How to Make Mini Quilt Postcards
What are Mini Quilt Postcards
The creative mind is so amazing. With a just a bit of inspiration, ideas bloom beyond the capacity to capture. Then add to that an incessant need to quilt and you are on a journey to discovery. This adventure is all about making unique mini quilt postcards.
What started as a simple DIY Quilt Label project has morphed into a completely new direction, but not so different either. Quilt labels use a written message to convey quilt information. Often it is a heartfelt sentiment for someone special. If only we had enough time to make enough quilts to get all those important messages delivered!
Here is the revelation! Mini quilts designed as gifts & cards are such a perfect and easy solution. First, they are so small that you already have plenty of fabric on hand to get started. Plus, there are no rules, just your creative inspiration to start your journey. Simply add a needle and thread (mine will be the electric version) and our journey begins.
Traditional Mini Quilts
What Size Is A Mini Quilt
Of course, there are rules and guidelines when working with traditional patterns and designs. Originally, miniature quilts were made as smaller replicas of popular block patterns. The ratio was commonly 1” to 12”. That means a 12” block would be reduced to a 1” miniature block. Once the traditional word ‘miniature’ was replaced with the abbreviated more modern ‘mini’, everything changed. No more strict rules to adhere to!
Today mini quilts can be any size you want. They are made in any pattern you desire and used in any manner you choose. Modern quilting is not a difficult transition, it is just about making changes to suit a more relaxed, personal style with a statement. Now that is my kind of quilting!
Modern Mini Quilts
How Do You Make A Mini Quilt
Mini quilts have three layers, just like any other quilt. The backing is not any different except that it may have a sleeve for hanging. The batting may be a bit thinner or even replaced with felt or fleece for easy sewing and to keep it lightweight. The biggest difference is that mini quilts are simply a small quilt. While some do replicate traditional patterns, many more are pictorial or free-form. They may display an image or scene and could be pieced or appliqued.
What Can I Do With A Small Quilt
You have probably seen many mini quilts already in the form of wall or art quilts, coasters or mug rugs, ornaments, or small hanging banners. Or even table runners, place mats and potholders. Mini quilts have been around for quite awhile and are fun to display either hanging or laid out on a tabletop.
Blue Jean Pocket Mini Rag Quilt
This Blue Jean Pocket Mini Rag Quilt Pattern is my absolute favorite mini quilt right now. If you have a pile of blue jean pockets left over from a denim rag quilt, you will love this idea! Create a mini quilt and attach it to the back of a denim blue jean pocket. Now you have a quilt on one side and a usable pocket on the other. How awesome is that!
These are perfect for party favors to hold various gifts or trinkets, or as place settings to hold flatware and napkins. Design your own to fit any occasion. These are perfect July 4th party favors to hold flag, pinwheels, and sparklers. Purchase the Blue Jean Pocket Mini Rag Quilt Pattern now and get the PDF Download immediately to start quilting right away.
Creative Mini Quilt Postcards
What Is A Mini Quilt Postcard
Life does not always give us the time to make a full-size quilt to gift. But do not despair, there is a solution. This is all about taking quilt labels to the next level. Designing digital DIY Quilt Labels is fun, especially choosing artsy fonts and cute motifs. They look great and work perfectly for getting our quilts labeled. Fortunately, we do not have to make a full-size quilt for each label. Instead, our quilt label becomes the quilt, or at least the backing.
These mini quilt postcards really stretch the meaning of quilting! How about instead of a card, you print a message onto a piece of printable inkjet fabric? With that done, your quilt back is finished. Now make an adorable little quilt the same size for the front. The beauty is how customizable to everyone a project like this can become!
How To Make A Mini Quilt Postcard
Choose fabrics that relate to that individual and personalize their mini quilt. Do they love the outdoors? A log cabin block or a patchwork fish would be perfect for a father or brother. Or is this for a flower lover who adores beautiful bouquets of color? That is simply a quilt waiting to happen. What about young children learning to read? Make some Velcro letters or words for a fun mix and match message. The options are limitless.
You can probably tell that I think this is a fun idea. It has me filled with anticipation. So, let’s get to some specifics.
How To Make A Mini Quilt Postcard Backing
A single sheet of printable inkjet fabric can easily make 2 to 4 individual postcard size quilt backs. Size your finished quilt top to be just a bit larger. I found it easiest to use the background fabric as a base, cutting it 1” larger. Once finished just trim it down to size. It is a good visual to keep you to scale.
Start with an easy free form pattern you can finish quickly. These flags are just a few blocks of fabric sewn on with raw edge applique. Nothing like fast results to get you excited for more. Then you can get on to the fussy ones. Think about something that you are excited about. Perhaps an upcoming event you will be celebrating soon, or a visit to someone special. Let that be your starting place.
How To Print A Quilt Back Label
These free downloadable DIY Quilt Labels are in a PDF format. You can also make your own labels using these document settings.
The page is 8 ½” x 11” and set to narrow margins. That will keep a ½’ border around your page for printing evenly. Print everything in bold so the text and images print well.
You can use clip art, images, or icons on your labels. A Google search for ‘free postage stamp clip art’ brought me to the stamp I have on my labels. Be sure to select the image section to see all the results. If you are hand delivering your mini quilt message, you may select a ‘fancy’ stamp image or draw your own.
How To Design A Mini Quilt Postcard
This project will be mailed as a postcard so I checked the USPS size limits. They require a rectangle that measures at least 3 ½” x 5” but no larger than 4 ½” x 6”. The clincher is that it must not be more than .016 inches thick. I have no idea how thick that is, so I am expecting to pay extra to get this baby mailed. That is okay, just think of all the smiles it’ll bring as it passes from person to person. That still happens, right?
If you need more design ideas, just check out my Pinterest Mini Quilt Board. Some could say I got a bit carried away saving all those pins, but there are so many wonderful ideas to consider!
How To Piece Your Postcard Front and Quilt
For my flag postcards, the quilt top is designed with machine applique. Since the background fabric is the same size as the backing, I do not need an additional base foundation layer. Also, this is being mailed, so the middle batting layer is omitted to keep it as thin as possible. The applique design pieces are laid in place and sewn to the background fabric.
How To Attach Your Mini Quilt To The Back Label
The best way to permanently adhere two layers of fabric is with Steam-a-Seam 2. It is a great double-sided fusible bond that works fantastically. I love that it not only fuses the two layers but also minimizes fraying. Be sure to follow the instructions. If you do not steam the layers for a full 20 seconds you may not get full fusing of both fabrics. The adhesive may also remain a bit sticky if not fused properly and sewing with a gummed-up needle eye gets messy.
All that is left to do is trim and finish the edges. A binding may be too thick to mail but you may also decide to zig-zag or use brightly colored thread to sew around the edge. On this postcard I simply sewed a straight seam around the edges. It is fused well and will not separate, but the stitching seemed to stabilize the edges nicely. Again, this more for mailing than anything else.
Other Mini Quilt Ideas
Once you know how make these cute mini quilts, make more.
Cut denim circles on one side and cotton fabric on the other for an easy rag quilt coaster. Read more about how to make rag quilts.
Use the strip piecing method above and create a set of mug rugs to keep on the counter for kitchen table talk.
To make a dozen or more matching coasters, strip piece two 12” x 18” rectangles with similar fabrics in different layouts. Use these as your coaster tops. Cut each rectangle into 6 squares, each 6” x 6”. You now have a beautiful matching set of non-identical coasters. Bundled with ribbon or string, they make a great little hostess gift or addition to a gift basket. I like using a torn selvage tie for a ‘rag’ look when I make the raw edge coasters.
Another idea is to tie a loop to one corner of your mini quilt to hang as an ornament, gift tag or door hanger with a message. Let your creativity loose and see what you can come up with. Getting even a little project finished rewards you with a sense of accomplishment. So put those big projects aside for now and create some gorgeous mini quilts.