Delight in the Little Things

At the end of last year, I joined a 12×12″ Art Quilt group on Facebook, just in time for the word “delight”.  The idea behind the group is that they post a word each month, and members design and create a 12×12″ art quilt inspired by that word.

I am always inspired by the tiny bits of beauty in nature.
I am always inspired by the tiny bits of beauty in nature.

Thinking about “delight”, the first thing that came to mind was “delight in the little things”. I started brainstorming what that would mean in terms of a small quilt.   I have a penchant for color gradient aesthetics, and since 12″x12″ is relatively small, I thought this would be a perfect time to make a quilt out of 1″ squares.  I have always delighted in the little amazing miracles found in nature, so I knew the natural world had to be a part of my quilt.  Sunbursts and the play of light on the world, reminiscent of laying in the grass looking up at floating seeds glinting in the sunlight as they swirl in the wind (an activity frequented by my kids and I during the warm summer months) was the ultimate inspiration for my quilt.  Enough talk. Here’s my process:

After cutting all the 1.5" squares, the next task was to lay it all out and find a pleasing gradient.
After cutting all the 1.5″ squares, the next task was to lay it all out and find a pleasing gradient.
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I created a 4″ paper pieced star to fit into my design. It’s now for sale on Craftsy!
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Matching seams like a boss! I continued to swap squares in and out as I got generous donations of blue scraps from friends and quilting buddies, until I finally settled on an arrangement I liked.
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Attaching the final row… Pins right next to each seam seemed to help me line them up the best. I definitely befriended my seam ripper for this project!
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Next I planned out the applique placement, and started to think about hand quilted embellishments.
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I played with the binding since I wanted to continue the gradient and not completely frame it in. I really like the way it turned out, and the little burst of yellow on the bottom corner might be one of my favorite elements.
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Silver embroidery thread paired with dark blue blanket stitch gives a nice feel of light glinting off the silhouetted dandelion seed.
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Expect the unexpected. The yellow bursts of color jump from a near-black binding.
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I opted for silver hand-quilting around the sunburst star.

Of course, I wanted to photograph the finished quilt during daylight hours to get the most from natural light.  As a stay home mom of two little ones, cameos from the kids were bound to happen. Maddie decided she wanted to help me display the quilt in the best light, and then while photographing smaller details, Max decided to help by flopping right down on top of the quilt!

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I am really happy with how this quilt turned out, and I’m definitely going to be making more art quilts.  This particular quilt will be donated to the Altruistic Art Show hosted by The Kindness Project in Bangor.  Like it? Go enter for a chance to win it while benefiting a good cause.

altruistic art show

3 thoughts on “Delight in the Little Things”

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