Sunshine on a Saturday Morning Mini Quilt | Aurifil Thread & Olfa September Slice & Stitch Challenge


Yellow mini improv quilted wall art | Aurifil Thread & Olfa Slice & Stich Challenge | Shannon Fraser Designs #modernminiquilt

I wanted to pop in and share that a lil’ mini improv I made on a sunny Saturday afternoon is being featured over on Aurifil Thread’s blog - Auribuzz.

Being an Aurifil Artisan comes with some fun opportunities and collaborations – like this one – the Slice and Stitch Challenge hosted by Aurifil Thread, Michael Miller Fabrics and Olfa. You’ve surely heard of them 😉

You already know my love for Aurifil and you’ve seen me sneak Michael Miller Fabrics in quiiiiiite a few of my quilts.

For more Michael Miller Fabric quilty inspiration, check out these blog posts:

Irish Vortex

Home for the Holidays Irish Vortex 

Guiding Lights Quilted Wall Hanging

 What might surprise you is that this was my first opportunity to work with Olfa products. I’ve heard of them. I’ve had them on my quilty wish list, but I hadn’t had the chance to give them a go (first impressions shared below!).

Yellow ombre modern improv mini quilted wall art | Aurifil Thread & Olfa September Slice & Stitch Challenge | Shannon Fraser Designs #improvquilting

*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.


When I signed up for the challenge, all I knew was that I was picking from a set theme and I just happened to go with yellow!

The first parcel to arrive just happened to be this glorious stack of yellow ombré Cotton Couture solids from Michael Miller Fabrics. I love these solids. First, because they come in a gorgeous spectrum of colours, but also ‘cause they feel ah-mazing!  

Next to arrive was the *Aurifil Thread Color Builder in Sicily Yellow.

Cotton Couture solids in yellow ombre with Aurifil Thread color builder in Sicily Yellow | Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltingnotions

And then COVID happened and all went quiet!

It stayed that way until earlier this month when my Olfa Frosted Advantage Non-Slip rulers showed up in the mail.

It was time to get down to quilty business!


So, how did this lil’ mini come to be? Well, you know my love for improv, and when in a pinch and I need to perform, I tend to turn to my instincts and modern improv quilting is typically that go-to.

When a little snafu resulted in my original design plan not being able to come to life, I switched gears and brought it back to the theme – slice and stitch!

And slice and stitch is exactly what I did!

Yellow ombre mini improv pieced quilt top with coordinating yellow Aurifil thread | Shannon Fraser Designs #modernimprovquilting

After giving my bundle a good press, I dove in with some classic strip piecing. This gave me a chance to explore how the different yellows played off one another depending on their placement.

From there it was all about following my instincts and letting the pieces speak to me as I stitched them back together.

Yellow ombre modern improv mini quilt with coordinating yellow Aurifil Thread | September Slice & Stitch Challenge | Shannon Fraser Designs #modernart

Quilting details on the yellow ombre modern improv mini quilt | Aurifil Thread and Olfa September Slice & Stitch Challenge | Shannon Fraser Designs #quilting

When it came time to quilting her up, I opted to create a woven grid using the *1¼ʺ x 12½ʺ Olfa ruler. I liked seeing how the yellow threads played against the yellow fabrics!

Naturally, I had to label her 😉 You can find a DIY Tutorial here.

DIY quilt label on the Sunshine on a Saturday Morning modern mini quilt | Shannon Fraser Designs #quiltlabel



Aurifil Thread Color Builder in Sicily Yellow with Olfa Rulers and Yellow Cotton Couture fat quarters featured in the modern mini improv quilt | Shannon Fraser Designs #modernquiltingHere’s a full run down of all the materials and tools I used to create this little mini:



*Shop my quilting essentials here.


Since this was my first time working with Olfa rulers, I thought I’d share a few of my initial impressions. 

The ones I tried are from their *Frosted Advantage Non-Slip collection and what I immediately noticed was the nice weight to them. AND they don’t slip around.

Yellow modern mini improv quilt featuring Aurifil Threads in Sicily Yellow + Olfa rulers + Michael Miller Fabrics in yellow ombre | Shannon Fraser Designs #quilting

I mean I know they advertise in the name that they don’t slip! But I was surprised that they really didn’t slip! It feels nice and secure, giving me confidence in my cutting (i.e. that things won’t budge, and I’ll hit my target). 

Even with a few layers of fabric stacked – the ruler still grips nicely without having to add these grippers.  

And the frosting does indeed help – especially as my eyes get tired more easily, it’s nice to have a nice contrast and not have to squint 😉 

You can read more about this cutie over on Auribuzz.

Front and back views of the Sunshine on a Saturday modern improv mini art quilt | Shannon Fraser Designs #improvquilting

 And for more improv inspiration, check out:


Happy quilting!




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1 comment

  • Great colors you received. Improv is easy, just takes the design process to get mov’n & layout what you have in your mind to do. I see you list no pattern so I gather from reading you simply cut, slashed and sewed together the pieces into a design of your liking? Such a bright colorful mini. That frosted ruler seems helpful


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