Saturday, 19 September 2015

Tiny Pieces Make Me Grumpy!

Sometimes I'm a bit slow.

The rest of you probably worked this out ages ago, but today I finally admitted to myself that I design large scale patterns because I am allergic to sewing too many teeny tiny fiddly pieces.
I love detail in my patterns, but dislike how fiddly and bulky this makes small scale blocks.

I have recently designed a few patterns for swaps. Although I am happy with the finished projects and there is technically nothing wrong with the patterns, I didn't enjoy sewing them.

The first of these patterns was the Swimming in Circles mini quilt which I sewed for my partner in the Sew Your Stash Swap. It measures 20" x 20".

There were three reasons that I didn't enjoy sewing this mini quilt:

1. Teeny Tiny Fiddly Piecing: I considered leaving out some of the teeny pieces, but honestly they are the difference between a good and a mediocre pattern.

2. Repetition:  I had to sew the same dolphin four times for the quilt top (yawn!).

3. Wrong Fabric Choices: I initially planned to sew two blocks with a low volume background and two with a dark grey pattern. Unfortunately, after sewing three blocks (2 low volume and 1 dark), it was clear that this was a bad decision.
I changed to sewing 4 low volume backgrounds and far prefer the resulting mini quilt. Of couse, I didn't put the remaining block to waste. I turned it into a zipper purse to include as a swap extra.

I was really grumpy by the time that I had finished sewing all the repetitive teeny tiny pieces and although everyone on instagram was kind about the pattern, I announced that I would not be releasing the pattern

(I may have softened in this opinion now and it is no longer on the "definitely not" list, but I am building up a bit of a backlog of patterns that need to be turned into patterns so who knows if it will ever happen...).

I am glad that I remade the bad quarter and I am really happy with the finished mini, but it was a long road to get there and not one that I am in a hurry to repeat.

The next small scale pattern that I didn't particularly enjoy sewing was a dachshund which is destined to be an extra in the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap.

It measures 6" x 8".

It was quick to sew, and it came together easily but the fiddly pieces of the legs and paws did my head in.

I have since simplified the pattern slightly and sent it off to testers. I really really love the finished block but sewing teeny tiny pieces is not for me.

It's a personal thing.
It's not a problem with the pattern.
I totally respect that others enjoy sewing tiny stuff, and I recognise that they think I'm nuts for sewing big scale patterns, that's fine!

Life would be boring if we were all the same!


  1. Im sure your swap partners will be thrilled with you marching on and not faltering at the finish line :) I dont mind small pieces, personally Im a big and quick kind of gal :)

  2. I like the end result of the mini Dolphins! The colors are really flattering to the design. Hope the tiny pieces wasn't too much of a struggle! LOL

  3. It's such a beautifully shaped dolphin, have you considered how it might look alone or with just one partner on a pillow size? I love the little puppy too.

  4. Love the little details and how much they add. Great pattern and wonderful mini - I am sure your partner will be chuffed with the effort. Love the displays ;)


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