Addicted to Teeny-Tiny Quilts

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Some say I'm certifiable! My mother thought I was crazy. And some say I need an intervention and a support group when they see my teeny-tiny quilts! But since I was a little girl, I have loved all things small—including quilts.

So here's my new baby: Teeny-Tiny Quilts. And before you wonder: no, they're not paper pieced! They're sewn on a sewing machine just like any other quilt. I poured all the skills, tips, and tricks I've learned over thirty years of making these little gems into the book, and it took thirty-nine pages to do so.

I've been making miniature quilts since the late 70s when we made everything with templates. Unfortunately, there was only so small you could go before the templates were too tiny and your fingers too big. The advent of rotary cutting and all the associated techniques have made it possible to make really small quilts. Not only are they much quicker to make and use up pieces of fabric you would have thrown away otherwise, they're just so darn cute and fun to sew!

The reality is that these little minis can be quite addictive and just like popcorn or chips—once you start making them you can't stop.

One of my Wednesday morning quilt-bee friends swore she'd never make these little guys, but then she tried one and was hooked. Now she comes to quilting every week with two or three more. She's made close to twenty minis and is having a blast!

BUT… don't let the title of the book fool you! Not everyone wants to dive into such tiny quilts. Some just want to try their hand at smaller quilts. So each of the twelve patterns is presented in multiple sizes called small, smaller, and smallest (my favorite!)

The small quilts have finished block sizes ranging from 4''–6'', the smaller ones range from 3–4'', and the smallest ones are under 3'' and even as small as 1 1/8''.

With different sizes of blocks available for each project, you can choose just how small you want to go and have fun doing so.

Now this is where they say my insanity kicks in. I've been playing with even smaller things. Here are two itty-bitty ones. The Friendship star is 3/4'' finished size and the Churn Dash is 3/8''. They are only children—no siblings—for now, but I hope to remedy that soon.

But I digress—back to the book. I sorted each pattern into one of three skills categories: Testing the Waters, Easing In, and Diving In.

Here are some samples of Testing the Waters quilts (the simplest projects, with just strips and squares and rectangles).

Some Easing In samples (made a little more challenging by adding triangles).

And last but not least, some Diving In samples (more intricate piecing).

I included complete fabric and cutting charts for each size of each project, for a total of thirty-five projects in the book. Now that's a lot of patterns and quilts packed into one book! With all the different colors or themes for each of the samples, there's bound to be something for everyone.

What I learned early on about mini quilts is that almost all of the skills I mastered in order to make them well translated right back to big quilts. Like me, once you dive into the world of minis, you'll find that your big quilts seem gigantic and a piece of cake to make!

I hope you find as much joy making these little cutie pies as I do!

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  • Donna Lynn Thomas
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