Itty Bitty Doll Quilt

So while things seem to be pretty quiet here on the blog, I assure you, I’ve been very very busy.  I have 4 guest posts coming up in the month of June (FOUR!), and I’m feeling a bit stretched thin.  The good news is I’m SUPER EXCITED about all of the fun series coming up and I’m truly honored to be included in them (you can check out the buttons on the right – I’ll be adding another one soon :)).  But I do worry that I’m neglecting my own blog and personal projects too.  I hope you don’t feel neglected! 😉

So for the next few weeks, you’ll probably be getting a mix of some old projects that I never was able to share, a few new ones and guests posts here and there.  Then in July we’re off to JAPAN!!!  That’s right – Japan.  It’ll be a really short trip (one week) and with Hideko’s whole family (6 adults and 3 kids) and I’m both really excited and totally nervous (traveling with an almost 2 year old – eek!).  Anyways, I could go on and on about this, so I’ll dedicate a whole post to it some other time.

Ok, on to today’s project.  Sooooo . . . one evening at work, a co-worker leaves the building and then 2 minutes later comes back telling me that there is a doll crib out on the street that someone is dumping and that my daughter NEEDS it.  Really?  My daughter NEEDS it?  I’m quite sure my daughter NEEDS nothing – our tiny apartment is filled to the brim with toys and books and other things that no one actually needs.  And a doll crib?  Yeeeeah, I dunno about that (we tend to shy away from a lot of girly-girl things over here).  But I went to check it out anyways.

It was BIG.  But it was wooden, vintage-looking and kinda cute.  It had a drop side and came with a vinyl covered “mattress” and pillow.  I decided I would take it home and see what Yuki and Hideko thought.  I could always put it back on the street if we didn’t want to keep it.  But of course, Yuki loved it and after a good scrub down it joined all the rest of the stuff in her room.

I knew immediately that I wanted to make some bedding for it, but I didn’t want to buy any new fabric, so I put together a primary color based bedding set out of some flannel and cotton scraps.  I’m not IN LOVE with it, but it’s pretty cute and matches some of Yuki’s favorite dolls.  And since it’s so small and simple, I can always switch it up every so often if I want 🙂

I started with this flannel that I had, which is blue, red, yellow and green.  Then I went through my scraps and pulled out some coordinating cottons for the quilt.  I realized that I don’t have a ton of primary color fabrics!  My choices were limited.  But here’s what I came up with.

(I just realized that we had the pillow at the foot of the bed!  Oops!)

I made a regular ol’ pillow case and the “mattress” is covered in an envelope style cover.  I wanted to make a quilt for a  blanket, so this took a bit longer that the other pieces, but it was fun.  And it came together WAY faster than a real sized quilt – yay for instant gratification!

Now, I should just say that I am NOT a quilter.  I don’t know much about real quilting.  But I made this and so I thought I’d show you how I did it, though there may be better, more accurate or easier ways to do it.

The finished size is based on the size of the crib and is about 14×20 inches.  Based on this long and narrow shape, I decided on rows of squares – 5 x 7 (35 squares total) and each finished square is 2×2 inches.  You can decide how many rows/columns of squares you need based on the desired size and shape of your quilt.

First, I cut 35 3×3 inch squares.  I had 2 fabrics in each of the 4 colors, but you can have as many or as few different colors and fabrics as you want.  Lay them out in your desired grid.

Now I wanted the finished quilt to have a grid of colorful squares with a cream strip running between each row and column.  But I didn’t want to have to cut up a bunch of small cream strips and sew them in between each square.  So I came up with a “short cut” method that probably took just as much time. 😛

So I sewed together the columns first.  This was eventually going to be cut, so just basting them quickly with a 1/4 inch seam allowance was sufficient.  Press the seams open.

Then I cut 4 strips of cream cotton that were 1.5″ wide and as long as my columns.  I sewed the columns together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance inserting a cream strip in between each colored column.

Trim seams and press open.

Then I cut the rows apart.

And sewed them back together with a 1/4 seam allowance inserting a 1″ wide cream strip between each row.  Press.

Then I added a flannel cream colored border to each side.

I didn’t want to have to mess with quilt binding, so I just placed the quilt top and the flannel backing right sides together, added a layer of batting on top, sewed all the way around leaving an opening, trimmed the corners, turned it inside out and top stitched the entire edge.

For quilting, I just picked a few squares and sewed around the inside edge and then for some other squares I sewed around the outside of the square.  Random, I know.

But Yuki approves, so that’s all that matters!

Sleep tight!

21 thoughts on “Itty Bitty Doll Quilt

  1. Love it- I have been so inspired by your blog that I pulled out my sewing machine and started a sewing job that I have been putting off. Very pleased with my result! Loving the blog.

  2. Not a “real” quilter? You made a super cute colourful quilt which your little dudes loves! You ARE a real quilter 🙂 and it’s lovely!

  3. i can’t stop looking at this post! the quilt is so eyecatching. your little girl is lucky to have a mom like you.

  4. For not being a quilter that doll quilt is fantastic and so colourful, love it! How lucky to score the cute doll bed for free. You are so good at coming up with the most amazing creations, I do enjoy reading your blog!

  5. seriously, that’s a great find! great job on the bedding. looks like Yuki loves it! and FOUR guest posts next month?? holy mackerel!!

  6. So cute, love the little quilt! Hope Yuki loves it – Em has a doll bed but doesn’t use it much…her elephants sleep with HER. 😉 Super excited to see your guest posts and Japan photos – awesome! Happy speedy sewing.

  7. Amazing! I’m definitely going to look into quilting! Woo! There is a end of June sale here in Canada at Fabricland as new stock arrives in July. I’ll definitely be looking into this. Thank you! 😀


  8. What a darling quilt! Love the fun colors! Congrats on your guest posts! 🙂 I’ve got one coming up and I’m totally stressing b/c I’m after you. . . 😉 Anyway, SUPER excited for your trip to Japan!!! Have a great time!!!!

  9. It’s lovely and fantastic for a first quilt. The only thing you would not normally do is bind before quilting. On a large quilt the layers tend to shift a little, so if you bind last it helps for straight edges. Self binding is less common and often used on wholecloth quilts. Again, lovely job. You may get addicted…

    • Thank you!! But technically, it’s not my first quilt. The first one I posted about here: and the second one I haven’t posted yet. I definitely took some shortcuts here (like not using binding and doing the quilting as a last step) and I can see the difference in how it came out. But for a doll quilt, it’ll suffice. I love quilts, but I don’t know if I can really get addicted! The piecing is really fun, but the quilting part is hard for me. Do you quilt a lot? Do you machine quilt on a regular machine? I can’t figure out how to maneuver all that fabric around with a regular machine and reaching the center is hard too. Anyways – thanks!

      • Multiple quilts? Sounds like the start of an addiction to me… I’m not an expert but I’ve found rolling the quilt up like a scroll, with a roll either side of the presser foot works really well. Not great if you’re turning the quilt alot for the design, but if you’re doing that perhaps try free motion quilting. You can do it on a regular machine if you have a darning foot and can disengage the feed dogs. It’s much easier than it looks.

  10. That’s awesome. I love doll blankets.
    Actually when I was little I was given a large quilt and a small baby doll version of the quilt, and probably to my parents’ amusement (and perhaps relief too), I carried the doll blanket EVERYWHERE, well until it was really starting to fall apart.

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