A Much Needed Finish

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Have you ever just needed to finish something for your sanity? Like the projects just keep piling up but nothing seems to get finished? This is the state I found myself in when starting the March Island Batik Ambassador project. I hadn't finished anything (at least that I can show yet) for quite a while. The theme, like last year in March, was Mini Madness. It had to be smaller than 24" x 24", and had to be foundation pieced or english paper pieced. 

 
 

For my mini I settled on the Sand Crabs Pattern by Jen Frost of Faith and Fabrics Designs. These cute little crabs were the perfect fun little project.

Now there is a little story behind the orange and blue fabrics I used as a base. Have you ever had a moment that later seemed like fate? Something small (or maybe large) that set you on a very unexpected path? A moment that stands out in your mind as the start of something new and exciting? This was one for me.

 
 

Back in August 2015, I entered a giveaway from Lemon Tree Snippets and won the Island Batik Country Fair bundle she was giving away. She had put together a tutorial for THE CUTEST citrus wedge place mat tutorial, and it showed up in my Facebook feed. I'm pretty stingy with my clicks, but I was drawn in and it was totally worth the click and read! These are still on my to make list. I then did something I almost never do, I entered her giveaway.

At the time I was a very new blogger and wondered if she would answer some blog related questions. Being the wonderful person Patti is (all the Ambassadors are pretty great, supportive ladies), she happily did so. The Island Batik Ambassador program came up in the course of the conversation. She offered to let me know when applications were up again at the end of the year. I had almost forgotten about it when she messaged me with the link. The rest is history.

Now that you've sat through my story (that I tried to keep as short as possible), we can get into the quilt details. The rest of the fabrics used were pulled from my Island Batik stash to round out the colors. I was totally feeling the Blue, Orange, Green combination. Of course I had 'help' in the selection process from my ever present kitty.

As mentioned before, I had settled on the Sand Crab Paper Pieced Pattern. The color placement on the mock up was what I decided to do, so when prepping my papers, I marked the colored pieces with 2 different colors. This helped me to keep the colors straight. I went ahead and, after making a test crab (for testing and not because it was too cute to not make at least 1), I prepped all 8 other sets of foundation pieces. 

Foundation Paper Prep.jpg

During assembly I chain pieced each unit. This allowed me to spend less time getting up and down, and made the assembly go much quicker. Now I'll be honest, I expected the assembly of these little crabs to go faster than they did. They are cute and well worth the effort, but they do take a bit of time to assemble. For thread during piecing I used Aurifil 2021.  

 
Chain Piecing Crabs.jpg
 

This little mini was proof that small projects sometimes take longer than large ones. It didn't help that I felt the need to fussy cut the crab shells. For the quilting I did wavy lines with a wood grain like texture to give the impression of ocean currents. The thread used was Aurifil 2715. This particular quilting design went very quickly and I was very happy with the texture when complete.

 
 

While finishing the binding I had a bit of a snafu. When I went to join the binding I cut the pieces too short. Luckily I had enough of the binding fabric to fix the problem. To do this I went ahead and sewed the extra strip on and then, very carefully cut the angles to join it a second time.

 
 

Of course, once complete I couldn't resist taking these crabs out in the wild to roam free. Thank you for taking the time to read about my little mini quilt.