I love decorating for the seasons and my vote for Best Book for Easy Miniature Quilt Block Patterns is Itty Bitty Quilts.
Best Book for Easy Miniature Quilt Block Patterns-Itty Bitty Quilts
The Itty Bitty Quilts Book was written by Mari Martin for Connecting Threads. Connecting Threads is an online quilting store that has Quality Quilting Fabrics, Books, Quilting Supplies and more!
I purchased the Itty Bitty Quilts book earlier this year and was very excited to make the mini quilts and show what I have made! This book is SO simple to use, organized, and in my opinion easy enough for the beginning seamstress. The tutorial pictures and written directions are simple to follow and easy to understand. The colors in the illustrations are the colors of the fabric you’ll be using, making it easy to know which fabrics you are to be working with.
There is a quilt to make for each month of the year! The book gives suggestions on how to use several mini quilts together to make different projects. Examples: Use a finished quilt square to use as a pillow front, mug rug, or put several quilt squares together to make a table runner or a seasonal wall hanging. You can also put all the quilt squares together to make a wall hanging that will make great home decor all year long!
This is the unfinished mini quilt top for the Itty Bitty August Leaf
Choosing Quilt Fabrics for the Itty Bitty Quilts
- Choose to purchase and pick your own quilt fabric colors and designs at your local fabric shop
- Use your own fabric scraps
The first mini quilt I made using my own fabrics, staying close to the suggested colors for the pattern.
I then decided to order fabrics from Connecting Threads for the rest of the quilts in the book.
This book has easy to follow directions and tutorial pictures for all the extra hand stitching that is done on the quilts.
Embroidery Stitches Used
- Stem Stitch
- Whip Stitch
- Back Stitch
- Satin Stitch
- Blanket Stitch
Quilting Techniques Used
- Two different appliqué methods presented-you choose which method you want to use. One method uses freezer paper and basting glue and the other method uses appliqué paper.
- Stitching with 1/4 inch seam allowance
- Binding a quilt (adding a finished edge)
Other ‘How-To’ Quilting Tips Shown
- Squaring up blocks
- Sewing the perfect 1/4 inch seam
- Make a hanging sleeve (A piece of fabric added to the back of the quilt to be used for hanging the quilt on a quilt hanger)
Why do I think this is the Best Book for Easy Miniature Quilt Block Patterns?
- This book is very organized, simple and easy to use. Even a beginner sewer can follow these directions and make a mini quilt.
- *I would just suggest learning how to use a rotary blade. Make sure you have a mat to use with your rotary blade, and to also have a transparent ruler. This will make cutting the fabric pieces easier and save time.
- This book gives ideas to make other projects with these mini quilts. Potholders, Table Runner, Pillow and Large wall hanging using all 12 months. There are plenty of different ways you can use these cute miniature quilt designs.
- Every technique used to make these mini quilts is explained and shown in this book and I didn’t have to go looking in a different book for further instructions or clarification.
My thoughts on some of the directions in this book:
For these quilts, I used the hand embroidery stitches shown in the directions to finish embellishing the appliqué pieces. The embroidery stitching can be optional but the stitching just brings life to these quilt block patterns.
Some of the appliqué shapes, like the raindrops and the watermelon seeds are very small. I used the paper appliqué method (light bond) and pressed these shapes on the quilt top but these tiny pieces did NOT adhere to the fabric so I just used a few hand stitches to secure the tiny appliqué raindrops/seeds.
The directions for all the mini quilts talk about using fusible woven interfacing to press on the back of the quilt top to hide the stitching on the back side of the quilt. I have not done this step. I found that when I added the thin quilt batting, the stitches were hidden well enough with the batting, thus eliminating an extra step of ironing the interfacing. My quilt squares do have a softer feel to them, I imagine if you ironed on the fusible interfacing, the quilt squares would have a crisp/firm feel and look to them. Maybe you can experiment and make one quilt square with just quilt batting and one with fusible interfacing and backing and see which you like better.
After you layer your mini quilt and add a backing fabric, the book shows a black binding for the finishing and I didn’t like that too much. So I made a thin black inside frame with the black fabric and chose my own fabric for the back and self-binding. This way I can still add some of my personality to the mini quilt.
This Itty Bitty Quilts Book shows how to make a binding (fabric to go around the outside of the quilt for finishing) for the Itty Bitty Quilts. Since I chose to finish my quilts a little different and with a self-binding, I found a great tutorial for a self-binding quilt.
A few last thoughts:
In the September Quilt Block, the picture in the book shows an outline stitch for the numbers on the ruler, but in the directions they show using the satin stitch for the numbers. Just use which stitch you like the best. I chose to use the outline stitch.
I’ve enjoyed making these Itty Bitty Quilts, and have also recommended this Itty Bitty Quilts book in my Gift Ideas for a Seamstress post.
Thanks for reading and Happy Sewing to you!