Monday, September 17, 2012

Controlled Chaos Mini

How on Earth is it Monday already??? Is it just me, or is this month just flying by?! Fortunately, it's been a good sewing month, and I have a fun finished mini to share with you all this morning.


Last week, I went a little crazy with my solids scrap bin. I wanted to make a little something that I could finish, so I opted to make a little mini, using various squares. After laying them out on my design wall, I thought they just looked too plain, so I decided to do some wonky stitching-and-flipping to spice it up a bit.

After I finished my squares and started putting them up on my design wall, I fretted. Chaotic would be a serious understatement. I posted this work in progress on both Instagram and Facebook, and got tons of feedback, including a great idea from Amanda (who also happens to have a lovely fabric shop!): add in some solid squares to give the eye a place to rest.

She was so right! Once I added the solids, there was definitely still lots of chaos, which I liked, but it was like a controlled form of chaos. I sewed the top together, and stared at it happily on my design wall for a few days before quilting it. I was really torn about how to quilt it, especially because I like to try new FMQ designs on minis, since they're small and easy to move around. So...I wound up doing a couple of different things, because I couldn't decide on just one. ;)


For once, I decided to match the threads to the fabrics I was quilting on top of. This was a little bit time-consuming to actually pull off because of how many different colors I was using, but I really love how it looks. Even if I did utter a few sailor-quality curses as I buried the threads! I also decided to do a couple of different quilting styles, which made the whole thing a lot of fun. There's a continuous square-in-a-square type of quilting in the solid squares, and then the remaining wonky stitch-and-flip squares are quilted in rows, alternating between a sound wave style of quilting and a continuous triangle kind of quilting.


To finish it off, I bound this little guy with a fun Nicey Jane stripe that I just love, and I really love how it almost adds more chaos to this little quilt. This quilt is going to make a fabulous addition to my wall of miniquilts, and it just makes me smile every time I see it!

Controlled Chaos mini
note: the dragonfly is real, not part of the quilt!
Quilt Stats
name: Controlled Chaos
size: 20" square
pattern: improv by me
fabrics: various Free Spirit Designer Solids in
backing: Rashida Coleman-Hale's Washi Triangles in Charcoal
binding: Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane Welcome Road in Lemongrass
quilting: various styles of FMQ in various Aurifil 50 wt threads


  1. Very pretty! I love the idea of controlled chaos!

  2. This is such a fun and exciting quilt! There is so much energy and movement. Love it.

  3. oh this is very very fun! Good addition of the squares and of course, your quilting makes it!

  4. Very pretty, and so nice of the dragonfly to pose for you.

  5. Very nice Elizabeth, and I really like how you did different quilting in different squares instead of an allover design- gives it a much more custom look- your quilting is getting really good!

  6. I really like this and it looks so fun...

  7. Love the creative triangle chaos and all the colours, it looks fab!

  8. Such a fun mini quilt! I love the different FMQ styles! It really adds to each square that you matched up the thread colour =D

  9. That was very nice of that dragonfly to cooperate for the photo shoot! Love the introduction of the solids. Good idea to keep in my for some projects I'm working on. How big is the quilt over all?

  10. Love love love! The quilting is wonderful.

  11. It's happy, bright and absolutely unique. I love it!

  12. I love it! I also loved it with the more color! Your first one!

  13. Cute, I like the solid blocks and the different quilting designs in all the squares.

    I have a question for you...How do you make a design wall? Do you have foam core board on a wall or use felt like they used to in Sunday school a million years ago? I want something rather than the floor to lay my pieces out on.
    Thanks for your time.

  14. Elizabeth, this is the cutest quilt! The addition of the solid squares just added an interesting element to already great quilt.

  15. This turned out so cute! I love it! (and thank you for mentioning me *blushing*) Can't wait to see you at Sewing Summit!

  16. This is very cool. I am usually pretty rigid about things being symmetrical and neat & tidy, but this is inspiring me to get chaotic too. Your quilting is marvelous. It just wouldn't be the same if you did continuous line quilting. It's gorgeous!

  17. I love every little bit of this quilt! The solids were a genius addition for sure. And your quilting is so cool. I'll have to file that idea away - with the solid squares all the same and the other rows different. And that has to be some super quilt karma to get the dragon fly :)


Thank you for leaving a comment for me! I appreciate each and every one of them and try to respond when time allows. Your comments totally brighten my day :)


Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy nine year old boy and a one year old baby girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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