Storts Market

by Lesley Storts


»Rainbow Mini Mini«


Late last year, I joined round two of the Rainbow Mini Swap hosted by @katebasti on Instagram. My first two swap experiences were very rewarding and I thought I would try it again.  I’ve been working here and there on my mini to give away and will talk about it more in another post. What I really want to highlight today is a little mini mini I made for myself as a reminder of the beautiful fabric and experience.


I decided to improv piece – a technique I have been wanting to try. I used the scraps from cutting out my pieces for the mini I’m giving away. I knew this would result in a small quilt, but really just wanted a reminder and knew this would work. I laid out all of my pieces and took a little time deciding how I would proceed. Initially I thought I would use some of the colors more than once, but decided that one of each fabric would be sufficient.

I began by placing all of the pieces that I wanted to use side by side. This worked with this improv because I was just doing a long row of colors. I began piecing each color to create my long row. The pictures below show the steps, minus a picture of me sewing two of the greens together.

Once I completed my whole row, it was time to iron then trim.

The strip ended up being smaller than I wanted and thought it would be, but I learned 2 things. The first was that if I wanted it bigger, I needed to start with larger pieces. Yep, it’s true: bigger fabric = bigger quilt. The second was that had I pieced some of my blocks a little differently, I could have manipulated the outcome to make it a little larger.


In finishing, I added a white border with Kona white and matchstick quilted. I loved the look without a binding, but prepared one anyway but did not have time to put it on before my quilt guild meeting. I took my mini mini with me to the meeting for show and tell and all of my quilty friends encouraged me to leave it with a raw edge! I was happy to have a little validation that it looked just fine the way it was.

I’m glad I tried this technique and look forward to future projects that are larger.

Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎




Leave a comment

»Banner Swap Mini Quilt«

Last September I joined a mini quilt swap on Instagram hosted by Kerry (@kidgiddy) and Christopher (@the_tattoed_quilter). This was a first for me. I actually signed up for 2 swaps within days of each other but they were a little different. The Banner Swap required the making of a mini quilt of a specific size and fabric. Fabric was limited to April Rhodes Bound line through Art Gallery Fabrics or any of her previous lines plus 2 solid colors if you wanted. We were also encouraged to use additional materials for our creation including leather, feathers, beads, and other types of fibers.

I started by sketching ideas and then using graph paper with the actual largest dimensions of the mini.

In thinking about constructing different parts, I knew I wanted to be as accurate as possible. I decided that the easiest way to make the top portion of my quilt was to paper piece it. I recopied the graph paper design for my pattern and then used old fabric to mock one up…

How about those bees? Yikes! But they were helpful bees because the paper piecing worked perfectly giving me confidence to cut into my limited fabric supply.

In trying to harness my “inner April Rhodes”, I decided to incorporate leather. I found a skirt at the thrift store and cut it up. The suede appealed to me because the texture and color was slightly different on each side.


Details that my partner liked included a previous favorite fabric line from April and the color gray. I did my best to bring it all together. I was hesitant and critical of myself throughout the process because I was worried about trying to please a stranger! One unique detail I decided to add at the end was an oar because my partner is a member of a competitive outrigger canoe club. The leather tassel and fringe were a first for me too.


Quilt back of Mini Banner Quilt

I enjoyed the process so much! This project took me out of my comfort zone and propelled me to be creative. And being a part of a group and following the hashtags on Instagram, I was able to see an incredible amount of creativity. I was happy to mail this mini off to my partner but a little sad to see it go. The big bonus was that I received a mini from my secret partner @finnsdoor. The detail in the leaves and the hand quilting are some of my favorite parts of the mini. The overall design is so pleasing to look at, I will treasure this.


To see all of the beautiful and interesting banners, click on #banneradventureswap on Instagram.

Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

Leave a comment

»I Get By With A Little Help…«

In reflecting on a new year and what it can bring, I sometimes like to look back. A couple of things happened over the past couple of years that have made me realize that quilting is more fun with a friend.

My daughters have become more involved in quilting and sewing. They both made quilts for a local show that were displayed. Lucy recently made a set of bags from a kit my mom gave us. Then she altered the sizes and made a set for her friend’s upcoming birthday. My other daughter also has made several small sewing projects through the year such as doll clothes and mug rugs. She made me a mug rug that I use for my phone so it does not vibrate the whole nightstand when the alarm goes off. I enjoy looking at it everyday.

I’m spoiled because I have 2 (almost instant) opinions on projects anytime I want or need it. I’m going to enjoy this because I know it will not always be like this. Also, they make me laugh! And what is better than that?


This is what happens when the kids get a hold of your cell phone.

The second thing that happened is that I have finally made “quilty” friends. Shayne (IG @shayne.d.quilts) and I connected through our church. Having a friend to call and show projects to and bounce ideas off of is so beneficial. And fun!

IMG_7849Finding a local quilting community is important. If you do not have that, I encourage you to seek out people like you. You do not have to birth children to get quilting companions! Try a guild or take a class at your LQS or through your community center.

Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

PS – Find me on IG @lesleystorts – this is a fun way to connect with quilters and other artists!