When I reviewed the book Cottage-Style Charm by Natalie Bird, I was immediately taken with the Heart and Bloom Mini-Quilt. I loved the colors, the simple embroidery, and even the way it was displayed on a wall inside an open frame!
I promptly set out to gather the supplies and fabrics to start making it. The five pinks and reds from the Oh My Darling Collection (9943, 9951, 9952, 9962, 9955) seemed perfect for this project. To round things out, I added in Quilter’s Candy Mirage Tea Rose (3883) as my sixth fabric. I wanted my binding to frame the project and really stand out; I picked Quilter’s Candy Solid Wine (3957).
After picking my fabrics, I read the cutting instructions.
Oh my! The pieces are tiny—1 ½” x 2 ½”! Typically, I don’t usually work with such tiny pieces, but I had already fallen in love, so I persevered.
My first step was embroidering hearts and flowers on a piece of natural muslin using a #12 red perle cotton from the Presencia Finca Scarlet set. To help keep the floss from showing through to the front, I also chose to use the optional featherweight fusible. AFTER the embroidery was finished, I cut out the pieces. Hint: leave plenty of room in between each one when you do your tracing!
I used a small design board to layout all my pieces. This allowed me to play around and get a good balance of color.
Once my layout was complete, I carried my board over to my machine. The design board allowed me to maintain my layout and concentrate on sewing the pieces together in the proper order.
Don’t forget to have some nourishment handy!
When I started sewing the rows together I used the 6-in-1 Stick ‘n Stitch Guide to help me keep everything straight. It sticks where you put it but you’re able to re-position it and leaves no reside behind when removed.
Fortunately, the pattern calls for offset seams so they don’t have to line up perfectly. I did try to line up the seams across every other row, pinning each one, to try and keep things as straight as possible.
And here is the finished quilt.
Next, I ran around to all the thrift stores in search of a frame similar to the one shown in the book. I finally found one I thought would work. The only problem? The frame was gold–and I really wanted the white shabby chic look! So I turned to our sister site, The Artist’s Club, and used the Americana Decor Chalky Paint to transform the frame into what I envisioned. I started off with a couple of coats of Cameo (brown) which I let dry overnight. Finally, I painted Everlasting (white) on top and (before it had completely dried) used a damp rag to wipe some places off to give a worn, vintage look.
The Final Product:
I love, love, love the way it turned out!
P.S. I also turned a block from the Heart and Home Quilt into a Valentine by reducing it down. There are so many ways to use this book; I definitely recommend it.