Monday, March 20, 2017

Miniature Works of Art

Let's begin the week on a small scale! In a true miniature quilt, the blocks are often scaled down from 12" to only 1". Some of the pieced quilts have over 1,000 pieces of fabric, and many pieces are smaller than a centimeter!  To create your own miniature work of art, scroll down for a FREE miniature quilt pattern from AQS!

Please note: We're continuously posting free patterns on Twitter ! Check us out here

In Flanders Fields by Robin Gausebeck

Winner of Best Miniature Quilt at AQS - Paducah in 2014 and other awards, Robin explains, "Honoring veterans of all wars - the survivors and the dead in Flanders fields and elsewhere - this miniature quilt celebrates the poppies of remembrance. The title pays homage to the extraordinarily moving poem by John McCrae  which was written in 1915."  These pale blues, greens, oranges, and light reds look beautiful against the dark background.

Closeup, In Flanders Fields 

Robin's quilt is machine-stitched and fused with raw-edge applique. It is also hand embroidered, hand couched, and machine quilted on a domestic machine. For this lovely original design, Robin used commercial and hand-dyed cotton, silk thread, and perle cotton embroidery thread.

Blocks and Blooms by Marjorie Imperatrice

We photographed Blocks and Blooms with a hand in front (not touching) to show the small scale of the blocks. Winner of an Honorable Mention Award at the Arizona Quilter's Guild 2015 show in Mesa, Arizona, Marjorie writes, "I hand-pieced the mini Tumbling Blocks with traditional piecing. I used pictures from a Helen Stevens book to build the [hand-embroidered] border." 

Closeup, Blocks and Blooms

We marveled at how these tiny little pieces were so accurately placed together. Marjorie did an outstanding job with her hand quilting and embroidery.

Here is Marjorie's mini-quilt shown with the award ribbon, so you can get additional perspective of the size of her quilt.

Forest Aglow by Julie Mossier

Another Honorable Mention Award winner at the Arizona Quilters' Guild show (in 2014), Julie notes, "I enjoy the challenge of working small. This little quilt is paper pieced and has over 1200 pieces." The inspiration for this quilt came from George Siciliano's Tree Dimensional pattern.

Closeup, Forest Aglow by Julie Mossier

Julie's elegant, precise motif reminds us of tiny pine needles reflecting the light of the morning sun. We can only imagine the patience that went into piecing this fabulous creation.

La Petite Chef D'Oeuvre by Helen Williams Butler

Winner of Award of Excellence at the 2016 Springville (Utah) quilt show, Helen Butler says: “La petite chef d óeuvre means “my little masterpiece.”  I have always wanted to make a true miniature and I have been amazed at the seemingly endless number of decisions necessary... just to complete the quilt." The tiny flowers are invisibly hand appliqued with a trapunto effect.

closeup, La Petite Chef D'Oeuvre

La Petite Chef D'Oeuvre is machine quilted. Helen says, "After completing this little challenge I now know there will never be another one."

Dutch Flower Pots by Lahala Phelps

Dutch Flower Pots won a Judge's Recognition Award at the 2014 AQS QuiltWeek in Paducah.  It was inspired by the full-sized Pots of Flowers from the book A Flowering of Quilts by Patricia Cox Crews. Lahala decided to make this miniature version using a cheddar-colored background seen in many Pennsylvania Dutch quilts. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted with stitches so tiny they appear to be pin pricks.

Some Assembly Required by George Siciliano (Pennsylvania)

George Siciliano is famous for his intricately-pieced miniature quilts.   This masterpiece is foundation pieced with 4,860 pieces of jewel tone Dupioni silk.  George explains that the name of the quilt came to him when all the silk pieces were laid out in order.  His family had once passed a flatbed tractor-trailer loaded with all the materials needed to build a house, and his then-young son whispered, “some assembly required.”

closeup, Some Assembly Required

We'd say that some precision is needed to piece these tiny bits of silk.  Here is another photo of Some Assembly Required (with a hand in front, not touching, to show the scale):

Dancing Ribbons, 12 x 12", by Cindy Rounds Richards, free pattern for AQS

Here is a classic that has inspired many quilters! Random colored swirls of hand-pieced shot silk from Thailand give the appearance of ribbons dancing across the surface. Dancing Ribbons was the winner of the First Place prize, ART-MINIATURE from “Quilts: A World of Beauty” at the 2008 fall show of the International Quilt Association.  The process of creating this quilt started with Richards drawing the pattern onto woven fusible interfacing, then numbering and lettering each patch according to her diagram.  You can download this *free* PDF quilt pattern at the American Quilters' Society website.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration. Dutch Flower Pots was photographed at the 2016 Brigham City Art Quilt Invitational exhibit. In Flanders Fields and Some Assembly Required were photographed at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Show.


  1. I'm doing the 365 quilt and thought those were small!

  2. Oh my goodness! They are all just fabulous!

  3. Not even in my dreams. But thanks for sharing.


  4. Truly inspiring! I once took a class with George, and came away with a beautiful collection of fabrics and ONE finished 3" block!!!! I can certainly appreciate the work in his pieces.


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