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Sunday 18 February 2018

Island Batik Mini Love: Circle of Friends

The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik.

Each month, Island Batik Ambassadors are given a project, and this month the theme is "Mini Love".  I *love* minis, so this is right up my alley!
When I first started designing professionally, it was clear to me that my piecing skills needed work, and miniature quilts were the answer. There is no room for error, as even an 1/8" out can ruin your quilt.  I made tons of them, from all disciplines, and even had several of them published in magazines.  This wee one appeared in an issue of "Miniature Quilts".  The log cabin blocks are only 1", making the finished piece 6".  I swear it took me as long to make this as it would have a full-sized quilt!  I still have it hanging in my kitchen, but I have since replaced that awful, square-cornered binding with tidy, sharp mitres. :)
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Here's another called "Teacher's Pet", which appeared in the "Miniature Wonders" column of Quick & Easy Quilting back in 2001. I hadn't as yet mastered machine quilting, as this one is hand-quilted.  What I remember most about this quilt was that it was mailed back to me by the magazine early on Sept. 11/2001.  Because of the chaos of that day, the quilt went on a bit of a wild ride.  When it finally arrived home a couple of months later, there were customs inspection stamps from all over the world, including Germany, France, and Scotland. It finished at 12" square
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This one, entitled "When A Tree Falls In The Forest", was a ribbon winner at Quilt Canada a few years' back. The pieces in those blocks were wicked tiny...
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One of my favourites is a miniature version of "Florentine" from my book Quilting Beauties, pieced from silk shirts purchased at Frenchy's.

Last year, I signed up for the International Miniature Quilt Exchange, and that big reveal is coming up very soon. (next month, I think!) Please watch for that.
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So...what to do for the batik mini-love challenge?  I decided not to go too tiny on this one, and to use up a packet of red,pink, and white F.Q.'s, sent by Island Batik in my box of goodies. I added a bit of purple for good measure. Since it's February, the month of love, the Friendship Star block seemed a good choice.
The block is pretty simple to make from HST's, and I set the stars to spin in a circle. These are 6" blocks.
 There are 9 stars in my friendship circle.
I traced a circle onto my patchwork with a disappearing marker, and cut it out with scissors.
It needed something fun and colourful for the border.  I went with the same purple used for the centre star, an Island Batik "Blender", in grape. 

For the batting, I chose a small piece of Hobbs Tuscany Silk. Aurifil 2311 was a perfect match to the background for quilting.
I didn't want anything too serious, so the background is done in playful loops, a swirly heart added to each star, and a small feather up the plain sections of the border.
The bias binding was pieced using all of the pinks and reds from the stars.  Don't you love binding circles? No corners to mitre!

 The project guidelines suggested no larger than 24", and it's bang on.
Technically, this is not a miniature quilt, it's more of a "small quilt".
With the addition of a hanging sleeve, it can go on a wall...
...but I like it on the table.  My Mini-Love Friendship Circle :)
Projects will be posted by all the Ambassadors throughout the month of February.  The links are all in my previous post, here.  It's fun to see the theme interpreted so many different ways!


  1. What a beautiful design and the batiks are perfect for it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow, Karen - that's gorgeous! You have risen to the challenge so well!

  3. It's gorgeous, Karen! Friendship stars are one of my favourite blocks :)

  4. Oh wow. Your new "mini" is just beautiful. I love it on the table. And I am so impressed with all your true miniatures. Thanks for showing us those as well. :)

  5. Wow! What a great project and what a wonderful collection of minis!

  6. That is a perfect circle of friendship stars! Your other quilts are very inspiring, too.

  7. Very nice - love seeing your miniatures! I am impressed!

  8. I love your IB mini, as well as all the other minis. The smaller, the better, that's what I think too.

  9. Wow! I love the circular shape! The flying geese around is amazing

  10. Beautiful, and like a circle of friendship, very special.

  11. The friendship star was one of the first blocks I ever pieced. Your circle of friends is a great way to show off the batiks. I think the purple really makes it pop.

  12. Oh, Karen, all your minis are spectacular, but this new one for Island Batiks is just gorgeous!

  13. Oh Karen you make things sounds soooo easy!. All the projects are gorgeous and the Island Batiks is wonderful eye candy. Enjoy!

  14. I love your Mini-Love Friendship circle. The colors are wonderful with the addition of the purple. Very nice.