Happy Valentine’s Day! As today approached, I was so focused on making sure we had everything the girls needed — cards and treats for their friends, shoeboxes to decorate, class party supplies — that I neglected to get so much as a card for Jose. We don’t really do gifts for this holiday, preferring to have a date night instead (which we did last Friday), but we do get cards or some little treat. And I had nothing! Total wife fail!
He was teaching last night, so after the girls were in bed I racked my brain to come up with something creative. In the past, I’ve used my Silhouette several times to make paper cards but this year I wondered if I could whip up a little something on the sewing machine. My original plan was to make a card with a fabric heart on the front — but then I wondered if perhaps I couldn’t make something even better.
Something like a mini mini quilt!
Jose did a lab with his students last night, which meant he’d be home later, which meant I had juuuust enough time to make, quilt, and bind a paper-pieced heart as my “card” for him this year. I used this free pattern — slightly modified by me to reduce the size and add a couple more sections of color — and about an hour later I had this ready to go. It’s the first mini mini I’ve made, and measures ~4.5″ square.
It was all made from scraps, and quilted with Aurifil monofilament/invisible thread on top and white in the bobbin. I’ve just recently started playing around with invisible thread after a rather unsatisfactory experience with Gutermann invisible thread a couple years ago. This time I’m finding it quite useful! I started with Wonderfil Invisifil last month for the hand applique on a mini quilt I made for the MQG swap (that I’ll share in a couple weeks once I’ve given it to my partner). Then I switched to Aurifil invisible thread for quilting on that one, and again on this mini mini. The Invisifil is a “cottonized polyester” and the Aurifil is nylon, so they feel different and from what I’ve seen so far, each is definitely better suited for different purposes. I tried hand sewing the binding of this mini mini with the Aurifil, but found it too slippery and difficult to knot. The Invisifil feels more like normal thread and has worked wonderfully for all the hand sewing I’ve tried. On the other hand, the Aurifil is more invisible and works well with my sewing machine, and thus is well matched for quilting if I want to add texture but not color. I haven’t tried quilting with the Invisifil, so I’ll have to do that soon for a true comparison but either way, I will definitely use both of these again!
The hardest part of this mini mini by far was the binding, which was more of a challenge than I expected due to the small size. Joining the ends with my usual method was proving tricky — I didn’t have long enough tails to finagle it through my machine — so I ended up literally folding one end under by 1/4″ and just tucking the other end inside it. I wouldn’t do that on anything bigger, but it certainly worked well enough for this project.
So there it is! A sweet and simple Valentine’s mini mini that turned out to be way better than any store-bought card would have been.