quilting Becky  

How to Stitch Small Pieces

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Because of my small obsession recently with stitching small pieces,  and that there was a comment on the post all about the projects I was stitching up, that you need a few hints and tips that I have picked up on so that you too can sew small.

I don’t know about you, but my fingers are a tad bit on the chubby side.

They don’t like tight spaces – like under the needle and pressure foot area.

They get stuck.  They get pinched.


That for me is a major problem….and today I’m going to share how to fix that and a few other small stitching problems.

learn how to stitch small pieces - it's not as scary as you think!  And, there is a project you can try stitching mini on.

How to Stitch Small Pieces – it’s not as scary as you think!

Trim your seams and points.  Keeping things trimmed on the back will help on the front.  Just snip off the pointy ends, or the large bulky seams that are causing problems or getting in the way.  Be careful not to get too close to the stitches.

Sew a scant 1/4″ or smaller – be consistent.

Use a stalleto or something sharp and point to push fabric through the pressure foot area.  I have a nut cracker that has a pointy hook on the end that I use all the time.

Chain stitch – this is when you just sew, sew, sew.  You don’t stop in between piecing.  You do all of one step repeatedly after each other.  After you are done with the one step, you do all of the next step.  This kind of goes right along with the next tip-

Start your sewing with a leader and enders – don’t clip your threads.  (this is when you take a fabric scrap or something from another project and stitch it.  You will not need to snip your threads in between sewing AND your next small stitching piece won’t get eaten by the needle or feed dogs.)

Iron, iron, iron – use a small iron tip if you have one or I use a wooden pressure.  Works great for small pieces and won’t burn your fingers!

Smaller stitches – yes, it’s harder to unpick if you need, but it will help control the movement of the fabric

Pin– use these liberally.  It’s easier to pin you stitch then fuss with the fabric once you get started. Use clips too- these Cover Red Clips are awesome!

Find some fast ways to piece things.  Instead of making one half square triangles at a time, figure out how you can make 2 or 8 half square triangles at one time.  It’s a lot easier to make a bunch starting with larger pieces, then a few starting with small pieces.  It might take a bit of time up front to figure out the process, but in the ends your pieces will be just the same and you won’t pull your hair out while sewing them!

Square up your quilt blocks.  They will line up better and you’ll save yourself a lot of unpicking heartache. Quilt blocks really need to be the correct size before you move forward putting the quilt top together. Just because you are stitching smaller or mini doesn’t mean you skip this step.  You’ll find that it causes the same problems in large quilts….so just square them up.  (totally not my favorite part, but I’m learning to just do it– I’m sooo much happier when I do!)

how to stitch mini pieces - get those seams right and your fingers out of the way. Learn a few tips I've picked up this last year while sewing more than a few small projects.

Now that you have that all down… how about a fun project.

Sparklers Mini Quilt


finished size 16″ X 19″

Ready to do more than one project?  This year in the quilt guild we have quite a few projects that are smaller sized.  There is a doll quilt series, a mini block of the month, and a couple other surprises.  

Visit here for more info: Patchwork Posse Quilt Guild

Have you any additional tips to add to the list? We’d love to hear it!  I’m sure that there are some good ones missing and you might know a few that I have never even tried or known of….so please share them in the comments so I can pick up a few new tips to try out on the next project.


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