I'm relatively new to the whole mini quilt bandwagon, but I am addicted! I think they're awesome for so many reasons: they're pretty quick and can be finished in a couple days if you're under pressure, but a few weeks at the most, they require very little fabric investment, they don't add to the ever accumulating pile of throw and bed quilts in the house, they don't require a longarmer...and that's just the practical stuff. I also love that I can try out free motion quilting without having to wrestle a huge quilt, and I love that they make great gifts that aren't overly extravagant. I also love that you can get pretty creative with the subject of the quilt, moreso than you can with throw quilts. I'm not one for cutesy and themed things in big quilts, but minis work.
So last year, when the hype around Jen Kingwell's My Small World quilt was circulating and everyone was DYING to get their hands on a copy of the French publication the pattern appeared in, I wanted to get one too. As photos of different versions floated around Instagram, I realized it would make a perfect gift for my friend, Julie. We've been to Disneyland with Julie twice; both times we had our oldest daughter, and the second time Julie had her 4 girls with us. It was so fun, and I know It's a Small World is one of Julie's very favorite rides. I immediately started scheming, but felt the Jen Kingwell version was a little abstract for my purpose. I started brainstorming...and found Leasa's pattern that she designed after the one she made for her Disney Quilt swap partner. I almost bought it, but realized her pattern made a pretty big quilt--I think it's almost 48 inches in one direction. Yikes! So, I started sketching from photos and images I found online...and then when I got EQ7 for Christmas, it was one of the first things I designed in the program. It was actually a little clunky, but I'm still learning how to use EQ7, and eventually I got what I needed (a bunch of paper piecing templates).
I did mess up on the math for some of the cutting, but since I'd taken the care to design it on a very easy grid, it was easy to fix. And I messed up on the paper piecing pieces for the tops--I'd totally spaced the fact that since they were "turrets" and roof pieces, I should be using the "sky" fabric for the background...so I got to redo every single one. *sigh* But it worked out fine and didn't add too much extra work.
I stitched the face on in gold embroidery floss (I used DMC brand). It was awful to work with, but I think it turned out fine. I thought the gold was just perfect. I would have been willing to redo it in gray or something, but, I really wanted the gold to work.
When it came to quilting, I felt rushed because I had only about 5 days before her birthday and I was at a complete loss for ideas. I considered pebbling the sky, but what to do with the main part? In the end, I did a simple cross-hatching. I didn't want anything to distract from all the fun fabrics or the embroidered face.
I hope she loves it, I had a fun time planning it for her and thinking about her while I schemed. I love a good mini quilt for a birthday gift!