Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One Small Quilt a Month

Many of you know that am I owner and moderator of a Yahoo group called Small Quilt Talk where those of us who like love to make small quilts can chat about and show photos of projects we make. Sometimes we do challenges and have swaps among the members. There's always a lot of quilty chatter and our members are from all skill levels (and countries too). Everyone is always willing to help beginners, answer questions and give support to our collective small-quilting addiction.

Tell me if this sounds like fun. We are currently beginning a challenge to make some small quilts this year from patterns in some of my books. One quilt a month for the year. Many of you have some if not all of my books and someone in the group thought that this would be a great way to finally get around to making some of them. Maybe you are having trouble getting started. I know how it is  - I have so many quilt pattern books and usually buy them because of  certain patterns I really love and am dying to make. Do I make them? Hardly ever, I have to admit.

Did you know that there are patterns for at least 40 small quilts, or doll quilts, in all four of my books? (If you count the large ones there are even more.). That's a lot of quilts to choose from. I know not everyone likes ALL of the quilts and many of you have made some of them. There are some of you who would really like to make a few more. This is what you tell me when I visit your guilds and I show my quilts. Why else are we inspired to buy the books if not to try making the quilts?

This is about 1/3 of my small quilts . . . .

I am extending my group challenge to the Sentimental Quilter blog-readership and it is going to work this way. Every month I will choose a quilt from one of my books and challenge you to make it. I'll upload a  file to the Yahoo group to assign the quilt and also to show you an alternate way of making the quilt - colors, size, etc. Because of copyright, I am unable to reprint the patterns from the books and give them to you here for free, and I hope you understand. I think many of you already have the books anyway or you wouldn't be a fan of my quilts and reading this blog, right?

Here are some of my friend Julia's small quilts. Isn't this adorable? She's as crazy as I am. Imagine, at the end of the year you could have your own little stack of quilts just like this . . .

Every month there will be another small quilt assigned from one of my books and you can choose to participate in all or one or none. No pressure. But if you do participate, just think, by the end of the year you will have 12 small quilts completed! Not bad.

Also, we will be doing this as a sort of Small-Quilt-a-Long. In the yahoo group (maybe here too) I hope to prompt and motivate those of you who are doing this to keep working on the quilt. The first week of each month I will choose the quilt and try to encourage you to begin choosing fabrics and maybe cut your pieces. The second week I will try to prompt you to sew them together. The third week is for sashing and/or borders and the last week I will encourage you to quilt your little quilt and finish it. Sound like fun??

Of couse, it's all easy for me because I have already made all the quilts, LOL. Some of them twice - or even three times (!) so my part is simple. You guys have to do all the work and make the little scrappy quilts you tell me you love so much. But honestly, they take very little time to finish. They're so SMALL. And - at the end of the year you can have your very own Wall of Quilts to rival this one that belongs to an antique doll quilt collector! I never get tired of being inspired by this photo. You can even make 2 every month in different colors and give one to a friend.

(From Collecting American Country by Mary Emmerling )

You can still participate even if you are not a member of the Small Quilt group. Only members can view the files and post and view photos of the finished quilts, however.

This is a wonderful way to get the New Quilting Year off to a great start  -  and feel good about making some of those quilts from the books that are beginning to collect dust . . .

To kick off the year, I chose this quilt for January - from Prairie Children and Their Quilts, my second book.

Crosses Mourning Quilt

When the pioneers left their homes and headed west in covered wagons, women sometimes brought along quilts for the journey that were intended to comfort the sick and perhaps even shroud the dead. One young woman wrote about her mother who had passed away while on the trail west. They had to leave her and continue on their journey. "The rolling hills were ablaze with beautiful roses . . . and we heaped and covered mother's grave with the lovely roses so the cruel stones were hid from view." I made this little mourning quilt (with the beautiful  border of roses print) as a memoriam to the many men, women and children who died on the trail and because I was so touched by that quote.

Mourning quilts made during the nineteenth century were often expressions of loss and sorrow, and healing was hastened perhaps by the comfort of making a quilt. Pieces of clothing from the deceased were sometimes included in the quilt as reminders of and tributes to the departed.

So get out your books, quilters, and join the fun. Make a small quilt a month. I know you can do it!


  1. this sounds like fun! I need to get my house back in order first but I small quilt a month is very do-able.

  2. You have quite the collection and I love Mary lou's wall.
    I end up giving most of mine away, so I need to make some for me.


  3. Count me in! I love small quilts but rarely make them. Thanks for the great idea!

  4. I'm in! I have my book and will start post haste!

  5. Hey Kathy -- no wonder we are getting scads of requests to join Small Quilt Chat. I think I've approved 10 ladies so far. The more the merrier. I love that wall of small quilts.I think I will show it to dh and see if we can duplicate it on the walls of the stairs to my studio...

    Now to get on with making the quilt, well actually not until after the vacuuming... half done... so back at it! B.

  6. Oh count me in! I do have all of your books so I am assuming I won't need to find them in the group. I'll get started on mine this weekend! I'm stoked about this idea because I have already made a few from your books, but there are still tons I want to make and this year of 2012 was the year I was going to get at them. How cool is this that now I have the motivation I need!!


    Can we still join your group?

  7. Maybe I will clean my house someday soon and put up my own wall of quilts so everyone can see them.

  8. Yes, please join the group. The more the merrier.

  9. Beautiful quilts and such inspiration!!! LOVE the photo with the small quilts all over the walls. Maybe I would enjoy learning to quilt if I started small like some of these.


  10. Hi Kathleen, i just found your blog, and I'm so glad that I did!! I have two of your books and I really love them. I like making small and miniature quilts to!
    I am going to enjoy reading your blog.

  11. What a wonderful idea Kathy! I do like the quilt you have chosen and for the reasons it was inspired! Will have to find some special rose floral fabric for that border! I hope your quilt call will get lots of your followers to create a wall full of little quilts!!!

  12. Kathy, what a great start to the new year..i'm sure it's going to be a fun challenge!! i have all your books and i can't wait to get started :)) cheers, Marian

  13. Count me in! At the end of the year, I'll have 12 quilted gifts for loved ones.(And, of course, Ihave your books!)

  14. I would love to join this group. One small quilt a month is about my limit. I have other UFO's that need to be quilted & I have to pay a long arm quilter to finish them. I really like small quilts & I believe I can easily finish one a month. I love your books!

  15. Can someone direct me to the miniature basket pattern? I've tired to find it. Thanks everyone.
    Sylvia S in TEXAS

  16. I was/am a member of our smallquilts grp, lightening blew my comp got a new Windows 8 and says I am not a member of my beloved grp. Cannot figure how to rejoin, pls help I miss our chats and shared thoughts!
    Kathy Kelley in Overgaard Az


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