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Mini Quilts: What is a mini quilt and why should you make one?

If you are a new quilter and you have looked on Instagram, Facebook or your other social media sites, you might have wondered what the purpose of a Miniature Quilt (Mini quilt) is, or why people make them.

A mini-quilt is, as the name suggests, a very small quilt.

Three mini quilts, a Strawberry mug rug, Chicken Quilt and a cherry used as a place mat. Mini quilts are a quick little quilt project that can be made in a weekend.

There’s no real “standard” size when it comes to what is considered a mini quilt - they come in what ever size you want to make them, but generally speaking any quilt under 24-inches could be considered a mini quilt. In saying that, I have seen beautiful mini quilts that are bigger than 24-inches as well as patchwork art mini quilts that are only 1-inch square… now that is small!

Why make a mini-quilt? 

Mini quilts are a lot of fun to make, but that’s not the only reason to make one.

Mini quilts give us the perfect opportunity to try out new techniques. For example if you haven’t tried foundation paper piecing before, making a mini quilt starting with just one block that you like the look of could be a good place to start.

Paper pieced boxer dog quilt block. Light green background fabric. This patchwork quilt block is the start of a mini quilt which is destined to be a mug rug. 

Mini quilts also provide a chance to practice your quilt stitching and binding techniques. It’s a good time to get creative and try something new, like hand quilting, and because of the smaller size there is less to unpick if you make a mistake. 

If you want to learn how to make a quilt, a mini quilt can be a good time to practice making and sewing binding or to try a new technique such as appliqué or foundation piecing.

Mini quilts are also fantastic ways to use up orphan blocks or fabric scraps that are left over from bigger patchwork projects that you have saved. 

But the best reason to make a mini quilt is quite simply that for me - it makes me happy. Sewing and quilting is a time for me to relax and create and there is something quite satisfying about a small quilt project that I can easily finish in a weekend.

What is a Mini Quilt used for?

Mini quilts are actually quite versatile and can be used as wall art, home decor or doll quilts. But my absolute favourite way to use a mini quilt for is to donate to the local hospital for the special care nursery or neonate unit (if you are keen to do this check with your local hospital about the sizes they prefer).

Mini quilts are fantastic for babies. This collection of Air Plane themed quilts was donated to hospital for the special care nursery.

The quilts shown here were only 20 inches by 18 inches. I made six miniature quilts featuring planes, hot air balloons and even a Rocket Ship and donated them to the special care nursery.

Mini quilts make excellent table decor such as shown here under a pot plantHere are a few more ways that you can use mini quilts:

  • Placemats
  • Pot Holders
  • Table Decorations
  • Mug Rugs/Coasters
  • Tote Bags
  • Pillow Cover/Cushion Cover
  • Wall Art

The uses for mini quilts are really only limited by your imagination.

A foundation paper pieced rainbow quilt block has been turned into a a pillow cover and is being used as decor in a baby’s nursery. The picture shows the pillow on display in a crib with a cute teddy bear.

Mini quilts can be fabulous when used as a handmade gifts, like this Rainbow cushion that I made for my baby's room. But even if you keep them for yourself to brighten your home they will still bring a smile when you see them.

Hopefully by now you have more clarity on why you might like to try making a mini quilt if you haven't already been doing so. Do you have other uses for your mini quilts? Share your ideas in the comments section!

Happy Quilting, Rachel