Another Big Hug! Finishing Feels Great

The fourth finished postage stamp quilt, made from 4,096 two-inch treasures.

Yesterday I delivered my fourth postage stamp quilt, a queen-sized delight made from two-inch treasures. This one was long-arm quilted by someone else, the previous three were tied. I have not yet been inclined to free-motion quilt one of these at home, perhaps because, after piecing the 3,128 (oops, actually 4,096! see note below) little squares, I am ready to move on to other projects. This particular quilt has over 2,900 different fabrics in it! Good thing I am committed to using stash, and love scrappy quilts. I call these Big Hugs, and hope the new owner will be cozy as well as entertained by the myriad of colors, patterns, and critters that make these so much fun.

There is something satisfying about seeing a quilt embraced by someone, a completed item ready to be lived with every day. As quilters we spend a lot of time choosing fabrics, patterns, playing with color, and anticipating the finished quilt. Each of us has parts of the process we enjoy the most, be it piecing, quilting, starting, or finishing. I am very much a process person, not a product person, but truly am glad when I actually get something done. After all, it is like being given permission to start playing with one of the new ideas rattling around in my brain.

Faded, Worn, But Loved mini quilt.

Three other finishes passed from my hands this last month as well—nine by twelve-inch mini quilts for the Alzheimers’ Art Quilt Initiative.  The Faded, Worn, But Lovedheart mini quilt is a piece of a 70-year-old quilt that has fallen apart, reminding me of the faded memories of people struggling with Alzheimers’. I have a good friend who spends countless hours with her dad, who barely knows her anymore, and I dedicated it to her.

Hugs and Kisses mini quilt.

Hugs and Kisses was done in memory of my Aunt Evelyn, who was a cheerful woman even when she had lost all connection to the outside. She loved getting those hugs!  And Missing My Best Friend is dedicated to all the wonderful volunteers who bring pets to visit nursing homes and hospitals. If you did not donate a AAQI mini-quilt for auction yet, you still can.  Just check it out through Marge at Delaware Quilts.

Missing My Best Friend, the third finished mini quilt.

While finishes do feel great, a happy stack of WIP’s still makes my heart sing! What about you? Are you a process quilter, who gets the most delight out of the act of making a quilt?  Or are you a quilter who finds the most satisfaction in the completed product, a wonderful quilted item for others to enjoy?  What steps of the process are your favorite?  Do you have a particular step that you wish a Quilting Fairy would magically finish for you?

Note, added 9/20/2010: It has been pointed out that my math is off here, my apologies! Actually the very first postage stamp quilt I made did have 3,128 pieces, and that stuck in my head. However this one is a full 8×8 foot quilt, with 64 pieces per square foot, making for 4,096 pieces! And people have been asking if I sew them in long strips, or in blocks. I sew blocks of 12.5 inches with 64 squares per block, for a few reasons. One is that I find it easier to square up, and to at least attempt to match up corners, in the smaller units. I find no joy in sewing skinny strips of squares on to a larger, growing piece. It is also easier to press as you go, you can press each block into submission before assembling the whole quilt. And lastly, I can pick it up and work on one block at a time, and set it aside easily too. You can do it either way, or you could sew piles of nine-patches, whatever works for you! – Mary

©2010, The Curious Quilter,,


About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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28 Responses to Another Big Hug! Finishing Feels Great

  1. Linda says:

    As the lucky owner of Big Hug #2 I can tell you these are FUN quilts to have. I can entertain the grandchildren for hours, sending them to the bedroom to come back and tell me how many purple squares there are, then how many doggies, and so on!

    Love the mini-quilts too.

  2. i LOVE your postage stamp quilt! i’ve always wanted to make one of those, but i’ve never taken the time. it seems like i always have about 40 things on my to-sew list. but i’m a big scrap saver, so hopefully one day i’ll realize i just have to do it. (or be overrun by scraps lol)
    one of my favorite parts of the process is dreaming up my new creation. i do enjoy piecing (by machine) but i don’t enjoy the technical planning stage (figuring out how much fabric i need and how big everything needs to be), it just seems like it takes all the fun out of it. i just want to create!!!

    • Thank you! Actually this is a great project for you then. Every time you make something, cut yourself a few two inch squares. When you have a pile, start sewing them into squares of 64 each, for a 12.5 inch block. You can assemble blocks using the Classic Squares Tutorial, but with two inch squares instead of ten inch ones. Over time, you will build a healthy pile of blocks!

  3. katieQ says:

    I was just “playing” with some of my 2 inch squares today. I have about 1,900 cut. I was planning on waiting until I have 2,500 (for no particular reason), but maybe I had better get started. I also have boxes of 2.5 inch, 3 inch, and 3.5 inches. Time to start piecing.

  4. Sarah C. says:

    What a beautiful quilt! I love the whole process of making a quilt, from auditioning the fabrics, to cutting and piecing the top, to creating a unique backing, to choosing and applying just the right quilting style for the quilt, to binding and taking one last loving look at it while hand-sewing the binding. Most of the quilts I have made this year have been given to people in need through our church’s quilt ministry, with a few going to others as gifts. My poor husband bemoans the fact that while I have made 34 quilts this year, he is still sleeping under a store-bought quilt. I hope to correct that later on this year….

  5. Jill says:

    The postage stamp quilt is lovely.

  6. Barbara says:

    Love, love, love this. I am currently sewing a bunch of 2.5″ squares together–kind of using them for leaders and enders and sewing a light and dark together. Hopefully it will be a big quilt and beautiful like yours.

  7. Martin says:

    Love the mini quilts too! Nice to see one that is more masculine in tone, for the men who struggle with Alzheimer’s like my dad did.

    So just how many of those postage stamp quilts do you PLAN to make at this point??

  8. bonnie says:

    Your postage stamp quilt is wonderful. And your AAQI quilts are great too. I am hoping to make more of them eventually. Lovely blog. Bonnie

  9. J. Johnson says:

    If I did not have a pile of WIP’s out, and some UFO’s tucked away, I think I would be miserable! I have never been one to work on one project at a time, all the way through to the end.

    Your mini quilts are fun, but the two inch treasure quilt is a really special one. Congrats to the lucky new owner.

  10. What an amazing quilt!!! 2 inch squares. You did a gorgeous job.

  11. Amy says:

    Beautiful postage stamp quilt! And wonderful idea to just cut squares here and there as you go. Yet another area of my life where procrastination needs to be nipped in the bud! I JUST went through my son’s clothes in preparation for the “great clothing switch-over” and cut a few 5″ squares out of some shirts of his that were too small. The scraps I sent to the basket that holds odds and ends that will eventually be crazy-quilted.
    As for process quilting: I always have at LEAST 5 projects going at once! I get bored otherwise…and we all know that’s where UFO’s come from! My mom laughs at me when I admit this, but: the one part of quilting I absolutely despise is….cutting! I guess it’s not so bad when I save up scraps and cut them here and there, but I am happiest when I get a kit that’s all cut for me. I know I’m going to have to get over this…and some day I will get tired of using fabrics that are chosen for me. But for now, until I acquire enough scraps to make my own postage stamp quilt….I’m happy. 🙂

    • Oh, move next door! I LOVE cutting! And may I suggest that you just start on your postage stamp quilt anyway, and not wait? Perhaps sew four patches? It is a process quilt, no need to “wait” for the stash to grow!

  12. Donna says:

    I sat with my 5 year old granddaughter and looked at the zoom version of this quilt. She pointed out kitties, dinosaurs, japanese ladies, turtles, game pieces, paddle balls, cars, wagons, paper dolls, weiner dogs, and lots more! She said they were all in a garden, with all the pretty flowers too.

    Thanks for inspiring us all to actually try one of these. What a treasure! I am planning to start right away, and make my granddaughter a (smaller) quilted garden of surprises for her own room.

  13. Nancy says:

    Wow, I love your postage stamp quilt——that’s a lot of little squares.

  14. It is marvellous how fabrics one would not put together when there are only a few, work very well when there are so many different ones.
    Beautiful quilt, – the new owner must be very happy, I think 🙂

  15. Joan says:

    This is gorgeous. I started a 1″ block one a few years back. Ummmmm lets just say it’s in that PIGS box yet! 2″ might be a little more do-able! After the holidays, I might just have to give this a whirl! Thanks for the inspiration, and reminding me of yet another PIG not done. LOL

  16. A.L. Duncan says:

    Absolutely beautiful! Your quilt has inspired me to begin a project of my own. Thanks for the great advice.

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