August 21, 2019

Wholecloth Mini Quilt | Aurifil Artisan Challenge

Wholecloth Mini Quilt | Aurifil Artisan Challenge | Shannon Fraser Designs #handquilted

Do you ever get an idea that just keeps popping back up in your head?

Something you think “Oh, that could be really cool”, but also immediately think “hmm, it could also be a disaster” – ha!

This has been the thought process for the last few years whenever I think about this idea. I get really fired up about tackling it, but also a little nervous because I hadn’t tackled it before.

Wholecloth mini quilt featuring PBS Fabrics + Aurifil Thread 12wt | Shannon Fraser Designs #miniquilt #aurifilthread

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When I heard about the Aurifil Artisan whole cloth mini challenge I thought “this is it! I can combine two things I’ve been wanting to give a go – whole cloth quilt + extra batting.

That’s right – extra batting! I remember being on vacation at the Estérel Resort a few summers back and seeing a painting with lots of texture. So much so, the painting was almost 3D.

You know how much I love texture. I think that’s in our quilty DNA to love texture! But I really wanted to explore ways of adding even more texture to a project.

Before I even received my package for goodies from Aurifil Threads, I knew this was the direction I wanted to go in. I was even more thrilled to open my package and find the teams over at Aurifil Threads and Paintbush Studio Fabrics know me oh so well. Hello gorgeous coral solids and matching thread. All the heart eyes for these pretties. The excitement grew instantly.

Paintbrush Solids + Aurifil Thread 12wt | Wholecloth Mini Quilt | Shannon Fraser Designs #fabric #thread

Now, I’ll admit that while I knew I wanted to add all this texture in, I didn’t have a plan when I set out. In fact, I was kinda in a rush to pull this together before heading out the door for the cottage. Sometimes though, those are the best circumstances under which to create because you don’t have time to mull the gazillion directions you could have gone in!

I did a couple of layouts but came back to my original version. It’s the one that felt the best to my gut and I’m learning to trust those instincts.

There is no real trick to this, I just laid extra pieces of batting scraps in different areas on top of the main piece of batting. I then carefully laid the fabric on top, making sure not to shift those pieces of batting.

Wholecloth Mini Quilt - hand quilted with Aurifil Thread 12wt | Shannon Fraser Designs #handquiltedminiquilt #miniquilt

Wholecloth Mini Quilt | Hand quilted | Shannon Fraser Designs #fiberart #handquilted
Details of hand quilting on wholecloth mini quilt | Shannon Fraser Designs #modernminiquilt #wholeclothquilt
Wholecloth mini quilt featuring extra layers of batting | Shannon Fraser Designs #modernart #modernminiquilt #handquilted #wholeclothquilt

I probably went a little overboard with all the basting pins, but things felt shifty, so I thought it best to play safe. Getting the pins through those extra layers was a little tricky, but I got there!

Since the point was to focus on texture and dimension, I started by marking some lines around the perimeter of those extra batting pieces with my hera marker. From there, I free formed my big stitch hand quilting. One to give visual interest and help the eye move around the piece, while also trying to enhance the areas that puffed up.

The fact that it is tone on tone really helps to see those details pop!


Being a whole cloth mini quilt, you don’t need a ton of materials to achieve this look. Here’s what I used:

100% cotton batting + batting scraps 
My handy Kwik Klip which made basting those extra layers much easier

That’s it! Pretty nifty, right?

Wholecloth Mini Quilt | Shannon Fraser Designs #pbsfabrics #aurifilthread #miniquilt

I learned quite a bit from this little mini and, now that I’ve gotten a feel for the technique, it’s sparked some new ideas to explore. Love when that happens!

Tell me, have you given this technique a go? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below 😊


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