Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Doll Quilts for Christmas

In my post for November 2, 2016 I showed some orphan blocks that I intended to combine and make into doll blankets for two of my granddaughters. Then I discovered I also had blocks that I had chosen to omit from my youngest granddaughter's Nestling Owls quilt. My agonizing downsizing effort had left me with 18 unused blocks (discussed in my post for April 22, 2016). I made those eighteen 6½" blocks into two 3x3 block doll quilts.



I backed them with an old-fashioned rose print that I had bought on sale to practice making a stack and whack quilt. Even from a vintage age, the colors, curiously enough, echoed those of the more modern blocks. I quilted a diagonal grid on these two quilts - not very creative I know - but very quick and utilitarian. I bound them the traditional way which was not hard, but a bit more time consuming than I had anticipated especially for such a small roughly 18" x 18" item.



Then I moved on to the mini doll quilts that had me more excited for practicing and experimenting with my FMQ. The two on the left were leftovers from two baby quilts for grandnieces.


I enjoyed picking the backings of these doll quilts from scraps or fat quarters in my stash. It was fun to see how fabric on hand could pair up quite reasonably with these orphan blocks. For these quilts the faux binding was the backing wrapped to the front and stitched.


On the first four-block doll blanket, I quilted three lobes in the the large triangular body of the flying geese component. I continued to practice the technique on the flying geese who have two different color wings. Can you find which of the four basic blocks this is? I like this treatment for triangles that are not part of an HST and will use it again. Using a variegated thread color makes the quilting drop in and out - hiding errors and disguising that one block of the four was different. For the square center of each block I chose to try a practice filler for squares. Two are a somewhat linear pattern and two are somewhat curvy. The orthogonal linear serpentines are either in line with the block or at a diagonal within the block. The curvy meander and swirls helped me practice those movements. I really like swirls but do not quite have the motion learned yet. Again, variegated thread came to my rescue. The doll quilt finished 12" x12" with four 6" blocks.


The next doll blanket used a horizontal or vertical serpentine to give a kind of direction to the spinning pinwheels made up of HSTs. Quilting only in the solid right triangles made the printed ones stand out and puff up. It is only a tiny doll blanket but I learned a valuable technique and will do this on a more major quilt. It was easy, fast, and fun. My path went down or up each column of HSTs while I chanted to my self - "back and forth", now "up and down", "back and forth", now "up and down". This helped me keep a consistent spin direction on the those pinwheels. This doll quilt finished 12" x12", this time with nine 4" blocks


Here is my practice on swirls. The background just screamed out for them. I need to go back the study this pattern and revisit a video I saw that gave a verbal cue of starting out with the letter "C". I do like swirls and once I am better at them I will use a solid colored thread. But for now, the variegated thread is a good scapegoat for my uneven patterning. This doll quilt finished 12" x12", using four 6" blocks. The turquoise fabric I chose for the wrap around binding is a surprise color addition but the swirls within it are the same colors as on the front. I think it works.


This 6" by 8" patchwork reminds me of bed covering in the Robert Louis Stevenson's poem, The Land of Counterpane. I practiced my Angela Walters four petaled flowers on alternate squares on this one. I used this pattern on the Nestling Owls quilt for my granddaughter Lillian. My completed Nestling Owls is described more in my post for May 11, 2016. Picking such a large, oversized polka dot edging for such a small 6"x 8" lilliputian quilt made me smile.


I practiced good old echo quilting on this one. I think it is effective. Even though it is not very tidy, it fits the current buzz word of "organic". And of course those polka dots strike again!


My four-year-old and 2½-year-old granddaughters will like these for their Barbies, or Lil Ponies or stuffed toys. I gave them to them just this week when they were here celebrating an early mid-December Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's house.


What cacophony! Two families were visiting here at the same time with children ages 4, 2½, 1½, and ½. Here are the 4-year-old and 2½ -year-old recipients of these doll quilts, cousins from Oklahoma and California. Contrary to what you might guess, the one with the pink boots is from California, not Oklahoma.


After a week of being social with family it is time to be social with my quilting friends at Let's Bee Social #155.

11 comments:

  1. You've made a bunch of lovely little quilts! Many girls will be happy! :-)

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    1. Thank you. They were fun to let go and play with even before they were gifted.

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  2. Thank you for the quilts - Vivian loves them! She doesn't have any Barbies or My Little Ponies, but will love using them with her stuffed animals and just playing with them by themselves.

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    1. They were really fun to make. I had a blast!

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  3. Well, you were busy! and the quilts turned out lovely. I am not surprised that the little girls loved them =)

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    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting. These mini-quilts were really a fun FMQ project. Maybe placemats and potholders will be next...?

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  4. What a lovely way to practice your free motion, I'm sure those little cuties were over the moon!

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    1. Thanks for the visit and comment. It was a fun, stress-free project, easily completable project. And my FMQ could sure use practice.

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  5. Hi Diane! You have made beautiful little quilts! Smiling, little girls are surely happy to play with them! x Teje

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    1. Wow! A visit from a quilter all the way in Greece - thank you, thank you. Yes, smiling little girls will be happy to play with them but this smiling happy grandma sure had fun making them! Glad you took the time and effort to boost my day a bit.

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  6. Love all the little doll quilts - and the backings! Little A's Frozen and DC Superhero girl dolls have been getting a lot of use out of them, too.

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