Monday, March 15, 2010

Miniatures Monday--Tiny Quilt Top

I love small things!

One year for Christmas our daughter received a dollhouse kit, and we had so much fun putting it together and furnishing it that the project expanded to another dollhouse just for me. It's a delight to create a small and perfect world of your own!

Those dollhouses have both gone on to new owners, but the furnishings have moved into a series of room boxes and scenes. What could be better than to feature a small, perfect, handmade item each Monday? I'm looking forward to it!

Of course, since fabric is my medium, I have tried my hand at tiny quilts and soft furnishings. In a standard dollhouse scale one inch equals one foot, so this tiny 6-1/2" x 8-1/2" traditional sampler quilt would be 78" x 102" in real life, about right for a full size bed. Each block is 1-1/4" square, and the blocks include Pinwheel, God's Eye, Maple Leaf, Moon Over the Mountain, Rail Fence, Churn Dash, Lily blossom, Spool, and some Nine Patch variations. It's fun to find fabrics that work on such a tiny scale!

In working with such small blocks, seam allowances are a difficulty--it's more accurate to use a regular 1/4" seam allowance, then trim it to 1/8" after stitching. This means that some of the cut pieces are largely seam allowance, which also challenges accuracy. It's definitely better to strip piece in as many places as possible, and to set the machine to very small stitches!

This little quilt top is not yet quilted--of course, hand quilting stitches couldn't be in proportion to the scale of the project, and machine quilting makes a really tiny quilt unrealistically stiff and could turn it into an intricate pot holder! However, in this scale the seams alone give the quilt texture and minimal quilting is effective. For 'batting', a layer of white cotton flannel works well. A binding would also be too stiff, so for the edge finish it seems best to place the front and back right sides together, add the 'batting', and then stitch around leaving a small opening. Clip corners and turn, then add quilting.

I think maybe I'll go and look at my collection of
really tiny prints. . .


  1. Oh how sweet! I have always been fascinated by miniatures but haven't had a dollhouse in a long time. My greatest, most fantastic wish has always been to sleep in a matchbox like Jerry Mouse. I wasn't that into the dollhouse when I had it, but I think now I'd spend all my spare time living in it :)

    As much as I don't care for tied quilts in real life, I think maybe tying would be the way to "quilt" this little gem. With just one or two strands of bright embroidery floss (for contrast) tied in tiny knots, I think it could be really sweet. And if it turned out sour, it would be easier to remove than machine stitching.

    I so enjoy seeing your projects!

    Lindsey in AL

  2. Wow! I can't believe how tiny that is! Those tiny prints are awesome! Perfect! I love, I love, I love!

  3. I LOVE your little quilt!! My husband made me a dollhouse a few years ago. It is beautiful but doesn't have a thing in it! I don't know where to start. I am glad you are showing us how. How did you come up with the small pattern for the quilt? Did you have a pattern? If so where did you get it. I MUST make a quilt for my dollhouse. My husband will be thrilled. It is sitting on our dresser in the4 bedroom and decor.

  4. I love it!
    I love making miniatures too, the one I'm most proud of is my teeny tiny teapot I threw on the wheel in a ceramics class;
    Wish I had a photo with a ruler or at least a coin. It's longest length is still shorter than the diameter of a quarter. :)

  5. you just amaze me. You must have extremely steady hands to make this tiny quilt that looks so perfect.


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