On Parade Mini Quilt Pattern

on parade mini quilt
The innocent joy of childhood captured in the On Parade embroidery pattern by Sarah Jane is irresistible. I designed this simple mini quilt using Sarah Jane’s Children at Play collection to complement the mood of the embroidery and give it a proper way to be displayed. And it gives me a reason to put it somewhere where I’ll be able to look at it often. This pattern could really be used to feature any embroidery, cross-stitch, fabric painting, collage of vintage buttons, whatever. Follow along to make your very own.

finished size: 20” x 16”

materials & cutting:

  •  On Parade embroidery pattern & coordinating DMC floss
  • background: 1/2 yard white solid
    • cut an 18” square for embroidery
    • of the remaining white, cut 42, 2-1/2” squares–14 for setting squares, 28 for pinwheels
  • pinwheels: 1/8 yard or scraps at least 3″ x 6″, of each of 14 prints
    • cut 2, 2-1/2” squares each of 14 prints
  • inner border: 1/8 yard Racer Stripe in Coral
    • cut 2, 1” strips
      • subcut into 2, 10” strips and 2, 14” strips
  • outer border & binding: 1/4 yard Racer Stripe in Aqua
    • cut 2, 1 ½” strips, subcut into 2, 21” strips and 2, 17” strips
    • cut 2, 2” strips for binding
  • backing: 1/2 yard or fat quarter or scraps to piece
  • batting: 17″ x 21″ piece

Our On Parade Mini Quilt Kits have all of these supplies conveniently gathered for you, including a print-out of the following instructions.

Center panel
Embroider the On Parade pattern onto the 18″ white square, following it’s instructions and included color guide. Center the design and trim to 9″ x 13″.

Make the pinwheels
Pair each print square up with a white square to make 56 half-square triangles.
on parade mini quilt
For a refresher on how to make half-square triangles, visit our HST Quilt Tutorial.
on parade mini quilt
You will have 14 sets of 4. Sew each set into a 4-patch.
on parade mini quilt
Be sure to keep the pinwheels going the same direction as you put them together. Mine all “spin” to the right. Right? Is that they way they’d go if they were real? Regardless, they all face the same way. Square pinwheel blocks up to 2 ½”.
on parade mini quilt
Since these pieces are so small, it’s much easier to make this block bigger and then square it up to 2 ½” than to worry about not stretching things while making the pinwheels. Set these aside until you’ve sewn the first border on.

Attach the first border
on parade mini quilt
I like to cut my borders longer than they need to be and trim them up once they are attached so that I know everything is nice and square. Start about 1/2″ in from the border end when attaching it. Sew the 10” strips to the short sides of the center panel first, square them up, then sew the 14” strips to the top and bottom and square up.

Attach the pinwheel border
on parade mini quilt
For the side pinwheel borders, sew 3 white squares and 3 pinwheels together in alternating order, with whites on the ends. For the top and bottom pinwheel borders, sew 5 pinwheels and 4 white squares together in alternating order with pinwheels on the ends. This time the border lengths will match the sides exactly. Sew the short pinwheel borders to the sides, then attach the long pinwheel borders to the top and bottom.

Attach the last border
on parade mini quilt
In the same way you attached the first border, sew on the aqua stripe border. Short strips to sides, square up, then long strips to top and bottom, and square up.
on parade mini quilt

Prepare quilt sandwich
I pieced the back out of random Children At Play scraps. Whatever you use, trim it to 18″ x 22″.
on parade mini quilt
You may want to use white batting rather than cream so the whites on the front of the quilt will stay bright white. Layer your quilt sandwich and baste. I used 505 Temporary Adhesive spray (my favorite method).

on parade mini quilt
For quilting, I started by stitching in the ditch of each border seam.  With a walking foot it was really easy to get my stitches exactly in the ditch and totally invisible, and I was quite pleased with my little old self.

Then I did minimal quilting on the panel, just a goofy line to create the ground the children are marching on, and some puffy clouds.
on parade mini quilt
I changed my mind about the white squares a few times, luckily I had my Sewline Aqua Eraser on hand.
on parade mini quilt
In the end I quilted free-motion roses, styled after the flowers in the Meadow print. These flowers have a casual hand-sketched feel. Don’t stress too much about marking or anything, just draw a few flowers on paper, and then go for it. I mimicked the pinwheel shape in the white parts of the pinwheels, and did not quilt on the printed part of the pinwheels so that they would pop out.

on parade mini quilt
Trim & bind
Trim the batting & back to match the quilt top, squaring up as necessary in the process. Because this quilt is so small, you can make the binding especially thin. With 2” strips I was able to attach the binding to the front with a scant ¼” seam allowance, and have enough overlap on the back to catch it when I finished it by machine (stitching in the ditch from the front and catching the binding on the back). Yeah, lazy me. Can’t even do a mini quilt binding by hand. You should still always test your seam allowance on binding to make sure everything ends up where you want it.
on parade mini quilt
This quilt has made me smile more than most quilts I’ve ever made. I hope you enjoy it too!
on parade mini quilt