I made a version of the “Love” Letters Mini Quilt from The Crafty Quilter using the machine quilting tools on my new machine, and it turned out pretty well. It’s a gift for my granddaughter that I think she will enjoy. She’s pretty good about showing appreciation for gifts. I followed the directions as closely as possible, but I don’t have the quilting skills of The Crafty Quilter, particularly the stippling skills, although I’d like to learn them someday. I had problems from the get go, especially cutting the four squares so that they were square, even though I have a ruled mat and rotary cutter. I had to get a few clear rulers to finally get them right, and I wisely made a test square to try out a variety of steps, like using the applique blanket stitch on curved pieces.
I agonized about the stippling, which is such a beautiful technique, particularly because the spaces were so small, that I feared my amateur attempts would just be messy and overlapped. I stumbled across a stippling stitch on my machine, and while it doesn’t have the beautiful rounded shapes of free-hand stippling, it seemed good enough for this small piece. You can see in this picture, that stitching in the ditch is also a skill that I need to improve on, missing the ditch in a few places.
Putting the squares and side pieces together with the batting and backing was easy enough, but I fought making the bias binding for the edges. At first, I thought I might just extend the edges of the backing and fold it over to the front, but I didn’t like the red fabric against the red rick rack, so I made my own from strips of bias fabric. In fact, I made it first from the backing print, but then decided to make it from the lighter border print. I would say that attaching the binding and mitering the corners was the least enjoyable task, but maybe I was just tired and ready to be done with it.
All in all, I think it turned out very nice, if not as perfect as the model, and I learned a lot in the process. Visit the original site to compare.