MINIATURE QUILTS ranging from a simple pieced work by a 91-year-old New York woman to an innovative 1/2-inch-thick wood square by a California woman are on display beginning today at Recollections, 10400 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda. The show runs through April 4.

Many of the pieces use the traditional calicoes, cottons and muslins. Owner Joan Farrell says that although the turnout was wonderful, she had hoped to get more unconventional quilts. "Next time we do this," she says, "we're going to specify 'no calicoes allowed.' "

All the quilts are for sale, ranging in price from $20 to $500. Prices are set by the artists.

Starting last summer, Recollections owner Joan Farrell invited quilters from around the country to exhibit their miniatures. The exhibited items had to be pieced and could be quilted, applique'd or embellished with ribbon, lace, buttons, etc. The length of all sides added together could not exceed more than 12 feet. Recollections is a local quilting center known for its collection of calicoes and quilting supplies. Recollections will be carrying miniature patterns for doll-house quilts, coasters, wall hangings, Christmas ornaments and children's quilts.

Larry Bonham, the only man to submit a quilt, made a bold colored 24-inch calico square. The striking design is composed of a circle of red hearts that form a star in the center. The hearts are pieced onto the light blue floral background.

An especially attractive quilt was put together by Nancy Herman of Pennsylvania using satin strips and the same Liberty floral print in different color waves. Measuring 36 by 36 inches, the light blue and light green colors of the Liberty prints are matched by the correspondingSee QUILTS, Page 2, Col. 5 Miniature Marvel QUILTS, From Page 1 colored satin strips. A 24-inch-square quilt by Betty Cannon of Ohio depicts the "Little Piggy" nursery rhyme, as in "This little piggy goes to market . . ." Cannon used a pink pig motif, which she stenciled, handpainted and quilted along the edge of the quilt.

A contemporary-style square in leather, suede and wool was made by Betty Lynch of Pennsylvania. The suede diamond center of the 21-inch-square pops up. The entire piece is bordered by a traditional flying geese pattern.

Another rather modern piece is Diane Ruble's abstract aqua blue-and-white square. The piece is one-third white and two-thirds blue and white. Ruble uses the seminole patchwork technique in the blue-and-white area, giving it the feel of waves. It measures 29 inches square.

One of the more unusual miniatures was an odd-shaped piece backed by an orange frame titled "Rocks That Wouldn't Stay Grey." The work looked more like an aerial view of a golf course than a quilt. It was made of green corduroy islands surrounded by brown corduroy paths. Buttons of every different size and color adorn the island. Someone suggested that the piece, made by Nancy Smeltzer of Columbia, Md. might even depict the city of Columbia itself.

A couple of the quilts had an Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch quality about them--bold, colorful designs that use solid blocks instead of printed calicoes. Lisa Gladden's purple, blue and green miniature was particularly striking. The 36-inch piece had a blue and purple square in the center, reminiscent of antique Amish quilts, according to Joan Farrell.

Barbara Lee of Connecticut made a miniature with a rather scary-looking baby in a pink-and-white bonnet. The baby has beady little eyes offset by curling lashes. The 39-by-33-inch work is quilted.

Virginia artist Betty Faries used 1880 fabric trim in her pieced work. The green-and-red calico quilt is made of nine broken star patterns with a flying geese border.

One miniature was made entirely of old neckties that were cut out and applique'd to look like bow ties. The 18-by-23-inch piece was made by Marguerite Snow of California.

Lorie Rose-Griffith of California made the wood "quilt" by gluing tiny paper squares onto an 8-by-11-inch piece of wood.