Review and Giveaway: Whip Up Mini Quilts

02 Jun 2010


Yippee! We're the second stop on the blog tour for Whip Up Mini Quilts, the new book from Kathreen Ricketson of

(Some disclosures: that's an affiliate link, and Chronicle Books sent me a review copy.)

I've been really excited to see this book, because I love the art of quilting, but my living space and ancient sewing machine could never accommodate a full-size quilt project. I adore the idea of these smaller projects, turned into decor or household items.


In terms of educational quality, Whip Up Mini Quilts offers text-based instructions with some nice illustration. The initial sections cover piecing, applique, and various embellishment techniques as well as backing, basting, quilting, and binding. All the pieces are here to complete the book's projects.

If you're a beginner, you may need more visual reference, but anyone else should have no problem with these instructions.


For those wanting to reproduce the projects in the book, there's a set of full-size templates for all the designs, bound into a handy envelope inside the front cover.


I love the diversity in this project set! It's an inspiring mix of techniques and visual styles, grouped by themes:

  • Romantic
  • Playful
  • Modern Folk
  • Modern Elegance
  • Geometric
  • Punk, Pop, and Politics
  • Memories and Storytelling

(This piece, by Sarah Steedman, uses applique and simple embroidery to great effect.)


Lizette Greco's treasure map quilt makes me very, very happy.

I love that the book offers quilts-as-toys, quilts-as-pillows, quilts-as-placemats, and quilts-as-wall art.


Here's a great simple quilt by Shannon Lamden - I love how the bold fabrics carry the design.


This is another of my favorites - Victoria Gertenbach's grasshopper design. The quilting is done with hand embroidery, which adds some interesting dimension - and I love the addition of the buttons.


Okay - just one more. Kathreen designed this simple nine-patch shibori sampler. What a great project for playing with fabric-dyeing techniques!

There's a nice glossary of quilting terms in the back, and, because it's from Chronicle Books, a very useful spiral binding.

Whipup Mini Quilts is a great inspiration book to get you thinking about quilting in new ways.

What about that giveaway?

Oh, right. The nice people at Chronicle have donated a copy of this book for a giveaway! To enter, leave a comment below and tell me how you'd like to use a small-quilt project - as art? As tote? As runner? Some other way?

You have until noon PST on Friday, June 4th. Good Luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Shae, our winner! This drawing is now closed.



I would love to make a sample with some applique. I just love the birds. Fantastic book!!!

This is a comment on behalf of Ali at Snipsnaphappy, because for some reason DISQUS isn't letting her comment.

This looks a fabulous book - hopefully it's available in the UK as well
Mini quilts have so many uses- at the moment I'm loving them as runners


I have been wanting to make a quilting project for each of my children and grandchildren. These mini quilts would be perfect for them to use in various ways. So many options!

I would love to make all of the above, but what I really need now is a table runner. I LOVE the ideas shown here :)

I would love to enter in the giveaway! I am finishing my second year in art school now and I would like to use a small quilt project as part of my search for how to combine textiles and illustration in a way that fits me. This book would be a great inspiration to that and to techniques I hope.

I'd love to make small quilt for my dog. His name is Edmund and I love to have his stuff customized. A quilt is top of my "make list", but I never did it before and really don't know how to start. So this book would be a great help.

Wow! I'd use a mini quilt as an art piece. With lots of embellishments and embroidery, like the one with the grasshopper.

I've had a look through this gorgeous book! I'd love to have a display wall of mini-quilts, made by me and swapped with other quilters. I'm pretty sure I saw one in the book, and it looked fantastic!

Just moved into a new apartment and need some new wall art! Smaller space than before so making a mini quilt seems like just the thing to I don't think i have the attention span needed for a large quilt!

I'd love to start making mini-quilts. I have a wall in my bedroom that is just screaming for some hand-stitched goodness.

Mini-Quilts would be a welcome change from the large quilts I seem to get myself into! Many of my quilts are too large to display on a wall, so this would definitely give me some great ideas to put some quilt art on my walls and those of my friends and family!

Looks wonderful! Mini quilts are perfect for a summer project!

I would love to make a mini quilt as a playing mat for my little Sunshine!

Oh, this is a gem book - such a great idea to make a mini quilt book. I'm like you, love fabric but making big quilts take both space, time and energy. I'd make all kinds of projects, totes, handbags and art quilts experimenting with my own embroidery style!

I have been DYING to make quilted placemats for my kitchen, but I need some inspiration. This book would be perfect!

looks like a great book! i've always wanted to learn to quilt: not so i can make blankets, but so i can use the techniques in a miniature-ish style for wall hangings. i think that this book is just what i need!

Where would I start with projects! Just in the few examples you have shown, I can see quilted postcards, potholders, doll quilts, and more. I have a lovely spot in my hallway that is just waiting for a piece of art that I have created! Thanks for the giveaway!

I always forget that I could just make mini quilts instead of full sized ones. I think they're great for table toppers and wall hangings.

I don't have very many things on my walls and I would love to decorate all the rooms of our house with mini quilts. The idea of making totes from mini quilts sounds wonderful too :)

It is very satisfying to get a project done. With a project this size I know I will finish it and display it with pride. No more are the projects sitting on my self half finished for months at a time as I sidle past as I avoid looking at it. It is like a guilt free treat. What is better is all my friends will get one too.

Wow, what a great book. I would love to make map place mats, embroider some napkins with compasses to go with. I am always looking for ways to dress up my dining room table.

I love the last picture, dyeing fabrics is fantastic!! It could be a wonderful tote.
Thanks for the giveaway.

I am a huge fan of the Beatles and I've always thought about doing a huge Beatles wall art that serves as a sort of faux headboard for my bed. These techniques could be just the ticket!

This book looks fantastic. Got to love a MODERN quilt book. I'd probably use the book as a jumping off point to get ideas for paper/fabric multimedia art.

I would love to make some art for my sons' rooms :)

I've got it in my mind to make a very tiny mini-quilt (around 4" or so) with embroidery, beads, etc. I'd use it as wall art, probably, or put it in a table top frame.

I can't wait to see all the inspiration in that book!

All of those are so great! What a fantastic mix. I can immediately thing of about three ways I'd want one - I'd make some sort of treasure map wall art or play mat for my boys, one of the scenic ones for a runner, and another one (maybe the shibori?) for a tote. :) Adding it to the list....

A mini-quilt would make lovely wall art, it is so much more do-able (to my mind) than a full-size quilt, and would help me practice my skills for my dreamed-of, one-day, full-size quilt. A mini-quilt is the perfect 1-2-3 punch!

I'd use one of these as wall art - and maybe inspiration to dig into my fabric stash (or shop for more.............)

I have just acquired a ton of fabric, and I think mini quilts would be a good place to start learning. I'd make little quilts for my nephew and my friend's kids. At least to start.

I love the idea of a quilt as a toy. I think kids respond so well to the beauty of fabric and there are such a variety of marvellous quilting fabrics available. This book has been on my wish list for a while now. I have been following the blog for several years. Thanks for the review.

OOoo...I love mini-quilts....because they are so doable! I would love to get inspired to whip some up for wall hangings to brightened the kiddies' room!

I'd love to use mini quilts as art. I've never quilted before, so this presents a problem, but yep. If I could quilt, I'd make wall art. And, oh, pillows.

I would love to use these to teach myself quilting--something I've wanted to do for years and haven't had the nerve to try. What a beautiful book!

I would love to make a quilt to be used as a toy. That treasure map is amazing. So creative.

I'd love to use the patterns to make miniquilts as fund raisers for the community centre I work with

Thanks for the review, Diane (and, of course, the giveaway!) I need this book -- I've been thinking of making a wallhanging for my office and this looks like such a good inspiration!

I would use the book to make mini lap quilts for the local assisted living center in town. My very first quilt was a lap quilt for my grandmother, and they have a special place in my heart.

I'm new to quilting and currently working on a single bed sized quilt (arghhhhhhhhhh!) on my tiny machine. I swore I would never have the patience to hand-quilt anything. However, due to the wrestling matches of late (me vs. the quilt) at the machine, I am on the verge of hand quilting everything I attempt in the future. The opportunity to do small home decor items, like oven mitts, children's quilted soft blocks, or a sewing machine cover seems like heaven!!! This looks like another wonderful book by chronicle books!!

Oh, My! This looks like my kind of book!

I'd be making some wall art and lap quilts. I'd probably want to make everything in it, though!

Thanks for posting the giveaway!


I love to make quilts, but have a hard time finishing the big ones. This book looks just right and Chronicle Books is a great publisher!

I saw this book elsewhere and was so intrigued. The main reason I don't even think about quilting is the sheer size. But they are so beautiful. I just got myself some setacolor and will be printing on my own little fabric with my own little design! It would be nifty to have some inspiration and information for a novice quilter with her own fabric! I would love to make quilted placemats with matching coasters. But a wallet sounds good, too.

These photos are great. Thanks for sharing them.

Hello, found your blog while researching recycled clothing articles and thought I would enter your comp.

No doubt this book would provide a great deal of inspiration for the many uses of small quilt projects which could be used in many different ways. I have to say I would probably make handbags as I always enjoy making and using my own bags.

I love quilts on the wall or on tha table as a runner. I guess I could use a quilt on just about anything depending on the size. Mini quilts are an instant gradification.

I love making small pieces, it is a great way for me to practice my sewing skills.
I like to make them for gifts, so I usually make them into mini quilt hangings.


Hello Sister Diane!
I love this post- I WANT THIS BOOK. I could think of a million things to do with this book. I teach apparel (Family and Consumer Sciences) in a NC public school and I can put this book to the test. Constantly I am searching for student projects for beginner and advanced stitchers. But most importantly, I need projects that yield a high degree of instant gratification and a degree of DIY creativity. This book sounds like the projects would fit the bill to inspire some "stitchy goodness." Plus, I have been toying with the idea of making some of my classroom sign-age out of some "stitchy goodness." So you never know what I can come up with cause summer is here (OK almost we are ending with exams) and my brain is ready to percolate some new ideas.

Please please pick me!!!!!!

PS - I am just beginning the whole blog idea so I don't have a lot of posts yet. But like a said - hold on the summer is just beginning.

PSS - love your show. I just discovered it last month on itunes and I have listened so much that itunes can't download but so many past episodes...

I would love to use a mini quilt as a table runner. I could also use mini quilts as placemats (depending on the size).

My small quilt project would be to make a mini quilt for my new daughter Clementine's bassinet....I will need to act swiftly as she is already three weeks old and time is slipping through my fingers!

I'm a pretty new quilter and think I could use the mini quilts as a great way to learn enhance my skills. I would like to use mini quilts to make a variety of gifts (hangings, runners, pillow shams) for my aunts, uncles and cousin with the fabric that was handed down to me after the death of my grandparents.