I don’t know about you guys, but I’m super excited about the mini quilt swap!
Partner info will be going out shortly, but before you get carried away brainstorming fabric and pattern combinations, I wanted to share some links to tutorials that you might find helpful.
All quilts in the swap need to have some sort of hanging mechanism, so a few tutorials on how to hang your mini quilt might be helpful. This link from the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative shows you different ways to hang a quilt, especially a mini.
The simplest technique is with two or four triangles on the back. We talked about this briefly at our last meeting. VMQG member Laurraine has posted a tutorial on her blog, and there’s also a tutorial from the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative. I especially like how both of their tutorials use 4 triangles, which is great for helping a heavily quilted quilt hang straight!
If you’d rather a more traditional quilt sleeve, Tall Grass Prairie Studio has a great tutorial.
If you haven’t made many mini quilts before, you might be surprised to realize how fiddly binding a smaller quilt can be. Very Kerry Berry has a tutorial on single fold binding for small quilts like mug rugs or minis that you might want to check out.
When you’re making a quilt with straight edges and 90 degree corners, straight grain binding will be fine, but just in case you feel like make a circular or curved quilt, here’s a great blog post about bias binding from Craftsy.
Or if you get inspired to add a few interesting angles, i’ve found this tutorial at Trends & Traditions to be really helpful.
Another thing you might not have come across before is blocking your quilt. Blocking will be familiar to needleworkers, especially knitters and crocheters, but it’s pretty foreign to most quilters. When you’re making a baby quilt or a lap quilt, you don’t need to worry about the quilt hanging straight on the wall, but when you’re making a wall hanging, it’s a good thing to keep in mind. Bias piecing, improv, or heavy quilting can all alter the way a quilt lays, and blocking is pretty magical in how it can fix that! Blocking should preferably be done before the binding is applied, but if you don’t realize how wonky your quilt is until after you’ve done that, you can block a finished quilt as well.
There are numerous tutorials about blocking out there, and i’m going to link to a few, since they’re all a little different. Leah Day from The Free Motion Quilting Project has several great posts about blocking, her original post here, and then a post specifically about finishing a mini wholecloth quilt where she uses elastic strips to stretch the quilt.
Kathy K Wylie shows you how she blocks large quilts on her living room floor, Quilt Me Happy uses laser levels while blocking a large quilt (which is way more than you need for a mini, but cool to learn about!) and this post by Sylvia Landman at Academy of Quilting talks about the differences between dry blocking and wet blocking, which none of the previous links bring up.
When you’re blocking a quilt, just like when you’re blocking crochet or knitting, it’s really important to use rust-proof pins. (ask me how i know! dozens of white crocheted baskets, covered in rust marks…) Most good quality pins are rust-proof, but it’s worth testing the pins you use most frequently in advance. The other thing that none of these posts mention is how awesome cheap foam floor tiles are for blocking small projects. You know those primary coloured interlocking foam tiles they sell for kids playrooms? they’re so awesome! they’re waterproof, and thick enough to pin into, and you can buy a four pack for a couple of bucks at the dollar store.
(photos of guild members showing their minis during Show and Tell graciously taken by Stacey M)