Miniature Paper-pieced Patchwork Quilt

Trapunta Miniatura

setup What you need:
  • Finely woven cotton fabric for patches, border, quilt back and binding.
  • Neutral tone thread.
  • Scissors.
  • Ruler with 1/8inch markings.
  • Plain paper or freezer paper.
  • Iron.
  • Needles -- sharps or betweens size 10-12.
Optional but useful:
  • Cutting board,
  • Rolling cutter,
  • Felt or flannel board,
  • Pressing tool,
  • Skewer or quill.
ironing Draw a grid of 3/8" squares on a sheet of paper.

Cut paper pieces carefully. For this quilt 121 squares are needed.

Make a paper pattern 5/8"square. Use this pattern to cut the fabric patches. Cut 121 patches.

Put paper pieces in the center of each patch. If you use freezer paper put the waxy side next to the fabric and press for about 10 seconds with a warm iron to make it stick.

Use a bamboo cocktail skewer or quill to position the pieces of paper.
folding Fold the edges over the paper one side at a time, using the plastic pressing tool or your finger to make a sharp fold. Press hard at each corner.

Try to fold every piece in the same direction (clockwise: top, right side, bottom, left side, for example.) Fold as tightly as possible without folding the paper piece.
sewing Arrange the pieces into a pattern you like on the flannel or felt board.

To begin take two patches, put the right sides together and join them with tiny whipstitches along one edge. Try to keep the stitches toward the back of the patches.

Do not sew through the paper!

Continue to join the patches making rows. Finally join the rows in the same manner, putting right sides together.

Matching the corners is important. Make a double stitch where the corners of the patches meet. Take care that the corners meet evenly and the quilt will look neat.

Cut border pieces to fit the sides: Use two strips 2 inches wide (2 times the width of the desired border). From it cut two pieces the length of the quilt top. Cut the remaining two pieces the width of the quilt top plus the width of the two border strips.

Fold the first short strip around a piece of paper the length of the quilt and join the folded edge to the edge of the quilt. Repeat with the second short strip. Then add the two longer strips in the same way. Join the corners neatly, make mitred corners if you like.

After the borders are attached, remove ALL the paper pieces.

Cut the basting threads and use the point of the quill or the skewer to push the paper out of each patch.

Cut a piece of cotton fabric for the back of the quilt. Use a fabric that is opaque and will hide the back side of the quilt top. You could cut a batting for the quilt out of thin cotton flannel.
Measure the outer edge and cut a strip of fabric 3/4" wide the length of the edge plus three inches. Attach the strip as shown in the photo -- never at a corner. Make a seam of 1/8". Fold binding over, turn under 1/8" and sew invisibly to the quilt back.

Quilt the top: using sewing thread and quilting needle make tiny stitches diagonally across each patch. Sew only the top layer, catching the back of the quilt at the corner of each patch.

Margaret Lew