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3 common dollhouse quilt making mistakes - and how to fix them!

Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) edition!

I have been making 1:12 dollhouse miniature quilts for over 10 years, but I still make mistakes. Plenty of them! The difference is, I've learnt what can be done about it. Here's are my top tips, to hopefully help you learn quicker than I did!

Mistake 1: Fabric Faux Pas

We've all been there: you sew down a piece of fabric, only to realize it's the wrong one, or it's upside down! The key here is to act fast. If you catch it before adding another piece, you can usually gently unstitch the fabric with your seam ripper. Go slow and steady and if you need to sacrifice something to the quilting gods, make sure it's the one bit of fabric, not the quilt top you've already sewn.

Another top tip if you are new to FPP - or just want an uncomplicated project - is stick to one colour theme where it doesn't matter a whole lot what order your fabrics are in, such as this blue log cabin quilt.

It's harder to go wrong with coordinated fabrics!

Mistake 2: Wandering Fabric

You place your fabric, flip it over to sew, and somehow despite holding it tightly the whole time, it isn't where it is supposed to be. This is the one that gets me the most! There are two solutions depending on how misplaced your fabric is.

Forearmed is forewarned - I purposefully cut my fabric strips much wider than I'll need them. It gives me more leeway when I don't place the fabric as well as I should. You can see below I've sewn right down the middle of the strip by accident. But thankfully I cut it wide enough that it didn't matter - I had enough fabric left on the correct size to cover the patch. So I trimmed down the excess, and you can never tell I placed the patch so poorly. That is one of the joys of FPP!

Sometimes I just leave too small of a seam allowance and have to redo a patch. It's frustrating but it's okay. Don't risk your finished quilt fraying because your seam allowance was too small (less than 1/4"). Get your trusty seam ripper and take that fabric piece out before you go any further!

So long as you sew along the same line on your paper template, that pesky line of holes left in your quilt top from the old patch will be covered.

Mistake 3: Removing a stitch with the papers

close up of the paper template sewn to a mini quilt kit in progress

I purposefully provide thin paper in all my Foundation Paper Pieced mini quilt kits, but still occasionally when I am removing the papers, a few stitches come loose too. And what's even more annoying is you usually can't spot them until you've completely removed the papers and

turned your quilt rightside around.

The solution is once all the papers are removed, and your quilt is right side around, very gently remove and snip any loose threads that are showing on your quilt front.

Don't be tempted to sew the gaps shut using them - they're a lost cause!

BEFORE you close your quilt up, hand sew any gaps using as few stitches as you dare. Ladder stitch can work well, so can many appliqué stitches, whatever you're most comfortable with. Since your quilt isn't going in a washing machine (well I wouldn't recommend it!) a few small stitches will do. Once any gaps are closed up, sew shut the end of your quilt. Nobody need ever know!

Bonus Tip: Take it Slow and Steady!

FPP is all about precision, so take your time. Double-check your fabric placement before sewing, and don't be afraid to rip out a stitch or two if needed. Remember, mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you'll become with this amazing technique.

For a step-by-step guide and templates, check out my digital log cabin mini quilt pattern here.

If you'd like a physical kit, including all the fabrics and paper templates you'll need for your own miniature patchwork masterpiece, check out my LTW mini quilt kits.

LTW Miniatures is UK based and routinely ships to the USA, Canada, Australia and beyond. If you don't see your country, please contact me and I'll see what I can do.

For more 'behind the seams' sneaky peeks, all the latest news, tutorials and the odd cheeky discount, subscribe to the LTW Miniatures e-newsletter.

Have fun mini friends!


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