Miniature Quilts are small versions of a full sized quilt. If a miniature quilt was viewed with no indication of size, you shouldn’t automatically realise it is a miniature quilt. In general, they can vary in size from 12 to 24 inches square. In some quilt shows they have a small/miniature class which accepts quilts up to 24 inches square, but at The Festival of Quilts the miniature class accepts quilts up to 30 cm square (approximately 12 inches square).
A miniature quilt can be used to try out a new design without the use of a large amount of fabric, or to try new colour combinations. But, don’t fall into the trap of believing that because a miniature quilt is small it will take less time to make than a full sized quilt! You will be using the same number of pieces and they will be smaller. Some will find the small pieces daunting and fiddly, but with practice they become easier to handle.
The fabric chosen for a miniature quilt needs some consideration. Plain fabrics or those with a small print design are better, as are higher thread count fabrics. Smaller stitches and narrower seams are advisable, especially when foundation paper piecing and the wadding should be thinner. It’s exciting making miniature quilts, because any design or style can be used; modern, contemporary, traditional, using any quilting technique from paper piecing to appliqué. The design choices are so varied.
Our group has been growing over the past year with new members. Our members are widespread over the UK, with a few overseas members. This obviously makes it difficult for us all to meet up. The recent advent of the Zoom meeting has helped us to meet up virtually for things as simple as coffee mornings to workshops. But, for those who don’t like zoom meetings we have had postcard challenges and a Christmas decoration swap, and we have a newsletter, Small Talk, three times a year, with articles and patterns.
Our group was established 2003, and in 2004 we started our Handbag Collection, which is hired out to quilting groups. This year we are gradually retiring all the present quilts in the collection and introducing new ones, so if your group has hired the collection previously why not hire it again to see the new collection? Later this year we are introducing a Pattern Box for hire by quilt groups. This will contain a pattern and instructions on how to make the quilt. Something to look forward to!
Every year at the AGM we have our Anne Morgan challenge, which is only open to our group members. This year is the first time we have a monetary prize of £200 for the winner and £50 for the runner up. This is from a legacy left to the Miniature Quilt Group by Anne Morgan, one of our previous co-ordinators. At The Festival of Quilts we have the Mark Hannan Award. Both these are decided by popular vote.
We also have a Facebook page which is open to any members of The Quilters’ Guild. If you have any questions about making miniature quilts or joining our group please contact us either on Facebook or at email@example.com, we’d be delighted to hear from you!
Janet Cooper & Karen Llewellyn-Parsons
Joint co-ordinators of the Miniature Quilt Group