What in the world are Mini-blocks?
Okay, I promised "Kiddie-pool-fun" not "deep-end-panic".
Here it is...
Mini-blocks are the baby steps
within One Block Only Traditional Quilt Blocks.
Whether it is a pattern (a kit, or just about any other way a quilt is put
together)—these little blocks are what will make the whole project go
They take the mystery out of quilt patterns.
On almost every page of this site you’ll find a sampling of Traditional Quilt Blocks. They all have a name and everyone of them are easily broken into mini-blocks.
I promise you that after you have done a couple of these projects, you will be able to look at a pattern—whether in a magazine or any other source—and break it down into mini-blocks.
It’s that simple! ...How so?
When I started building one block quilts from one Traditional Block, I discovered something—there is a great deal of repetition and redundancy in making them.
Let's take a look at this
quilt block named
"Arizona Indian Memory"...
Can you see...
• The “cat’s head”
• The “chevron”
• The “square-in-a-square”?
Can you see how most of these mini-blocks are all made of
At first glance, the one Traditional Block may look complicated.
But when you break it down into Mini-Blocks —it isn’t.
As you can see, once assembled, the "Cat's Head" and "Chevron" are a simple "Four-Patch" block and the whole quilt is a "Nine Patch" block.
These examples are only half of the Mini-Blocks featured here...
All just in one traditional quilt block!
the Mini-Blocks are assembled, it is only a matter of sewing a few
blocks into a quilt. In this case: nine 16-
inch square blocks are sewn into a nice lap, wall, or baby quilt of 48”x48”.
You are playing with big pieces of fabric. No less than six inches—more like 8 inches to even 12-16 inches.
What makes that so special is as a beginner, you start with large pieces (like those big blocks as a kid!). You get a chance to learn the basics on pieces big enough to understand how they go together.
I wish I’d had this idea when I started—or someone to lead me through the steps. Instead I had to stumble and bumble around until I came to know how to do the whole process easier. A lot of trial and error...
...More error than trial, I'd have to say.
I learned to sew when I was about 8 yrs old (when in self defense my mom sat me down and explained the basics of sewing and let me begin making doll clothes). I took that with me into quilting. Thirty years ago, my first quilts had half-inch seams (and I wondered why they didn’t work!)
In the time between 2000 to 2006, I learned a lot about quilting and the dos and don'ts of the process. Now I want to teach quilting in a way that helps everyone.
That’s why, in late 2006, I founded One Block Only. After discovering Traditional Quilt blocks can make a whole quilt by themselves—it all flowed together.
My beginner patterns are designed to introduce you to a part of quilting—deeply rooted in its traditions. Out of respect to all the quilters who came before, those who designed the blocks originally, my quilt patterns are based on one quilt block only.
The quilt patterns are broken into Mini-Blocks. You are taught basic quilting techniques using that process. Learning to quilt is easier for you, the beginning quilter.
Every part of One Block Only Beginner Quilting is designed to help you over the hurtles of learning how to make quilts. I’ve done the trials and errors so you don’t have to!
Click on image or text link below to order.
I’ve put together
a booklet that
explains how to
make these different mini-blocks.
It is also a booklet with lots
of information for the
From selecting and cutting
the fabric to sewing tips.
one of the
and you will get
THREE QUILT PATTERNS
that will make a quilt
of at least 48"x48"
(a lap quilt, or wall quilt or a baby quilt).
You will work with easy patterns with big pieces
that will give you the confidence
to go on to
bigger and bolder quilts!
The Mini-Block process
makes it easy to finish a quilt
in a few days.
You can whip out a gift faster than you'll ever imagine!
Another suggestion for the new quilter:
Try my No. 1 Sampler Quilt
It is designed to take
the Mini-Block Booklet one mini-block at a time. Each block features one of the mini-blocks as it’s main component.
It’s a bit different than the One Block Only Quilts because the blocks are smaller but you are still working with large pieces. The finished square is approximately 15”x15”. When you finish them all, you will have a pretty sampler quilt.
“Building Blocks” the first block teaches you how to strip. "Broken Band" shows you the basics for making a square in a square.
And so on...
Many young girls (usually by the age of eight) began their sewing and quilting skills with a sampler quilt top.
Somewhere in the nineteenth century a tradition was started where a young girl needed to have completed twelve quilt tops before she got engaged. A huge quilting bee would be held to turn these tops into quilts.
Since many girls married by about sixteen, the early start of age eight was a necessity!
Aren’t you glad
is for fun!