Sewing “Mojo Minis” with Suzy Quilts
I finally finished a quilting project – hooray! I bought this class, taught by Suzy Williams, from the Craftsy mobile app. And then I had a baby.
Now you understand why I started this blog with, “I finally finished a project!” because it took me almost a year to complete. It took me so long that Craftsy became Bluprint and I’m still trying to figure that one out.
But alas, every time I opened my old Craftsy app that would no longer load anything new, there was Suzy in my Classes section with her wild mini quilts reminding me that my new life is just an adjustment period and I needed to create something new to feel alive again.
Use your gut.
Break the rules.
Go with intuition.
But don’t lose limbs.
Break free from the beat.
Here was my experience.
Pin now – sew later!
Meet the Instructor
The most important thing you should know about Suzy is that she is so. freaking. funny. I will take any class she ever teaches just for the simple fact that I find her thought patterns so interesting. The whole time I found myself saying, “yes, girl. yes. I VIBE YOU.” This girl has some serious energy.
If you’re a beginner to all-things-sewing, I highly recommend taking this class. There’s literally no wrong moves you can make. It’s almost like you’ll intentionally make mistakes to see what it creates. Suzy has a way of making you feel comfortable and confident while teaching you some very helpful techniques you can take with you into future projects.
High five, girl. High five.
The class’ overview says it a lot better than I can,
“Ready for a project that’s simple and FUN? Designer Suzy Williams shares her inspiring techniques to sew a frameable series of four mini quilts. Play with color and improvise your designs as you learn to create colorful quilts with unconventional lines, easy-to-sew curves and more. Whether you’re an experienced quilter or just starting out, Suzy’s approach to working with fabric will leave you feeling refreshed, renewed and ready to create!”
If you want to learn more about Suzy and all the beautiful quilts she creates, visit her website at suzyquilts.com.
Moving on to the fun part!
Mini Quilt #1. Unconventional Lines
Okay this one is the most insane. And so is my fabric, I am fully aware.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant with a baby girl, I unleashed the floral insanity. Mostly because we named her Rose. I wanted so bad to make my daughter the most beautiful little baby quilt — and she would have my first. But I made a few fabric decisions that I probably wouldn’t make again. I used three different fabrics and they all were very heavy patterns. Needless to say, her quilt has a lot of character (and a lot of appliques because I am a crazy person). But her quilt to this day, is still the focal point of her room. I designed her nursery using a soft rose-gold pink with a complimentary grey – and then I was gifted a green mother’s chair. So when I started thinking of what to make with this class, I knew I wanted to make a few pieces that tied the whole room together. So that’s my defense about my fabric choices.
As soon as I started watching this episode, I realized I WAS GOING TO BE SO GOOD AT MAKING UNCONVENTIONAL LINES. Because the Lord knows I can’t match up two straight lines so this whole project will look totally intentional.
The goal of this piece was to try things you might have never had the chance to otherwise. If there’s a stitch on your sewing machine that you’ve never used, try it out. So in this piece, I tried every. single. stitch. my machine had to offer. There’s some I loved, some I didn’t. But now I know and will stop wondering if there’s something awesome I’ve been missing.
Then I had this brilliant thought, “I’m going to embroider my daughter’s Hebrew name and it’s going to be amazing and I’m going to embroider Hebrew on every project I’m going to do forever and it’s going to be a part of my brand”. I stitched the first letter (shin) and it looked great. This is it. This is where I become famous. And then I continued. And with each letter I slowly started to deflate.
I learned that I don’t like embroidering Hebrew.
But my sweet Shoshanah Zahavah, I did it for you, girl.
One idea that I came up with that I did like was putting a rhythm/pattern in my hand-stitching. Every 7 embroidered stitches is a different stitch. Whether it’s a plus sign, or a different facing arrow, there’s something different about the seventh one. If you’re Jewish, you’ll understand why I did that. I hope that years from now when my daughter takes a second look at what Mom made for her, she’ll notice the seven-stitch rhythm and she’ll feel like I hid something in the details just for her.
A new technique I learned: In this episode, Suzy teaches how to sew using chain piecing. I found this technique very helpful and have already used it in other projects. Also, chain piecing is better with music. Another tip I learned was to, “iron to the dark side” and I say it in my mind every time. You’ll have to watch the class to figure out that one.
*This was supposed to be portrait size and it awkwardly turned into a landscape and friend, some questions are just better left never asked.
Mini Quilt #2: Composition
This piece is based on the famous, “log cabin” quilt design. And to be honest, I really didn’t care about making it. I’ve never cared for this design. But then Suzy explained a little bit about the history of the pattern and now I’m an obsessive fanatic. At the time I was taking this class, I was writing an e-series for a non-profit Bible Society about restoring the Family Bible to the “Hearth” of the home in America. As soon as Suzy said the word, “Hearth” I was all ears. Writing that e-series was such an incredible and moving experience for me to go through, I’m reminded of it every time I see this piece. I am now prophetically married to the log cabin design.
I chose to use green for the hearth in this piece. Our Family Bible is also the same Bible I wrote the e-series for. It’s a large 9lb. GREEN Bible that sits as the center piece of our home. It’s our family’s cornerstone and the foundation of our belief system. I used green on purpose so that my daughter will grow up having these simple truths imbedded in her spirit to always put God and His Word as the center of her life and at the heart of her home.
I find it fascinating how much art can effect our lives without even realizing it. I’m going to use the log cabin design as a prop to teach my children how to build family.
As you can see, I really toned down all the different stitching in this one and stuck with the basic straight stitch. But this time I made waves with it – which I really like because things never really end up straight for me most of the time so it takes the pressure off. I also continued using the seven-day stitching pattern. This mini quilt turned out to be my most favorite. I hope Rose likes it.
Funny thing – I used one of her swaddles as batting for this one. At the time, all of my crafts were strung all over our garage (which is totally normal for creative people, right?) and I thought I ran out of batting. But I was in a groove and could not be stopped. So I improvised and took one of her old swaddles and used it instead. I thought it was a cute way of incorporating something from when she was a newborn, although no one would ever know. It would be our little secret. But as soon as I finished it and looked at it in real light, I realized you can see the pink stripes through the white pieces of fabric. But that’s okay. I still think it’s special.
I found the batting the next day because that’s how the world works.
A new tip I learned: “Don’t forget your negative space.” Also, I think Suzy’s favorite words are funky, wonky, crazy, and wild.
Mini Quilt #3: Rhythm
This one was going to be my favorite, I was sure of it. Rainbows are LIFE. I was so excited for this one I had to talk myself out of just starting with class #3 because this is all I really wanted. Whenever we have a baby boy, we’re going to name him Noah and I’m SO PREPARED to sew the best rainbow mini-quilts a little boys nursery will ever see but guess what.
I hated doing this one. This turned out to be my most least favorite.
See all the two giant creases in the pink rose fabric? Ugh. I literally hated doing this one I couldn’t wait to be done. I think what bothered me the most about it was using a glue stick for hold the fabric in place. I feel like it never really felt secure enough to sew and it not move. I learned sewing by making my own appliques for pillows so using a glue stick kind of felt like a hack way to do it. But I am also 100% open to practicing because in glue stick theory, I can understand how this technique could be helpful.
I kept the same seven-day pattern in the embroidery and I tried something new at the top. I looked up embroidery stitches on Pinterest just to learn something new and I found a tutorial on how to do a french knot. It was really easy to understand and with the specific embroidery thread I was using, they looked like little flowers (which remind you, flowers are my jam).
I used the green to make it look like a door. It reminded me of a Scripture that says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Again, being intentional about the green Bible, the green hearth, and the green doorway, it’s my hope that my daughter will grow up to invite Jesus into her heart.
It wasn’t until the log cabin block that I became very intentional about using the green fabric. I’m telling you, that revelation broke my brain.
This one was almost a disaster, but I was able to save it and really enjoy the finished piece. Again with the glue-stick technique – still didn’t care for that.
At first I made the whole piece an 8.5×11 size because that’s the template that’s used in the class. But I didn’t realize it was smaller than the three other minis and I needed to have it a certain size to fit the frames I already bought. So I randomly sewed green sides on to it making it bigger. Must improvise!
I couldn’t figure out how to intentionally use the green in the piece, so I ended with using it as a very bold statement piece that draws your attention. I like how it turned out.
At the time I started embroidering this one, I got a new headwrap in the mail from Kantha Bae and I loved the stitching. I love that stitch look that looks like long far apart straight stitches. Not sure what that’s called (if you know, please drop it in the comments box below) so I wanted to try and incorporate it into this piece, but that meant I had to let go of the seven-day stitch rhythm I used throughout this series. And honestly, I think the stitch rhythm means more to me than the far apart straight stitch look. So I’ll probably go back to that in future projects.
And again, I flooded it with french knots because I’m living wild with Suzy Quilts.
Thanks for following along!
As you can tell, I really enjoyed taking this class. I learned a lot about my own personal sewing style and what things I want to develop, and what things I feel like I can finally let go of. I absolutely give it a 5-star rating. Now I’m off to Michaels to get my new Mojo Minis framed to hang up in my daughters room! Thanks for following along!