Well, I did it again. While I knew I couldn’t commit to another 365 days of stitching like last year’s One Year of Stitches embroidery project, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to jump on another daily creativity bandwagon.
I’m officially 11 days into The 100 Day Project, and my focus is on sewing smaller. So far I’ve sewn 11 tiny quilt blocks that will finish at 1 1/4″ square. I’m using the hashtag #100daysofsewsmaller on Instagram and aiming to share my progress daily.
Here is a closer look at each of my blocks thus far!
4/100 (which was also the day when I created a foundation paper pieced template for my day 11 block. I didn’t sew that one until today, but the idea was born on day 4!
6 & 7/100 – Day 6 was the day of my daughter’s First Communion & Confirmation and my family was visiting all weekend, so I got a self-granted “bye” on posting. I caught up on my birthday, day 7!
I’ve been sharing updates on both my @nightquilter feed and also @thequiltersplanner feed, since I’ve been using my Quilter’s Planner to track each block.I am making blocks that fit perfectly in each daily column on the weekly planning pages, so it works wonderfully. My planner is always open to the weekly planning pages, so it is a great way to get a visual of my week’s blocks together. Maybe for my next post I’ll show you a photo of my blocks on my personal in-use planner instead of the nice neat, clean one I have for staging photos!
I’ve been having fun taking summary photos for the QP feed, since I love creating rainbows in any way possible.
The first week of blocks
The first 10 days
Going into this project, I first imagined making the same block for 100 days, but once I started stitching them, I started to think about how many different blocks could be sewn in miniature. So then my plan morphed into 10 different blocks sewn 10 times each, alternating color and background like the first 10 blocks. It would allow me to mix up the blocks sewn, still play with color and tiny stitching, and have a pretty predictable finished 12″x12″ mini at the end of the 100 days.
Then my friend Sharon of Sharon Holland Designs shared some really wise advice:
I love how your challenge is going Kitty and how it relates to you as a quilter but also think you should let it be organic and use the 100 days to explore if needed and push yourself also if needed. Don’t get locked into a direction.
How wise is that!? What better activity than a 100 day project to use as a springboard for experimentation and stretching the limits and bounds of my creativity!? It is so ingrained in my habit to be able to visualize the end product before I begin a project, and I really think it would be a great growing experience for me to let go, give myself some very loose guidelines, and just allow myself to experiment.
So, that’s the plan. My “rules” are:
- I am only allowed to use scraps from my scrap bin, and will aim to make them using a colored scrap with a white or low volume scrap.
- I will do my best to stay current, but am allowed to work ahead up to 5 days. This (I’m hoping) will allow me to stick with it even when there are days when I know I won’t be able to get to a sewing machine. It’s my attempt at being gentle with myself while still pushing myself to stick with a habit of making.
- I have to have fun with it. If it becomes a stress or source of self-deprecating thoughts, I will stop and try again next year. The last thing I need is another “I should be able to…” thing to beat myself up over.
- and recently added: I will try NOT to plan at all, will experiment as desired, but will try to keep at least one dimension of each block at 1 1/4″ finished size.
That’s it! So far, all of my blocks are 1 3/4″, which will be 1 1/4″ finished.
I’ve worked ahead twice (once when my entire family was visiting for the weekend for my daughter’s First Communion, and once today since I know weekends are often filled with family time and not necessarily sewing time), but have stuck with the block per day format.
Most importantly, I’m having FUN! I had forgotten how giggly-fun it is to sew on a teeny tiny scale, and with lots of exciting big (albiet secret) projects going on behind the scenes, it’s really fabulous to have a little project I can sew and share daily.
I’ll leave you with a cheeky peek at the backside of my latest block, since one of the big questions I’ve gotten so far over on Instagram is “How big is your seam allowance?”. My answer: 1/4″ seam allowance, just like always. Note that so far I’ve created blocks with mostly straight joins, and I might scale a few seam allowances down to 1/8″ to decrease bulk as I experiment further, but for the most part, the 1/4″ seam works just fine!
If you’re on Instagram, you can follow my daily progress both in my Night Quilter feed or updates in The Quilter’s Planner feed. You should also be able to see my latest Instagram posts over on my right sidebar -> so keep an eye on that as well!
Until next time, I hope you have a *little* stitching fun this weekend!
14 thoughts on “The 100 Day Project: Sew Smaller”
This is so fun! I love making very-mini-blocks. 🙂 I am also a fan of paper piecing and always looking for patterns. However, at this size I think I could draft out my own PP-Patterns. Fun! Thanks so much for inspiring me.
Holy Moly!!!! Would you grade your seams? I cannot imagine trying to sew a tiny block so neatly and with insets so small.What a challenge.
I’ve always love miniature quilts and I can’t wait to see how you will incorporate these mini jewels into a project! Rainbow loveliness at its best, Kitty!
It kind of blows my mind that 100 blocks would fit in a 12″ x 12″ mini quilt…that’s a normal quilt block! I enjoy seeing these teeny little blocks pop up in my IG feed 🙂
These are amazing. But wow…they are tiny. Good luck and continue to have fun.
OMG! I can’t believe how tiny they are!! How is that even possible?!!
Love that you have one of your planners kept pristine for photo staging– and yes your blocks and their matching threads do look fabulous.
hope you had a happy birthday and continue to have fun with this project. I’m amazed!
I feel giddy just reading your post! This is so fun to watch. I love the idea of keeping it organic. How fun to see how many different blocks you can create! 😊
These are super fun, Kitty. Like little bursts of color. I look forward to seeing where your creativity takes you with the project. 🙂
Good afternoon, I am looking in your store to buy the following patterns: The 100 Day Project of Sew Smaller and also the Plant Worry pattern, Grow Hope. Both projects seem precious to me. I would very much like to be able to do them. Thank you. Belen
Hello! I have a pattern called the Sew Tiny Sampler that contains the majority of the blocks I used to make the 100 Days of Sew Smaller project. You can purchase it here: https://payhip.com/b/4n3T The Plant Worry, Grow Hope pattern is still in progress, but I will certainly share on social media when it is available. Thank you!