If you did, then you are more up to date on things than I am. If you didn’t then welcome to the club.
I found out about these darling treasures a few months ago when looking for ways to use my extra small scraps (called crumbs).
These things go by a lot of names, mini mini quilts, micro quilts, teeny tiny quilts, and my favorite micro mini quilts (I am going to use all these terms interchangeably in this article).
Just so we are all on the same page I have some definitions.
Small quilt is less than 30” X 30”
A mini quilt is less than 12” X 12”
A micro mini quilt is generally less than 6” X 6” with a lot of people aiming for less than 3” X 3”.
These definitions are just rough estimates and there are no quilt police who will come around and fuss that you have mis-labeled the size of your quilt. That is, unless you tell people your super intricate king size quilt is just a small quilt. Then people will accuse you of false modesty and talk about you behind your back.
Teeny tiny quilts have been around ever since people started making doll houses but they didn’t become a really big thing until a few years ago. It all started with @heart.xy on Instagram. On August 5th 2015 she posted “I’m going to start a new trend. Mini mini quilt swapping. It’s like baseball cards for cool people.” Her first response was on August 9th and the official start was Sept 9, 2015. By mid September, Night Quilter (@nightquilter) and other bloggers started spreading the word. More people started micro mini swaps. Then in July of 2016 Make Modern magazine interviewed @hart.xy and made a mini mini quilt competition (issue 11). Last year Night Quilter started a 100 days of sew smaller project and recently released her patterns ( https://nightquilter.com/2019/03/01/sew-tiny-sampler-pattern-release ). Last year also saw the publishing of a great book entitled “Teeny Tiny Quilts” by Donna Lynn Thomas (donnalynnthomasquilter.com). While this book isn’t about tiny blocks as finished quilts it has a lot of great tips and any of the individual blocks can be used to make a micro mini quilt. So if you think one person can’t make a difference, just think about @heart.xy and see the giant impact she made with mini mini quilt trend.
I asked Reddit, Facebook, and Instagram what people do with the micro mini quilts that they make. Here is what I found. I will talk about techniques in the next issue.
1) A Mini Mini Quilt Swap. This is really fun and can feel like Christmas any time of year.
I posted a quilt, just like the one on the right, on Instagram and asked if anyone wanted to swap with me. The most wonderful woman, @dolchebella, from NC said she would swap and sent me the gorgeous mini mini quilt on the left. Not only is this hand quilted, the yellowish squares with the blue quilting are hand dyed with botanicals from her own yard. Plus she sent me a box of ginger cookies. There is no doubt I got the better end of that swap!!!
2) Luggage Tags. For those of us who travel, it can sometimes be hard to quickly identify your suitcase in the crowd. Make your bag stand out with a one of a kind micro mini luggage tag quilt. As a plus, you will find new quilting friends while you travel when they will stop and complement you on your beautiful bag embellishment.
3) Zipper Pulls. This is the smallest quilt I have made to date and I think it makes a really easy way to make your zipper stand out. For those of you who make purses or bags, imagine how much more special your project would be with a custom, matching micro mini quilt as a zipper pull.
4) A Pin or Brooch. Make a fashion statement. Add some pizzazz to your favorite outfit with a personally made, coordinating micro quilt as a brooch. This lets everyone you meet know about your love of quilting and you will be amazed at the number of compliments you will receive.
5) Give a Teeny Tiny Quilt as a Teeny Tiny gift. Add these to any Birthday or Anniversary card to mark the occasion as being extra special.
Maybe your favorite quilting friend is finally retiring. Wouldn’t these make the perfect party favors?
Don’t forget your college bound children or grand-children so they don’t forget how much they are loved.
6) Refrigerator Magnets. I collect these and people know to bring me unusual ones from wherever they visit. If you like decorating your fridge or know someone who does, these make the perfect gift. Yes, it is OK to give yourself a gift.
This block is called “Round and Round We Go” is from the book “Teeny Tiny Quilts” by Donna Lynn Thomas.
7) Coasters or Small Mug Rugs. This is a traditional, and probably the most common, use for a teeny tiny quilts. Mug rugs can be anywhere from 4” X 4” to 6” X 9” Coasters are generally between 3” X 3” to 4” X 4” and can be either round or square.
This pattern is called Mini Prismatic Medallion and is free at http://www.craftadream.com/
You can also see it on Instagram at #miniprismaticmedallion
7) Mini Comfort Quilts. This was an idea by Marcia Wachuta ( http://wwww.craftysewing.com #marciasminicomfortquilts) who makes and sells these . They come with this note: “ I want you to have this mini comfort quilt. Tuck it into your pocket and it will keep you warm and comforted, knowing that I am thinking of you and saying a prayer for you.” (used with her permission) One of her customers gives these out at hospitals, which I think is incredibly sweet.
I made this one myself. It is simply a micro mini log cabin quilt.
8) Christmas Tree Ornaments. Lots of people make these for themselves and as gifts for friends and family. I saw these for sale at the AQS show in Lancaster last Spring (they had a sign saying no photos). Any micro mini pattern can be turned into an ornament just by adding a small string or ribbon for a hanger (which is what that vendor did), but I thought it would be more fun to try something more holiday themed.
Here is a 1 ¾” by 2 ¼” paper pieced tree.
I am including the pattern for this in my newsletter. Missed the latest issue? Don’t worry! Every issue comes with a link to the newsletter archive. Just look for the issue titled, “Micro Mini Quilt Ornament”.
9) Key Fobs. What could be simpler. Add a piece of ribbon to the binding then attach to a key ring. Everyone in the family will know which keys are yours. If only that would work with your good fabric scissors.
10) Doll House Quilts. These are the original Micro Mini Quilts. Most doll houses are 1:12 Scale (1 inch = 1 foot), which means that this 6″ X 6″ doll house quilt makes the perfect twin size doll house bed spread.
This is a Jacob’s Ladder variation quilt and the little squares are 1/4″ X 1/4″.
In making these little beauties I learned lots of tips and tricks which I will cover in my next issue.
I only write these articles a couple of times a year and I am hoping to have the next one done by spring.
Please subscribe so you will know when it comes out. Plus subscribers always get extra content.
Why don’t I write these more often? If you notice, there is no advertising on the site, and I don’t charge any money for the content. These take weeks and weeks to research, make the quilts and write the articles. Twice a year is all I really have time for. But I LOVE that you come and read them. Please subscribe and leave a comment below. That is my reward.