August at Patch and Dot

So much to share with you this month, including some cool new work and initiatives from the craft community at large. Hopefully some of these projects tickle your fancy and you’re inspired to try them out/get involved!


This has been a summer for trying new things, experimenting, and generally just pushing myself forward when it comes to quilting.

kingfisher quilt stitchalong

My Kingfisher Quilt is coming along (I spoke a little about this last month). After much gazing-with-longing at so many beautiful English Paper Piecing projects on Instagram, I had decided it was time to finally give it a try, and I’m so glad I did. The Kingfisher Stitch Along started up in May, and it’s been the perfect project for a beginner. The way Jodi and Rachel have structured everything has made it very easy to learn the individual steps, starting with how to piece hexie flowers. I’ve been going at my own pace but because the finished quilt is only partially pieced (the flowers are appliqued to patchwork diamonds) I feel pretty confident I’ll have a finished quilt before the end of the year.

Next, I hosted my first swap! Leah Duncan fabrics were the inspiration and I have been just blown away, not only by the beautiful makes but by how encouraging and supportive all the swappers were of each other. It was such a good group! If you can, check out the hashtag #leahduncanminiquiltswap on Instagram to see all of their fantastic creations.

leah duncan mini quilt

And finally … “100 days 100 blocks” … are you participating this year? I long ago realized that the pace is a little too much for me to handle, but I’m trying to add 20 – 30 more blocks to my in-progress City Sampler. And: something very exciting! There are some amazing prizes available for participants in for the long haul, and I am actually a sponsor this year. I’ve been working away in secret on a brand new project and will start to slowly unveil it beginning the week of August 17. That’s the day of my sponsored giveaway, so if you’re quilting along, keep your eyes peeled and be sure that you’re following all of the sponsors to be eligible. All of the details are here on the Gnome Angel website.

100 days 100 blocks


  • So in awe of the Stitchers for United Families quilt auction that wrapped up last month … Oh Sew Brooke and Kate Basti (plus many other generous quilters) raised almost $22, 000! Incredible. They’ve inspired so many people and so much interest, they are planning another … check out Kate’s feed and look for a red and white heart if you have a quilt you’d like to contribute.
  • Creator news: You know Alexia Marcelle Abegg as one of the founders and designers of Cotton and Steel. I was really excited to see her new ceramic work and I think you will be too. It seems like there’s often a weird pressure on artists to “pick a thing” and stay with it … even though as creatives they have bucketfuls of talent and ideas. So I love seeing the work of my favourite makers in other mediums. (I also have a major soft-spot for ceramics.)
  • Did you catch Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman’s new show Making It last night? It’s all about crafters and I really appreciate the tone they’ve taken …. a bit more subdued (a la Great British Bake-off) than some of the more amped up competition shows that are prevalent. (Which, don’t get me wrong, I love some of those too.) But it was really nice to see a show that focused with so much care and respect on crafts and the people who make them. There was a even a challenge that produced amazing heirloom quilts made from all kinds of different materials!

Book of the month

Print Make Wear book by Melanie Bowles

PRINT, MAKE, WEAR published by Laurence King Publishing; fabric by ANNA MARIA HORNER from SWEET DREAMS

Doing all the day dreaming with Print, Make, Wear by Melanie Bowles. Do you have any long-term crafty goals? One of mine is to learn how to make repeats for fabric design. I’ve watched so many classes and have read some great books on the subject but have never yet got to the point where I feel ready to pull the trigger and turn my sketches into printable designs. This particular book is great because not only does it break down the computer side of it (with screen shots), but it provides a bunch of concrete projects that make it seem less a like an overwhelming-life-project, and more like an opportunity to experiment.

Until next time,






Mega list of mini quilt patterns

Mini quilts just may be my favorite type of quilt project: the perfect way to scratch that itch to start something new, combined with the satisfaction of actually being able to finish it within a reasonable amount of time. (I’m talking quilted and bound here people!) My favorite mini quilt patterns have crisp, graphic motifs and layouts, and are designed thoughtfully to come together in a methodical way.

I’ve always got my eye out for new mini quilt patterns, and with that in mind I thought I’d try to start compiling a a mega round up in this space. I’ve tried to include a mix of traditionally pieced, paper pieced, and applique. If you have any favourites not listed below, please mention them in the comments, I’d love to hear about them!

To start the list off I’ve divided the minis into three groupings:

  • Modern
  • Traditional
  • Pictorial

(All photos are the property of the respective creators below.)

Modern mini quilt patterns

When you think of modern quilts one of the first names that comes to mind has got to be Libs Elliott. She designs quilts using a programming language called ‘Processing’ and lucky for the rest of us, she also develops some of this work into patterns. I made a Mini Rebel for a swap last year and was so happy with both the pattern (very clear and methodical!) and the result.

One of her latest patterns is Heartburst. It’s got a sweet hexagonal shape and uses EPP in a way that seems really novel … check out those hearts!  Also be sure to check out this particular pattern source, it’s quite cool because they sell kits with all of the paper pieces already cut for you.

Heartburst by Libs Elliott

With its sweetly symmetrical geometry, the Trenton Block mini (below) by Lucy of Charm About You could be made to look as modern or traditional as you like, depending on your fabric choices. This one was originally featured in Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine and you can now snag the pattern from Lucy’s shop.

Trenton Block Charm About You

Traditional mini quilt patterns

This great paper-pieced mini pattern, NY Beauty Circle of Flying Geese is by Janice Ryan of Better Off Thread. There are many variations on the New York Beauty, always with some combination of triangles on a curve, it feels like such a distinctly American block to me. This version has a full circle of flying geese around the central sun-like motif (sometimes called the ‘crown of thorns’).

New York Beauty Flying Geese

The Spinning Blooms pattern (below) by Anna Maria Horner is a great example of using a traditional technique (applique in this case), with a modern design, to create something that looks perfectly classic. (This pattern is free too!)Anna Maria Horner mini quilt pattern

Pictorial mini quilts

You may remember the mini I made with the Kitten Around pattern by Lindsey of Pen and Paper Patterns. Her pattern shop is actually full of stunners just like it, with the same cute + modern style that’s instantly recognizable as hers. So it was hard to choose just one to highlight but pictured below is one on my to-do list, the Apple core mini.

Apple Core Mini Quilt Pattern

Another favourite designer in this quilt category is Lysa Flower. If you spend time on Instagram or follow the big quilt shows you’ve no doubt come across her incredible Boombox quilt. Her work is infused with pop-culture references and nods to 80s nostalgia. Case in point: the Cassette Tape pattern! I love this one and it highlights something else to look for in a mini quilt pattern (or quilt patterns period, for that matter). That is, versatility. You can tell at a glance that the component pieces of this pattern could be used to make all kinds of different projects. (Again, check out Instagram and you’ll see some great examples.)

cassette tape mini quilt pattern

Next, if you participate in swaps, you’re sure to see the Take Wing pattern by Nicole of Lilly Ella on multiple wish lists. It’s a detailed pattern with endless possibilities if you love to play around with colour. I’ve made some of Nicole’s smaller butterfly blocks before and feel I am ready to graduate to either this beauty or her Flame Seeker moth design.

Take Wing Paper Piecing Pattern

Finally, for the ponies and rainbows set, the Unicorn and Stars Wall Hanging from Cloud 9 Fabrics:

unicorn mini quilt pattern

More mini quilt patterns!

A few more for you to check out (the first two are mine):

Purl Soho Mini Quilt Patterns (a bunch of different free ones, both traditional and modern)

ABC Mini Quilt

Rainbow Mini Quilt

What have I missed? Do you have any favorite mini quilt patterns? Share your links in the comments!

Leah Duncan Mini Quilt Swap

The Leah Duncan Mini Quilt Swap is now open for signups! I am so excited to dip into one of the more treasured parts of my fabric stash for this swap. There will be prizes, including the gorgeousness that is this bundle of No Place Like Home fabrics.

Leah Duncan Mini Quilt Swap

This will be a secret swap (you will know who you are making for, but not who is making a mini quilt for you). It’s free and it’s open internationally. The mini quilts should be roughly between 16×16″ and 24×24″ in size (any shape, i.e. it doesn’t need to be a square, just fall within those dimensions) and must use Leah Duncan fabric. It is okay to throw in some solids, but the vast majority should be Leah Duncan (any era), and no prints by other designers.


All participants must post a picture on Instagram for each of the following milestones, by the following dates:

  • April 20: Mosaics posted. A mosaic is a collage or series of images that you assemble to give your partner an idea of what you’d like to receive.
  • May 15: Pattern selected and fabric in hand. Start sewing!
  • June 30: Mini quilt complete.
  • July 2+: Once you receive the go-ahead from me (@patchanddot), ship to your partner (I will be checking the status of all finishes so that no swapper is left behind).

Important: Part of the fun of a swap is learning about new makers and new patterns, so be sure to tag the original makers in your mosaics, so other quilters can find them!

Sharing your mini quilts

We’ll do all of our sharing on Instagram. Please tag all of your posts #leahduncanminiquiltswap and follow me @patchanddot for news and milestone reminders. Because the Instagram algorithm means that you may miss posts, I will also be sending email reminders directly to all participants.


Swap signup form

Leah Duncan

Cloud 9 Fabrics

Mini quilt patterns for beginners

Keep an eye on this space for a mega-mini-quilt pattern round up next week!