March Mini Madness


We Island Batik Ambassadors were given a March Challenge – Mini Madness! Our task was to create a mini quilt no larger than 24 x 24 inches.

Challenges are fun! Naturally, I had to think a while and plan. Finally, while looking at the Sweet Georgia Peach line, which I planned to use, an earlier pattern came to mind.

Years ago, when embroidery machines were just becoming popular, there were many quilters who wanted to use embroidery in quilts, but who didn’t have these specialized machines. Looking through my husband’s drawings, I found a perfect one to use.

He enjoys drawing mushrooms and had several to choose from – drawings that is, not mushrooms – and this is what I came up with. He got to choose the name – Not Mushroom – which many quilters questioned. That meant having to explain his strange sense of humour. Explanation: There’s a crowd of mushrooms here so there’s Not Mush (Much) Room. And yes, I can hear you all groaning!

Not Mushroom by Maria Michaels Designs

Not Mushroom

This embroidered 9 x 9 inch design does not require a special machine, only a straight stitch. I used my window (my substitute for a light box) to trace my final pattern onto the white background fabric. Then, I simply stitched over the lines. Those with free-motion experience can use that method, but it isn’t necessary.

The mushrooms on the borders were traced onto 4 strips of tracing paper and/or light newsprint, pinned into position, and stitched over in the same way. The paper tore away easily afterwards.

Looking at my Not Mushroom mini made me realize that the Sweet Georgia Peach was perfect for recreating Not Mushroom as an applique. I used it for all of the mushrooms. The white background is Sprinkles from the Neutrals Collection. The sky, grass and border fabrics are from the fabrics I had left over from Island Batik’s Summer in the Country Blog Hop and a different Ambassador project I’ll share with you another day. Hop back and see if you can find them.

Still Not Mushroom

Still Not Mushroom

Nan Baker of Purrfect Spots shares the same type of humour as my husband. As you can see, she carried on with his theme by naming this one! It’s absolutely perfect! However, is that more groaning I hear?

This one is 15 x 15 inches. The mushrooms in the border were done the same way as for Not Mushroom. I used fusible applique for the mushrooms, but stitched over the raw edges as well. The grass is free-motion embroidered. As you can see, I used echo quilting for the white Sprinkles background.

I like to use my stitching over raw edges as my quilting stitches. That way, two things get done at once. It makes for an interesting backing.


Still Not Mushroom – Back

All the piecing and most of the embroidery threads I used were my favourite Aurifil Threads. As I finish with other threads, I am replacing them all with Aurifil. If you haven’t tried them yet, make sure you do! They are wonderful to piece and quilt with!

All of us Island Batik Ambassadors have been sharing our Mini Madness projects. You’ll want to see them all, so stay tuned! I’ll present a list of them soon!


  1. Eileen Kinney

    Maria, your designs are absolutely beautiful. I cannot imagine how you come up with your ideas but they are great.

    • Thank you Eileen, both for your compliment and for putting a smile on my face. Where inspiration and imagination come from is not easy to describe. Having been given the theme “April Showers”, I immediately thought of the flowers that begin appearing in April because of them.

  2. I think it’s the best name ever!! I love it! 😉

  3. Nancy

    I love it! And tell Mike I love his punish humor, too.

    • Thank you, Nancy! Mike’s punish humour created the first name, but it was Nan’s that created the sequel.
      I’m so very embarrassed that I printed an error in my first posting!

  4. Beautiful work!

  5. Barbara Douglas

    Love the unexpected stitching from the back!

  6. Maryellen McAuliffe

    Cute, and I love the names.

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