Thursday, February 21, 2019

Night Fairy: An Island Batik Magnificent Mini

It's my very first Island Batik Ambassador challenge!!  February's theme is Magnificent Minis.  The only requirement is a maximum size of 24" x 24".

I chose a fairy block designed by Juliet of The Tartan Kiwi.  The date on my download is December 30, 2015 so I've had the pattern for a while.  I am so happy to now have a completed fairy mini quilt!

The fabrics were provided to me by Island Batik.  Hobbs and Aurifil also provided materials that I used in this project. 

The original pattern is a 12" block.  I enlarged it to be a 15" block and I'm glad I did--even enlarged, some of the pieces are pretty small.  I still don't love paper piecing when I'm doing it but I sure do love the results when I get an image it would be impossible to piece traditionally. The fairy's feet were really close to the bottom and I wanted a little more space between the feet and the binding, so I added a strip at the bottom.  Then, to make a clear rectangle, I trimmed a bit off the sides.  The final mini measures 13 1/2" wide and 16" tall.  I don't see the pattern for sale any more but here is the original post with Juliet's fairy.

I used only three fabrics in this mini.  The background is a blender from the basics collection called Bubbles in grey.  I imagine that the "bubbles" are stars and the fairy is flying around on a star-lit night, which is why I chose to name this quilt Night Fairy.  The fairy is also a blender, Dandelion in jelly.  The wing fabric is from one of the strips in my stash builder roll.  I wanted the wings to look like light and this blue-and-white batik really captures the look I was hoping for.

I know it looks like it doesn't blend, but given that you can't see the part I unraveled, it does!

For the quilting, I used Auriful 50 weight thread color 2783, medium delft blue.  I used Hobbs Thermore batting which is nice and thin, perfect for a mini that will hang on the wall. 

The first quilting I did was to outline the fairy herself.  I shortened my stitch length for this part for more precision in the outline.  Then, I envisioned straight lines radiating out from the fairy.  I thought about how to do this for a while.  Ultimately, I decided that a Dresden Plate wedge would give me the look I wanted.  I found this article that explained the angels for the Dresden Plate and used one of the printable templates linked in the article.  I chose the 18 degree Dresden.

My first step was to mark the vertical and horizontal axes at the halfway point.  I wanted the quilting to radiate out from the fairy so I didn't stitch any lines through any part of the fairy's body, including the wings.  Once I had the center point established, I filled in the top half of lines using my template.

I marked my lines with a Clover chaco liner.  I know a lot of quilters like a hera marker for lines but I  suspect those people are actually magicians.  My indentations are never visible and that method just does not work for me, so I use visible lines that are easily erasable.  The white chaco liner works great on dark backgrounds.  I find that most of the chalk disappears when stitched over. It can also fade when touched too much, which is why I only marked the top half to start.  Once I stitched those lines, I marked the bottom half.

You can kinda see the radiating lines in this picture. I'm happy with how the quilting turned out.

I am so happy with this fairy!  I love her bright purple color and background of stars.  I plan to add her to my recently relocated wall of mini quilts in my office.  I've got a spot picked out for her by the window so she can easily fly out and have adventures.  Thanks, Island Batik, for giving me the opportunity to create this Magnificent Mini!


  1. I definitely don't love paper piecing - although it was my introduction to quilting. My first few paper pieced blocks worked out great. I think now I just have a mental block against it.
    Your fairy worked out beautifully.

  2. A gorgeous mini! At first I thought it was applique and didn't realize it was paper pieced till you said so. A finish with a lot of WOW!

  3. What a fun mini. It makes me think of growing up and watching Disney. I think the radiating lines work really well. I have the same problem with the Hera marker; it all depends on the fabric I'm using. Sometimes I can see the marks well, sometimes not.

  4. I can't see the Hera marker on darker fabrics, either. And I love the Chaco liners. Great job with the quilting! Cute, cute mini!! Great job getting a round tuit! (in reference to the pattern download 2015)

  5. Very cute mini. I love how the background brings up the image of stars and really makes the purple pop. BTW, did you update your blog recently? It looks great. (of course, it could be the same as always, but I've been known to read it via a blog-reader and not go directly to the website).

  6. A gorgeous mini. Magnificent indeed!!!