Monday, April 20, 2020

Mini Monday - 2020 Corona Quarantine Mini - #2020CQMini

Sarah's Virtual Sewing Meet-Up (Show Me the Mini)
Introducing:  A Bright Spot in "Coronaville"
(What quilting is, for me.)

Welcome to a new blog series here at The Joyful Quilter!!  I'm pretty sure that Sarah had NO IDEA that she would send me down a whole new path.  I hope you enjoy Mini Monday, a new series of posts to catalog the avalanche of creativity the following inspired.

Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict is missing quilting with her peeps.  An email from the Modern Quilt Guild got her thinking...

So - here's my idea!  Why don't we have a "virtual" sewing meet-up, and each make a fun mini this week?  Then next Monday I'll have a link-up on here so we can each share our mini!

Your mini might be a mug rug, or a pin cushion, a post card or a wall hanging - the sky's the limit!  Square, round, octagonal, free form - branch out, try something new and different.  Use a color you don't normally use, or a technique.  Add mixed media, make it three dimensional, just have fun with it!  Size is completely up to you.  Let's see what we can create as a memento of our 2020 Coronavirus Quarantine!

Are you game?  I hope so!



My head is spinning here in Joyful QuilterLand.  I just finished 2 mug rugs this week, but that was BEFORE the announcement/invitation from Sarah.  Hmm...

What shall I do???

I probably shouldn't DO anything!  But, since Sarah asked SEW nicely, I really want to participate.

It didn't take long to come up with a really cool (and original) idea, but I want to incorporate these fabric scraps from Sandy @ Sew High in my design, as I definitely don't often use the color pink:

Once that idea was in place, I thought of my friend Beth and switched gears.  She would really like a mug rug of the idea I saw earlier today.


I'm thinking I might want to do MORE letters.  Like my Q.1 challenge, only not.  This time, I'm going to fall back on my free pieced letters.  It's been a while since I've used that technique.

What to say???

Nope!  Nothing came to mind.  I guess I'll keep on thinking.


What about Barb's Olive tutorial?!?!  That is certainly not something I've done.  Ever!  Plus, I haven't done prepared applique in quite some time.

Think, think, think...

Oh!  I've got it!  What about an olive on a scewer with a martini glass?  I think I'll even ask Barb if I can use her Quarantini name for the little quiltlet.  Here was the email I sent:

I really want to use your technique (and the Quarantini name) in an upcoming quilt!! Would you mind if I use one and/or the other?

This was her response:

You are more than welcome to use both.  Looking forward to seeing what you create 
Thanks for asking.  


I really like the technique Sarah used while I was busy agonizing over which design plan to go with:

When I couldn't get the photo of her work in progress out of my head, I sent Sarah the following email:

Thank you for being a constant source of inspiration, Sarah! I'm hope you will answer a couple of questions about your  denim mini...

Was there a formula to your whacking?
Did you use a wedge ruler or a regular one? I'm bad with angles, but really like the regular pattern of your first cut.

I'd like to use your process as part of the design I came up with for my Monday Mini. I plan to applique onto the first step and then (maybe) whack that to arrive at my final quilt. I won't be doing the inserts afterward, but the chopped bits fit right into my design plan.

Please advise.

Are you getting the picture that I'm just a LITTLE lacking in the focus department here???  You MIGHT be right.  The problem is that a really want to sew ALL the things!!!


Let's start here, with a simple 16-Patch and see how that feels:

It feels good, but I think I want to cut it up, hence the rotary cutter:

That was fun, but I (might have) forgotten an important detail when I was planning my cutting lines:

Oh, well!!  I'm sure it will be fine.  Next, came the old switch-a-roo, just like in Sarah's quilt:

Here is my re-sewn block:

But WAIT!!  There's MORE...

Introducing the beginning of the twist that might have YOU thinking that I am out of my mind:

It wanted to play with my pretty pink (now chopped up) 16-Patch.  So I devised a way to eradicate the coronavirus!!  No.  I'm no scientist.  (I'm a teacher by trade.)  However, that didn't stop me from finding a way to (metaphorically) find a cure for that nasty bug.

Stay with me, now...

The BIG "C".  Not THAT big "C", this time.  "C" for Corona.  It was one of the LAST things that Sarah said in her invitation to a (Virtual) Mini Quilt Show.  My first design plan refused to be ignored:

The next part of my mini's journey involved a bit of drawing:

And some cutting, too:

I decided on using raw edge applique for this project...

 ... With no stabilizer:

Here is the fully appliqued letter:

If you are thinking that my mini quilt has another date with the rotary cutter, you'd be correct!  Some additional slicing and dicing is coming right up:

Next came the reorganizing:

More reassembly was required to attach the pieces into something that resembles a quilt top, or a quilt block, as the case may be:

After much spinning and turning, my mini revealed its new "right side up" orientation, but the design didn't feel complete:

The re-cut and re-assembled piece was begging for MORE!!

More what?!  That's where Barb's applique tutorial came into play.  Sort of...  I was in a hurry to try her method.  With no cardstock or circle templates at arm's length, I resorted to loose change on the counter:

Testing out my (bright) idea... I think I like it:

Thank you to Needleb and LindaIllustrator for confirming that I was on the right path!!

Then came the hand applique...

...  But I was a bit rusty and created a bit of a blooper on the far right of the design, that "music note" kind of shape:

That was NOT in the design plan!  Once I used my handy dandy seam ripper and the problem was rectified, quilting ensued:

With the quilting done...

Voila', the time had come for squaring up my mini:

Binding options presented my next challenge:

The colors are there, but my top two choices seem overbearing:

Thanks for pushing my creative limits, Sarah.  I had SEW much fun making this little piece and am thrilled to have another "Joy Original" for my Gallery Wire:

Not SEW bad for someone who doesn't feel that she has a creative bone in her body.  :o))

FEEDBACK from the peanut gallery...

DS1 - Cool!  (I was on the phone with him, at the time I sent the picture.)  I went on to explain the slicing and dicing, then had him guess what the chopped up bits had been.

His guess?  A "J" (for obvious reasons.)  Honestly, I was amazed that he had guessed that the remaining bits had BEEN a letter!

DS2 - Interesting!  It looks very natural despite how asymmetrical it is, and though the color scheme isn't to my taste, it has a cool effect.

Then, I went on to share the name of the piece ("Not subtle, Mom.") and my process, to which he responded:

Interesting!  I never guessed that it had started out as something else.  I just figured it was a disjointed, scattered group of stylized human figures.  Appropriate for the (coronavirus) situation.

Hmm... I never looked at it that way.

To which he replied:

It's similar to how people are often represented in more minimalist art, and the way the cut lines align with the two main subjects' "bodies" serves effectively to form invisible barriers between them, even thought the scale of the quilt suggests they're relatively close.  Then there's a third figure viewing from an entirely different space.  That's my overanalysis, anyway!

My response to that?!?!

Me:  You think too much!!  I feel fairly confident that I would NEVER have come up with all that!  :o))

DS2:  Maybe you're just a deeper artist than you realized! LOL

Me:  Right...

Both sons really took time to look at my work and give me feedback.  LOVE!!!

Garden outtakes...

Going for an artsy shot with a play of light and shadows...

... Which failed.  So I moved the mini farther into the shade:

On the way back inside, I decided to try a shot with the yellow iris:

Sharing with Alycia

Until next time...

S-T-R-E-T-C-H those creative muscles!!


  1. Oh Joy, I love following your train of thought! And your mini is darling. Your quilt adventure made my day :). ~Jeanne

  2. That is SO. VERY. COOL!!! I love it - and that you took my start and worked your own creative changes with it. Excellent work!!!

  3. Oh my goodness, my head is swimming after reading this post, Joyful! You are very "ideaful" as someone I know used to say. I really like the last little quilt you made with pink and purple. Are you committed to doing a mini every week and, if so, will you go through the same process or pick up where you left off this week?

  4. I think it is gorgeous! Beautifully done.

  5. I think you've finally outdone yourself! Sew creative.

  6. So cool! I thought maybe there was an abstract m as a starting point. A bit stunned to see the start to finish process you went thru. Really awesome, Joy!

  7. What a great mini!! It was so fun to follow along as you documented your creative process.

  8. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and process! It made me chuckle to read your sons analysis of your mini. Deep thinkers!

  9. You did a fantastic improv, letting your creativity be your guide. Marvelous. I am deep into a secret sewing project, so linked up an older mini. Love the responses from the peanut gallery.

  10. Very creative and totally joyful!

  11. That was such a fun read; well-illustrated, and inspiring!!! I just may have to join in on the fun. Maybe. You make it so tempting!!! GOOD work! Love your DS 1 & 2 support, too!

  12. Very pretty mini...even through it took forever to get there. You lost me a few times, Joy, with all the wanderings of your super-creative mind and hyperactive brain. Glad you brought it home :-)

  13. I'm impressed with your sons observations! Great little quilt. You are a very creative person.

  14. Joy, that is cool as can be! I love that your kids helped you see it differently. Their comments made me go back and look again, too. Great mini finish!

  15. Oh, I totally see what DS2 is talking about! And I love that interpretation. Great mini, Joy!

  16. I like the process as much as I do the finished mini! Congrats on a very inspired finish.

  17. Wow you really had fun with that improv small piece!
    Love pink!
    Its great to get caught up in a process with new ideas.

  18. I love that they think you are a deeper artist... that proves it goes to your soul - not just your eyes!! Great piece - I really did not know where you were going with it - and it turned out so great!!


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