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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

It's Essential2Dare - my turn on Minis Blog Tour by Pat Bravo and AGF(oh and a tiny giveaway too! :) )

Quick update with giveaway winners! 
(Scroll to the end of post to see if you won? :) )

Good Tuesday morning everyone!

It is a beautiful one here in western NY - sunny but still quite crisp, lots of birdsong, new blooms and young leaf buds in trees... One can't help but smile and breathe deeply. :)

It is also a perfect backdrop for my turn on Minis Blog Tour, hosted by ever-inspirational Pat Bravo. It was just so much fun playing, I feel so very fortunate to be included!

We were all given a selection from two of Pat's new collections, Essentials II and Dare and only request was to make a mini quilt (about 25" X 25").
Doesn't that sound like fun?
Plenty of inspiration for these two collections when you look at those lovely Lookbooks that AGF does so well - you can find Essentials II HERE and Dare, HERE.

So when my set arrived, wheels begun to turn... Here is what I got - awesome, right?

For some reason, the names of two collections kept coming back to me and yes, you guessed it - first came the name, ha ha! Probably weird for most, but sometimes my inspiration and brain work like that...
So the start was "Essential2Dare"! That was going to be the name of my mini!

Naturally, next thing for me was to actually - dare! 
To dare doing something that I never did before, something that is outside of my comfort zone, something new.
First dare - I decided to work ONLY with what I was given and with ALL of it. In other worlds, no "one background fabric", no obsessing if "this one should really go next to this one" ... No fear if lots of different fabrics will look too busy - all of these things are my little demons sometimes, you know. I guess it is a scientist in me that has a hard time letting serendipity rule? :)

Technical dare this time was to try my beloved gentle curve piecing, but with already PIECED fabrics... Hmmm... Crazy woman. But remember - it's... Essential2Dare! :)

Here is where I started:

Made a strip-set of all colors

Then made a similar one with all the beautiful low volume ones...

Now to layer them and have some free-hand curves cut... Voila!

Yup, just cut into all those lovely strips! Was a bit scary, but I remembered my goal - to dare! :)

With some slow sewing and curve-matching, here is what I got:

Two curvy, strip-y lovelies! But I liked them better this way:

Now what?
This reminded me of another AGF project/blog tour that I did and idea came! (so I guess not everything here was new to me...)

I made some 3D Flying Geese blocks and then did some folding and some fabric inserts... Some trimming and pressing...
At this point I was so engrossed into piecing that I simply didn't take any photos at all!! So sorry about that, but actually it was just so much fun to just work, work work and loose track of everything... I am sure you know what I mean? :)

So, after I came back to reality and remembered to take some photos, here is what I had:

Ta-daah! Top done!

Next dare was to use a color for quilting, color I just LOVE, and not worry about matching it to fabric, it being too contrast-y (therefore revealing all imperfections!!) or any of that...
Just let go and quilt!

My treasured Aurifil collection search selected this one:

Isn't it just a gorgeous color? It's. 50wt Aurifil cotton, 5006.

Again, no photos during quilting, but here is the end result!

Then it was time to take my little mini out for a garden stroll and take few more photos...

Blue geese...

Pink Geese...

Forgot to say - backing was another favorite AGF fabric, from Karatina Roccella's Recollection:

And binding was another beauty from Pat Bravo, from Etno - doesn't it look like it belongs here? :)

Oh and look - I have quite a pretty stack left too, so I just might DARE some more!! After all, it IS Essential 2, right?? He he...

Here is a bit more of that morning stroll in the garden, with my mini...

Hey, it even looks good in my vegetable garden, smack in the middle of some baby kale! :)

You know, as I write this, I am realizing how much fun this was! I need to do this some more!

But wait - I think YOU need to do this too! 

So guess what? - I, the fabric hoarder extraordinaire, who has lots of these two beautiful fabric collections (and so many more, of course!), I want to share some with you!! 


If you want some of my stash (me thinks - a fat eight of Essentials II, or Dare collections, or...both? For two winners? It will be a surprise!! :)  ) - go visit all the other lovely blogs (again, the whole list is HERE!), on the tour and then come back and tell me what inspired you the most? Or tell me how do you dare in your creative work? Or both? You have till the end of the Blog Tour, May 13th - go visit them all and come back to let us all know your impressions! I iwll give you a weekend to enjoy it all at your own pace and pick a winner on Monday, May 16th (so you really have till Monday).
I hope you will be inspired as much as I am!

Well, that is it my friends!

I hope you already visited Cindy at Raspberry Sunshine and Lucy at Skinny Malinky Quilts and I can't wait for tomorrow to see what Samantha and Tara will show us!

Now that I have my life under control a bit more, hope to be back here real soon with more from my sewing room.
Until then, have a lovely days ahead,

GIVEAWAY WINNERS were chosen!!!

Trusty Random Number Generator says....

for first winner!! And that is:

Congratulations Brenda, you get a fat-eight pack of Dare fabrics! 

And for the second winner it says: 

And it is GranChris!!!

Congratulations GranChris - you get a fat-eight pack of Essentials II fabrics!!

Thank you ALL again for visiting and leaving me your lovely comments - this was such fun Blog Tour!!

A very special thank you ever-inspiring Pat Bravo for this great opportunity!! 

Love again,


#DareFabrics #EssentialsIIFabrics  #TheMinisBlogTour #PatBravoDesign


  1. It's hard to pick, I loved the fabrics especially the pinks, and Crafty Fox stands out for me. But everyone used the fabrics so differently. I think it was inspiring to design my own mini quilt, I usually feel safer worth tried and true blocks and have never tried to design my own. Thanks!

  2. i fell in love with the butterfly

  3. I think that, after seeing all of the quilts posted so far, I am most impressed with how newer quilters jumped in to this challenge and took advantage of the gorgeous fabrics to grow a bit. All of the quilters deserve kudos. It's so great to see folks go in so many different directions with the same fabrics! I do love the Dare line.

  4. I have been following along and I am so inspired by how many people are using this to challenge themselves and work outside their comfort zone! It makes me want to try new things! I just love well these collections work together!

  5. Well done, your mini is fabulous. Have loved this blog hop. Inspired to make a modern mini quilt like the one modern makerie made.
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

  6. I love seeing how different every quilt is and how this challenge is inspiring people to challenge themselves! When I take quilt classes, not only do I try to learn something new, I love to try to use fabrics I would not normally pick- stretch out of my comfort zone and see what happens!Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. I have to agree with Barbara Woods...the butterfly was sensational! Sometimes I get really inspired by the fabric and sometimes by a technique....would be both with the butterfly! thanks for sharing! churcae(at)auburn(dot)edu

  8. You are super creative Marija and this finish is fantastic! Those curves would be super daring for me...because it's been just straight lines for me since I started quilting in 2011. I'm not one to worry if a particular fabric goes w/another though and I love the randomness of scrappy.

  9. I dare by making big complex quilts as my 1 st projects. Beginners are suppose to do simple and boring, not for me.

  10. wow your mini is wonderful. love how you and others come up with the ideas for your mini's. i would love to try the curves. looks like fun. it is now on my to do list. thanks for sharing.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  11. It has been fun following the variety in this tour. The "dare" comes in with trying new techniques, not being afraid to just "go for it" and being ok with imperfection as part of the process!

  12. It was so neat to watch your journey in designing this mini. I love seeing how it comes together and not just the final product. And I am happy to find you as I am in Western NY too! YAY!!

    debbygrawn at yahoo dot com

  13. Your cute quilt is out of the box for me. I would love to dare to do that curve.

  14. I'm amazed at how differently all the bloggers have made their minis - you'd think things would start to look same-y but no! X

  15. I want a wall of mini quilts going up my staircase so all of you are inspiring me to come up with a plan and a color scheme. This will be my Winter project. I really like the butterfly but Flying Geese, great idea.

  16. Love, Love, LOVE your little piece!! Your creativity always amazes and inspires me!!

  17. So fun to see everyone's creations. I love to freely design and with your awesome giveaway it would be fun to get sewing and quilting. thanks
    sewfabrics at

  18. Actually, your quilt is my favorite so far! How creative! I love the design and the way the fabrics looks together. The butterfly is my second favorite!

  19. I can only imagine receiving such a gorgeous bundle of fabric and then create something with it! What fun! My favorite inspiration on this blog so far is Samantha Green's mini quilt using her Blush pattern. I think it's just striking and perfect for hanging on a sewing room wall.

  20. I'm very impressed with the amount of energy and creativity that many are showing in making their own patterns. Your quilting is lovely, very unique.

  21. This has been a very fun blog hop to follow. I learned a lot and am inspired to try making a mini myself.