When my cousin from Holland came over last October she brought me some beautiful real Dutch fabric and I started my Echt Hollands quilt. She also brought me some mini quilt patterns. I thought I would give them a try. Holy Smokes! They're mini alright!
First I had to relearn my paper piecing. After not doing it for a long time I forget how to do it and I get everything backwards! Even after I get into the groove, I can still find myself having to redo the same seam over 2 or 3 times! I'll forget to press open the seams, or I'll accidentally trim the good part, or when the seams are open it doesn't fit the space! eeek! Here are a few of the things I learned:
1) I copy the pattern onto tracing paper or tissue paper. It is a lot thinner and easier to tear away as well as see through. Make 2 copies of each page in case, like me, you have to do it over due to excessive seam ripping. :P
2) I set my stitch length to 2 (very small) on my sewing machine, because it is easier to tear away the paper and the seams are not very long on this project.
3) Fabric pieces right sides together and paper on top of first fabric. On paper side, sew seam on line, starting a little before the line and ending a little beyond the line.
4) After my first seam I fold back the paper along the seam and cut a 1/8th inch seam allowance. This gets rid of excess bulk especially important in this mini quilt.
5) Finger press open, then fold paper along the next sewing line and again trim a 1/8th seam allowance. This will give you a guide to how to place your next piece of fabric. If I didn't do this, I was more likely to screw up the placement of fabric.
6) Place your next fabric right sides together and sew on the next seam line. Continue in this manner.
Here is how it looks in progress:
7) Once I've done to the outer seam, I will trim the excess from that side:
8) This boat is done in 2 separate pieces, then sewed together. I leave the paper on to match up the seams more accurately.
Here are the few I've done so far, each still take me an hour to do. I do one per night, to avoid frustration. It's kind of addictive but intense, when working with such small things! One night I ripped out the same seam 3 times...it was time to give it a rest!
Did I mention the instructions are in Dutch? I don't speak or read Dutch and I couldn't find many of these words in my small pocket dictionary!