Portland Head Lighthouse – A Finished Mini

At the beginning of June, this project was declared my One Monthly Goal (OMG), as well as one of my goals for the quarter. I am pleased to say it is done. Now, before we get to the particulars on this, let me show you a few things.

Today, Portland Head (Cape Elizabeth, ME) probably looks a lot like this. Our weather is rainy and foggy as I write this. The funny thing is that these pictures were taken in 2004, 6 years before we bought our cottage on Peaks Island and 16 years before today!

Earlier this year, for a challenge in my Electric Quilt 8* group, I drew this version. I will make this one day, and I like how similar it is to the one I just finished. Before I do, I may take a few more photos at an angle similar to where the drawing is from.

There were a lot of little pieces. I know this is why I put it off for a long time. The fabrics were already in the kit, so why it took me as long as it did to get to it, I have no idea. I think the kit was from 2014 or 2015. I used HeatnBond Light to secure the pieces to the background. I assembled some before placing on the background, using my Goddess teflon* sheet. Then, Superior Monopoly* was used to go around the pieces with a straight stitch.

I decided to use the machine to stitch the lines for the upper part of the light house. In order to get close to a hand stitch, I used a triple stitch, #8 on my Janome 3160QCD. Since it’s not a fancy machine I was wary, but it did a great job. As I looked at the piece, I decided it did not need a bind so I faced the quilt rather than bind it; my tutorial for facing is here.

Then, I took it to the long arm and adjusted the wave design. I wanted something wavy but not so regular. Two cool things that were new for me: 1) I edited a design and 2) I made the design go right to left and left to right! Again, these were things I learned at my retreat in March!

I hope you enjoy this piece of Maine. Fortunate I am, because we see it on our walks around the island, and I love knowing this grand lighthouse is well preserved and close by.

Don’t forget to link up your tips and tutorials from this month or others you love on my Tips and Tutorials on the 22 (#TTot22)!

Portland Head
19″ by 16″
Pattern by Sewing by the Sea, Trenton ME
Appliqué Thread: Superior Monopoly, clear
Quilting: Superior So Fine #408 Silver
Batting: Hobbs Tuscanny Wool*

Coming Up on the Blog:
Monthly Color Block (7/1)
Partners in Design Announcement (7/7)
Pattern Release (TBD)
Tips and Tutorials (7/22)

Linking Up:
What I Made Monday
One Monthly Goal
Clever Chameleon
My Favorite Finish
Midweek Makers #233

Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.


  1. June 30, 2020 / 7:25 AM

    That is beautiful! A little work of art! I love the quilted wave design on it. I have never faced a small quilt. Thanks for the tutorial! I’ll try it on my next mini.

    • kathleenquilts
      June 30, 2020 / 6:28 PM

      The facing is really easy and better than a binding sometimes. For this one, it felt like binding wasn’t needed with the blue frame doing its own job. Let me know if you have any questions about the facing.

  2. Vicki in MN
    June 30, 2020 / 8:42 AM

    Good job on getting this mini done. I would have kept putting if off to with all those little pieces! But it sure is a cutie:)

    • kathleenquilts
      June 30, 2020 / 6:26 PM

      I nearly copied it onto fusible just to avoid the tracing, but it was on a legal size sheet, so more trouble than it was worth. In the end, it was worth the effort and the puzzlement as to why we put these things off!

  3. June 30, 2020 / 9:02 AM

    Doesn’t it feel good to have it done? I put some projects off for one reason or another, and then when I actually do them, I realize they weren’t as bad as I thought they’d be. I’m slowly learning to just get them done, rather than putting them off. Anyway, it’s a pretty quilt and a fun reminder of your community.

    • kathleenquilts
      June 30, 2020 / 6:25 PM

      It does! It was silly and I was so surprised that there was fabric in it. Truth be told I hate tracing onto fusible. Ridiculous. It is a lovely little quilt and I am pleased with it.

  4. Cocoa Quilts
    June 30, 2020 / 9:46 AM

    What a great little finish. I love the lighthouse and all it’s fog!!

    • kathleenquilts
      June 30, 2020 / 5:34 PM

      Yes, the fog is our friend and keeps us from some of that crazy heat. Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. June 30, 2020 / 1:20 PM

    Congratulations on getting your mini lighthouse done, Done, DONE!!! It is SEW cute! And, since I Love lighthouses, I can’t help but love it!

    • kathleenquilts
      June 30, 2020 / 5:33 PM

      Thank you, Gail. It is hard not to love lighthouses!

  6. June 30, 2020 / 2:43 PM

    Hi Kathleen! I think the wavy quilting really brings this piece to life. I can imagine the wind and the sea being wavy – perfect choice. And to see this lighthouse often is really cool. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • kathleenquilts
      June 30, 2020 / 5:32 PM

      I didn’t put the wave lines in the rocks for that reason! I am very lucky – was thinking about it the other day that I would never have imagined this life.

  7. patty
    July 1, 2020 / 9:55 AM

    Wonderful job! Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish!

    • kathleenquilts
      July 1, 2020 / 10:16 PM

      Always a pleasure to finish and link up with your blog.

  8. July 2, 2020 / 6:02 PM

    Hi Kathleen, that is a really lovely mini. It’s always great when it means something to you. Take care.

    • kathleenquilts
      July 5, 2020 / 7:46 PM

      Thank you, I am so pleased you enjoyed it.

  9. thedarlingdogwood
    July 3, 2020 / 6:22 PM

    Wow! This is fantastic! My absolute favorite part of this is the wavy lines quilting in the sky–you captured the wind so wonderfully!

    • kathleenquilts
      July 5, 2020 / 7:47 PM

      I loved making those wavy lines work exactly how I wanted and think they were even better than I thought. Its fun understanding how to manipulate designs on the computer.

  10. July 6, 2020 / 6:20 AM

    It’s beautiful! I thought the machine triple stitch was done by hand until I read otherwise 🙂 I love the wavy quilting lines. Congratulations on getting it finished!

    • kathleenquilts
      July 8, 2020 / 10:53 AM

      I loved making those wavy lines work exactly how I wanted and think they were even better than I thought. Its fun understanding how to manipulate designs on the computer.

  11. July 6, 2020 / 10:42 PM

    I love lighthouses, for the symbols they represent and their reassurance. Your mini is beautiful, congrats on a lovely finish. Thanks for linking up with the Chameleon’s Colour & Inspiration Tuesday. 🙂

    • kathleenquilts
      July 8, 2020 / 10:49 AM

      I love them too…and the sound of foghorns. I am thrilled with the mini and always happy to link up to the Chameleon’s party!

  12. Anna
    July 7, 2020 / 10:38 AM

    I love seeing Portland Head Light in pictures. It is such a beautiful lighthouse and quilt! I took my Mom to six lighthouses around Portland last year while we were in Kennebunk. I actually purchased a pattern for Nubble Light from a local quilt shop in the Albany, NY area to make for my Mom. Nubble has always been her favorite lighthouse. I think you might’ve inspired me to go find the pattern and finish it for her by Christmas. Thank you!

    • kathleenquilts
      July 8, 2020 / 12:57 PM

      How fun that you did that! And good thing it was last year (kind of). This year people are slowly back, crowds for the 4th but not like they were last year when you were here. Both Knights in Cape Neddick and Sew Maine/Sewing by the Sea in Trenton. I know one of them has embroidery for towels – and now I want one! You got me going on another project on my own blog…yikes!

  13. Anna
    July 8, 2020 / 1:05 PM

    My family has been going to Kennebunk for over 30 years and we have found Maine to be such a beautiful and relaxing place. I have always been afraid that my Mom will decide traveling for that long with us is too much and not come, hence the reason we made sure to take her to that many lighthouses in one day and it was great that they were so close together. We have been there on the fourth and it is super crowded with slow moving traffic, but so worth the visit to see the fireworks over the ocean. I usually take my kids later on in July to avoid the traffic. LOL. Adding another project. I know all about that.

    • kathleenquilts
      July 8, 2020 / 1:06 PM

      Are you coming this year? Things are slowly opening.

  14. inquiringquilter
    July 8, 2020 / 7:42 PM

    I love lighthouses and envy you your dreamy location! I’m landlocked and dream of the sea. Oh well. Your mini quilt is wonderful. How great that you learned some new quilting tricks in the finish! Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

    • kathleenquilts
      July 19, 2020 / 9:36 AM

      I am so fortunate. For much of my life I was landlocked and always wanted to be closer. I never imagined I would retire to an island but we have been blessed. I like to incorporate new things in little projects so it was fun to do!

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