Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fractal Friendship Star mini quilt

Fractal Friendship Star, measures 18" x 18"

Back in January I came across this photo on Instagram and immediately wanted to make a quilt out of it:

Photo by ParisianFloors on IG

A month or two later Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl and I decided to swap mini quilts again and I knew that photo would inspire the quilt for her.  Our guidelines for the swap were to push ourselves out of our comfort zones--for me that meant doing a quilt with straight line quilting (instead of my usual detailed and dense free motion quilting) and for her that meant doing detailed free motion quilting (definitely go check out the gorgeous quilt she made!  She killed it!).  I drew out a quilt idea and figured out fabric requirements:

Fractal Friendship Star: quilt designing, size of blocks and fabric requirements.

Next I had to pick fabrics, which I really struggled with.  Finally I decided to use some Artisan Cottons by Windham Fabrics that I won through Hawthorne Threads earlier this year.  The fabrics are a shot cotton--meaning the warp and the weft fibers are different colors that create a really lovely shimmer.

Fractal Friendship Star: checking that the layout works!  The smallest squares are 1", and finish at 1/2.

It was pretty simple to piece, though lots of little squares!  There are 96 of the smallest square, but they came together into 4-patches quickly.

Fractal Friendship Star: Keeping my squares organized.  Yes, I pinned EVERY seam intersection.

Actually piecing the whole thing was all 4 and 9 patches!

Fractal Friendship Star: Piecing together the quilt top.

I like how this photo shows how the fabrics change depending on the direction of the dominate fiber color:

Fractal Friendship Star: basting.

I did try dense straight line quilting, but ripped it out because I really didn't like how it camouflaged all my careful piecing!  In the end I went with just stitch-in-the ditch!  I used Quilter's Dream wool batting for the light weight loft, which works well with the sparse quilting:

Fractal Friendship Star: finished quilt

It was a little strange only doing straight line quilting, but this was a definitely a case of Less Is More!  I'm much happier with each of those squares standing out.

Fractal Friendship Star: detail shot of the 1/2" and 1" squares.

Here's the back, I like how it turned out too!

Fractal Friendship Star: backing.

I was lucky enough to be able to gift it to Yvonne in person during our Oregon beach vacation (you can see pictures of our sewing vacation on Instagram: #YandROregonBeachRetreat)!  

Fractal Friendship Star: puffy squares.


  1. I'm so happy with the quilting!!!

  2. The depth of the Artisan Cottons and sheen at different angles is such a delightful extra depth to the mini quilt. I love that this swap pushed us both in different ways and I can't wait to get home and hang this up!

  3. I'd been curious about where you were going with this. Lovely!

  4. Lovely finish. Your intersections are spot on, great job with all those tiny pieces. Love it.

  5. The 'less is more' approach really worked here. That quilting does a wonderful job of highlighting the design and definitely draws attention to the little squares. That fabric looks fantastic!

  6. Beautiful mini that I'm sure Yvonne will love. I have yet to work with shot cottons but just love how they give a project depth and dimension. Love seeing the little squares! Really small piecing is something that is definitely out of my comfort zone. Great job!

  7. This is gorgeous! I pretty much love everything about it. :)

  8. This is beautiful! I remember seeing the tiny pieced squares on IG and wondering what you were going to do with them. I've never used shot cotton before, but this just might convince me to pick some up.

  9. AH! That's awesome!! I love your reinterpretation of the Friendship Star and how you quilted it. In this case, I agree with you - less is more!

  10. Gorgeous quilt, I love the fabric you chose and how you made a seemingly complex design look simple and elegant.

  11. You did such a great job of translating the floor design into a quilt. I love how the depth of colour in the fabrics makes the star seem to shimmer. The minimal quilting looks great, but it does make me wonder...did all that empty space make you feel a little twitchy? :)

  12. I love shot cottons and I love how you've used them here. Your quilting decision is perfect. Very well done!