Kim Diehl, Simple Whatnots, Simple Whatnots II Book

Double Dutch Stars Mini Quilt

I love to see a secondary design pop out and add some interest to a quilt. For this Double Dutch Stars pattern, I can’t help but see the diamonds between the stars. As this little runner is a gift for my mom, I chose green fabrics to go along with the color scheme of her living room. It turned out just how I’d hoped!

For the quilting, I simply followed the seams. I did add a little loopy motif inside the large squares inside the stars, but I’m finding with any of the smaller areas and busier fabric it isn’t worthwhile to do extreme quilt designs. They get lost.

I was surprised to find this mini fits perfectly on my sewing desk! It’s the perfect size, but it needs to go to its new home. This gives me a great idea to make more minis to switch out for this desk, though!

The year 2022 is going to be the year of the minis. 🙂 I have joined the Simple Whatnots Club through a quilt shop where we will be getting a Kim Diehl pattern each month. My goal is to keep up and make them all!

Finished Size: 10.5" x 25.75"
Pattern: Double Dutch Stars from Simple Whatnots II book by Kim Diehl
Fabric: Gratitude & Grace by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass
Robin Pickens

Little Bird Song Table Runner

When making a gift for someone I’ve learned it’s just as much about the process of making it as it is about the finished product. First, you spend time picking out the perfect project idea and pattern for the recipient: what are their likes, what is their style, would they use this gift? After that there is much thought and consideration about the fabric selection. Their tastes might not match your own, so you need to consider their favorite colors and what style of fabrics they would like. Then while making it, you try to make everything “perfect”, sometimes ripping out and redoing many seams so the recipient will be pleased with it. It’s more pressure than what you are making something for yourself!

But another thing that goes on during this process is spending time thinking about the person. You picture them using this gift and imagine them surprised and happy to receive it. To handmake something takes a lot of time and you hope the person appreciates the work you put into it, but I’ve come to realize even if they don’t understand all that you’ve done it’s ok. You get to experience the joy of making it and thinking about them and appreciating them which is a gift to yourself.

This is exactly how my Little Bird Song table runner came to be. I decided I wanted to make a Christmas gift for my brother and his girlfriend and thought a table runner would be something useful for their pristinely decorated house. Their (her) style is modern and color palate is exclusively black, white and gray. They enjoy watching birds at their bird feeder, so I thought featuring a bird would be a special touch. I searched for modern bird quilt patterns and came across Little Bird Song by Robin Pickens. Perfect!

The pattern is actually for a wall hanging, so I had to figure out a way to adapt it to a table runner. I started by making two birds and then tried to figure out how to lay them out in a way that made sense for a runner. Through some trial and error (involving sewing and unsewing them multiple times when my ideas didn’t work out), I finally got them situated facing each other on their branches.

After completing my layout design and sewing it together I realized the empty space between the birds would be a perfect place for a candle or centerpiece! It looks intentional but it definitely wasn’t! 🙂

I used various black, white and gray fabrics from my stash, hoping to add interest through a mix of fabric designs instead of using color.

I kept the quilting simplistic using straight diagnol lines because I really wanted the birds to be the focus.

Though this modern design and color scheme aren’t my style, I am very happy with how it turned out! It was a good challenge for me and allowed me to excersize my design skills instead of simply using the exact pattern and fabric choices from a kit. It was an enjoyable gift to make!

Finished Size: 12" x 37"
Pattern: Little Bird Song by Robin Pickens
Kim Diehl, Simple Whatnots, Simple Whatnots II Book

Matchsticks Mini Quilt

Just as promised, here’s another mini quilt! I bought Kim Diehl’s Simple Whatnots II book and plan to make my way through most of the projects with a stack of her Gratitude & Grace fabric line. Quilt number one is unlike anything I’ve made before! Its scrappy look with vibrant colors, dynamic design, and tiny 1-inch wide strips (before sewing together!) were all new to me and I’m very pleased with the result.

First off: 1-inch strips and 1-inch squares! I tried to cut as accurately as I could with those teeny things! I’m wondering now if 1 inch is the smallest pieces I’ll encounter in this mini quilt journey or will they get smaller? Everything went together well, though! I took a little bit of extra time trying to make sure the same fabrics didn’t touch each other — you know, “controlled scrappy”. 🙂

For the quilting I used some brand new rulers I wanted to try out: Baptist Fans Expansion Pack from Michael Davison. They were surprisingly easy to use after I watched his YouTube videos. A great all-over quilting look for someone who doesn’t have a computerized longarm. Since this was such a small quilt I actually did the quilting using my regular sewing machine with free motion.

Baptist Fans Expansion Pack from Michael Davison
Guest appearance from Mindy!
Finished Size: 16.5" x 17"
Pattern: Matchsticks from Simple Whatnots II book by Kim Diehl
Fabric: Gratitude & Grace by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass
Kim Diehl, Simple Whatnots

Pint Size Mini Quilt

While visiting a quilt shop during an end-of-summer road trip to South Dakota, I spotted a sample of an adorable mini quilt on the wall. I think it was a combination of the colors and the tiny squares that drew me to it. I knew immediately I had to make it! They had kits all made up and ready to purchase, so Pint Size came home with me.

Pint Size at Quilt Connection, Etc. in Rapid City, South Dakota

I had previously spent time trying to perfect my quarter-inch seam allowance to become a more accurate quilter. I’ve improved so much in the last few months that I felt ready to tackle a mini. A miniature quilt is defined by the smaller blocks and the overall size of the quilt being less than 24 inches. The smaller pieces and higher number of pieces in a block are generally a little more difficult to make successfully so they can be daunting, but I was up for the challenge.

I really enjoyed making this one! Piecing all of the 1 and 1/2 inch squares together went well and it was fun to use a variety of fabrics for this scrappy look.

Now, as I pieced my Pint Size blocks, they were coming out to be the correct size, however, as I added the borders and sewed the rows of blocks together some became a little askew… I’m not sure what happened but I’ll just have to work on this technique more in another project! I think it adds a little character. 🙂

As I was making this, I wanted to know more about the pattern designer, Kim Diehl, so I did some research. It turns out Kim has an annual “Simple Whatnots” monthly pattern club dedicated to these small quilt patterns, which is where this pattern came from, and she designed the fabric in my kit as well. She has also written a couple of books with these Simple Whatnot patterns, so I ordered one and now my goal is to make a bunch of these minis! I also plan to join the next pattern club starting in January 2022 for a whole year of minis with her newest fabric line.

Prepare for more minis to come!

Finished Size: 19.5" x 19.5"
Pattern: Pint Size from Simple Whatnots Club Collection 3 by Kim Diehl
Fat Quarter Shop, Sew Sampler Box

Starflower Table Runner and Wall Hanging

This fresh, bright floral fabric along with this playful pattern were in my April 2021 Sew Sampler Box from Fat Quarter Shop. I had more than enough fabric for the table runner in the pattern so I made a coordinating wall hanging out of the rest!

I had fun quilting the main octagon shapes using a curved ruler which made perfectly fitting orange peel designs. I also played around with creating a secondary diamond shape design in the negative space surrounding the shapes.

I did similar quilting for the wall hanging for extra practice!

Finished Size: 16.5" x 56.5" for table runner, 30" x 27" for wall hanging
Pattern: Starflower Pattern exclusive to the Fat Quarter Shop Sew Sampler Box for April 2021
Fabric: Sunday Stroll by Bonnie & Camille for Moda

Fat Quarter Shop, Sew Sampler Box

Feelin’ Pine Quilt

After working on a string of table runners, it feels good to complete a quilt! The Feelin’ Pine quilt pattern I used came from the November 2020 Sew Sampler Box from Fat Quarter Shop. Besides the pattern, the box included the fabric, which really gives a woodsy vibe if you ask me!

The original pattern was actually designed to be pine cones and stars, but I switched the pine cone layers up a bit, added a stump and they became trees!

Original pattern design

After I had assembled the quilt I decided it needed something more. I came up with the triangle border using scraps from all of the trees and stars. It really completes the quilt!

The cool icy blue fabric with dots that seem like snow creates a wintry woods scene to me. For the quilting design my first thought was to add a swirling wind throughout the sky. Once I started I was committed — even when I realized it was going to take a long time to quilt all of those swirls! I wanted to set the trees apart a bit so I gave them some layers of snow to stand on.

The backing fabric is green with dots similar to the blue fabric on the front. It coordinates well with the elegant striped binding. I can’t wait to pull this quilt out this winter to enjoy!

Finished Size: 59" x 67"
Pattern: Feelin' Pine Pattern exclusive to the Fat Quarter Shop Sew Sampler Box for November 2020
Fabric: Folktale by Lella Boutique for Moda
Doug Leko, Tabletastic! 2

Southfields Table Runner

When I saw the Southfields table runner pattern in the Tabletastic! 2 book, I immediately thought it would be a great design to use with some patriotic fabric for a Fourth of July display. I gathered up some various red, white & blue prints I had been saving for just this type of project. It was a week before the Fourth at this point, but I was hopeful I could get it done in time! Of course other things got in the way and here we are in August. Let’s not call this late for Fourth of July 2021, but instead, really early for 2022! 🙂

I arranged my fabrics similarly to what was shown in the pattern — forming a gradient-like effect with dark blues in the corner squares going to lighter colors in the middle on each side. Planning and arranging the fabric probably took the longest, after that piecing it together went smoothly. I think it turned out well and gives out the festive vibe I was hoping for!

Finished Size: 15" x 45"
Pattern: Southfields table runner from the Tabletastic! 2 book by Doug Leko/Antler Quilt Designs

Doug Leko, Tabletastic! 2

Manchester Table Runner

The brightly colored strips with loud prints paired with a black solid is not my usual color combination, but I picked out this Manchester Table Runner kit from Millie P’s Quilt Shop and really love how it turned out! Sometimes you need to try something completely different from your norm. This is the third of three Tabletastic! 2 table runners I made during the shop’s virtual retreat in June.

This runner was assembled in such an interesting way using many strip sets and attaching them in an alternating pattern. Since the fabric is definitely the main feature, I kept my quilting very simple and only stitched in the seam lines to accentuate the shapes of the triangles and strips. Any other detailed quilting would have surely gotten lost!

Although this is a smaller runner at only 12 inches wide, I found it fits perfectly on my china buffet in my dining room!

Finished Size: 12" x 34"
Pattern: Manchester table runner from the Tabletastic! 2 book by Doug Leko/Antler Quilt Designs
Fabric: Kaffe Fassett Collective by Kaffe Fassett for Free Spirit Fabrics

Other

One Hour Pouch

What a quick and easy project! This One Hour Pouch from Millie P’s Quilt Shop is true to its name. I don’t usually sew very fast, so I was skeptical this would only take an hour, but it really did go fast.

After quilting the exterior and interior fabrics to Soft and Stable, the assembly is a breeze thanks to the 18″ Zippity Do Done Zipper the pattern calls for. I had never used one of these special zippers before and was very impressed with the process. The zipper has a built-in casing in which you simply put the edge of the bag body between the casing and top stitch it down. No need to create separate zipper strips, avoiding the multiple steps it usually takes to install a zipper. I will definitely use these zippers again!

This is a great, easy pouch that would be perfect to give as a gift! Millie P’s includes this pattern with their One Hour Pouch kits which are sold on their online shop.

Finished Size: 7" height x 7.5" wide x 2.5" depth
Pattern: One Hour Pouch by Millie P's Quilt Shop
Fabric: Sew Now! Sew Wow! by Alexander Henry Fabrics

Doug Leko, Tabletastic! 2

Eden Park Table Runner

The second table runner I completed from the virtual retreat I attended is Eden Park from Tabletastic! 2. I hadn’t made a design such as this before, so it was fun to try something new!

The thin strips called for in the pattern made this runner a little more difficult to make and keep things from going askew, but it was a good skill builder! I’ve learned that accuracy is so important with something like this.

Since the interesting shape these blocks create is the highlight of the runner, I kept the quilting very simple and did straight-line quilting around the shapes.

Finished Size: 18" x 45"
Pattern: Eden Park table runner from the Tabletastic! 2 book by Doug Leko/Antler Quilt Designs
Fabric: Notting Hill by Amy Smart for Riley Blake