Storts Market

by Lesley Storts

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»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 ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


»A Mighty Mini«

Can a quilt that is only the size of a placemat be called a quilt? It can, if it’s a mini. And even though this is small in size, the meaning behind each block and the determination to find just the right fabric made this a labor of love.


My dad had a milestone birthday this year and I wanted to make him something special and I like making quilts. I’ve recently been involved in the #polaroidgreetingswap on Instagram hosted by Johanna who blogs at stuffimadethisweek. Over the past several months, I have received little Polaroid blocks from quilters all over the world! After pondering what to do for my dad, I decided I could make him a mini Polaroid quilt with many memories represented. It first started with planning…


I never thought that StampinUp! paper would come in so handy.


Then came the fabric. I searched through ALL of my fabric and found things in there I didn’t even know I had. I guess my mom had given me the dog paw fabric and lighthouse/beach fabric a long time ago for another project and it was hidden in a bag. But in searching for just the right pieces for my memories, I searched everything. When I exhausted my supply at home, I went shopping. Ooooh yeah! I NEEDED fabric (I don’t get to say that often 😊). Columbus stores that I enjoy frequenting including Sew to Speak, Red Rooster Quilts, and Quilt Beginnings. I also like Hobby Lobby and JoAnn fabrics for many basics.

When I couldn’t find just the right fabric for a few blocks, I decided to embroider those blocks. Anyone who is familiar with amusement park Kings Island will know all about “Beware”. It is for The Beast, a classic wooden roller-coaster that I rode for the first time with my dad.



I was going to quilt the mini by crosshatching it but decided I didn’t want to stitch over my embroidery. Some of my quilty friends suggested I just straight line quilt in the blue. It was just right!


How do you like my fancy wrapping job? Ha ha! Along with a letter wishing my dad a happy birthday, I provided him with a “Quilt Map” just in case he couldn’t figure out what each block was supposed to represent! 😉

Go make a mini! They are terrific.

Happy Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎