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Behind the Seams: the Mariner's Compass dollhouse quilt

One of the joys of making miniatures, no matter how long you've been doing it, there are always new ideas and techniques to try out.

Here's a 'behind the seams' peek of the making of my first Mariner's Compass dollhouse quilt.

This dollhouse quilt actually started with the border design. First I made a row of 'flying geese'.

I went for a chevron look. With hindsight I could have used a much simpler 'log cabin' corner block and achieved the same layout, but I quite like the extra texture the flying geese triangles achieve.

Once I'd made a couple of the 60 patch flying geese blocks, I had a rethink of my quilt design. This quilt needed to be ready in time for the LDF Online Showcase and I was making SLOW progress. So the flying geese blocks became the border and I focussed on a striking, central design.

I opted for a Mariner's Compass - something I've never made before. This wasn't a quick fix either as it is made up of 4 blocks, constructed from a total of 88 TINY individual patches.

If you know me, you know I never pick the straight forward option when it comes to miniatures!

I used a sewing technique called Foundation Paper Piecing to make each block - the flying geese borders and the mariner's compass quarters. Then I hand sewed the blocks together to ensure accuracy. A couple of millimetres out in 1:12 can really ruin a dollhouse quilt!

I struggle to keep track of how long my miniature projects take, but I reckon this one easily has 10 hours in it. I have no idea if/when I'll make another dollhouse quilt like this - it was certainly a labour of love!

The fiddliest part was removing all the papers without disturbing the sewing. I recommend pointy tweezers for this job!

This dollhouse quilt, and several others will be available on the LTW Miniatures webshop from 4th September, 11am UK time.

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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I've done small paper piecing quilts in the past, but for a wall piece. I know for dollhouse bedspreads you wouldn't want the stiffness of the paper left in. All those seems are enough thickness! I'm thinking there's probably a dissolvable something that could work, but maybe its residue leaves too much stiffness. Thank you for showing your quilt steps. The resulting quilt is beautiful!

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Thanks Karen! I usually go with what I have laying around the house, and standard paper was all I had for the foundation template. I was worried taking them out (and you're right - it's too stiff if you don't!) would pull too hard on these tiny stitches. But I found so long as I went slowly it was ok. Definitely a process to do over several attempts and not all at once!

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