Small Piecing with Chawne Kimber and Olfa {sponsored post and giveaway}

A few week ago, I had the privilege to take a Small Piecing class from Chawne Kimber. When she posts pictures of her small pieces on Instagram, I am amazed while also thinking she’s just a bit crazy. How does she piece so small!?!

Despite feeling I would never be able to make something so small (or I would be pulling my hair out by the end of the day), I ended up LOVING small piecing and feel the exercise has changed how I see my scraps. (No, I don’t want to keep them all but I do see scale differently.)

Here is what I made:

One of the important components to small piecing is accurate and small fabric strips. (At one point, we were cutting 3/4″ strips…) Since Chawne’s class gave me the small piecing bug, I knew I would need to cut all.the.tiny.strips!

Enter OLFA

Having grown up with a mother who sews, quilts and makes garments, I saw firsthand the importance of quality tools and purchased OLFA products since the beginning of my sewing journey. Their blades cut accurately and the cutters have the perfect weight to cut yet not fatigue your hand.
When OLFA asked if I wanted to try the new 45mm Endurance™ Rotary Blade12” x 17” Folding Cutting Mat , and Splash Rotary Cutter, I knew they would be perfect additions to my collection.

Since blades are super sharp blades are invaluable when cutting pieces, I prefer to buy the brand name replacements. I’m excited to see how long the new Endurance Blade lasts. According to OLFA, the blade is made of expertly honed tungsten tool steel designed to cut twice as long as standard OLFA blades. I love that the new blades will fit any OLFA cutters!

The Splash Rotary Cutter might have had me with its purple color. (I mean… come on… you all know I LOVE purple!) Once I stop admiring the color, I played with its quick blade change feature and tested the Endurance Blade for it’s ability to cut through six quilting cotton fat quarters. The blade passed with flying colors! 

Last but not least, I was intrigued by the Foldable Cutting Mat. The OLFA 24″ x 36″ mat sits on my cutting table so would the small size one be as durable? The answer is most definitely yes! Despite being light and portable, the mat is sturdy, thick and self healing. I even tried cutting directly on the folded area with success. 

Here are a few ways that the mat bends:

You can get these tools and more at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores and at other quality fine quilt shops.

What did I make with my new cutting tools? A mini courthouse steps quilt block! If my quilts start getting smaller, I’m blaming Chawne!

If you plan to attend AQS QuiltWeek®, one of the largest quilting events in the world, on April 27 and 28 you check out OLFA’s pop-up trail tent outside the National Quilt Museum. While testing the new 45MM Endurance™ Rotary Blade, QuiltWeek goers will be able to participate in a special project to benefit Quilts for Kids, a non-profit organization whose mission is transforming fabrics into patchwork quilts for children in need.

Want a chance to win a one-of-a-kind quilting adventure for two? Starting April 17, visit to enter to win OLFA’s Quilt Cruise Sweepstakes*.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Sweepstakes starts April 17, 2017 12 p.m. CST and ends at 7/15/17 11:59:59 PM CT. Must be a legal resident of 50 US/DC and at least 18 years of age. For Official Rules, including how to enter, prize details and restrictions, visit Prize includes transportation to cruise departure port. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: OLFA, NA distributed by World Kitchen, LLC, 9525 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Suite 300 Rosemont, IL 60018

**I received products in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are 100% my own.**


Would you like to win your own 45mm Endurance Blade and Splash Rotary Cutter. Leave a comment below about a technique you want to try. Would it be small piecing? Free motion quilting? I would love to hear about it! The giveaway ends Friday, March 31st at 6pm pacific time.

Comments 47

  1. I would really like to try improv piecing and piecing more curves like in the drunkards path blocks. How’s that for mixing modern and traditional? I’m inspired by your minis. Wow, those are small pieces. Thanks for sharing about the olfa blades. I’m intrigued about their longevity and sharpness.

  2. I’d like to learn better precision cutting and sewing so that my piecing can be more accurate. Love Olfa❤

  3. I would like to try quilt as you go again. I did it a few years ago and loved it but for some reason have not revisited it. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  4. It’s hard to pick what technique I would like to try because I want to try them all! Thread painting, English paper piecing, gelli printing, fabric painting, making things with selvedges (already started collecting for this!). You name it I want to dabble in it 🙂

  5. Tiny piecing and me would be a miracle! I’d love to be able to do it but so far no luck. I’d also like to try free motion fear free……I’m chicken.

  6. I’d love to try curved piecing but am terrified of it for some reason! I just love drunkards path quilts though so I better man up and give it a go!

  7. I’d love to try small piece quilting. I’m just starting to learn paper piecing by sewing a few mug rugs it’s more fun than I expected!

  8. I have wanted to try miniature piecing for some time. Our local fair has miniatures as one of the categories to enter, but alas, I have never had a mini to enter. Your blocks turned out great, especially the pineapple one! Thanks for sharing an awesome giveaway.

    1. Post


      You are the winner! I’m sending you an email now but let me know if you don’t receive it. Thank you!


  9. I would love to try my hand at some more embroidery stitches. I know a few simple ones, but I’d like to learn more. You’re courthouse steps is so cute I may also need to try some small piecing.

  10. Well I guess FMQing properly has been for ages in my endless list of Things to achieve. I should overcome my fears of messing my “pretty quilt tops” anytime now. There I said it. Xx

  11. I share a 700 sqft condo with my partner and commute 2-3 hours a day so space, time, and energy are huge limitations for me. I would like to give applique a try as a quiet and relaxing sewing hobby. Or hand quilting, but I would have to finish a quilt top in order to do that.

  12. I have so many scraps I love that little blocks would be fun but I really want to get a handle on free motion quilting.

  13. These new rotary blades sound terrific! I’m working on free motion quilting, what a long road that is! I’m really intrigued with small piecing and would like to tackle that skill. Sounds like fun and I sure have plenty of scraps to use!

  14. I need to get up the courage to learn to fmq. I keep buying fabric when I have plenty of UFO’s that I need to finish.

  15. Well, I suck a FMQ, so I have to say I would like to learn somehow.
    I just got a new rotary cutter and bought one of those blades, cant wait to try it on something special

  16. I would love to try FMQ – I usually Stitch in the Ditch and straight lines – have been nervous to try FMQ. Love my OLFA cutters!! Would love to win a new Endurance Blade!

  17. I think I would like to try mini piecing. I have been working on free motion quilting on my home sewing machine.

  18. I found out a long time ago that Olfa makes wonderful products. I would love to try one of the new blades. I have also recently started doing mini piecing and this tool would probably help a lot. Thanks!

  19. I have not felt brave enough to retry paper piecing. I tried it once and made a mess! Never tried again. Everyone says it is so easy!

  20. There’s a whole lot of acronyms happening here and I don’t know what any of them mean – lol! I would just like to start my first quilt. I bought some fabric on a family vacation in Hawaii, found a pattern, and set up a sewing ‘corner’. It’s all a bit daunting and I haven’t summoned up the courage yet to actually start, but soon …

  21. I would love to try out your endurance blade on the quilt I am planning to make for my oldest grandchild’s high school graduation that he can take with him to college in August.

  22. Your little blocks are delightful! One technique that I plan to try soon is to incorporate some wool felting into small quilts. I know nothing about felting yet, but I’ve got my eye on some gorgeous wool roving, and would love to use it as an embellishment. Thanks so much for the chance to win this cutter and blade!

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