Fully embracing Mini Quilts

If you are not on Instagram you probably are not aware of the flurry of mini quilt swaps that have been happening over the last year or so.   Hundreds and hundreds of mini quilts have been made a swapped all over the world and people’s homes now have walls adorned in beautiful little quilts.  After resisting for nearly a year, in February I finally signed up for my first mini quilt swap – the Cotton and Steel mini quilt swap.

I shared my first quilt for this swap a couple of months ago, including the paper piecing pattern I used for this quilt on my original post…….

Economy block mini quilt copyI liked it but I was not exactly what I wanted.  So I went back to the drawing board and came up with this beauty…

cotton and steel sampler mini quilt copyI loved making this 15 inch square sampler and shrinking all these quilt blocks down to 3 inches was fun.  Nearly all these blocks were paper pieced as I find it is the easiest way for me to get accuracy at this small size.

cotton and steel sampler close upI really loved putting this quilt together…and even found some prints I could fussy cut at this small size!

So with my Cotton and Steel mini done I felt the need to sign up for another mini swap… this time the Lizzy House mini quilt swap.  Now Lizzy House is my favorite designer… I love her prints. As so many of my quilts end up going to kids charities Lizzy Houses fun, modern novelty prints were an instant hit with me.

So what do you do when you have a huge collection of fabulous Lizzy House prints… you make hexagons of course…

lizzy house hexagon mini wipSo this is my Lizzy House mini work in progress.  The day I signed up for the swap I started making hexagons and once I had them all I had a blast arranging and re-arranging them until I had a layout I was happy with.

Lizzy House hexagon close upThis quilt has been so much fun to make…though a little tough on my hands as there has been a lot of hand sewing…

lizzy house hexagon cu I started making this mini before I had my partner details (yes I was that excited!).  After you sign up you get assigned a partner, you get sent a list of likes and dislikes and you can stalk them on Instagram so you can make something appropriate for them.  So as much as I love these hexagons, I was not sure it was totally up my partners alley… so I made another mini…

lizzy house NY beauty mini quilt..which is much more her style. This quilt is uses four different New York beauty patterns… and I love the unity of the similar shapes of the New York Beauty block combined with the disconnect of the different patterns pieces.

lizzy house NY beauty mini quilt detailI am sure my partner will love which ever mini I end up sending.  I have a couple more weeks before the quilts have to be sent and there is a chance I will change my mind again and make something else.  This is the joy of mini quilts…they are so quick and easy to make.

So I can now say I am a mini quilt addict, though I have controlled myself this month and not signed up for any more swaps…yet.

Metallic Mini Finished

This week I managed to get my Modern Metallic mini quilt finished, just in time to get it entered in PNW Metallic Challenge competition.

miniture log cabin quilt patternThis quilt is made up of 3 inch log cabin blocks, you can find the paper piecing pattern I used in my original post.  As it was a metallic challenge I choose my most favorite metallic fabric, Michael Miller’s Mirror Ball Dot in Rice, Silver, Platinum, Onyx and a splash of Citron.

finished mini log cabin quilting detailI knew I really wanted to quilt with metallic thread though I had never done it before. First up I tried hand quilting but that was an unmitigated disaster.  Metallic thread is so fine that I was just making a hash of everything.  After several attempts to get hand quilting to work,  I finally resorted to machine quilting, which has its own issues.

finished mini log cabin detailThis time I was smart enough to do some online research… resulting in a tips list:

1.  Use a new, sharp needle.
2.  Load a lighter weight neutral thread in your bobbin
3.  Loosen the upper tension on your machine and make sure the metallic thread is not catching on any particular point.
4.  Stitch really really slowly to avoid breakage.
5.  Try not to get too upset when the thread breaks.

I can not imagine trying to quilt a normal size quilt with metallic thread.  I do not have the patience to even attempt such a feat but I will be forever in awe of anyone who is crazy enough to do it!

finished mini log cabin binding detailAs for the last step, binding, I was ridiculously indecisive and  actually bound this quilt twice!   My first biding was a citron solid – which I was not thrilled with and so unpicked.  I finally settled on a solid black binding, something neutral and not too fussy.  I have never unpicked a binding before but when you are dealing with something so small you can make these rash decisions and change your mind without too much hassle.

Quilt Details:

Block:   3 inch paper pieced log cabin
Fabric:  Mirror Ball Dot
Finished size:  15 x 15 inches


Miniture Quilts Paper Piecing Monday

I am back… sorry about the radio silence last week… I was kind of forced to take a little break but we are now back on-line and ready to go… starting with Paper Piecing Monday miniature style.

The Portland Modern Quilt Guild is currently taking part in some miniature quilt challenges, so  I just had to give it a try.  Because of the size of the quilt blocks usually used in these quilts, precision is incredibly important.  Even the slimmest of miscalculations can cause big issues when you are working at such a small scale, unless of course, you work with a paper piecing pattern.

So I decided to use a simple 3 inch log cabin block for my Metallic Challenge mini quilt…

3 inch log cabin blocksOf course I had to use one of my fave fabrics, Michael Miller’s Mirror Ball.  It was just perfect for this challenge and worked well with the small scale block.

metalic quilt detail copyYou can find the paper piecing pattern I used here…. miniature log cabin pattern.   The blocks came together really quickly and my final quilt is 15 inches by 15 inches square and now all I have to do is work out how I want to back and quilt it.

metalic miniture