Monday, March 23, 2015

Why I make Doll Quilts - and How to Make This One

I have so many quilts started, and sometimes for no apparent reason, I start a new one.  What's nice about making a doll quilt is that the process from start to finish is very fast, comparatively speaking.  That's why I love them!  Here's what I made yesterday:


I leafed through one of my inspiration books, see details below, and saw a quilt that I thought would make a nice doll quilt.  See all the bookmarks in the book?

Recently I have been using the "magic eight" method of making half square triangles (Instructions here)  This can be used to make hour-glass blocks too, and for this quilt would speed up the process a lot.  

So I didn't do any math, just guessed at a size for the five large squares, and cut 5 squares of light and 5 squares of dark fabric, 5 inches by 5 inches.  Here are the five pairs, after I made the X in pencil on the light side, and sewed 1/4 inch seams on both sides of the pencil lines.

After cutting on the pencil lines, and then again cutting down the center of each of the 5x5 squares horizontally and vertically, I now had 40 half square triangles.  Some are shown here, after pressing the center seams open:

Next, I paired up two hsts, making sure there were opposite right sides facing each other (pink corner with a green corner) and drew a line from corner to corner with a pencil.

Using a pin to make sure the seam centers are in the same place, I sewed on one side of the pencil line, from corner to corner.  Then again on the other side of the pencil line.  You can peek and see if the center of the hourglass is good or not before you cut these apart.  I found I needed to put a pin into the sewing line right were I wanted the two seams to meet to get the best results.  But remember, this is a doll quilt, and it doesn't matter very much.

After cutting them in half down the penciled line, I pressed the center seam open, and now had a pile of cute little hourglass blocks:

Remember, I didn't have any size in mind for the finished quilt, and as a doll quilt can be any size, it doesn't matter.  Well, the biggest these could be would be 1.5 inches square, so I trimmed them all to that size.  When trimming, I made sure the ruler points were on a seam, and the center of the block was on a line on the ruler, like so:

After trimming, I felt the hard part was done, and the rest was just nine patches.  I simply cut 1.5 inch pieces of pink and green to make 10 little nine patches for the quilt:

Some of the little nine patch blocks:

Add alternate squares, which are cut to the same size as the star blocks, add a border, and it was a doll quilt top.  Here is my little kitty with the finished quilt top. The little quilt is now with batting and backing, ready for machine quilting. it will be bound with the same green as the border fabric, and will finish at about 16X19 inches.

It's Monday, and I'm heading over to Judy Laquidara's blog to look at Design Wall Mondays.  (Here)  


  1. That last photo is adorable, really shows the scale too. Lovely in its tinyness!

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. I love your newest little quilt.

  3. Wow Judy, thats brilliant - I've never seen that method for making multiple triangle squares! I'm totally with you on why you (and I) make doll quilts, they are almost instant gratification as opposed to our larger pieces. Your pink and green Ohio Star mini is adorable!

  4. I'm loving the little ones for the same reasons these days. Very cute. That's just the way I'd do it.

  5. wow, 1.5 in QST, that's tiny!! I love the mini quilt.

  6. That is really small and adorable.

  7. Beautiful little quilt! Thank you for a great tutorial.

  8. Great explanation of how you worked this one out. sounds like fun (especially the part where "it doesn't it's just a doll quilt!! lol) But yours came out beautifully. Tell me if you would, how do you display them? hugs, Julierose P.S. loving that bubblegum pink fabric....

  9. Thank you for sharing this method for making hour glass blocks. Your doll quilt is so sweet, love the color combination.

  10. I love this quilt and thanks for sharing your hour glass method. I must try that. I had to laugh when you said "sometimes for no apparent reason you start a new one." I find myself in my basement working away on a project when something - a color combo, a block, a scrap - will pique my interest and before I know it, I'm working on a brand new project. For no apparent reason. hehe.

  11. sweet pink and green quilt!

  12. I like the colors you used for the small quilt. And the star design.

  13. Doll quilts are my favorite to make too!


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