Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Mhairi Matheson's amazing miniature quilts

Miniature by Mhairi Matheson.  I think this was my favourite one
As part of the C&G Diploma course, the students have to make a proper miniature quilt.  This is not my area of expertise and I was delighted that Mhairi Matheson was able to visit and share some of her miniature with us at the weekend. 
Miniature(detail) by Mhairi Matheson
Mhairi loves making miniature quilts and has made over sixty.  This is no mean feat, given that it is often said that a miniature quilt takes the same amount of time to make as the equivalent full sized one.  She has made miniatures in many different styles, including foundation pieced, traditional block patchwork, appliqué and even contemporary styled quilts.  Her skill in all of these is impressive.  I can struggle to make my points match on a 12in block – she can manage to do so perfectly on a 1in one!
Group of miniatures by Mhairi Matheson
Miniature quilts for competition purposes (and Mhairi has won a fair few) have strict guidelines and it was interesting to have some of them explained.  I knew that a miniature had to look like a full sized quilt if photographed – with no sense of scale you should not be able to tell that it is tiny.  Mhairi’s quilts meet this criteria as one of the students had shown me a photo of this quilt taken at the Festival of Quilts and I hadn’t realised it was a miniature at all to start with.  However, to get this correct sense of scale, everything tends to be made on a 1/12th scale ie a full sized 12in quilt block should be made as a 1in block.  So a 2in quilt block would not be generally be considered a miniature as you don’t tend to get 24in full sized quilt blocks. 
Miniature by Mhairi Matheson

Miniature (detail) by Mhairi Matheson, showing the foiling on the trees

Mhairi’s enthusiasm was contagious and even the mini-sceptics amongst us were (almost!) converted after seeing all of her wonderful work.  Can't wait ti see what the students now make.  
Miniature by Mhairi Matheson
Remember when looking at these photos that none of these quilts is bigger than 12in (30cm) square and that any wonky angles are due to my photography rather than Mhairi's making.

Miniature by Mhairi Matheson

Miniature by Mhairi Matheson

Miniature (detail) by Mhairi Matheson

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