and she asked if anyone was interested in swapping with her. Yvonne is one of the most thoughtful and inspirational quilters I know, so I jumped on board. She said she was open to whatever, but gave me the theme of “light” to work around.


I’ve been toying with an idea for a quilt that represents the summer nights here on the east coast. There’s a lot of texture and sound to the evenings with the cicadas, crickets, frogs, birds, and the light from the fireflies. I figured this would be a good time to experiment with what I wanted to do but didn’t know how to accomplish, so I pulled a bunch of scraps to work from.

I used my memory of the pattern for the Bloomin’ quilt as you go panel and quickly found out that such a small canvas was not actually going to work for the idea I wanted to try out. But I was still pretty sold on the bloomin’ idea so I just went ahead and did a standard version of it.


I was making good progress, but when I stopped to look what I had made so far, I realized there was a problem. One of my first fabric choices used a print that took way too much attention, and the yellow that I’d wanted to be the main focus was getting quite lost.


I did at least make sure that’s what was really bugging me before restarting. Yep, covering that one fabric made a world of difference, but no way I was going to pick all those pieces off back to that one. Thank goodness it was such a small canvas, restarting was a lot less painful.


While I’d been working on the original piece, Out of nowhere, I suddenly got the idea to thread sketch a lamppost on top of it, and the idea would. not. go. away. So when I started the second, I was more careful to place the yellow center…and to use fabrics that wouldn’t take attention away from it. When it was done, I really loved the way it looked and was having a hard time bringing myself to thread sketch on top of it. What if it looked terrible?? It’s really hard to remove thread sketching and I didn’t /really/ want to make a third version.


Thankfully I had not thrown away my first one, so I tried it out. I didn’t like the detailing I had done on the lamppost but I was sold on the thread sketching in general, so I decided to go for it. I made some adjustments and am generally pleased with how it turned out.

For the binding I looked for something that would be dark but pick up on the teal/turquoise bits in the lit areas. The Alison Glass print was perfect, and I did a smaller binding (somewhere between 1/8th and 1/4″) to fit better with the mini size.

I named this “Light in the Storm” because it was created during some stormy weather (we were waiting for the hurricane that never came) and also because of the mini that Yvonne sent me. It was definitely the highlight of a pretty bad week. I’ll have to share it on its own post because this is already a silly long post for such a small quilt. 🙂


Overall, I really love the way it turned out! All weekend I kept showing Eli “look, I /made/ this!” Have you ever had one of those moments with something you’ve made? Where you kind of wonder where exactly it came from?

So two thumbs up for small quilts and experimentation! I feel like my brain just unlocked a whole new playground area that it wants to goof off in. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to give it some time to do so soon!



Title: Light in the Storm
Dimensions: 4.75″ x 4.75″
Fabric: Scraps kindly provided by Karen @ CapitolaQuilter
Binding: Sunprint Ink in Blue by Alison Glass
Thread: Aurifil #2115 (lemon)
Number of variations already planned: at least 5


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