Saturday, April 23, 2022

Miniature Quilts Part 2

 Miniature Quilts Part 2

If you read my previous Blog, you have read my definition of a Miniature Quilt.  This week I want to talk about Supplies.  Most of these are your regular sewing supplies.  Well, probably all of them are your regular sewing supplies.  There may be a few things you are not aware of or do not own yet.

1.  Sewing Machine  {Yes, I sew all my miniatures with a sewing machine}

        a. Presser Foot - a 1/4" Presser Foot is important.  Most sewing machine manufacturers have them for their brand of machine.  If you don't have one, get one.  A 1/4" seam is SO important!  Both of these are 1/4" Presser Feet for a Bernina.  The foot on the left is 1/4" on both sides of the foot.  The one of the right is wider on the left side of the foot.  The 1/4" is on the right side of the foot.  

        b. Throat Plate - A single hole throat plate is helpful when sewing Miniatures.  If you adjust your needle to get a perfect 1/4" seam allowance, do not use a single hole throat plate.  The throat plate on the left has a wider area where the needle goes in.  The throat plate on the right has a single hole for the needle to get through.  

        c.  Needles - A smaller needle is helpful.  Size 70 is smaller than a size 90.  The smaller the number, the smaller the needle.  The larger the number, the bigger the needle.  This is different from thread.

2.  Rotary Cutting Equipment

        a.  Rotary Cutters - A good, sharp blade.  If it is not sharp, you can rip or tear the fabric and it will not cut precise pieces.  It will also cause you a lot of frustration.  You can use a smaller rotary blade.  I use a 45mm Rotary Cutter.

        b.  Rotary Cutting Mats - A good, clean cutting mat is important.  If there are grooves in you mat, it is harder to cut a clean piece of fabric.  Small rotating mats are helpful.  You can rotate your mat instead of picking up your pieced and turning them, if you need to trim on all four sides.

        c.  Rulers - There are lots and lots of rulers (or cutting tools) to choose from.  With Miniatures, you do not need a large ruler.  Use one that is large enough to cut the size strips or pieces you need.  Here are two photos of two similar tools, just different sizes.  If you are cutting large pieces of fabric, you need a larger tool.  If you are cutting smaller pieces of fabric or trimming smaller units, a smaller tool is easier to handle.

        d.  Specialty Rulers/Tools - There are several specialty rulers on the market today.  My favorites are the Studio 180 Design tools.  They make tools that will trim units from 1" to 12 1/2" with 1/2" increments.  My favorites are: Tucker Trimmer I and II, V Block, Wing Clipper, Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star, Star 60, and Wedge Star.  There are several others, but these are the ones I use the most.

3.  Threads

        Thread weight is important with Miniatures.  There are a lot of good threads to use.  I like a 50 weight thread, but not all 50 weight threads are the same.  I prefer Aurfil threads.  They come in hundreds of colors.  I prefer to sew with a neutral color, usually white, unless I am piecing dark fabric.  The rule of thumb is that the thread should not be lighter than your lightest fabric or darker than your darkest fabric.  The color you use is your preference.  I have found that if I use a darker thread, there is occasionally "shadowing" in my piecing.  The darker thread "shadows" through the lighter fabric and I can see it in the seam, making the seam appear darker or dirty.

        The threads shown are Aurfil, Masterpiece, and Microquilter.  Aurfil and Masterpiece are 50 wieght and Microquilter is 100 weight.  Microquilter 100 weight is a much thinner thread than the other two.  The higher the number, the thinner the thread.

4.  Pressing Supplies

        a.  The Iron - Smaller irons are better when working with Miniatures.  You don't need a large, heavy iron when working with small pieces.  Don't think you need to purchase an expensive small iron.  I found mine at Wal-Mart and it works great.

        b.  Ironing Surface - A good, solid ironing surface works better that a soft ironing surface.  I like to use a Wool Pressing Mat (just remember to keep your iron on the "Wool" setting or you will burn your mat).  Strip Sticks are helpful for pressing seams open.  Strip sticks come in several different sizes, as shown below.  I also use the wooden piece in the picture.  It is a piece of a wooden hand rail cut to 12".  It works great!

        c.  Sprays - Starching the fabric before cutting helps give the fabrics a little more stiffness to them, making it easier to cut and stitch your pieces.  

        d.  Clapper - Using a Clapper has become popular lately.  They have been around for a while.  After you press your seams, place a Clapper on the piece while it cools.  This helps keep the seams nice a crisp and your piece flat.

5.  That Purple Thang, Seam Ripper, Stiletto or Awl, and the Stiletto Sixth Finger - These can help you control your fabric as it goes under the needle as you sew.  You can use them to get the seams going the correct way.

6.  Fabrics!

        a.  Fabric Amounts - Miniatures do not use much fabric.  You can use Precuts, such as Charm Packs, Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, and Honey Buns.  Precuts are a great way to get a big variety of fabric and, with Miniatures, they work very well.  You can use your scraps for piecing Miniatures.  Don't think this will use up all of your scraps!  If you take your scraps from a project and make a miniature quilt, you may use up your scraps from that project.  If you are like me, you have lots and lots of scraps.  This will not use up those tubs full of scraps that you have been saving.  If you want to use up your scraps, make a large scrap quilt.

        b.  Use Your Fabric Stash - You liked that fabric at one time, otherwise you would not have purchased it.  It is not getting any newer.  So, use it.  If you purchased fabric for a project and you have decided you are not going to make that project, use that fabric for a miniature quilt.  

        c.  Purchasing Fabric - If you are on a budget, think about the amount of fabric you purchase.  If you purchase 1 yard cuts of fabric and pay $12 per yard, think about purchasing a smaller cut.  If your fabric shop will cut 1/4 yard pieces, get four 1/4 yard cuts.  It will be the same cost, but you get 4 different fabrics.  If you want a little more of each fabric, ask for 1/3 yard cuts of 3 different fabrics.  You can also purchase fat quarters.  Sometimes they are more expensive than 1/4 yard cuts.  Decide if you want 9" x Width of Fabric (WOF) {1/4 yard cut} or 18" x 21" {fat quarter} piece of fabric.  The cost is probably not that much more.  If you have a friend that would share fabric cuts with you, you can each purchase a half yard cut of two different fabrics, cut them into fat quarters and share.

I think I will stop here.  That covers the supplies you will need when making Miniature Quilts.  Next time I will talk about Fabric Selection and Fabric Cutting.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Miniature Quilts

 I recently presented a Lecture/Trunk Show on Miniature Quilts at my local quilt guild.  I want to share some of the Lecture here.  

The first thing I wanted to do was to have a definition of what a Miniature Quilt is (I will often refer to them as "Minis").  I did what a lot of people do and I Googled "Definition of Miniature Quilts".  I was surprised with what I found.  Here are some of the results...

"A type of quilt that is a smaller version of a full-sized quilt."

A quilt that is a smaller version of a full-sized quilt could be a lap quilt.  It is a smaller version, right?  I was not satisfied with that definition.  I do not consider a lap quilt a mini quilt.  Keep looking.

"The true definition of a miniature is an object, which is one-twelfth the size of a standard size item.  In respect to quilting this means that a block, which is normally 12" finished size, will only be 1" in a Miniature Quilt." -Sue Bouchard (Quilt in a Day website)

That is really small!  In most cases, that would be impossible to make.  There are some blocks we could make 12" finished and 1" finished.  A 9 Patch block could be made 12" finished and 1" finished.  But, if you make a block that has a lot of pieces as a 12" finished block, you will not be able to make one that is 1" finished.  Let's go on.

"Mini-Quilts.  Each year our Guild {they did not give the name of the Guild} does a Silent Auction for "small" quilts.  We say small quilts instead of miniature quilts because of the techniques required.  The true definition of a miniature quilt is that it must replicate a full-size quilt pattern, but on a much smaller scale, so we have stopped requiring that the quilts be true miniatures and allow more creative approaches.  We do require that each quilt be less than 24" x 24". -Quilting Contessa*

*Quilting Contessa is a collection of various authors around the world that have submitted articles for the QuiltingHub 'How To' quilt wiki.  These are authors that do not write enough to have their own authorship, yet provide valuable content for the site.

This definition says is must "replicate a full-size quilt pattern, but on a much smaller scale".  This definition is closer, but I think it still leaves some things out.  Such as, what size is it?  It could still be a lap quilt, if the original quilt is a king size quilt.  The next one...

What are Miniature Quilts?

There are different approaches to making small quilts.  You can use a reduced number of standard sized blocks to make a smaller lap size quilt or even enlarge a block to make a wall-hanging from a single block. 

Other mini quilts are make like traditionally sized quilts but with the block components being substantially smaller in scale.  For example, a standard nine-patch block would be made using three inch squares to make a block that finished up at nine inches square.  A miniature nine-patch might be made using one inch blocks with a finished block being 3 inches square.  In some cases, the blocks are so reduced in size that the entire miniature quilt may end up being smaller than the original block.

What is important is the finished overall size of the quilt - if a quilt is smaller that 24 inches on a side, it is generally classified as a miniature quilt, but quilt show and competitions will have specific rules regarding block size and finished overall size.  If you are planning to enter a quilt competition, be sure to read the rules carefully to make sure you are following the guidelines so that you don't spend a lot of time working on a project only to have it not be eligible for the competition. - Rubyandmahoney -

That one gives some dimensions for the quilt, but not the blocks.  Then I checked American Quilters Society for requirements for their competitions.  Not all of their shows have a category for Miniatures.  The show in Paducah does have one.  

"Miniature:  Width no more than 24"; Length no more than 24".  All aspects of the quilt are reduced in scale.  Quilts may be quilted by hand, machine, or both."  - American Quilters Society Rules specific for Paducah, 2023.

Here is another one...

"While quilters and "experts" argue about what truly qualifies as a miniature quilt, your definition is the only one that really matters...after all, you're the one who will use it!  The only exception is if you decide that you want your miniature quilt entered in a contest or show.  In that event, read the rule and directions very carefully regarding "scale" and finished size.  Many shows classify miniature quilts at a maximum of 24 inches on a side, with the maximum block size at 4 inches square." -

After reading all these definitions, I came up with my own definition.  Here it is...

Miniature Quilt - A quilt that is a smaller version of a full size quilt.  All aspects of the quilt are reduced in scale.  The maximum quilt size is 24" square with the maximum block size 4 inches square.

I think this is a pretty good definition of what a Miniature Quilt is.  I think I covered all the bases.  Let me know what you think.  

In my next Blog, I will talk about Supplies needed for making Miniature Quilts.

I will leave you with a photo of one of the Mini Quilts I have made.  This quilt is from the book "Hope's Journey".  The book has 12 chapters.  Each chapter has 2 or 3 blocks to make for the quilt featured in the book.  Each chapter also has a Mini Quilt pattern.  I made 11 of the 12.  I still want to make that last one, just haven't found the right fabrics for it yet.  I am stuck on choosing fabrics.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, November 8, 2021

Bellingham Bay

Bellingham Bay

The new Bellingham Bay fabrics by Island Batik for Studio 180 Design are beautiful and will be coming to quilt shops soon.  

Certified Instructors were challenged to design a quilt to use these beautiful fabrics.  As a Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor, I took the challenge.  We were asked to use the Rapid Fire Hunter Star tool and any of the Studio 180 Design basic tools.  I choose the V Block and the Four Patch Square Up tools.    

V Block Units (made using the V Block tool) use purple, green, and background fabrics to create this design.  They are put together with Four Patch Units (made using the Four Patch Square Up tool) to create the blocks.  These blocks are joined with Hunter Star blocks to create this quilt.  The blocks finish at 9 inches.

The Hunter Star Blocks are made with the background and green fabrics with four blocks using purple fabric on one end to create the Hunter Star that is in the middle of the quilt.  


Center of the quilt.  Four Hunter Star blocks come together to make the star in the middle.


Quilting this quilt was fun.  I quilted it with free motion quilting.


We took a trip to Branson, Missouri for some photos.  Visited many of my favorite spots around Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo, including College of the Ozarks. 

At College of the Ozarks in their new Scripture Garden.

In the new gazebo that is in the Scripture Garden at College of the Ozarks overlooking Lake Taneycomo.

On the steps going down to Point Lookout on the College of the Ozarks campus.

At Point Lookout on the College of the Ozarks campus, overlooking Lake Taneycomo.


Near College of the Ozarks, south of Branson, overlooking Table Rock Lake Dam and Lake Taneycomo.

The remaining photos are at various places around Table Rock Lake.

Thank you, Studio 180 Design, for the opportunity to make this quilt using the beautiful Bellingham Bay fabrics from Island Batik.  It has been an honor to work with these fabrics.  

Thank you for visiting my Blog.

Terrie Welch

Owner of Quilters Journey, Salem, Missouri

Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor

Visit Quilters Journey's website at:

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year! 2019

Well, 2019 is upon us and I am ready for a new year and new beginnings!  2018 was a difficult year for my family, but hopefully 2019 will be better.

The 1st Annual Quilters Journey Retreat will be January 24-27, 2019.  I have 11 signed up (including myself).  I have a lot planned for the Retreat.  We will have 3 classes offered.  One will be making a zippered bag with a fabric license plate.  There will be one on doing hand work with a little bit of applique'.  The third one is making a quilt using a Jelly Roll (2 1/2" strips) and a Layer Cake (10" squares).  There will be lots of time for sewing, good food, rest, and goodies to take home with you.  We will be doing two charity projects in the evenings, which are optional to participate in.  One will be making pillowcases for Russell House, which is a local women's and children's shelter.  The other is to make blocks for quilts that will be donated to the Veteran's Home in St. James, MO.  All fabric will be provided for these projects.  I am looking forward to this Retreat!  I hope you signed up and are looking forward to it, too.  It should be a great time to get some sewing done with no interruptions! 

It's time to start a new Third Saturday Sampler Quilt!  Are you ready to start a new quilt?  The Third Saturday Sampler is on the third Saturday of each month.  Come in January on the third Saturday at 10:00!  Please try not to be late.  You may miss some important information.  I will show you the first block and tell you how to make it.  Purchase your block for $5.00.  Take it home, make it, bring it back the next third Saturday for the next block.  You will receive your next block free if you are there at 10:00 the third Saturday of the month with your block finished.  We will start with an easy block and then progress to harder blocks.  This year's quilt will be done with black and white fabrics and another color or two.  So, join us January 19th to start the new Third Saturday Sampler Quilt!

What goals have you set for the New Year?
I would like to work out a system to use up scrap fabrics.  I just read a book on Kindle that I downloaded some time ago called Scrapstashtic Quilts by Janellea Macbeth.  She developed her own system of cutting up scraps and using every scrap, even the tiny bits that most people throw away.  She used them as stuffing to make toys and dog beds.  I have used them to make a large dog bed and have been saving those tiny bits for another one.  My kids each have a large dog, so when I get two done I can give them each a dog bed for my granddogs.  I probably have enough to make another dog bed, I just need to sew up a large piece of fabric to put all the scraps in. 
I would also like to finish up some things I started many years ago.  I look around my room downstairs where my quilting machine is and at the shelves I have around the house and see all the boxes of projects I have started and not finished.  How much time would it take to finish one of them?  Probably not very long.  Why didn't I finish it at the time I was making blocks?  Did I decide I didn't like it?  Did I get bored with it?  Was there a problem with the blocks?  I don't know.  Maybe I should get one of those out and put it together.  Maybe I didn't like it after I started it.  I could donate it to a local charity.  I have so many quilt.  Why do I need another one?  There are people in my family who do not have a quilt that I have made.  I had a goal to make a twin size quilt for all my great nieces and nephews for Christmas last year, but didn't make it.  That is 14 quilts!  Fourteen twin size quilts!  I could try to finish that goal for this next Christmas.  I did get a lot of twin size quilts pieced for Strip Club.  I didn't get them all quilted, so I could finish them and then I will be close to having enough to give them for Christmas this year. 
The Salem Quilt Guild is doing a UFO Challenge.  We listed 6 quilts we wanted to finish this year.  Rolled a dice and we have two months to finish that quilt.  I have 3 of mine already quilted, binding is not finished yet, but they are quilted.
I also have several quilt kits that I have purchased and was going to make.  I need to get them out and cut them out so they are ready to sew.  I ordered another one yesterday!  Okay, I have a lot to do.  I should cut out up to take to the Retreat! 
Okay, I am rambling now.  I will stop for now. 
To sum up some goals for 2019:
     1. Cut up scraps to use up.  Develop a system to manage them.
     2. Finish an old project.
     3. Cut out kits that I have purchased and start sewing them.
     4. Finish 14 twin size quilts for the Greats.
     5. Finish UFO list.

That should be enough to work on.  What are your 2019 Quilting Goals?  Leave a comment and share what you want to get done this year.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Back to business

Quilter's Journey is back to business.  School is out, Track is over, Terrie is retired, and Quilter's Journey is back to it's regular business hours.  In case you forgot what they were...We are open Wednesday-Friday Noon-6:00 and Saturday 10:00-3:00.
Thank you for being so patient with us while Mary was helping with things at home and Terrie was finishing her last year of school. 
We look forward to seeing you again. 
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Shop Hop

Well, another Shop Hop has come and gone.  What a great weekend!  Thank you to all the wonderful people who came by Quilter's Journey Thursday, Friday, and Saturday!  It was great to see familiar faces and new faces!  We had a great time and I believe it as a success!  We have our meeting tomorrow to draw for prizes!  Good luck to everyone!  I wish everyone could win, but that can't happen.   I will post the winners tomorrow evening.

Quilter's Journey will, once again, change it's hours.  Because of Track practice starting and Mary retiring from the shop, Quilter's Journey will only be open on Saturdays until the end of May (when Track is over and school is out).  I am sorry for any inconvenience that may cause you.  If you have an emergency, you can call me (Terrie) on my cell phone (247-0012) and we can make arrangements.  I won't get finished with Track Practice each day until after 5:00 and we will start Track Meets soon, which are on Thursdays most weeks.  So, to set hours would be impossible.  I hope you all understand.  We will go back to our regular hours of Wednesday-Friday, Noon-6:00 and Saturday, 10:00-3:00 when school is out. 

Thank you for your understanding!

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Quilter's Journey

Welcome to Quilter's Journey BlogSpot!
We are a quilt shop located in rural Missouri. 
Our hours are Wednesday-Friday, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  Starting March 7, 2016, we will only be open on Saturdays until the end of May.  At that time, I am retiring from my teaching position.  After my retirement, Quilter's Journey will be open Wednesday-Friday, Noon-6:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
We have a program that we call Third Saturday Sampler.  On the Third Saturday of each month, starting in January, come to the shop at 10:00 a.m.  There will be demos and we will show our new merchandise.  We start a new quilt each year.  Purchase the first block that Saturday for $5.00.  Make your block before the next Third Saturday, bring it with you on the next Third Saturday, stay for the demo, and receive the next block free!  If you come every month, you can receive all of your quilt blocks for a quilt for $5.00!  If you have to miss a Third Saturday, come in anytime after the Third Saturday to purchase your block for $5.00, make your block and get back on track. 
This year, the quilt we are making has optional border blocks that you can purchase.  You will receive fabric for 4-5 blocks for $7.00.  There will be 5 sets of border blocks that you can purchase and make.  They will be available every month or every other month (I haven't decided yet).

We are also doing the Moda Sampler Block Shuffle.  You can purchase 3 patterns for $1.00 at Quilter's Journey or download them from this BlogSpot.  They will be available on this BlogSpot for the month between each Third Saturday.  The first three are available at the top of the page.  You can print as many copies as you want.  To print them, open the page, right click on the image and select "copy".  Open a word document.  Right click on the word document and select "paste".  This will put the image in the word document so you can print the image or save it to your computer. 
If you purchase them from the shop, the money will go to a local charity.  This will only be available for one month starting the Third Saturday in January (January 16, 2016).
I am suggesting that you get a binder or some type of notebook to put all your patterns in, unless you are saving them to your computer.
These blocks do not take much fabric to make.  We will have "Cake Pops" available at Quilter's Journey to purchase.  They are a 10" square that is rolled up and held together with a rubber band.  We have lots of fabrics available with more to follow.  You can use the "Cake Pops" to make your blocks.

The third thing we are starting this year is a Quilter's Journey Ruler Club.  The first ruler is the 8" Rainbow Template by Elisa's Backporch Design.  She has some patterns that use that ruler.  We will have 2-3 of the patterns available to purchase.  The rulers are on order.  If they arrive tomorrow, we will start the Ruler Club this Saturday.  If they do not come in, we will start in February.  Come to Quilter's Journey to find out what it is all about!

That's all for now. 
Happy Quilting!