Sunday, December 25, 2016

Quick Quilted Holiday Haikus

Merry Christmas! Happy Chanukkah! Happy Kwanza! Happy Winter! Whatever you celebrate (or not), I hope you will have time to do some creative sewing over the vacation. Here's my idea du jour, and the results can serve as last-minute holiday gifts: Cut out 16 to 25 tiny scrap squares and make art.

As noted last week, I'm on a ferocious square kick. That blog post showed a 100-square creation that I displayed backwards. Here are 150 more squares, sorted into six separate pieces:
Each tiny small square is cut to 1.5", and finishes at 1". So each of the 5-patch arrangements above are 5" x 5" finished.  

Making these is like writing haikus. Play! This game works as well for solids as well as batiks.

I embellished these little pieces with embroidery floss, buttons and/or machine quilting.  I've already given away most of  them away as gifts/holiday ornaments/small wallhangings. If you start with larger squares, they work as potholders, table runners, and pillows. Just for fun, name them, like haikus.

Sunflower, before embellishment:

...and after lots of seed stitching and a mother of pearl button:
Shibori Blues, before: 
...and after buttons and yellow French knots:
Opposites Distract, before: 
...and after: 
 Too Pale, before:
...and after (even paler): 

Lilac Bush, before:
...and after heavy hand embellishment. This one gave me carpal tunnel. Seriously:
Pink Eye, after even more carpal tunnel aggravation: worth it after even more hand stitching:
All together, after embellishment:
Below are a couple more that are a bit different.  First, Purple Sunset, before. This one is only four squares (and inches) per side:
...and after cross stitching and a mother-of-pearl button.
Next: Underwater.  I forgot to take a "before" picture. It's 6 x 6 squares, and it's machine quilted.
Below, Red Square, also six by six. I didn't add embellishment, just a little stitch-in-the-ditch machine quilting. 
Nothing could be easier than sewing squares, yet I still manage to misalign them. If my squares were teeth, an orthodontist would get rich. But once you embellish them, nobody will care that the seams don't match perfectly (I tell myself)! So it's okay to drink high-quality eggnog while sewing! Or possibly hot chocolate mixed with spiced wine? (No kidding!) (Brush teeth frequently or you will enrich your dentist, too.)

Have fun with this idea! Send pictures!


  1. These are very sweet arrangements Cathy. I have been re- visiting the pleasures of hand embroidery and the ' slow stitch ' too, and it is so easy to be creative with it. Too, as you say, it can camouflage any number of imperfections!
    No matter how careful I try to be, I also have so much trouble lining up my points and squares perfectly too. I have heard of this ironing trick with the seams that is supposed to help them 'nest' but still never perfect.
    O well. We have to embrace our imperfections I am told.
    Great inspirations, thanks,

    1. I do nesting with flipped seams, but mine still wander anyway! There's something I'm missing...maybe a special foot that would force a precise seam allowance? Thanks for your comment, Daniela!

  2. The mismatched seams only add to the charm. Little mini works of art - great idea!

  3. Replies
    1. You just named my new book! Unless you've just named your new book?


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