Hello, Friend! Welcome to
the New Year!

Of all the things I learned in 2020, the most important was that I recognized how much I APPRECIATE YOUR COMPANY! Being a One-Woman-Circus can be a lonely business, but teaching around the US and Canada before the world shut down allowed me to connect with you and other wonderful quiltmakers and recharge my soul.

While all that changed in March 2020, we figured out ways to spend some great time together. Through the Elizabeth Sew-Along, the Holiday Jewel Box class, the Treasure Hunting class, or on Facebook and Instagram, I met and was inspired by amazing makers like you. You reminded me to worry less and to choose joy more often.

Let’s keep that going! Let’s build a community of people who love gems and quilts as much as we do — a group of people with whom we can share inspiration and celebrate creativity!

photo of MJ Kinman sitting at her sewing table with Quilt

My Invitation to You

To bring us all together, I’m launching the Tiny Treasures Club. I’d love for gem-and-quilt lovers like us to come together (online) to create, learn, discuss, share and laugh with one another. Here’s the fun I have in store for us starting Friday, January 15th….

  • Mini-Block Patterns — On the 3rd Friday of each month throughout 2021, I’ll send you a link to a downloadable pattern (in PDF format) of a 6″ gemstone block. (I’ll explain a bit more about these little patterns in the section below.) So even if you live outside the US (where I live) you can be part of this adventure!
  • 2 Live Zoom Chats Each Month — After the pattern is released, we’ll jump on a live Zoom chat together. I’ll tell you about the gem that inspired the design and provide a live demonstration of the technique. You can ask me questions….and I’ll try to answer as best I can. LOL! If you can’t join us for the live event, I’ll record our conversation and post it on our private blog so that you can view it at your convenience. Then 2 weeks later, we’ll have another meet-up on Zoom during which you can show us your gems, ask questions, make suggestions, and enjoy one another’s company.
  • Give-Aways — I’ll give away cool products from some of my favorite companies. Winners will be picked based on special criteria each month (and in some months, chosen randomly). And if you’re a winner and live outside the US, I’ll do everything I can to get your prize to you ASAP!
  • Block Swaps — For those of you who want to swap your gems with other members, we’ll set up a way for you to connect with one another and share your sparkling blocks.
  • Chats With Industry Insiders — You’ll have the chance to listen in as I chat with insiders from both the quilting industry and the colored gemstone industry to find out what they’re working on and what brings them joy. In fact the first conversation will be with the amazing artist who cut the gem that has inspired our first pattern, Lisa Elser. Her work is remarkable and her story even more so. Other wonderful people we’ll get to chat with include Lyric Kinard (and the cool planner for quiltmakers she has created), Swan Sheridan (maker of the only FMQ gloves I’ll ever use), Sarah Maxwell (who will show us how we can hand-piece these blocks), and Laurie Watt (my brilliant and hilarious friend who also happens to sell some of the most gorgeous colored gemstones you’ll ever set eyes on).
  • Instagram & Private Facebook Page — We’ll all have a chance to share our progress on Instagram by posting our pictures and using the hashtag #tinytreasuresclub and on our private Facebook page.
  • Online Gallery Showcasing Your Work — Each quarter, I’ll select blocks from up to 30 club members to “hang” in an online gallery show. I’ll work hard to ensure that everyone’s work is represented throughout the year. You can view an example of what such a gallery tour might look like by watching the tour I put together to promote my book Gemstone Quilts. CLICK HERE to watch the 3-minute video.
  • One Annual Subscription Price — The annual membership fee for the Tiny Treasures Club is $95 USD. That’s just $8 a pattern, including all the other goodies that go along with them each month.

About The Patterns

I’m so excited about these little mini-gem patterns! They are so different from my giant Diamond Diva patterns, “Elizabeth” and “Catherine”! These little guys are inspired by actual gemstones, but streamlined so that most sewists can complete a project in a day. And all of you really speedy cutters and PQs (Piecing Queens) can whip one out in a morning. A PERFECT retreat project!

While you can machine-piece these little gems, you can also hand-piece them. They make great on-the-go projects. And what about doing them as an EPP project? Well, I’d like your input on that. I hope that some of you might translate these into fun little EPP projects.

And these designs are perfect stash-busters. You’ll only need a small amount of any one fabric to create your gem each month. If, however, you’re interested in making all 12 of your gems in a single colorway, you can easily do so by using just 1/2 yard of 8 fabrics — only 4 yards required in total.

Speaking of colorways, the color coding will center around VALUE, rather than color. That means you can create any color gem you want! For those of you who are new at experimenting with colorways, I want to help out by providing a variety of colorways to inspire you: Diamond, Emerald, Aquamarine, Ruby, Sapphire, and perhaps a Bi-Color Tourmaline or an Ametrine. I’ll also have videos you can watch that will show you how to “audition” fabrics based on a progression of values to give you the confidence to make your own colorful gem.

What will YOUR gem look like?

In fact, I’d love for us to create a whole new trove of gems — gems that haven’t been discovered yet, except by YOU! I’d love to know what you’ll name your gem (mine would be “Kinmanite”, of course), what color(s) it is, where it’s found (the mountains of Nepal or the dark side of the moon?), and what its special properties are.

If you want to enlarge the patterns, you’re perfectly welcome to do that, too. You can either enlarge it section by section on your home printer or you can take it to your local copy shop and blow it up even bigger. This is YOUR gem. You can do what you want with it. (I just ask that you use it for personal use and that you don’t share the pattern with others. This is after all one of the ways I keep my pups in dog kibble. 🙂 )

So many different “settings” for your gems

What can you do with your tiny treasures? Lots! Show them off in gorgeous picture frames. Use them as mug rugs. Create a piece of art that includes all 12 blocks or multiple versions of a single block. Create a bling-y pin cushion. Incorporate them into the design of a fabulous full-size modern quilt. I’ll show you examples of all of these…and I hope you’ll share your own inspiration with fellow members, too.

Inspiration gem

The design in a neutral colorway

The final Tiny Treasure block

This isn’t paper piecing!

The question I get asked most frequently is “Is this foundation paper piecing?” No! This is traditional piecing using freezer-paper as your template.  Freezer paper is an amazing product used by all kinds of crafters that adheres to fabric yet can be removed without leaving a residue.

You can print out these patterns using your home inkjet printer and either freezer paper cut into 8.5″ x 11″ sheets OR commercially-available freezer paper sheets that have already been packaged in 8.5″ x 11″ sheets.

  • You can use Reynolds Freezer Paper — or any brand you find in the grocery store — in either 15″ or 18″ rolls. I know that some freezer paper comes in brown instead of white. That’s fine! Just cut out a sheet that’s 8.5″ x 11″ to run through your printer, making sure you print on the non-plastic side. You can order individual rolls of freezer paper from Amazon.com or Target.com. And please be sure to order freezer paper — NOT wax paper or parchment paper. Neither of those products will work with this technique.
  • You can also use commercially-available packages, such as Quilter’s Freezer Paper from C&T Publishing or the freezer paper product from C. Jenkins. Please support your local quilt shop by checking to see if they carry either of these products in their store or online. If they don’t, you can find it with an online quilt retailer such as eQuilter.com. And you can always turn to Amazon.com to order. But, please keep in mind that your local quilt shop needs you more than ever these days. Thank you!
Example of freezer paper you can buy in the grocery store
Quilter’s Freezer paper Sheets (C&T Publishing) are already pre-cut
C. Jenkins also makes pre-cut sheets of freezer paper

You got this…

The second most-frequently asked question is, “Is it difficult?” Again, the answer is No! If you can put 2 pieces of fabric together with a ¼-inch seam allowance, you can make this quilt. Seriously. Here’s why:

  • Precision is not a priority with my patterns. You don’t have to worry about perfectly matched seams in my designs. Why? Because light doesn’t follow quilters’ rules. Gems couldn’t care less about the Quilt Police!
  • I write my patterns as though I’m sitting with you in your quilt studio talking with you about the pattern and the process. And the additional encouragement you’ll get during our Zoom chats will give you the confidence that you can do this.
  • A “Piece Plan” is included in the instructions. This plan tells you exactly which pieces to put together into units and sections.

A few important things to keep in mind….

Every adventure requires trust between those traveling together on the journey. Here are a few things that will be really important for you to know and agree to so that we all have a terrific time together:

  • Please do not share patterns with anyone who is not a member of the Tiny Treasures Club. If someone is interested in the pattern, by all means, share the link to this page with them and encourage them to subscribe. But as I alluded to above, this is part of how I make my living as a small business owner. Thank you for respecting that! If it does come to my attention that a member is sharing patterns with others outside the club, I’ll have to take steps to remove them as a member and block their access to the private Facebook page. They will receive no refund for the remaining patterns that have not yet been released.
  • Grow your comfort level with Zoom before joining the live chats. We’re going to have lots to talk about during our live Zoom chats so I won’t have the opportunity to help troubleshoot issues with individual members while on the Zoom chat. Of course, there’s always the opportunity to watch the video on our private YouTube channel after the fact.


Ready to join this tribe of gem and quilt lovers? Then click the button below to purchase your year-long membership now. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me via the “Get In Touch” section of my website (see the section at the very bottom right of this page). I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can. I can’t wait to get started. Shine on!