A ‘Dolly Quilt’ was once just a quilt for dolls. Now the term has come to mean doll-sized quilts made by modern quilters who have given them a great many more uses.
What is wonderful about contemporary doll sized quilts is that they are both practical and versatile. They can be completed fairly quickly and inexpensively and allow a quilter to try out a range of patterns and techniques before moving on to something larger.
They make great gifts and can be posted easily. They can be used as seat covers, chair backs and table toppers or made into cushions, runners or laptop protectors. They can line baskets or drawers, show off a vintage doll or teddy, protect the top of an antique chest, become a soft mat for jewellery on a bedside table or commemorate a special occasion. They make great wall decorations, either in a frame or hanging from a quilt hanger. And they can be as tiny as a postcard, the size of a single traditional quilt block (about 12 inches square) or a little larger, around 27 inches (68 cms).
Trying out a single quilt block is much easier on the pocket with fabric costing more each year and allows you to experiment with traditional patterns, contemporary designs and ideas of your own without work on the singe project becoming time consuming and tedious. It is also a great opportunity to experiment with tiny piecing, such as the 1/4 inch hexagons or 1 inch squares that are currently popular.
Having enjoyed this little quilt that I intended for a doll, I thought I would try one of one of these trendy dolly quilts; an excuse to try making a whole row of houses rather than a single house : ))
You’ll be glad to know I won’t always be making houses. It’s just that I have a Christmas fair coming up in November and want to build up a stock of what I want to be best known for:Houses. Next year I plan to tinker with a range of quite different ideas.
I chose one of Moda’s floral charm packs (Dogwood Trail) for my Dolly quilt and picked out a range of soft pinks and blues with a little watermelon thrown in. The houses were individual pieced and sewn together, then the tiny triangles added in between the rooftops, and then the whole row sewn to the houses above. The inner border was made from some scraps of (what is by now vintage) Laura Ashley fabric I had left over from the 1980’s. The back and binding is the same fabric as the ‘sky’ between the houses. The finished size is 11 x 10 inches (28cms x 25 cms). I really wanted to quilt in little door openings and chimneys with running stitch but the first two houses I did looked uneven and somehow cluttered the quilt with detail, so those stitches had to come out and I started again. I used a heavier duty quilting thread in this quilt, which is quite wiry, unlike the much brighter Pearl cotton embroidery thread I often use, because I didn’t want the quilting to be overly visible.
Here is the back:
I have two more dolly quilts in the pipeline, English paper pieced and appliqued tartan dolly quilts and, amazingly, only one has a house on it. They are almost done and I hope to post them shortly.
Until next time…