Little quilts are so appealing because they’re fun to make and easy to finish. That’s precisely the reason Jo Morton, author of the super-popular book Jo’s Little Favorites, loves designing on a smaller scale. Being the quilt genius that she is, Jo’s come up with a wealth of tips and techniques for successfully piecing diminutive blocks, including an excellent trick for reducing the unwieldy bulk at seam intersections.
When a block finishes at just 4″ or 5″ square, the multiple fabric layers at the seam intersections can make the block look and feel extra lumpy. The intersections of a small block also tend to be quite close together, making it difficult to press and evenly distribute the seam allowances. Jo’s clipping trick is a simple but effective way to eliminate that problem, resulting in tidy and flat blocks that are much easier to piece together and quilt. Lucky for us, Jo herself explained the trick and showed the back of one of her small Ohio Star blocks at Spring Quilt Market in May. Here’s the video.
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How quick and easy is that? You can imagine how handy this trick is for a quilt like Beth’s Baskets from Jo’s Little Favorites. The 4″ x 4″ Basket blocks contain many seam intersections in close proximity:
Beth’s Baskets from Jo’s Little Favorites
Here’s a close-up photo of the back of the Basket blocks, where you can see how Jo used her trick to clip and press the seam allowances to distribute the bulk. To quote Jo, “If the back looks nice, the front will look nice, too!”
I’m currently working on making the sweet Indigo Stars Doll Quilt, which finishes at just 12½" square, a perfect small canvas on which to practice a bit of hand quilting. Jo’s clipping trick works like a charm for these little Star blocks as well!
Indigo Stars Doll Quilt from Jo’s Little Favorites
Once you’ve made a few of these charming little masterpieces, you’ll want to put them on display. The book includes lots of helpful ideas for decorating your home with small quilts. Here, Cabin Corners is paired with a bowl of antique treasures. Placing one edge in the bowl gives the quilt a lift and invites a closer look from across the room.
Cabin Corners from Jo’s Little Favorites
Along with her clipping trick and 13 classic quilt patterns, Jo has dozens of other great tips and tidbits to share in her book. Whether you’re a reproduction-fabric devotee, a little-quilt lover, a scrap collector, a longtime fan of Jo Morton’s club, or all of the above, Jo’s Little Favorites will be a delightful addition to your quilting library.
More from Jo’s Little Favorites
Pressing matters: seams to one side or open, which way is your preference? Tell us in the comments!