Miniatures in Minutes
by Terrie Sandelin
C&T Publishing $27.95
What's not to like about this book "Miniatures in Minutes" by Terrie Sandelin? She offers 24 paper-pieced projects that are completed with a single foundation. Yes, these are traditional patterns and art quilters may think that's not their cup of tea. But what these tiny traditions offer is a small quilt venue in which one can dabble and experiment with color. And I freely admit that color choice is a big stumbling block for me.
I particularly like where the author uses the same pattern with different color choices and then shows why one is better than the other. For example she pieced one little quilt using numerous light fabrics set against dark. And she pieced the same pattern using one light fabric with a couple medium and a dark fabric. It is easy to see that the first sample doesn't work because there are too many areas of high contrast and the overall pattern gets lost. Plus the second sample, with the choice of a warm apricot color as well as white, caramel and dark brown fabrics really is more appealing to my taste.
This author also warmed my heart with her honesty. "I'm your average, workaday kind of quilter. I make quilts that I love and that my family and friends appreciate.... That's enough for me."
She wants precision without "turning myself into knots" and she found the technique in the Fold and Sew method, which she first encountered through Anita Grossman Solomon's "Make It Simpler" books. Solomon's method was geared toward 6-inch blocks and taught paper piecing with multiple sections all on a single foundation. Sandelin adapted the concept for complete miniature quilts rather than one block.
She also had me nodding in agreement when she explained the attraction of miniature quilt making. "Many times, I hadn't really wanted to make a big quit. Perhaps I wanted a seasonal quilt for display or to play with some wonderful fabric that had leaped out and grabbed me. I learned that a lot of times, making a miniature satisfied my creative urge, and I had the pleasure of a finished quilt."
Sandelin also shows various uses for miniatures, not only as wall decor or doll quilts, but also as central motifs for notebook covers (or scrapbook covers) and tote bags.
The author doesn't identify levels of difficulty, but rather estimates how long it will take to cut the fabric, prepare the foundation, sew the foundation and remove the paper for each quilt design. And most of the patterns in the book can be made in LESS THAN EIGHT HOURS.
The tools needed are pretty basic and most quilters will have them already. Clover Mini iron, Roxanne Glue-Baste-It, a light box, fabric grips, freezer paper, and a printer copier may be a few items not already in your equipment cache. But should be. She recommends and even brow beats a little in her recommendation of translucent vellum and since this book is all about foundation piecing -- I'd listen to her recommendations.
This is a very thorough book and gives step by step directions and includes a pullout section with the foundation patterns already printed, easy way to copy and get started right away. Of course once you learn this method, it could be adapted to larger quilts, or portions of larger quilts. The fold and sew demonstration section really makes this technique easy to grasp.
C&T Publishing always makes such delightful books with color photos, enough white space to make them easy to read and enjoy. And quality paper and finished product.