It all started with the hearts. I've always loved the Umbrella Prints hearts. And the elephants - but there weren't any elephants in my trimmings packet. So I ran with the hearts. Grooving all the while (as an aside - Deee-Lite had a hit with that song in 1990! Twenty-four YEARS ago, can you believe it?!).
This is the first time I have entered the fabulous Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition. I love looking at all the different entries on Pinterest every year, and am always amazed at all the different things made by so many talented people. I always had a mini in mind though, and was very drawn to the blue trimmings packet - and at the same time, bought extra hearts in a few different colour ways. Because I love the hearts.
And here is what I made. Groove IS in the heart!
To go back to the beginning, I had this idea to piece each letter based around the same-sized rectangle of Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in natural - I think each rectangle was 3" x 3 1/2" - pretty little. Usually when I free-piece letters, they tend to end up pretty random in size, and for this project I wanted to keep them all close to the same size, while not having to draw up measurements first (since, as always, I much prefer to free-piece than work from a pattern). I also wanted to keep the base rectangles as 'complete' as possible and so as you'll see in this next pic, the 'G' started life as a 'C'. I stitched on the little square to make it a 'G' a little later.
You can see too that I started with a pretty classic heart-shape - you can see the pencil-lines in the pic above, and then pinned it to a much bigger square of batting, lightly machine-quilted the heart, and then started adding QAYG strips. Originally, I had intended to only use Umbrella Prints fabrics - but as I want to use ALL the fabrics ALL the time, I went through my "special scraps" bucket and pulled out all the blue favourites to mix in with them. We're talking Heather Ross, Liberty, Leanne Fanny (The Little House Martin) and Shannon Lamden (Aunty Cookie) - so you can see they truly do belong in the "special scraps" bucket!
I also added in Umbrella Prints hearts in Persimmon and Silky Oak, to bring in a couple of pops of colour. Once I was happy with the heart's size, I cut it back into a heart-shape and hand-quilted within the linen-heart with an orange perle thread. I do think three 'hearts' in one sentence is quite a lot. And then it was onto choosing binding fabrics - some favourite blues mixed in with what I had left from my trimmings packet, plus a little pop of the Persimmon hearts.
I have quite a few favourite spots in this heart. In this next pic, I love how the Umbrella Prints 'waves in bakelite blue' go so happily with Leanne's teapots; the peek of Persimmon hearts next to the Storm Boy Blue hearts; and I think my favourite-ever Aunty Cookie cookie-person 'craft is the new black'.
And in this pic, I love the Liberty dancers (who are, of course, grooving in the heart ...).
And in the last of my 'favourites' pics - I love the Heather Ross mermaid, and how well her colours tie in with all the fabrics around her. I am however, much more lukewarm to the reminder of how tricky it was to bind into and out of that centre-dip in the heart-shape - much unpicking and re-stitching while watching an episode of 'Downton Abbey' went into that little corner!
On the back, I used a favourite fabric I bought in the #greataussiedestash on instagram. I wanted to carry on the grooving/dancing theme, and have always thought the lady in the red skirt looks like she's twirling around her kitchen (with her cake as an imaginary dance partner).
We took some last photos of the mini this afternoon, out in the backyard. I asked my younger daughter to do a little grooving with the mini ...
Now to hang it on the wall in my sewing space! At its 'tallest', from top to bottom the heart is 25 1/2" and from side to side at its 'widest' it is 27". And now for the last pic - the trimmings I started with, somehow minus the blue with darker reddish blue spots - in uploading my pics today, I noticed that it was missing from the one and only trimmings pic I took!
I have loved creating 'Groove is in the Heart', and being part of this year's Trimming Competition. Thanks so much to Amy and Carly for providing this wonderful opportunity. I am so looking forward to seeing what everyone else has made! Have a great week everyone. xoxo cat