Island Batik Mod Hearts Mini Quilt

Our second February challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to create a mini quilt. So, here’s my Island Batik Mod Hearts Mini Quilt Tutorial!  [My first project is HERE–it’s a set of greeting cards that I sent to friends.]

I do love making minis….they are the perfect size to test a new block idea or audition a fabric combination.  I’ve also participated in several really fun mini quilt swaps on Instagram.  At the end of this post, I’ve provided links back to some of my earlier adventures in making mini quilts.

Making Batiks Modern

I know that many modern quilters feel challenged on how to use batiks to make contemporary or modern quilts.  One of the reasons that I applied to become an Ambassador was that I wanted to challenge myself in a disciplined way to see how batiks can be used effectively to make modern quilts.  As I explore these challenges this year, I invite your feedback on how successfully I am making batiks modern.


The Mod Hearts Mini Quilt Tutorial

All of the fabrics used in this project were provided to me by Island Batik.

I am an Island Batik 2018 Ambassador!


Island Batik Fabrics and Hobbs batting that I used for this project:

Whip Cream Neutral for the background

Island Batik

I started by pulling the Galentine’s reds and pinks.  Then I pulled Parakeet and a yellow from my foundations bundle.

Island Batik

I needed more contrast, so I added a deeper purple called Pine Cone Plum.

I also added a deeper blue from Autumn’s Grace Gun Metal Raven print

I used a bright blue on the back called Shark from the Foundations line.

Piecing the Mod Hearts Mini

I had a general idea of the finished mini size I was planning.   I decided to create another version of my Mod Hearts template so I drew it in EQ8 to fit on a 12-1/2″ square background.

Instead of making the heart separate pieces like the first mini quilt project, I created a new template that was just a heart in two pieces. Download the template here:   Template for mini

I had an idea!  I decided that I wanted to piece strips–I call them strata.  I created one large strata with the Island Batik fabrics–it was strip pieced from all of the colors in random widths.

I placed the two template pieces on the strata and cut out the heart pieces.  Templates and fabrics are both right sides up.

I used a bit of spray basting and placed the two halves on the backing, overlapping them slightly in the middle. I will be using raw edge machine applique so I didn’t need to turn under the edges.  With all those seams, needle turn applique is somewhat challenging.

Then, using the leftover pieces of the strata and other leftover bits, I made an improvisational border.  This is one of my signature moves…I love the effect of improvisational borders that contrast with pieced designs.


Here I am starting to make my border strata. These two irregular triangles were left over when I cut out the heart sections. I just sewed them together.

Improv border strata –I cut it into 4 sections (you can see the cuts….I forgot to take a photo before I cut it!)

Strata measure 1-1/2″ wide by length needed

Island Batik Mod Hearts Mini Quilt Tutorial

Improv borders sewn on

After squaring up, I decided that the mini  needed a contrasting skinny border.  So, I added a thin 2nd border in the darker purple fabric.  It measures 1/4 inch finished.  Batik fabric is very tightly woven so I didn’t need to starch this thin strip to keep it straight as I pieced it.  When I do thin piecing with other quilting cottons, I usually starch them lightly.

Finally, I added a 3rd border measuring 2 inches finished. I used one of the fabrics from the heart strata.

The Post-it note on my design wall in this photo is a reminder that I have to stay focused and organized because I have many goals and deadlines this year.

The Quilting

Walking foot quilting. No marking –all improvisational–using my built in meander stitch.

Detail of quilting. Walking foot quilting with variegated thread

More quilting


I created an improvisational binding by sewing together 1-1/2″wide strips in random lengths.  I used the fabric from the 3rd border to create a disappearing or infinite edge effect.  Binding is single fold with a mitered corner. Yep, I getting pretty good at mitering corners.

Island Batik Mod Hearts Mini Quilt is Done!

And…it’s done!  I’m very pleased with the final effect.

The modern quilting principles that I explored in making this batik modern mini included:

  • modern traditionalism–taking a traditional heart motif and altering it into a new block design
  • improvisational piecing in first border treatment and binding
  • infinite edge binding–pieced using the outer border fabric
  • improvisational quilting–free hand, walking foot, no marking inside and around the central heart

Lessons Learned–What I might do differently next time:  I would make all 3 borders asymmetrical and offset the two heart halves a bit more.   

Island Batik Mini Quilt Tutorial

Island Batik Mod Hearts MiniQuilt

Links to some earlier mini quilt adventures

Alison Glass Mini Quilt 2


Alison Glass Mini Quilt 1–part 1

Alison glass Mini Quilt 1–part 2

More Modern Mini Quilts


Follow My Fellow Ambassadors

Barbara at Bejeweled Quilts
Bea at BeaQuilter
Carole at Carole Lyles Shaw [This is ME!]
Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics
Jennifer at Curlicue Creations
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine
Michelle at Creative Blonde
Pamela at PamelaQuilts
Sally at Sally Manke
Sandra at MMM Quilts
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson

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18 Responses to Island Batik Mod Hearts Mini Quilt

  1. Kathleen McCormick February 14, 2018 at 2:38 pm #

    What a great little quilt and tutorial. The summary of your modern techniques used is quite nice. When I saw the picture of the quilt it reminded me of your logo!

    • Carole Lyles Shaw February 14, 2018 at 6:57 pm #

      Thanks Kathleen. I do have some clear color preferences. LOL!

  2. Rochelle Summers February 14, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

    A great little valentine. Thank you for explaining your methodology. I like the contrast of colors.

  3. Quilting Tangent February 14, 2018 at 3:32 pm #

    Good tutorial.

  4. Suzy Webster February 14, 2018 at 9:43 pm #

    I love this! The stripes are so much fun

  5. Kathy E. February 14, 2018 at 9:56 pm #

    This is gorgeous, Carole! The colors and modern touches are just my style. All that matchy-matchy stuff just isn’t very interesting. What a beautiful way to use some of your Island Batiks!

    • Carole Lyles Shaw February 17, 2018 at 8:27 am #

      I’m enjoying the challenge. I’m planning on remaking a couple of patterns from my books as well.

  6. Pamela Boatright February 14, 2018 at 11:23 pm #

    Nice project! I am looking forward to learning more about modern quilting as we progress through the different projects, thanks for your detailed explanation!

  7. Mania February 14, 2018 at 11:39 pm #

    Carol I loved it! I also need to have a post it with “stay focus” moto……

    • Carole Lyles Shaw February 17, 2018 at 8:23 am #

      You know, it is surprising how much it helps. Makes it easier for me to say ‘no’ to some invitations. Yesterday a friend invited me to do some fabric painting…I said no because it is not in the plan!

  8. Lisa February 15, 2018 at 6:58 pm #

    I’m liking all of these heart projects and I like how you list the modern techniques you have used.

    • Carole Lyles Shaw February 17, 2018 at 8:21 am #

      Glad that the process photos and instructions are helpful.

  9. Dione @ Clever Chameleon March 1, 2018 at 6:16 am #

    I really love this. Batiks, bold colours, improv piecing, designing as you go. This ticks a lot of my boxes. I’m glad I dropped by.

    • Carole Lyles Shaw March 1, 2018 at 6:26 am #

      Being an Ambassador is really helping me stretch using these colors and textures. As a modern quilter, I am really pushing creating contrast as well. Thanks for dropping by!

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