Sunday, January 19, 2020

Turn Your Maxi Quilts into Adorable Mini Quilts (and Maybe a Mug)

In our last installment, I put photos of quilts that are about 70" wide onto fat-quarters of organic cotton sateen, with the help of I downsized each image to about 6" across.  Here's the fat-quarter with images of my Los Angeles quilt. Before cutting it up, it fit 8 photos, plus four partial images along the top. 
I decided to make the reprints into individual wallhangings, and this time I not only added borders, but also quilted around each building with "invisible" monofilament thread. Here's a finished Chicago wallhanging, 10" wide including borders:
The original quilt had embroidered fireworks, which barely showed in the copies. So I did a wee bit of hand-sewing with metallic and rayon threads, beads and sequins. 
The next photo shows the LA quilt in progress. I used one of the image fragments from my Spoonflower fat-quarter to test tension and threads - it's on the upper left. Then I went into the l quilt and outlined all the structures. 
I can't tell you how adorable the little dimensional building felt. Even the back - where I used a scrap of thin white fabric, to keep batting from going into my machine - is tiny and adorable. After laboring for weeks to quilt the original quilt, it felt miraculous to finish this mini-version within an hour!
Next, I trimmed it, and placed it right sides together against a backing. (In hindsight, I should have just left the back as it is - but I wanted a pillowcase finish and a neat back). I cut the backing to approximate size.
...Cut a slit in the backing to turn...
Pinned the backing to the front.
Stitched all the way around and trimmed.
Turned everything through the hole.
Chopstick time!
When all the corners and seams were fully extruded, I pressed the back neatly.
Patched and added a loop: 
Did I mention how cute and petite it feels?  It's like acquiring a hamster after you've had a St. Bernard. The original Los Angeles quilt didn't have fireworks, but it did have a star. On my copy, I hand-embroidered around the star with metallic thread.
The finished quiltlet:
I'll keep these wallhangings for myself - the original quilts have new homes, and this way I won't miss them so much!

Also in my last installment, I talked about merchandise I ordered from Redbubble with quilt images. Here's one I didn't show last time - a mug with a slice of the Chicago quilt. The orange structure is Water Tower Place....
...Rotating, there's a Wendella boat on the river....
...further on, the green structure is Macy's/Marshall Fields. Below it, the Picasso statue, and the striped building is the Smurfit/Stone-Crain Communications building.
In this new world of quality custom printed stuff, it's possible to give away your quilts and keep them too!
PS If you're interested in learning my techniques for making city quilts, my booklet, "Log Cabin Skyscrapers and Modern Quilt Buildings" is available in my etsy shop, here.


  1. Cathy, these are ingenious. I love them, and I can easily imagine how fun and satisfying it was to make them.

    1. Thank you, Da, for your appreciation! Finishing a complicated "quilt" so fast was a gas!

  2. Love these minis so much! I might need to acquire one! You might have to have an etsy shop...

    1. I do have an Etsy shop! It doesn't have any of these quilts, yet, but it does have a booklet about how I make my cityscape quilts!


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