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Mini Art Quilts

I made this set of mini art quilts mostly from cotton batiks, with an occasional cotton print thrown in. I started by paper piecing the backgrounds where I could. In a couple of places, like on the background for the sun, I made a pattern piece in a curved shape and cut it out from my paper-pieced section, then sewed it to another section.

I used fusible interfacing to stiffen the moon, star, and sun shapes before I machine appliquéd them onto my backgrounds. I experimented with different machine stitches along the raw edges of the shapes.


I used Pigma pens, which are permanent ink markers, to draw the faces on my moons, sun, and flower.

I added layers of organic cotton batting and cotton duck/canvas underneath my designs, then did some machine quilting on the surfaces.

I had intended to sew bias strips around the edges, but opted to use cotton terrycloth as a backing right up to the edges. I placed the terrycloth and the designs right sides together, sewed a 0.25 inch seam, left an opening, then turned them right sides out. I also added loops of cotton which were folded and top stitched to the tops for hanging. The openings were then slip stitched closed. I used some embroidery floss for ties in several places on the back just for stability.

Original designs, art quilts, and photos copyright Elizabeth Ruffing, all rights reserved.

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Potholder Project

I made this set of potholders by sandwiching one layer of cotton duck/canvas between two layers of organic cotton batting, then sandwiching those between two layers of cotton terrycloth (I used cotton washcloths), all roughly 9.5 inches square. I used my walking foot to quilt the layers together. Then I trimmed them down to 8.5 inches square with my rotary cutter and ruler.

Since I didn’t have enough of my polka dotted cotton to make a true bias, I cut 2.5 inch strips and sewed them on the edges of the potholders without turning the corners. I put the strips right sides against the terrycloth, on one edge at a time, sewed a 0.5 inch seam, turned each strip over to the back, turned under the raw edge to match the front, slipped stitched it down, and then top-stitched it down from the front side. I did all four edges this way, turning under the corners where necessary so no raw edge was left out, but leaving about 5 inches of the strip loose at the final corner.

At the final corner, I took the 5 inches of the strip I left loose, turned under the raw edge, then flipped it over on itself to make a loop for hanging, which I then sewed down by hand on the back of the potholder.

We then tested them out on some homemade cheesecake, and they worked great 🙂