October 31: October Monthly Mini; A visit to ”Busy Thimble”

Greetings dear readers! As of October 17th I had no idea what I would do for my monthly mini or even if I would get one done during this busy month. It was the second day of the Cocheco show and I was browsing the vendors, one of whom had a selection of precuts. It occurred to me that with square pieces already cut I could potentially make something pretty quickly so I purchased 3 mini charm packs – 2 1/2 inch squares – of these black, white/cream, and tan fabrics:

I bought 3 packs since I wasn’t sure what I’d make and wanted to be sure I had enough. The next day I laid the different pieces out to see what I had:

I quickly decided to use the squares ”as is” and not cut them up into smaller pieces. The idea was to keep it simple and quick! So I started arranging 9 patches, varying the location of the lights and darks:

Then I decided I needed to add a little bit of color. I looked at cheddar, but decided red was better!😊:

And here is my mini, called ”Square Deal”. It’s about 16.5 inches square:

To liven up the squares, I found the ”circle” fabric in my stash and appliqued smaller squares inside 2 light squares in each of the four 9 patches and also used it for a narrow border:

I separated the 4 nine patches with narrow red sashing:

For more pops of color, I embroidered a line of red between the center and the narrow first border and added another red border. I found another fabric in my stash for the binding:

I also found a perfect fabric in my stash for the backing and used my black batting again:

The piece is machine quilted – simple outlines and straight lines in the borders:

The quilt was easy and fun to do and finished days ahead of the deadline. Best of all, I actually like it!

My very busy month included what has become my annual pilgrimage to Cyndi Black’s shop, ”Busy Thimble” in Lichtfield, Maine where I meet Cyndi and Wendy Reed (The Constant Quilter blog) for lunch and shopping.

Wendy brought her completed blocks for her ”tile” quilt, each piece with a bird in the center and a different toile fabric on the back. See her blog for photos; it’s going to be a spectacular quilt! The shop is loaded with Cyndi’s fabulous small quilts:

It was wonderful to visit with friends and talk quilts. Cyndi’s shop is a mecca for lovers of reproduction fabrics and the 2 hour drive for me is well worth it! Of course, I bought some fabric, but forgot to take a photo – maybe next post.

Before I forget, I want to share 2 items I treated myself to at our quilt show:

On the right is a beautiful hand turned wooden awl with a nice little plastic sleeve for the tip. I’ve been using it to turn the edges for leaves for Maple Leaf Rag and it works really well and feels great in my hand! A few years ago when I gave my granddaughter Svetlana a sewing machine for Christmas, I also gave her one of my smaller cutting boards, a rotary cutter, and my one and only 3 inch by 18 inch ruler. I’ve noticed that I really miss that size ruler and have been wanting to replace it for some time. This Quilters Select 3×18 ruler was available so I got it and I have fallen in love with it! This is my first time buying this brand and I love how it grabs onto the fabric and doesn’t slip. I may just have to eventually replace a couple more basic size rulers with this brand.

The quilt exhibit at the Boston MFA made the cover of the arts section of the Boston Globe recently:

It was a fabulous review! I love, love, love that quilts seem to be more appreciated and accepted as ”real art” these days and I really hope that continues! I promise many more photos from this exhibit in upcoming posts!

Be sure to visit Wendy’s blog, The Constant Quilter, to see links to all the monthly minis!

Happy Halloween!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

30 thoughts on “October 31: October Monthly Mini; A visit to ”Busy Thimble”

  1. susie Q October 31, 2021 / 1:20 pm

    You square something quilt if sooo good looking. Your talent comes shining through!

    • gladiporsche November 1, 2021 / 4:15 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! Making quilts is such a wonderful creative activity for me!

  2. clairewitherspoon October 31, 2021 / 3:03 pm

    Your mini is wonderful. I normally think of black white and red going together but the black white and cream/ tan really works and the rich red is just the right thing to pull every thing together!

    I’ve only been to Cyndi’s shop once but it was so much fun! I don’t remember all of the wonderful mini’s… I guess I was to focused on the fabric!

    The show at the Fine Arts Museum look fantastic. I wish I could just get on a plane and go see it! Happy Halloween!

    • gladiporsche November 1, 2021 / 4:17 pm

      Thank you so much Claire! I’m lucky to have both Cyndi’s shop and the Boston museum relatively close by!

  3. juliekquilts October 31, 2021 / 4:17 pm

    OH how pretty! Love your red and black mini…and what a very fun excursion!

    • gladiporsche November 1, 2021 / 4:17 pm

      Thanks Julie!

  4. Pat in WNY October 31, 2021 / 5:06 pm

    Beautiful fabrics and the addition of the red makes this mini truly special. And I love that gorgeous backing fabric.

    • gladiporsche November 1, 2021 / 4:18 pm

      Thank you Pat! I have a couple yards of that backing fabric and when I bought it – probably at least 15 years ago, maybe longer! – I was thinking of making a jacket out of it! No more! 🙂

  5. acityquilter October 31, 2021 / 8:05 pm

    delightful mini! and cyndi’s shop never disappoints…i agree about the qulters’ select ruler…i was gifted one and more are definitely on my list…

    • gladiporsche November 1, 2021 / 4:23 pm

      Thanks Grace!

  6. Kyle October 31, 2021 / 11:56 pm

    Love the simplicity of your mini, but it’s stunning with the added details and the red. So sweet. You’re so fortunate to be able to visit Cyndi’s awesome shop with Wendy. Just see the photos is incredible inspirational. Thanks.

    • gladiporsche November 1, 2021 / 4:25 pm

      Thank you Kyle!

  7. Paul McKenna November 1, 2021 / 12:54 pm

    Hello Gladi: your work continues to impress and the photos of the quilts from the event in Rochester are stunning and full of surprising delights. I continue to admire your Nature photography and marvel at the multi-form mushroom displays. Lee and I are still hoping to travel to Maine between November 16 and 21, 2021. We’ll be visiting HBC briefly and if you folks wish to rendezvous in Camden that would be superb, however, there’s no pressure to travel if you’re at all dubious. We’re both fully vaccinated and cannot wait to cross the border to touch base with Maine. Take care and say “Hello” to Al for us both. Cheers, Paul

    • gladiporsche November 1, 2021 / 4:26 pm

      Thanks Paul! I think the Camden rendezvous sounds nice and we’ll be in touch about it!!

      • Paul McKenna November 1, 2021 / 10:09 pm

        Yes, by all means! A strategy session is certainly in order.

  8. Wendy C Reed November 1, 2021 / 3:34 pm

    Your mini is stunning! I can’t believe you appliqued squares, but I love the look! It was so nice to see you on Friday. Hope we get to do that again soon. If I do get a change to visit the MFA exhibit, I will let you know. What fun that would be!

    • gladiporsche November 1, 2021 / 4:29 pm

      Thank you Wendy! It was great to see you, even for that short amount of time!! Definitely let me know if you are coming this way to go to the museum. I’d love to see the exhibit again with you!

  9. Randy Danto November 1, 2021 / 10:30 pm

    I totally am in love with your mini. Red with black and white is always so striking and I love how you arranged the blocks. Even the thin red embroidery was genius!
    I’m so jealous that you got to Cyndi’s! And you got to see Wendy too! Two-fer!
    Can’t wait to see what you bought!
    Be well!

    • gladiporsche November 3, 2021 / 7:14 pm

      Thank you Randy! I’m pretty amazed how easily this mini was composed and constructed. Some of them have been a bit more of a struggle, but not this one! As you know, seeing Wendy and Cyndi is a real pleasure!

  10. Cynthia @ wabi sabi quilts November 2, 2021 / 3:41 am

    Your mini is so striking – such a great idea to add the little appliquéd squares, and how special to add the line of embroidery. I love the backing too. Wow, Cyndi’s shop – that just looks heavenly! I have been following the MFA show from afar as best I can! Sure wish I could see it! Appreciate you blogging about it!

    • gladiporsche November 3, 2021 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you Cynthia! I’m glad to be able to share photos from the museum – and I love seeing your photos from Japan! Have you ever gone to the Itchiku Kubota Museum in the foothills of Mount Fuji? If not, I highly recommend it – it probably was my favorite thing we did in Japan other than the Tokyo Quilt Festival.

  11. Sandy Robinson November 3, 2021 / 2:44 pm

    Great little mini! I love seeing the process of how it all came together, and the result is stunning! And want a terrific back. Fun! Thanks for the visit to Cyndi’s shop. I’ve never been, but hopefully some day …

    • gladiporsche November 3, 2021 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you Sandy!

  12. Marsha November 3, 2021 / 3:32 pm

    I love your mini. Great colors and fabric. I would not have thought to applique the squares rather than piece them. Great solution! I love the Quilter’s Select rulers and have bought several. I love that they don’t slip while cutting. I bought their machine quilting ruler and it’s my favorite now for straight line quilting. I’d love to go to Cyndis shop someday….

    • gladiporsche November 3, 2021 / 7:23 pm

      Thanks so much, Marsha! A few more of the Quilters Select rulers are now on my wish list! Do get to Cyndi’s shop if you can. Many of her fabrics are half price, making the trip extra worth it. She is unfortunately thinking of closing the shop, though that could, hopefully, still be a few years away. She already limits opening to Fridays and Saturdays and recommends calling ahead to make sure she’ll be there.

  13. marissthequilter November 5, 2021 / 10:45 am

    You certainly transformed those charm packs into a thing of beauty.
    Thank you for another inspired and inspiring post

  14. Janet O. November 5, 2021 / 3:56 pm

    Wow, Gladi, that mini looks very high class, and I mean that in the best way. Simple lines, but great attention to detail that make it stand out in a crowd. The addition of the red, the appliqued squares, the embroidery detailing, even the backing fabric–it all comes together flawlessly. I will never look at mini charm squares the same way. I have to keep going back and looking at it in awe.
    Such fun to see that you were able to meet up with Wendy and Cyndi at Cyndi’s shop. Hard to believe it has been over 2 months since I was able to do the same. I wish I could count on an annual pilgrimage to her shop, but it was 6 years between visits for me. Her little quilts are so inspiring!
    I am a total convert to the Quilters Select rulers! I was gifted one a few years ago and it became my mission to gradually replace my Creative Grid rulers with the QS brand. Makes it so much easier on the wrists, and I don’t get the sliding accidents that ruin a precious bit of fabric. Just last year I was finally able to get my 18″ square replaced and I feel pretty well set. I’ll admit that the 3×18 is a favorite, and so is the 3×12. I am rambling here. 🙂
    I love the title of the Boston Globe article!

    • gladiporsche November 9, 2021 / 11:02 pm

      Thank you Janet for your very kind words re my mini. I’m amazed how sometimes a piece comes together easily and well, like this one, and how sometimes a piece is a major struggle! It’s nice when it’s the former!😊 I consider myself lucky to live close enough to Cyndi’s shop for an annual pilgrimage. I see more QS rulers in my future!

  15. barbvedder November 6, 2021 / 12:57 pm

    Your new mini is wonderful. It would be a beautiful full sized quilt too.
    I hope to visit Cyndi’s shop one day. I’d love to see all those pretty little quilts in person.
    I hope to make it up to Boston to see the quits. I like to see them mainstreamed in the art world !

    • gladiporsche November 9, 2021 / 11:04 pm

      Thank you Barb! I’m so, so happy to see major museums featuring quilt exhibitions!!

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