Scrap overload? Piece these “little gems” in a flash (+ big giveaway!)

New-release day: Little Gems


Got an overload of scraps and not a lot of time to use them up?

Join the club. And let us introduce you to the president of the club, new Martingale author Connie Kauffman.

So, how did Connie rise to such a position? She found a solution for all of us scrap collectors who know that some day, and in some deliciously creative way, the scraps we save will shine in a quilt.

Quilts from Little Gems
Quilts from
Little Gems

Her solution? Paper piecing—and the petite patterns in her new book Little Gems. You see, it doesn’t matter what size or shape of scrap you have. If a scrap fits over a particular section of a paper-pieced pattern and is about ¼" larger than that section on all sides, you can show it off in a “little gems” quilt.

“Keep your scraps! You’ll be amazed at what
you can do with your scraps without even
dipping into your fabric stash.”

Connie Kauffman, author of Little Gems

Paper piecing makes accuracy a no-brainer, and Connie’s tiny treasures are an efficient way to learn the technique. Eager to learn more about these small, speedy, scrap-friendly quilts? You’re in luck—Connie’s our guest blogger today! But first…


BIG GIVEAWAY ALERT! Our friends at Ackfeld Manufacturing have given us one of their wildly popular quilt stands to give away to you! (This one’s featured on the cover of Connie’s book—quilt not included.)

Ackfeld Wire and Little Gems giveaway!

Learn how to win it—plus a copy of Little Gems and a pack of our Papers for Foundation Piecing—at the bottom of this post.


Connie KauffmanMaking small quilts is a fun adventure! It’s not as intimidating to try something new when you’re making a small quilt. Small quilts don’t require much in terms of fabric, batting, and other supplies. In fact, you probably already have everything you need for a small project.

In my book Little Gems, I share my adventure in paper piecing small quilts. All the projects except one are only 12″ x 12″. The backing and casing can be made from one fat quarter. The fabrics for the quilt tops are mostly under ⅛ yard or just scrap fabrics. The batting you need is only 14″ x 14″, so you can also use up some of those small leftover pieces of batting you probably have on hand.

Making a small quilt is also a great time to try something you’ve never dared to do before on a “major” project. Have you ever embellished with buttons or beads?

Quilts from Little Gems
From left: “Black and White Delight” and “Red Hots” from
Little Gems

Or tried using rickrack?

Cotton Candy quilt from Little Gems
“Cotton Candy”

Maybe you haven’t even tried paper piecing—yet! With Little Gems, it’s a great time to try.

Little Gems takes you step by step through the process of paper piecing. It’s easy if you take it one step at a time. Once you’ve made a block or two, you’ll have mastered the technique!

Playing with Plaids quilt from Little Gems
“Playing with Plaids”

“Playing with Plaids” (above) is the first quilt in the book. Each block has only three sections to paper piece. This is a very easy project for a beginner, as well as for anyone who has a fun stash of plaids!

Little GemsEnvision the patterns using fabrics from your stash. Try new color combinations and different embellishments. And try out the Ackfeld wire hangers and stands that are used with each project in the book. They’re a PERFECT way to highlight your small quilts. I especially love the stands. They look lovely on dressers, pianos, desks, and more. Check them out at your local quilt shop or online!


Connie, thanks for sharing your “little gems” with us!

What’s the littlest “little gem” you’ve ever made: a wall quilt, a baby quilt, a table topper…a postcard? Tell us in the comments and you could win a copy of Little Gems, a pack of Papers for Foundation Piecing, and the beautiful quilt stand from our friends at Ackfeld Manufacturing! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Tamara, who says:

“The smallest sewing project was a labor of love for a special grandchild. Drapes and matching blankets for the dollhouse my husband made. Her favorite colors are pink and purple which were not in my scraps or stash.”

Tamara, we’ll email you about your prizes. Congratulations!


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