I started a new miniature quilt a few days ago. (I'm trying to ignore this never-ending winter weather by distracting myself at the sewing machine.) I purchased the pattern and fabric while in Florida. It's a small Carolina Lily design by Cindi Edgerton. If you are familiar with her patterns for Minis, you know they are printed on tissue paper, which is your "foundation", so there's not much room for error. I guess I really like to challenge myself as I decided to try using Dupioni silks for this project. (Who can resist their luscious colors and luxurious shimmer?) I am using a cotton solid for the background, but all the other fabrics are silks. Don't ask me why I'm doing this... I guess I'm a little crazy. Certifiable, even.... or I might be by the time it's done...
The silks are a bit bulkier at seams than a cotton would be. Also of course the silk frays terribly so it can't take too much "handling". Because the pieces are so small. seams have to be trimmed down, and mine are about 1/8th inch or sometimes less. Yup, I'm crazy. The block is 3" finished and has 4 sections which go together, with a total of 37 pieces per block. Because there are stems and flowers, everything has to line up perfectly. This is definitely an exercise in patience and great care in handling and precision stitching.
I made a test block (always a good idea) using a hand-dyed pale green cotton as the background. Once I got that first block together, I could see that the color just wasn't just quite right for the project. Also, being a hand-dyed, there was variation in the color, more than I expected when I opened it up fully, so I set it aside and went looking through my stash for something more suitable. I finally found a pale yellow-green solid - perfect, except it is only a fat eighth, so the quilt will have to be smaller than the nine blocks I had originally planned. Right now I'm thinking four blocks might just do it! I have three done and have pieced half the border blocks and corner blocks so I'm well underway. The test block also showed me that I had to move a few seam lines just slightly to have everything line up perfectly (stems and blossoms). Being off 1/16th of an inch doesn't sound like much, but on this little block it was major.
I'll work away at it over the next few days and then I'll have to switch gears to get a start on a project for our Guild Community Projects workday this coming Saturday. Stay tuned....
"Be precise. A lack of precision is dangerous when the margin of error is small." ~ Donald Rumsfeld