Mermaid mini

I uploaded these pictures to Flickr a week and a half ago, and then forgot all about blogging about them.  Oops!  Thing 3 was invited to a birthday party, with Under the Sea being the theme.  Since there was a picture of a mermaid on the invitation, I decided to make a little mini with a mermaid as a gift.

I searched for a pattern, since I didn’t feel like drafting one myself, and came across one from Sewing Under Rainbow as part of the Big City Girl QAL. The block is called the Warsaw Mermaid, and originally had a bridge in the background. I wanted to simplify it a bit since I had a time crunch, so I re-jigged the pattern to take the bridge out.

Simplified Mermaid block

I took my time with the pattern, since it is rather complicated. Actually, it’s the most complicated paper piecing pattern that I’ve ever attempted. But it actually went really well. It did take forever, I estimate about 8 hours just for piecing the block together, but it was totally worth it.

Completed Mermaid mini

The birthday girl’s favourite colour is purple, so I made the tail purple, and the borders and back purple as well. I thought the quilting part of this thing would be the easiest, least stressful part. Not so. While I was doing the free-motion, my thread kept breaking! I tried everything, changing the needle, the thread, re-threading, new bobbin, taking apart the machine and looking for anything inside that might be doing it, and nothing helped.

Completed Mermaid mini

So when I was done the top half, where the water meets the sky, I decided to change gears and use my walking foot for the bottom half and do some wavy matchstick quilting. And then the thread breaking completely stopped! Mr. Apple Pie suggested that the free-motion foot might be the problem, and sure, enough, there was a little burr on the one side of it that was causing the thread to break when it rubbed up against it. I’m really glad I figured out what it was, because I was so frustrated that I was ready to kick the machine to the curb.

Completed Mermaid mini

In the end, it worked out, since the breezy sky is all swirly, and the bottom half has lines like the gentle grades of the beach and the dunes. So all’s well that ends well. And most important of all, the birthday girl liked it!

Linking up to the Needle and Thread Network.

9 thoughts on “Mermaid mini

  1. Birthday Girl was thrilled with her gift – it is so special and a keepsake that hangs on the wall by her bed. I like yours better than the original, more calm and simple with the emphasis on the mermaid. I totally thought the change in stitching was intentional as you get the sky/water variation coming through. Thanks for the time and effort you put in to the special project – you are a good friend 😉


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