Miniature quilts are generally expected to be about the size of an A4 (foolscap) piece of paper. That means somewhere within reach of 8.1/2″ by 11.1/2″. There are lots of options here for applique or pictorial quilts, but I have chosen to make two basic patchwork quilts to show you how it can be done.
My first quilt (the lower one in the photo) uses straightforward strip pieced squares and finishes at 8″ by 10″. The second one uses half square triangles to make stars and finishes at 9″ by 12″.
Making the first miniature quilt
For this quilt I simply sewed together strips of fabric 1.1/2″ wide. Sew together one strip each of red and cream twice to make two separate panels. Press the seam allowance towards the red and cut the strips at 1.1/2″ intervals to make strips that are made up of a square each of red and cream.
Lay these double squares out in ten rows of four double squares each. Alternate the placement so that one row begins with a cream square and the next row begins with a red square. In this way you will achieve a checkerboard effect across the whole miniature quilt. Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together to complete the quilt.
Making the second miniature quilt
For the second quilt I have made half square triangles in a different way from my usual. Cut twelve 2.3/4″ squares in both red and cream. Place two squares with right sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam all round the edge of the square.
Cut across both diagonals of the square. Each quarter of the square will unfold to produce a half square triangle. Press the seam allowance towards the red fabric and trim the corners of the squares. Use four half square triangles with five plain 1.1/2″ squares to lay out a nine patch star quilt block. I have made six stars with a cream square in the middle and six with a red square in the middle. Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
Lay the star quilt blocks out in four rows of three, alternating the two different versions of the star. Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
You may find that you need to trim the blocks before you sew them together. My half square triangles were sometimes slightly larger than the plain squares. I’m not sure whether that was due to the 2.3/4″ measurement that I used for the squares or due to my inaccurate sewing. I tried several measurements before I settled on 2.3/4″ as being the best match that I could get for the 1.1/2″ plain squares.
Layering and quilting the miniature quilts
Lay the backing fabric with right side down, then the wadding and then the patchwork with right side up as for a normal sized quilt. Pin to secure the layers. I have done a minimal amount of quilting, just stitching in the ditch along every other seam. This gives a cross hatch quilting design with the lines 2″ apart.
Binding the miniature quilts
Baste all round the edge of each quilt and when you have finished quilting trim the excess wadding and backing fabric. Bind the quilts in exactly the same way as usual, but use a 2″ strip of fabric rather than the normal 2.1/2″ strip. This gives a neater finish to a miniature quilt. I think that in the photo on the right you can just see the cross hatch quilting on the back.
I hope this has given you some basic ideas for miniature quilts – the sort of basic size you need to work to, and how you can scale down quilt blocks to achieve this size. Another idea for miniatures would be a landscape or seascape – again you could use the same ideas that you might use for a full sized quilt, but just reduce the scale.
Here’s the video:
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