My Mini Challenge Quilt Design Process

In today’s post, I’ll be sharing my creative process behind the making of a mini quilt for Curated Quilts’ Paper Pieced Mini Quilts Challenge. 

Curated Quilts frequently hosts mini quilt challenges for inclusion in their quarterly journal. (Link to the original call for submissions and to the Issue 22 of the CQ Journal.)

The final piece was to be a square quilt, 10″ x 10″ up to 16″ x 16″, made in the inspirational color palette (shown below). A theme of SYMMETRY was also provided. 

Inspirational Color Palette
a stack of cotton quilting fabric fat quarters in light pink, pale yellow, light blue, pink, orange, and dark blue
The inspirational color pallete colors are Moda Bella colors in aqua, pale pink, peony, mango, sunflower, and Prussian blue.
The Theme
a photograph of a quilt consisting of different bridge truss types

I pulled and modified a couple of truss bridge types from this large quilt I made a few years ago, based on my career in construction and engineering. (Note to self: post the background story of this lovely quilt in the near future.) 

I’ve always been a fan of symmetry, so the theme of the challenge was easy for me to incorporate into a design.


The Design & Mock Up
a digital mock up of a mini quilt design with different types of bridge trusses

I created this mock up using the inspirational color palette. The small size of the piece meant I had to make economical use of my design elements. 

Giving myself the nod of approval, I printed out the foundation paper piecing templates and got to work!

Backing Fabric
a mini quilt design with different types of bridge trusses and swatch of bright floral fabric

Choosing the backing for wall quilts is less challenging for me than for utility quilts.


Utility quilts (of a snuggleable size) mean the backing of the quilt will be seen on a regular basis. As the quilt is tossed over yourself or the back of the couch, the backing fabric peeks out and makes a statement of its own.


For wall quilts, they aren’t usually handled and/or snuggled; they are displayed and admired from a stationary location, viewed from the front side only. 

So, I found a piece of scrap fabric of the print I used for the original quilt, saw it matched my new mini quilt fairly well, and said “close enough, let’s do this!”.

The Quilting Design
a mini quilt design with different types of bridge trusses and a grid crosshatch quilting pattern

Pulling from my undying love of graph paper, I decided on a half inch (1/2″) grid pattern for the quilting pattern.

The Prussian blue background with a light blue quilting thread created the effect of a real blueprinted technical drawing!

Finishing the Piece With Facing
back of a quilt with bright floral fabric and a grid crosshatch quilting design

I decided against adding a binding as I felt it would distract from the overall design, so I used a facing technique to finish the edges, adding corner pockets (Here’s a link to the tutorial I use). The piece finished at approximately 15.5 inches square.

The Final Product
a mini quilt design with different types of bridge trusses and a grid crosshatch quilting pattern

After having focused on utility size quilts in recent months (lap size and larger) I enjoyed the quick finish of this process. 

I definitely foresee creating and designing more mini quilts in my future!!