Hello Dear Friend,
With Valentine’s Day drawing near, I was reminiscing of my favorite holiday traditions. My husband and I are not really the couple that does all the lovey-gushy stuff. Nor the overly extravagant wine and dine with a large bill. Most of the time we keep it casual, jeans and a nice top. Throw jokes and jabs around to keep our relationship playful. While my husband and I usually try to sneak away one night for a dinner alone the week of Valentine’s, that is not the highlight of the day for us.
We always have the most fun planning our morning surprises for the girls the day of. Every year we plan goodie bags for them, with small toys (usually legos), “makeup,” balloons, a sweet breakfast and a hand written card that we read aloud to them. It’s like Christmas with pink EVERYWHERE. After Dad returns from work they all dress up for a fancy date. The girls absolutely love it! And so do I. It’s the sweetest thing to watch.
One area I’m usually lacking in, is the Valentine’s decor. I know it’s not a priority but having some pretty seasonal items around the house to keep us all in the spirit of the love-y day would be nice. It also gives me a new sewing project to work on. So yeah, it actually is a priority. This year in preparation for Valentine’s I made a mini quilt to hang up, and I’m quite proud of myself since it is already done. Not like my usual midnight race to finish.
This here is my Valentine’s Mini Quilt, the pattern is designed by Felicia’s World Quilting that I had the privilege to sew together. It turned out even better than I imagined, and came together so quickly. Even sweeter, this pattern is a FREE download when you go to www.feliciasworld.com website.
After downloading my pattern, I picked out the prettiest prints from the Country Roads collection by Poppie Cotton. It was calling my name. Really! I’ve had this bundle of Country Roads for a couple months now but just couldn’t find the right project to highlight the florals as a focal point. I think the peony prints are so beautiful and using them for the hearts in this Valentine’s pattern was the best way to show them off. Before cutting, I pressed all my colored fabrics onto an adhesive appliqué webbing like this. You’ll see in the pattern there is a super helpful template with the heart shapes and letter appliqué cutouts. You can definitely cut these by hand but with the fancy shmancy Cameo machine I used, all the appliqué pieces were cut out with ease and precision. I’m gonna need to get one of these for my own sewing space soon. This machine shortened my cutting time down to under an hour. It’s a game changer!
Having a pile of perfectly trimmed hearts was pretty sweet. My mind kept trailing off on other projects I could use them for. So many options!!! But slow down and focus on the project at hand. Anyone else have this problem? I’ve heard it referred to as quilters ADHD. Hahaha! Press those hearts and letters onto your background fabric. I chose this subtle white Mode Fabric Lattice Cloud that you can find in my friend Jennifer’s Etsy shop. It’s amazing and I need more for every project going forward. Machine appliquéing the details was a time saver and once you get the rhythm down it’s pretty fun too. Definitely go slow around the curves and use the edge of your sewing foot to gauge the distance of your stitches so you don’t fray the ends of your fabric.
All my heart blocks and letters were done so I played with the layout and found one I liked. I’ve realized placement is a huge deal and can make your project a winner or well… not so cute loser. While laying out my blocks I try to spread out the bold colors evenly since they are the ones that catch the eye at first glance. If all the bold patters/colors are clumped into one portion of the quilt it will not be balanced. Balance and symmetry are what we gravitate toward and what the eye sees as beautiful. Once you have that down, you’re golden!
Sewing the blocks went quickly as lightning! Each square measures 6.5 inches which is a piece of cake. I love when quilt tops come together this quickly, they make me feel like a pro! I sandwiched that baby up with cotton batting and a deep navy blue floral print for the back. Actually, it was the same fabric I used to back my, “Holy Peace,” quilt since I had enough leftover. It seems I’ve been in a blues phase lately, and I ain’t mad about it.
Using my walking foot (after turning the room upside down to find it) I went along all the seam edges of each block, outlined the hearts and letters to help them stand out even more. Trimmed off the edges and voila the mini was done all by machine in one night! Mini quilts are so satisfying, especially after hand quilting the same project for what seemed like endless weeks. This was refreshing! I really should add more minis to my list of projects. Maybe a monthly mini block for seasonal decor? hmmm… There’s that quilter’s ADHD again.
Oops, not done yet. I took a little strip of stripey binding (also Poppie Cotton) and added it diagonally to the back side of the top corners of the quilt. This way I can hang my mini without having to puncture pins through the front. Then on to my most favorite step of all binding. A simple border around the front that I hand stitched to the back while drinking my morning coffee. Ahhhhh… slow hand sewing, morning sunshine and a warm cup of caffeine. Perfection!
Before I could get pictures of my finished make, I kept peeping at it sitting on my sewing table. I really love how the colors play off of the white background and the stripey binding so subtly shows off the border. It’s perfectly pink and navy which are definitely in my top ten favorite colors. Is ten too many? Some people think so, but as a quilter I think it’s my job to keep a long list of options.
Here’s my mini baby in all her cuteness! Now I’ll have a Valentine’s background for the girls to take photos in front of before they rush off on their date with Dad this year. Happy Momma for sure! But am I proudest of the girls we made or the mini quilt… you’ll never know. 😉
With love, Jasmine