Wondering how to turn a few quilt blocks into a mini quilt/wall hanging? Today I’ll walk you through it using my free Ribbon Letters ABC block pattern as an example.
The steps below include instructions that you can use to hang any small quilt … just cut three 3.5″ squares and follow steps 11 to 13 after you quilt but before you put on your binding.
17″ x 25.5″
In addition to fabric for the Ribbon Letter blocks you will need to cut the following pieces for the surrounding parts of the mini:
Background fabric (the same colour you used for the background in your blocks)
Four 2″ x 8″ pieces
Two 2″ x 20″ pieces (in the photos I’ve used smaller scraps to make pieces totalling 20″ in length)
Border fabric (in the photos, this is the floral)
Two 3.75″ x 20″ pieces (for the top and bottom)
Two 3.5″ x 17.5″ pieces (for the sides)
For the back
You can adjust the batting/backing dimensions up or down depending on how much buffer you like to have.
Three 3.5″ squares
Batting: 19″ x 27.5″
Backing: 21″ x 29.5″
For the binding
Strips 2.25 inches wide, totaling 112.5 inches in length.
- Make your A, B, and C blocks using the free pattern, which you can download here. (Make them without borders initially – we’ll add borders in the steps below.)
- Pin and sew A to B using a 2″x 8″ background piece.
- Pin and sew B to C using a 2″x 8″ background piece.
- Pin and sew a 2″x 8″ background piece to the left side of A, and another to the right side of C.
- Press all seams flat.
- Pin and sew a 2″ x 20″ piece to the top and bottom. Press. There may be a little overhang, so trim at this point if necessary.
- Pin and sew the two 3.75″ x 20″ border pieces to the top and bottom. Press and trim.
- Pin and sew the two 3.5″ x 17.5″ border pieces to the left and right sides. Press and trim.
- Make your quilt sandwich, being sure that your batting is a little larger than your front, and that your back is a little larger again than your batting.
- Pin and quilt using your preferred method. I quilted this sample using an assymmetric pattern of diagonal lines.
- Take two of your 3.5″ squares and press diagonally. Pin each triangle to the top right and left corners of your quilt back, then sew the rough edges closed, 1/4″ from the sides. Leave the folded side open. This is the little pocket that will hold your doweling.
- Take the third 3.5″ square and press the left and right sides 1/4″ to the wrong side. Press over another 1/4″ again, then sew closed, as in the following picture.
- Pin this piece to the top middle of the back of your quilt. Adjust its position so that it is just large enough to enclose the piece of dowling, ruler/yardstick, or other material you are using to hang the quilt. Try it in place, wrapped around your doweling, to be sure, and place your pin accordingly. Sew the piece to the quilt, 1/4″ away from the edge. Trim away any excess. All the rough lines will be covered up by your binding!
- Bind using your preferred method. One of my favourite continuous binding tutorials by Heather Bailey is here. I cut binding strips 2.25 inches wide, totaling 112.5 inches in length.
To hang your mini quilt
At this point your options for hanging depend on how and where you want to put this on your wall. You might loop a ribbon or wire around the doweling and hang it so that the ribbon is above the quilt, or you might attach a small metal hook or hoop to the center loop on the back so that you can hang the quilt directly on a nail or painting hook. Either way the doweling will keep your mini straight and at full width.
Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts Let’s Bee Social and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday.
If you’ve never made a quilt before, this mini quilt tutorial is a great place to start. You’ll learn how to make a mini quilt from start to finish, just on a very small scale. Cutting and sewing parallelograms would normally be tricky because of all the bias edges, but by constructing them from half-square triangles you’ll work with a more stable sewing surface, for a crisp geometric result. (Plus you’ll learn a technique to create multiples of this classic block very quickly.)
And because everything is teensy, you’ll use a minimal amount of supplies, so the stakes are low. (You can even make this with scraps, or a charm pack.) The finished quilt will be about 18.5 x 16 inches, the perfect size for a doll quilt or small wall hanging.
A word about fabric selection. Small projects like this are a great way to play around with colour, volume (how light or dark the fabric is), and scale. I tried to choose a mix of each, but you could go for a more uniform, monochrome look by working in a single colour, or choosing prints that are more alike.
Beginner. Straight line sewing.
Tools and equipment
- Sewing machine with walking foot (if you don’t have a walking foot, use the hand quilting option in step 7)
- Rotary cutter
- Clear ruler
- Cutting mat
- Straight pins
- Curved basting pins (optional)
- Washi or masking tape
- solid fabric, eight 5 x 5 inch squares + four 2 x 18 inch strips
- printed fabric, eight 5 x 5 inch squares
- one 21 x 19 piece of fabric for the backing
- one 20 x 18 piece of batting (if you don’t have batting, you can use a scrap piece of flannel, felt, or fleece)
- two 2 1/2 x 42 inch strips of fabric for the binding
For hand quilting option only:
- embroidery thread or yarn
- embroidery needle
Mini quilt instructions
Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance throughout.
- Pair each solid square with a printed square and pin them together with right sides facing. (This means the printed pattern will be inside.)
- Use a piece of tape to mark a distance of 1/4 inch away from the needle position on your sewing machine, then sew 1/4 from the edge of each side to form a square.
- Using your rotary cutter and ruler, cut the square from corner to corner. This gives you four new squares.
- Press squares open with the seam allowance towards the darker fabric, then trim to 3 inches square. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each pair of squares.
- Arrange the squares so that printed triangles form parallelograms. (There will be two squares left over.) Play around with the composition!
- Sew the squares together in rows, pressing the seams as you go, alternating the direction for each row (for example, all seams to the right in row one, all seams to the left in row two, and so on). Next, sew the rows together, first nesting the seams together as in the following photos, and pinning in place.
- Layer your quilt top with the batting and quilt back, making sure that both the back and front are facing outward, away from the batting. The batting should be a little bit larger than the top, and the backing a little bit larger again. Pin in place, then do one of the following:
- If you have a walking foot, sew the layers together in straight vertical lines, spaced according to your preference. (The quilt in the photographs has 0.5 inch spacing).
- If you don’t have a walking foot, you can hand-quilt the layers together using yarn or embroidery thread to create a small knotted loop at regular intervals.
- Trim the quilt, making sure that everything is squared up (that is, the overall shape will be rectangular but your corners should be 90 degree angles).
- Bind the quilt. There are hundreds of great binding tutorials out there so rather than attempt to re-invent the wheel I am going to point you to my favourite instructions by Heather Bailey.
Your quilt is finished! If you try this project please post a link in the comments or tag with #parallelogramsquilt on Instagram … I’d love to see what you create.
Looking for another mini quilt pattern to try? Get a free ABC quilt block pattern dowload by entering your email below!