Friday, February 9, 2018

DrEAMi Doll Quilts

Oh, what a week it's been. It all started with a post from Bernie at Needle and Foot that highlighted A Doll Like Me, the business of Amy Jandrisevets, who makes dolls for children that match their physical characteristics (perhaps with a limb difference, or hearing aids, or any other unique feature that might not be available in commercially-made dolls). Amy also provides doll quilts to include with the dolls under special circumstances. This month Bernie is challenging quilters to help Amy build her supply of doll quilts through a project called Spread the Love, Quilting for Kids. Please go to Bernie's website to read all about it, and then go to Amy's Facebook page. It will be well worth your time. Well, this project was irresistible to me--as well as a whole lot of quilters; don't you love being part of this community?

First, I needed to decide just what I would make. Lots of people collect novelty prints and have lots of kid-friendly fabrics. I don't have that kind of stash. I have used those prints occasionally, but pretty much use them up on a project. I had just a few pieces, but they were the remnants of border edges, and the designs were cut off leaving partial pictures--like half a mermaid or half a car. I only had one piece of fabric that seemed to have possibilities. I rummaged in my fabrics and found a few pieces that were big enough for both backgrounds and backings. I decided that those along with some of my solids stash would work if I made my own little kid-attractive motifs. The result is this little set of quilts:

First some overall stats: 
The solid fabrics are mostly Kona, with a few others thrown in that I don't have info about. I had just the right scraps of my favorite batting (Quilter's Dream Select in white) for all three quilts. (Don't you love when that happens?!) It has a wonderful drape, so it's great for little projects. I pieced with my Singer Featherweight and quilted with my Singer Treadle and a walking foot. I used a 2 3/8" binding folded in half.

So let's take a closer look at each one: They each deserve some description and individual stats even if they are tiny, don't they?

The little heart quilt was my first one:
I had been attracted to the Regatta quilt by Daniela of Block M Quilts that everyone has been making. My quilt is based on that one, but I substituted little hearts for the background squares. The little hearts are a tiny version of the heart pattern at Cluck Cluck Sew that you are all well-acquainted with. I didn't have gradients of colors that make the Regatta quilt sing, but I still had fun messing with the pattern. I don't think I have the Regatta quilt out of my system yet, but this was a fun way to scratch an itch.
Here are the stats:
Size: about 22 by 23 1/4 inches
Heart size: 2 by 2 inches, finished.
Threads: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing and bobbin when quilting; Aurifil Mako 40 wt. cotton thread in 1148 (Light Jade), 1154 (Dusty Orange) and 2132 (Tarnished Gold) for top quilting.
Fun connection: The floral fabric was leftover from a baby quilt I made years ago.

I designed a fish on a scrap of graph paper for my second quilt:
When a blogger friend saw it, she thought it was the Kissy Fishy pattern from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts. So, of course I had to look up Lorna's pattern. They are similar, but that is by coincidence. I just sketched until I had something I could l make from two shades of orange I had. However, if you would like to make a similar fish, I highly recommend you check out Lorna's patterns because I'm sure her seaming scheme is superior to mine. (And I don't do patterns!) 

Here are the stats:
Size: about 22 by 24 inches
Fish block size: 5 1/2 by 3 5/8 inches, finished.
Threads: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing. Superior King Tut in Mint Julep for quilting
Fun connection: The striped fabric and some of the solids were leftover from the baby quilt I made for one of my grandsons.

Do you see that darker area where I pieced the back? I thought I did it "right" until I saw this photo. We'll call it a design element.

The design of the third quilt was determined by the one piece of novelty fabric I had with complete motifs (cars and trucks). I used every bit of it except two narrow strings I cut to even it up. I had to add substantially to it, so this quilt got four little car blocks, which I designed on graph paper and paper foundation pieced.

I used a suede print fabric for the sashing and borders to mimic roads. 

My husband  quilt advisor chose the binding, and when I started cutting it, I saw the name on the selvage:
This quilt can also be a mini play mat!

Here are the stats:
Size: about 22 by 23 3/4 inches
Car block size 6 3/4 by 3 1/2 inches finished; whole block 6 3/4 by 7 3/4 inches finished. "Roads" are 2 1/2 inches wide.
Threads: Superior masterpiece in granite for piecing; King Tut in Canaan (variegated gray) and Temple for quilting. (I meant to use the Temple in the top thread for the road lines, but forgot. Now I'm glad I used the gray because the white would have emphasized the wonkiness of the lines--wonkiness is a hallmark of my walking foot quilting and my state's roads, though, so it's all good.) 
Fun connection: The gray and car print fabrics were in a baby quilt I made for a grand- nephew a few years ago. That quilt had (much bigger) pieced vehicles, too.

I thought I was all done, but then I read that some children who Amy makes dolls for also receive hospital gowns for their dolls as they sometimes need to spend time in hospitals. I just happen to have a hospital gown that I wore home from the ER after I broke my shoulder last year.  Mari at Academic Quilter found a pattern for a doll-sized gown in just the right size at Read Creations. That made me happy because I do not have any dolls in that size and was trying to figure out how to make a gown by guessing the size. So I made three little gowns from the pattern. There is still plenty of gown left for more if they are needed. Those gowns from the hospital are voluminous! Especially the one I had since it was made fit around broken limbs (Not sure we ever figured out exactly how!)
My stand-in doll. The gown will look much cuter on one of Amy's dolls.
This pattern was so fun!! I made three changes--I cut the seams of the shoulders and side seams about a quarter inch larger so I could do French seams, I used 1/2 seam binding instead of 1/4 inch because that's all I could find, and I extended the binding about 4 inches longer to make it easier to tie the thicker tails. I am so glad that something good could come from this gown.

If you have an opportunity, consider making a doll quilt or gown if you can. It's such a wonderful project for this month!

I'm linking this post up with the Spread the Love Linky party that Bernie is throwing beginning February 25. I'm also linking to crazy mom quilts for Finish it Up Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and with mmm! quilts at the end of the month (February 24, I think?) for DrEAMi (Drop Everything and Make It) because wow has this been DrEAMi!!

I hope you are having a wonderful month, DrEAMi or not!


Donna J said...

The quilts are adorable and the little gowns to go with. Three little ones will be very happy to receive them.

patricia ludwiczak said...

Love your little quilts - especially the trucks! I'm using up airplane fabric, puppy fabric, alphabet prints, and so many pastels that I just can't use for anything else. I just love using them for a great cause. I'll have to check into the gown pattern. Thanks for sharing!

Lisa Marie said...

Oh, I love your quilts and gowns! I am always drawn to boy things (maybe because my only child is a boy) and your little car quilt is genius! With roads. Perfect. I am working on doll quilts too, and having so much fun doing it.

Karen said...

Every stitch is going to be so very loved. Too adorable!

Val's Quilting Studio said...

Your doll quilts are adorable...I especially love the cars!

Louise said...

Your little quilts are so sweet! Even though I'm a big fish lover, the one with the cars stole my heart. How clever to make your own novelty fabric!! And I had seen your hospital gowns on Instagram and love love love them. The fact that they are made from a real gown that nurtured you back to health? Priceless.

Sandra Walker said...

I am glad someone else doesn't have the Regatta quilt out of their head yet, because I sure don't! I LOVE your little hearts you put there! The Fish one is just so darn cute, and I did not notice the backing not being 'right' until you pointed out your design element... The VEHICLES!!!! My favourite. I might have to design one or two of my own (or copy yours with kudos to you) for my boy quilt I still hope to make by the end of the month. 'I don't do patterns'....well you sure design some good ones my friend!! You should publish these I'm thinking. The binding is perfection! As are the little hospital gowns, just altogether a perfect bunch of sewing Janine, wow!

Mari said...

Wow, I just can't say enough great things about these little quilts! The hearts in the mini Regatta are so adorable. What a great idea! And I love the fish and the cars, too. And authentic hospital gowns, too? Over the top! Overall, just wonderful, and sure to be loved and appreciated.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Those are oh-SEW-cute!!!

Linda said...

Janine I am so impressed with your creativity! Love what you did - each one is so clever - but especially your version of the Regatta pattern. And your quilt advisor choosing the perfect binding - lol!
Thanks for the link to the Regatta pattern - I love it!

Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty said...

I'm not much of a novelty-print stasher, either. I think you did a great job making some kid-friendly projects nonetheless. Your fishy is my favorite -- I love how the blue fabric looks wave-like. : )

Kaja said...

Who needs novelty prints when you can come up with something just as appealing? These are fabulous.

grammajudyb said...

Such creativity! Well done!. Love those paper pieced cars, truck and bus. Whoo hoo! Imagine having a hospital gown to cut up! That's amazing. My DH was in the ER in Sept. The ambulance came to get him, I managed to get sleep pants on him before they hauled him off. They sent him home with sox, cause he didn't have shoes! Big of them, right!.

Katie said...

Such cute quilts! I love all three! Three lucky kids are going to be super excited to wrap their dolls in these.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Those are just wonderful! I loved the little hearts you put in between the rows in the first one. And you are so brilliant to make the little hospital gowns, too! Someone is going to love those!

Bernie Kringel said...

Janine -- I love all that you made for A Doll Like Me! Wasn't it cool to see your Fish quilt being sent off with the little sailor doll? Hurray.

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

Wonderful quilts, the cars are lovely as are the hearts, but I like the fish. Great hospital gowns too.

Preeti said...

Janine, I love the attention to detail in your doll quilts - the fish, the hearts, the cars. It shows that you were not just using your leftovers, you were creating pieces from the heart. I am humbled.

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi JanineMarie,
What wonderful quilts! I absolutely adore the heart 'Regatta' quilt. What a cute and thoughtful idea. I know they will all be loved and appreciated, and they will feel the love and care you took to make these special quilts. The little hospital gowns are just too precious as well, although it is sad that they are needed. Again, so thoughtful of you. I am a bit late to the party but I am going to make a few doll quilts as well so thank you for sharing the links and information. ~smile~ Roseanne