Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Darling Doll Quilt Tutorial

My very favorite thing about sewing, is being able to make things for my two daughters. 
I love when they come to me with something that they want me to make for them. The look on their face when I am all finished and hand it to them is priceless.

Lately I have been making a lot of dolly quilts. They are so fun and easy to make and as opposed to regular sized quilts, they only take about a day to make depending on how labor intensive you design it.

For this dolly quilt, I used some of the leftover fabric that I had from my Tied with a Bow Car Seat Canopy- which was the Fly a Kite fabric by Riley Blake.

I loved this cathedral window print and thought it would be a lot of fun to hand stitch since the pattern was pretty much already there for me to follow.
-Note to self/you guys: This took a lot longer that I had anticipated! Like a full week of stitching each night once the girls went to bed. It doesn't look like it would take that lone until you get started... ha ha
But to be honest, I really love the way it turned out! The other day my little gal spilled water all over it so I had to throw it in the dryer and when I took it out it was even cuter than before since it got that "crinkled old quilt" look from being in the dryer. LOVE IT!

You totally don't need to hand stitch your quilt like I did- you could machine quilt it in any way you wanted and it would take minutes!

 I find that for my girls a fat quarter (18x22 inches) sized quilt is just about perfect for their little hands and arms to maneuver and wrap their babies in. But you could easily make this any size you would like.

Ok... so here is how I made it.
(Keep in mind that for this quilt I didn't really leave any over hang of batting, or backing fabric. Since it is so small there really wasn't any shifting when I was quilting. But if you like to play it by the rules- add a few inches on each side of the backing and batting so that you have a little leeway.)
This is the perfect quilt to use scraps from your stash, but if you want to buy your fabric- here is the yardage I used-
1 fat quarter for the back of the quilt
1 fat quarter for the front of the quilt
5x44 inches of fabric for the binding 
2 strips of fabric that are 3x20 inches
Lace trim- I used 1 1/2 inch lace- two pieces that are 20 inches long each.
batting- you can use it or not. I like it both ways. It is a little stiffer if you use the batting, but for this dolly quilt I wanted to use it since I was hand stitching everything.

Step 1: Cut your fabric. You will leave the fat quarter for the back as it is. Take the fat quarter for the front and trim it to be 12x20 inches. Cut two strips of fabric that are 3x20 inches each. And then cut your binding- you will need two strips that are 2 1/2 by 44 inches.

Cut your lace (if you are using it). You will need two pieces that are 20 inches long each.

Step 2: Now it is time to sew. Take your main piece for the front and line up each piece of lace along the 20 inch side on each side and then lay the 3x20 inch piece of fabric on top of that for each side right sides together with the main fabric. (If you aren't using the lace then just put the two pieces together without the lace)

Pin each side so that the lace is sandwiched between both layers on each sides.

Step 3: Sew along each side. I used a 1/2 inch seam just to make sure the lace was hooked in there good. Once it is sewn, press your seams toward the outside of the quilt.

Step 4: Top stitch as close to the seam as possible to give it a finished look and extra durability. (I set my needle all the way to one side and sewed as close as I could to the seam.

That is it for the quilt top. Easy right??

Now for the quilting. Prepare your "quilt sandwich". Start by ironing your backing. Lay it on the ground so the wrong side is facing up. Either pin it into the carpet with t-pins or tape it to a hard surface. Lay your batting on top of that if you are using batting.

Lay your quilt top on top of the batting and backing and pin it in place every several inches- I used curved safety pins. This will hold it in place while you quilt it. 

Now you can quilt it however you would like. Like I said- I chose to hand quilt mine pretty intricately, but there are multiple ways you could quilt yours.

Once your are all done quilting, trim off the excess backing and binding. Next you will sew on your binding. If you need a tutorial of how to prepare your binding here are a couple- here is one that is all done by machine and another that is part done by machine and part done by hand

I prefer to sew the binding to the front of the quilt with my machine and then hand stitch it to the back of the quilt. It takes a little longer, but I think it looks a lot nicer- plus my very favorite part of the whole quilt process is hand stitching the binding to the back of the quilt. I know- I am a total weirdo! ha ha

That is it. Easy right?? Bet your little lady will be so happy once that quilt is tightly wrapped around her baby doll!


  1. Man, you REALLY have the quilting bug! Everything you make is so lovely. Question: Can you direct me to a tutorial for hand stitching/quilting names or letters on a quilt? I've noticed you have done it several times (like on the circus baby quilt) and I'd like to finish off my Quilt Along Zig Zag quilt with a few initials. Just wondering if there is any special tips for it!

    meg (dot) holton (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. the hand-quilting MAKES this quilt - great job!

  3. Oh wow!! This looks fabulous!! I just started my interest in quilting. I have bought some fabric and now figuring out what to make. This might be the best way to start. Make something small. I love what you did and the hand stitching looks fabulous!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  4. Darling! I've been drooling over this fabric and this just maybe the perfect project. You aren't a werido my fav part is sewing on the binding too. I tried doing it completely by machine once and I will never do it again. To the everyday person it probably looked fine but I thought it ruined the quilt. (It really didn't but it sure felt that way.)


  5. This is adorable! I just made Addison's doll quilt, they are so fun and rewarding to make! I think I'll be giving these as gifts to some little girls this year : ) Love the hand stitching!

  6. What a wonderful quilt. I gave my granddaughter the same baby doll for her birthday. I think she will get a quilt like this for Christmas! Thanks for sharing.

  7. I love your quilting! How long did it take you to make this?

    1. It took me a while since I hand quilted everything so intricately. So I would guess a week worth of nights sitting on the couch hand quilting, but if you didn't do the hand quilting then it would only take you a day or so.

    2. It looks so nice a week seems such little time! Thanks for the response.

  8. You have inspired me once again! I have been wanting to give hand quilting a try but I was so intimidated. This seems like a perfect place to start.

  9. You have inspired me again! I have always wanted to try hand quilting, but it was intimidating. I think this may be the perfect thing to start with!

  10. This is beautiful! At first I actually thought you'd made all those tiny cathedral windows!

  11. Absolutely love your blog! Looking forward to trying to make this soon!!
    xo sandra

  12. Too cute! I have a piece of fabric like yours, it will never look quilted as beautiful as yours, as I don't have enough patience to quilt by hand.
    Beautiful! A large size quilt would look great and so easy to make - all the patchwork is already in the fabric.

  13. I'm so glad that I'm following you! Your work is amazing. Thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to see what you come up with next.


  14. have you done a tutorial on your hand quilting style? Did you use regular DMC or is that a #5 or #8 pearl cotton? I love the "folk art" look of it..

  15. This is so sweet...thanks for the tutorial :o)

  16. I used your tutorial to make a doll bed quilt for my daughter's Xmas present this year. I posted it and linked back to you. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  17. I love this - it's so sweet. The hand stitching really made it. Totally worth the extra effort!

  18. Where did you find the fabric w/Catherdral windows already printed on the fabric?? So adorable and with six granddtrs these would be great presents for the 'Just because" I love you....tyvm for the tutorial...

  19. I have just begun making doll quilts. I think they are adorable! but I am confused on batting. I have baby quilt batting and it is too thick. what do you use?


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I honestly love reading every single one! If you have a question you would like answered- be sure to include your email so that I can get back to you!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!
xoxo, Ashley