Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts :: Review and Giveaway

Hi friends, and welcome to those of you that may be visiting for the first time! I’m Amy Ellis, quilter, blogger and author too – feel free to poke around and get to know me better if you haven’t stopped by before.

Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts, by friends, Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms, includes photographs of beautiful vintage quilts, and 10 fabulous quilt patterns inspired by antique quilts! Personally, I tend to lean toward larger pieces, but these small pieces have me reconsidering.  I was instantly drawn to Homeward Bound, a quilt that was pieced in solid blues and black.

It’s stunning, and I wanted to make a project inspired by it, so I decided to tackle a slightly smaller quilt, while still using small pieces.  This way I could make use of the tips included in the book, and not be scared off of small pieces!

My piece measures 16 1/2″ square and I think it will become a pillow cover in the next couple of weeks. Aside from the fact that the pieces are little, it’s simple piecing, and not difficult to manage.  In fact, I found myself enjoying the project, with just a few blocks to create!  All the patterns have clear and concise instructions, and often there’s tips for keeping the hundreds (or thousands!) of pieces organized, while working on your project.  Mary Elizabeth and Biz also talk you through some of the challenges you might face while piecing your tiny pieces.


Would you like to win a copy of Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts?  Here’s your chance!

Tell me the smallest HST unit you’ve made to date.  Mine is 1″ finished!

For an extra entry, use the Facebook and Twitter buttons at the bottom of this post to share this post with friends – just leave an extra comment for each.

Also, you can visit Mary Elizabeth, here for more great giveaways that are super handy when piecing small quilts.

Next week, visit Super Goof for another first hand look into this fantastic book.

Fabrics used in my sample are by AdornIt!

I’ll select a winner on Friday, August 24th, 2012 – Good luck!


By |2017-02-06T09:18:21-06:00August 20th, 2012|give away, review|119 Comments


  1. Penny G August 20, 2012 at 4:31 am

    I haven’t made a really small HST – I think I did a 2 inch for a project where I was using up scraps.

  2. marjorie August 20, 2012 at 4:38 am

    would love this book…not sure how small I’ve done..been doing a lot of them lately in the RTQAL…probably 2.5″
    Thanks Amy

  3. Jane Brown August 20, 2012 at 4:40 am

    My smallest was 3/4″ finished. Never again.

  4. Gill August 20, 2012 at 4:48 am

    My smallest was 2″ finished!

  5. Captain StitchyPants August 20, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Oooh, that looks like a great book! I’m a very new quilter (I’ve only been at it a couple of months), so I haven’t actually made any HST yet!

  6. Jackie August 20, 2012 at 5:14 am

    My smallest was 1″ as well. Can’t imagine going smaller!

  7. Johanna August 20, 2012 at 5:33 am

    So far, my smallest is 7/8″. I love working with little pieces!

  8. Michele August 20, 2012 at 5:37 am

    I have done that small too, 1″ finished, but I have a book of really mini minis that I want to try. Thanks for the chance to win.

  9. Jamie Cooley August 20, 2012 at 5:42 am

    I’m not sure, but since I did a lot of the Farmer’s Wife blocks some were probably 1-1.5 inches. Thanks!

  10. Debbie-Esch House Quilts August 20, 2012 at 5:45 am

    That quilt blue and black quilt is fantastic! Not sure how small my smallest HST is, but not very :) Probably 2″

  11. Becky in Georgia August 20, 2012 at 5:58 am

    I think the smallest HST’s I’ve made were 2 inches. There were millions of them. Thanks for hosting this giveaway! Love new quilting books!

  12. Pat August 20, 2012 at 6:10 am

    I think my smallest HST finished at about 1 1/4 inch, there were many of them, in various sizes, in a Biblical blocks sampler quilt that is currently (still) in the hand-quilting hoop. This one has been 15 years in the making – would like to say it’ll be finished this year, but that isn’t really likely as there are many large setting triangles still to quilt …

  13. Amy G August 20, 2012 at 6:19 am

    The smallest is 1 1/2 but intrigued to go smaller.

  14. Beulah August 20, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Just this summer I have started taking advantage of all my scraps and HST….the smallest finished units I have at the moment are 3/4 of an inch. I prefer to work with finished units in the 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 inch range. The smaller finished units I am saving for a mixed media project.

    Now if I could only turn back time and retrieve all of the fabric scraps I have tossed out over the years……

  15. Karen August 20, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Well I made two Dear Jane quilts and I’m pretty sure there were some finished 1/2 inch hst’s in them but not positive, I would have to get the quilts out to measure.

  16. Maria do Carmo Pezzuto August 20, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Tenho como prova viva da insanidade uma colcha de 2.00×2.40 hexágonos de 1cm.toda em branco e com uma paisagem copiada de um gráfico de ponto-cruz,aplicada por cima também com mini hexágonos,dois anos trabalhando só com ela.IMPAGÁVEL,você não acha?Obrigada.

  17. craftytammie August 20, 2012 at 6:31 am

    i made two pinwheel blocks with scraps, the HST are 1 1/4″.

  18. Kelsey August 20, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I think my smallest has been 2.5 inches but some day I’d like to go smaller!

  19. Alison August 20, 2012 at 6:42 am

    I think I have made approximately 1 inch finished in the Civil War quilt-along from Barbara Brackman.

  20. Melinda August 20, 2012 at 6:52 am

    I am afraid of small pieces! I have probably done 1 inch finished, but I paper pieced them because I was scared!

  21. charlotte maxwell August 20, 2012 at 7:00 am

    I think 1 1/2 inch is the smallest I’ve made. Smaller? Hmmmm…

  22. Staci August 20, 2012 at 7:09 am

    I think 1 inch is the smallest I have made, too. I’m doing a Farmer’s Wife Sampler and there are lots of teeny little hst’s in it.
    Thanks for a chance at this lovely book!

  23. KatieQ August 20, 2012 at 7:11 am

    The smallest HST I have made was 1.5 inches finished. Your Homeward Bound triangle square will make a great pillow top.

  24. Jenny August 20, 2012 at 7:16 am

    I must admit I am not a fan of HST!! I probably have done no smaller than 2.5!! would love a copy ofthis book! thanks for a chance.

  25. Becky Greene August 20, 2012 at 7:19 am

    I feel so inferior – ha ha!! My smallest is prabably 2.5 inches.

  26. Becky Greene August 20, 2012 at 7:20 am
  27. Cecilia August 20, 2012 at 7:21 am

    My smallest was a 2″ finished. I like the fabrics you used in your project. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this interesting book.

  28. Snoodles August 20, 2012 at 7:25 am

    The book looks wonderful! I’m a bit of a coward about HSTs….the smallest I have done was 2inches finished!

  29. Jill August 20, 2012 at 7:36 am

    My smallest HST was also 1′ finished. Thanks for the chance to win, the book looks really fun!

  30. Dawn Hollingsworth August 20, 2012 at 7:39 am

    My smallest finished at 2″ and I thought that was tough enough. However, I have seen some really wonderful tiny quilt projects I would love to try :) Thanks for the giveaway! Good Luck, Everyone!!

  31. Dawn Hollingsworth August 20, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Re-tweeted to my friends! :)

  32. Dawn Hollingsworth August 20, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Shared on facebook :)

  33. Flaun August 20, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I did 1″ square, too, with really great results, much to my surprise. I was worried…

  34. Linda Winters August 20, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I guess my smallest has been more like 1 1/2″.

  35. Faye August 20, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I’ve never gone tiny with HST, but I think I’m ready to try! (The smallest I’ve done is probably 5″ finished, so not very small at all). I was looking at a vintage quilt that I have just this weekend and thinking about all the tiny piecing that went into it (whole quilt is made up of tiny squares smaller than 1″) and thinking that it was time for me to try something ambitious like that!

  36. Cindy Sharp August 20, 2012 at 8:11 am

    That looks like an amazing book. I’d love to win it.

    As to tiny hsts….it isn’t polite to measure….I have no idea. I tend to make what I need to complete whatever I am working on. Don’t look back. It is too scary.

  37. Lynne August 20, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I love small pieces. I made some quilt block magnets that were about 1 1/4″ finished. I can’t remember the size of the HST, but it’s fun to make small pieced things. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  38. Nurseli August 20, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I think mine was also 2″ finished. Maybe I’ll try something smaller for a small project.

  39. Sonia B August 20, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I made some super tiny HSTs for some star points . . . 1″ or 3/4″, but not very many. Thanks for the chance.

  40. Susan B August 20, 2012 at 8:19 am

    i’m not sure, but think smallest was 2″ finished. What a great giveaway. thanks so much!!!

  41. Nicole @ Patchwork Duck Designs August 20, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I’ve made a bunch of 1.5 inch HSTs for a pieced border…it turned out great, but I’m not going to repeat that process again!

  42. Lisa Marie August 20, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I have done lots of HSTs that are 1 1/2″ finished. I’ve probably made the occasional smaller one for specific projects but lost my mind and can’t remember. LOL

  43. Robin (RsIslandCrafts) August 20, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I’ve made 1″ finished HSTs also. They were fun other than the ironing. Definitely need one of those little applique irons to make those easier.

  44. Carolyn @ Sweetboaterchick August 20, 2012 at 8:55 am

    My smallest HST’s that I have made are 1 inch. I actually take many of my triangle scraps and sew them together as breaks in larger projects and put them into a bin. I have a nice scrappy collection of HST’s growing.

  45. Linda August 20, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Hello! the smallest I’ve used are 1.5″,working toward 1″ – I save most of my scraps in a basket. Love the small-piecing! Beautiful book-thank you for a chance to win it!

  46. Linda August 20, 2012 at 9:09 am
  47. Stephanie Zito August 20, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Oh this book looks wonderful!!!! The smallest HST I’ve done would probably have to be 3″ finished. Thanks for the incredible giveaway!!!

  48. Elizabeth Johnson August 20, 2012 at 9:19 am

    My smallest to date are 1″. I love working with HST.

  49. Judi August 20, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Surprisingly I haven’t done any HST’s. I am planning to though … sometime very soon. So many great layouts! Would love the book!

  50. Judi August 20, 2012 at 9:25 am
  51. Miss Nancy August 20, 2012 at 9:51 am

    My smallest HST is 1″ finished. My tip is to press the seams open, eliminates the bulk. Thank you for this giveaway.

    Have a super great sewing and stitching day!

  52. Nathania August 20, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I can’t remember the size of the HST, but it’s fun to make small pieced things. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  53. Lori Smanski August 20, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I just finished my first baby quilt month and a half ago that used first ever sewn HSTs. After quilted they where 3″ big.
    I would love to win. Thanks for the chance.

  54. Kate Brown August 20, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I am thinking that 2.5″ is the smallest I have made.

  55. Steph August 20, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I definitely haven’t done HSTs that were anywhere near as impressive as yours – I think mine were probably around 3″ finished!

  56. Alexandra Abarca August 20, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I haven’t made a really small HST. Probably 3″.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Costa Rica

  57. Queenie Believe August 20, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Oh about 15 years ago I had a line of teddy bears I created that were quilter bears. The dressed bears sat with a quilt in a hoop hand quilting their latest creations. As I recall I think the smallest HST was about 3/8″ finished. Loads of spray starch, short stitch length, 1/8″ seam allowances, and a sz 8 needle on the machine. A totaly labor of love.
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

  58. Shelley N. August 20, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I’ve been doing a lot of Farmer’s Wife blocks lately so I’ll say 1″ finished. Fun to work in different sizes.

  59. Erin August 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

    2″ inches would be my smallest I have attempted.

  60. Gretchen F August 20, 2012 at 11:12 am

    2 inches, I think. I can’t think of any smaller.

  61. Tamie August 20, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I don’t know the smallest HST but I’m sure it wasn’t smaller than a couple of inches. I love your pillow cover and the quilt that inspired it.

  62. Barbara Orozco August 20, 2012 at 11:23 am

    My smallest HSTs were 1.5″ finished, but I made it an easy one using the Wondercut Ruler… ;-)
    I even made Quarter Square Triangles from the leftovers, they finished ad 1.25″, but that was way too crazy.

  63. Billie K August 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I think it must have been 1.5.

  64. CathyH August 20, 2012 at 11:53 am

    One inch, finished half square triangles. They were bonus triangles from another project.

  65. Sara Amerine August 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I think the smallest I’ve used are 2 or 3″. I’m just starting to work with them.

  66. audrey August 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    The smallest units I’ve ever worked with are 1 1/4″ and wowsers was that small for me! I would love to win this book!

  67. Lucy D August 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I had to go measure…they are 5/8ths of an inch! I was trimming the zillions off to flip and sew, so sewed these as I went and used them for a border on a different quilt.

  68. GG Bocchino August 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Thank you for your warm welcome & invite to snoop around!
    I know I made a 2″ HSQ & I saw an order form requesting the 1″, 1.5″, 1.75″ sizes of HST on a roll. I don’t seem to recall making the smaller ones yet but would be interested in trying- Especially if a won a book.

  69. Iris Fitzpatrick August 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    The smallest is 1.5″ from scraps. I would love to start another project with small piecing. Thanks for the chance to win.

  70. ritainalaska August 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    my smallest hst was 2 inches, not so small! but i’m ambitious and have plans to make pillows, placemats, candle mats, mug rugs, coasters and any other small pieces. this book would be a big help towards my working my nnew small pieces. thanx for the chance to win a copy.

  71. ritainalaska August 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    i’ve shared to my fb page:!/rita.goshorn

  72. barbara woods August 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    i would love to win that thank you

  73. Jenny C August 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I haven’t been quilting long – and not many triangles in my work to date. I would love for this to change!
    Thanks for a chance to win.

  74. Robin D. August 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I haven’t done too many triangle-based quilt projects, and not any that are very small. My smallest HST project (still unfinished) is about 2.5″. This book looks amazing and inspirational! Thanks for the giveaway!

  75. Jennie P. August 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I haven’t done alot of small stuff yet. The smallest I’ve made so far is 3 inch finished.

  76. Kathie August 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I’d love to win this book :-)! The smallest HST I’ve seen is 2 in.

  77. Jeanne in Ohio August 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Cool book! The smallest HSTs I make finish at 1 inch. I may be nuts but I’m not crazy!

  78. Amy C August 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    My smallest HST was 2 inches. Recently tried equilateral (60*) triangles and think I will stick to HST’s!!!! Super giveaway!

  79. chelsea August 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I love the block you made, it’s a great riff on the granny square. The tiniest hsts I’ve ever made were ½”! Way too small to tackle again.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  80. Linda in NC August 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    This book is definitely on my wish list.

    The smallest HST I’ve used in a project finished at 1″. I have a short stack of HST that would finish at 1/2″, but they are waiting for more friends to be made. And waiting. And waiting….

  81. Tricia August 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    My smallest half square triangle were 3/4″.

  82. Monica August 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    The smallest HST I’ve done is 1″.

  83. Amanda August 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    my smallest finished at half an inch. It was a bit crazy, but I only had to make 24 or so for one spot in an entire quilt. And the finish was worth it.

  84. Shari August 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    My smallest HST is 1.5″. At the moment I’m making 4″ HST – very lovely size to work with. This book looks intriguing and challenging.

  85. Kristin M August 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I think probably 1.5″ or so. I have done some small quilts but it has been awhile.

  86. Julie August 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    The smallest I’ve made would be about 1 1/4 inch strips. And that was awhile ago.

  87. margaret August 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    My smallest must be 3/4 or 7/8. There are some small hst’s in Dear Jane but you should check out Nearly Insane or Just Plain Nuts. Don’t we all love a challenge!

  88. HopeTN August 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I love using little pieces of fabric. My smallest HST unit to-date is half an inch finished. I’ve also done a block with a half-inch finished quarter-square triangle unit. Great fun!

  89. Beth T. August 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    My smallest hst so far is 1.5 inches. Best advice I received was to round up from the 7/8th measurements and then trim it.

  90. Beth T. August 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm
  91. Diann Cornell August 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Not so small-I would guess 2″ finished.

  92. Carmen August 20, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I’m a beginner and really haven’t worked with small pieces yet.

  93. MarciaW August 20, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I’ve attempted to make HST which turned out wonky … at about 1 inch down to 3/4 inch. Boy, is it difficult to keep these square and uniform size when sewing. Now, I don’t know what to do with them! If “square” them up, there wont’ be anything left to sew together. That is why I need this book! Thanks for the chance.

  94. Janet August 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Probably 1 inch is the smallest I’ve done too. I love working with small bits though.

  95. Deborah August 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    I have not made a hst project. I found one online that I would like to make. I even have some of the hst cut out. That is as far as I have gotten. I think its final size will be a small table center piece mat. Not sure…see how it goes.

    homemakerhoney @gmail .com

  96. Deborah August 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Shared on Facebook.

    homemakerhoney @gmail .com

  97. Deborah August 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm


    homemakerhoney @gmail .com

  98. […] I think that’s it for today – don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts! […]

  99. Jessica August 21, 2012 at 5:03 am

    My smallest would probably be 1″, they are leftover triangles from X and + blocks that I made into HST, I haven’t trimmed them yet but they are tiny!

  100. Amanda Rose August 21, 2012 at 5:17 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever made a really small one before!

  101. Vicki@Hitch&Thread August 21, 2012 at 5:24 am

    I’ve done some little ones at 7/8″ but I’ve plans for some 1/2″ ones too!

  102. Helena Villarquide August 21, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Hola! By first time with you.And I don’t speak english,only a bit.
    No hago aun quilts de piezas muy pequeñas, pero voy a empezar uno con nine patch de 1″. Los de este libro me parecen preciosos y quiero hacer muchos más.
    A big kiss for you and I promisse to come by here many times more.

  103. Mary on Lake Pulaski August 21, 2012 at 7:40 am

    My smallest was also one inch finished. Great book!

  104. Kate August 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

    My smallest was 1″ finished. Really want to try making something with little pieces and I think her tips will really help!

  105. A.J. Dub (Amy) August 21, 2012 at 10:28 am

    My smallest hst was 1/2″ finished I think, but I used Thangles to help with the piecing. I used them for a Christmas ornament for a swap.

  106. Mary Elizabeth Kinch August 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    […] This weeks’ blog book tour stop is Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side.  Amy is an author, prolific blogger, founder of the online Blogger’s Quilt Festival, and co-founder of The Sewing Summit a modern sewing and blogging conference being held this October 11 – 13th in Salt Lake City. […]

  107. Patty August 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    The smallest ones I have done were 2 inches.

  108. Sew Very Sherry August 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    The smallest HST I made was a 2″ sq. It seemed like I made a million of them though in a queen size blue wave quilt.

  109. Kris Searle August 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I think my smallest HST’s were 1 1/2″. I love making small quilts, but have not tackled miniatures yet.

  110. Miriam August 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    My smallest hst were 1 inch finished. I am usually a hand stitcher, so I challenged myself to sew that little quilt by machine, Lets just say I still need practice in that area! Lol
    Thank you and Elizabeth for the opportunity to win this great book.

  111. CherylK August 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Great giveaway; this book has been on my wishlist! I think my smallest HST’s were 1 1/2″ finished.

  112. Deb August 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Actually not sure the size…just guessing maybe 2″.

  113. Ginny Worden August 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    My smallest half square triangle is 1/2 inch finished, I used triangle paper,it was part of a challenge, and made a small doll quilt, bear’s paw design. I still enjoy seeing it.

  114. Michele August 22, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I did what finished to 2-inch squares for a church project – white with colored prints. All the members of the congregation put their names on the white HST. It was fun and everyone in the church liked the way the squares were all different but similar.

  115. Zuzan August 23, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I have lots of little scraps which I have kept because I thought perhaps make hexies. Then I like HST esp the flying geese so thought could use for those.

    But couldn’t really say that I have sewn small HST more the size of Turnovers. But I love the designs in this book, especially the cover which make them doable. So now I am ready for a new venture.

    I do like miniatures.

  116. Carol Sc August 23, 2012 at 8:01 am

    The smallest half-square triangles I have made finished at 3/4″ — I think I questioned my sanity after making them!

  117. Teresa August 23, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I’ve never managed 1″ but have used 2″.

  118. Anna August 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I am very new to quilting, but a long time sewer. I actually just finished my 1st, and onto my 2nd. My quilts are basic, but would love the chance to learn how to make smaller ones. Thanks for the chance to win!

  119. Jantine Urban August 24, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I think the smallest were about 7/8″. It was only a doll quilt, or I wouldn’t have been able to cope

Comments are closed.