Storts Market

by Lesley Storts

»Banner Swap Mini Quilt«

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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 ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

Author: Lesley Storts

I’ve always been a doodler and loved art from an early age. I picked up my first fabric, a pink and white checked gingham, at 9 years old and cross-stitched my name. In 1996, my mom started quilting and her inspiration motivated me to make my first quilt in 1998. I found a pattern in a book from the library, changed the colors to make a Christmas quilt and pieced it together. I even quilted and bound it! I enjoy working with all kinds of fabric mediums and threads. I enjoy sewing with my machine and doing handwork. I get inspiration from my life including people, scenery, patterns and objects around me. Follow me here and on Instagram @lesleystorts.

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