Friday, March 2, 2012

Not Just For Dolls

Doll quilts aren't just for dolls any more.  Because of their small size, they are perfect for trying out new techniques without committing to making a large project.  They're made up in a matter of days instead of weeks, they take only a small amount of materials and time, and if you don't like the project or the technique you know you don't have to put up with it for long.  LOL!

My online quilting forum, The Quilting Bee, has been hostessing monthly doll quilt swaps.  Each month there is a different theme, and these themes range from a color or seasonal topic to learning new techniques.  Take the quilt at the top of this post.  It was from our Winter Or Christmas themed swap.  I let the fabrics do most of the work for me on this one, and it turned out really quite cute.

This quilt was from our Teddy Bear themed swap.  I'm not normally a teddy bear kind of person, but this was a perfect theme for me to try my hand at needle turn applique.  I had only recently learned a new needle turn technique and wanted to use it in a project.  I liked it so much that I went on to make a crib quilt that was primarily applique!

One misconception is that small quilts need to be made with teeny tiny pieces in order to look like a small version of a full sized quilt, but in truth doll quilts don't have to be made of teeny tiny pieces.  Take this one for example:

I made the doll quilt out of a single "normal sized" quilt block.  The theme of this swap was "Winter Blues", which in itself is not a challenge for me as blue is my favorite color.  I have LOTS of blue fabrics and LOTS of experience using blues LOL.  So I chose to make this an entirely hand made project.  I pieced the top by hand.  I quilted it by hand.  I even attached the binding completely by hand!  Never once did a sewing machine touch this quilt.  I was so proud of it!  But what did I learn?  I hate attaching a binding to the front of the quilt by hand, and I will always do it by machine from now on!  :)

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