February Island Batik challenge – Magnificent Minis

This is my first challenge as an Island Batik Ambassador. The February challenge is Magnificent minis. Our challenge was to make a mini quilt smaller than 24″ X 24″. Fabric used in this project was provided by Island Batik and the batting was provided by Hobbs Batting as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program.

I made not one but two minis for this challenge. My first is a design I had stashed in my sketch book for a while. I am always intrigued by equilateral triangles and hexagons and how well they play together. This is a design that starts with several small half-hexagons. Three half-hexagons make an equilateral triangle. Three triangles make a half hexagon, three of which make a triangle again and so on.

The red and oranges for this mini comes from a “Soul Song” strip set I received from Island Batik and a few others from the stash builder rolls.

The problem with joining half-hexagons to make a triangle is the dreaded Y-seams. A short photo tutorial on Y-seams is at the end of this post.

I quilted using read, orange and yellow threads, though the different colors don’t really show after quilting. A dark red binding would have been better but I wanted to save the rest of the reds from Soul Song for my March project. I used a nice purple for the binding instead. The quilt finishes at about 22″ square.

As I was putting the finishing touches on this mini, the other ambassadors started posting their projects for February and they were all just stunning. I go the feeling that this may be inadequate and started another mini.

For my next mini, I used my tutorial for Spiral Nova, scaling everything down so that the finished size is about 20″. The strips are 1.5″ wide, finishing at 1″. When I wrote the tutorial, I didn’t expect to make anything smaller than 40″. After this project, I went back and added a row for this size in the tutorial.

I started with 8 strip sets. Some are repeated. I wanted to try using strips with relatively low contrast. Most of the blues for this came from the stash builder bundles from Island batik.

After making the spiral nova, I added a 2″ border all around to make sure I din’t cut off the points when I trim and bind. I quilted a tight spiral all around – looks almost like concentric circles. Once done, I used a large compass (the kind used by carpenters) to draw a perfect circle about an inch away from the star points. I had to use a bias binding around the circle.

I used the Hobbs Thermore batting for this mini. Thermore is designed for quilted clothing, table runners, placements, etc. that need to lay flat. It is very thin. After quilting, the piece was unbelievably flat – no warping or curving at the edges. I normally like a bit of loft in my quilts but I am definitely going to use Thermore for my wall quilts, bags and table runners in the future. It is very light and sits perfectly flat, but still shows off the quilting as well as any higher loft batting. .


Layout three half-hexagons correctly.

Here’s the Y-seam tutorial as promised:


Join two of them and press the seams open.
Start sewing with the third piece on top. Stop your needle exactly 1/4″ from the edge (mark with a sharpie if needed) and the intersection of the two pieces in the bottom. Turn the piece on top to align the edge of the bottom piece and complete the seam.
Press seam away from the third piece. Pressing this seam open does not work very well. I am no longer afraid of Y-seams but I need to love a block very much to willing sew Y-seams đź™‚
The March challenge is Vintage Re-imagined. This is my fabric pull.  Most of it is from the Soul Song strip set. Any guesses on which vintage quilt pattern I may be re-imagining for my March challenge? Leave a comment.

Do not forget to go to this Island Batik blog post and checkout all the Island Batik ambassadors this year. Visit their blogs and see their awesome projects for the February Magnificent mini challenge!

Linking to all my favorite linky parties:
Linky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the river
Midweek Makers @ QuiltFabrication
Needle & Thread Thursday
Finished or not Friday @ Busy Hands Quilts
Can I get a whoop whoop
TGIFF hosted by Whatahootquilts

18 thoughts on “February Island Batik challenge – Magnificent Minis

  1. I love them both. I think I like the “math oriented” hexagon/triangles best. Once I thought about it for a minute, I see the logic of why it works.
    The spiral quilting on the Spiral Nova is a very nice touch.

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  2. Hi Vasudha! Wowee – both of your minis for February are fabulous. I really love that Spiral Nova. The fabrics are just perfect as is your quilting. I also enjoy the triangles mini. How very cool that three half-hexagons make an equilateral triangle. Your quilting continues the very modern theme nicely. ~smile~ Roseanne

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  3. Love both minis! Definitely want to try the half hexie/triangle now!! Still need a little more nerve & patience to try Spiral Nova. Thank you for the tutorial and inspiration!!

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  4. Both of your mini’s are great! I love the math of the Hexi /triangle pieces! And the quilting! WOW that brings a whole different dimension to it!
    Happy Quilting! 🙂

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  5. Wow! While I don’t think your first mini is inadequate AT ALL, I do really love spiral nova. Spiral quilting is one of my favorite motifs. Beautiful!

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  6. I am going to tell you what I told Anja: “comparison is the thief of joy”… WOW! I was over the moon with your half hexagon/triangle quilt (makes me think of those Russian dolls, you know what I mean?) and then you did my favourite of all your quilts, but in miniature!! These two should hang together IMHO, hot and cool. Love the purple binding on the triangle one too. Stunning start to the year!

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  7. Holy smokes! These minis are both gorgeous, intriguing, and just darn wonderful. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!

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  8. I believe that the challenge was to make a mini. You made them magnificent.
    1. I love the seemingly simple triangle within a triangle mini with the subtle (unintentional?) nod to the Holy Trinity. Beautiful colors, beautifully quilted.
    2. It was your sense of inadequacy that led to the Supernova mini!!! Holy smokes, how can you possibly feel inadequate??? I can say I love it but that is a horrible understatement. Awestruck and Stupefied
    Vasudha, I am in awe of your creativity and your doggedness. But mostly Doggedness!!!

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  9. Pingback: Circular – May Make it Modern project | Storied Quilts

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