One of my favorite "new baby traditions" is the practice of bringing the siblings of a new baby little gifts to also make them feel special. That is the idea behind our adorable Big Sister Dolly Quilt. We used the scraps from yesterday's Beautiful Baby Quilt to create a matching 14" x 18" blanket the perfect size for a doll bed. The center patchwork is made up of 2" x 2" squares, which were sized to be a perfect showcase for the pretty little motifs of our Cloud9 Maman fabric.
This quilt has a traditional ¼" quilting seam allowance throughout. We used our Janome quarter inch foot to help maintain a perfectly straight line. If you are new to patchwork, we have a beginner's tutorial that may be helpful.
A little quilt like this will be faster to complete than yesterday's Beautiful Baby Quilt, but the smaller cuts actually make it a more exacting project. Take the time to carefully match your seams, and use specialty presser feet if at all possible: the quarter inch foot mentioned above, as well as a Walking foot.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Jem Gold 3, which includes a free quilting kit that includes both of the optional feet we recommend below)
- Quarter inch foot (optional but recommended)
- Walking or Even Feed foot (optional but recommended)
Fabric and Other Supplies
All squares need to be 2½" x 2½". The easiest way to do this quickly and accurately is to cut strips of fabric 2½" x WOF (width of the fabric or 44-45"). Then, cut the the strips into 2½" x 2½" squares.
The diagram above and the photos below, show you our quilt design in the beautiful Cloud9 Organic Nursery Basics and Maman. If you choose to use different fabrics, you will need to rely on these drawings and photos to determine yardage and cuts.
We used the scraps leftover from our Beautiful Baby Quilt, and using scraps is the idea behind this matching dolly quilt. However, if you want to make just the dolly quilt, the yardages shown below are what you would need.
- ½ yard of Motif in Rose from Maman by Cloud9 Organic for squares and back
- ¼ yard of Speckle in Shell from Nursery Basics by Cloud9 Organic for borders
- ¼ yard of Gingham in Earth from Nursery Basics by Cloud9 Organic for squares and binding
- ⅛ yard of Solid in Cloud from Nursery Basics by Cloud9 Organic for squares
- ⅛ yard of Les Petite Filles from Maman by Cloud9 Organic for squares
- ⅛ yard of Toile de Bébé from Maman by Cloud9 Organic for squares
- ⅛ yard of Speckle in Earth from Nursery Basics by Cloud9 Organic for squares
- ⅛ yard of Gingham in Shell from Nursery Basics by Cloud9 Organic for squares
- ⅛ yard of Solid in Shell from Maman by Cloud9 Organic for bow appliqué
- ½ yard of lightweight batting or enough 14" x 18" cut: we used Kyoto Soy Soft Soy Batting
- Fusible transfer web for appliqué: we used Wonder Under
- All-purpose sewing or quilting thread in colors to match fabrics
- Rotary cutter and mat
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Large safety pins
- Seam guage
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
A big part of the cute factor of this little quilt is how carefully we fussy cut the squares to best showcase each motif. This takes a bit more time, but the result is worth it.
- From the Rose Motif, cut the following:
FOUR 2½" x 2½" squares
ONE 10½" x 14½" rectangle
- From the Speckle in Shell, cut the following:
EIGHT 2½" x 14½" strips
NOTE: It's easiest to cut 2½" x WOF strips and then cut those strips down to 14½".
- From the Gingham in Earth, cut the following:
SIX 2½" x 2½" squares
TWO 1½" x WOF strips
- From the Solid in Cloud, cut EIGHT 2½" x 2½" squares
- From the Les Petite Filles, cut FOUR 2½" x 2½" squares
- From the Toile de Bébé, cut FOUR 2½" x 2½" squares
- From the Speckle in Earth, cut FOUR 2½" x 22½" squares
- From the Gingham in Shell, cut FIVE 5½" x 5½" squares
- Keep the Solid in Shell as one uncut piece, you will use it to trace and cut out the bow appliqués.
- Cut the lightweight batting into a 14" x 18" rectangle.
- Download and print the Appliqué Bow Template.
IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Using the diagram above as your guide, lay out the 35 squares (seven rows of five squares) that make up the quilt's center BEFORE you begin to sew.
- If you'd prefer to use your own design, simply mix and match your 35 squares until you have a layout you find pleasing. It's best to avoid placing similar colors side by side and it looks better when you alternate small and large motifs. There's no 'wrong' design; it's all based on what you like best.
- There are a lot of pieces to keep track of, so work in a specific order, like a grid. We worked from top to bottom and left to right.
- Collect the five squares for the first row. Pin the first two squares, right sides together, along one side. Keep track of any directional prints to make sure everything is going the right way. The Cloud9 Maman has several motifs that have a definite right-side up, which we needed to keep careful track of.
- Take the third square in your sequence and pin it, right sides together, to the completed two-square piece. Sew together, using a ¼" seam.
- You're seeing a pattern here, right? Continue in this manner until you have a full five-square row.
- Then, repeat to complete the remaining SIX rows.
- When your seven rows are complete, you can stitch them together. Working from the top row down, pin the first two rows right sides together. The most important thing to remember is to keep your seams in line with one another. It helps to place a pin in the seam.
- In addition, for your seams to 'nest together' and create perfect points on the front (a perfect intersection of the corners), you need to alternate the direction of the seam allowances you are matching up. If the seam allowance in the row above lays flat to the left, the seam allowance in the row below must lay flat the right.
- Alternate in this manner all the way across the row. Pin in place
- Using a ¼" seam allowance, sew the rows together.
- Repeat to assemble all seven rows.
- Find FOUR of the Speckle Shell 2½" x 14½" strips.
- Pin one strip on either side of the center patchwork, right sides together.
- Stitch in place, using a ¼" seam allowance.
NOTE: Here's a little quilter's tip, make sure your seam allowances are laying the same direction on both sides of the quilt. down both sides. For example, if the seam allowance is going down on the right side, it should be down on the left side. This will help make sure your quilt lays nice and flat.
- Take the remaining two border strips and pin one along the top and one along the bottom, right sides together. Stitch in place, using a ¼" seam allowance. As you did above, make sure the seam allowances are going in opposite directions to create your perfectly matched seams from the front.
- The quilt back goes together in the same manner as the front.
- Find the FOUR remaining Speckle Shell 2½" x 14½" strips and the 10½" x 14½" Rose Motif rectangle.
- Pin one strip on either side of the Rose Motif rectangle (the 14½" sides).
- Finally, take the last two border strips and pin one strip along the top and one along the bottom, again making sure you match the corners exactly just like you did on the quilt front.
- Stitch in place, using a ¼" seam allowance.
- Press both the quilt front and the quilt back. A good way to do this is to first press all the seams going in the right direction on the wrong side of the quilt front, and then flip it over and do the final pressing with the quilt right side up.
- Repeat to carefully press the back of the quilt.
- Place your fusible web (Wonder Under in our sample) over the the top of the Bow Template. The adhesive side should be down. Trace ONE bow on to the fusible web.
- Place the piece of Solid Pink fabric on your ironing board, and following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the traced bow on to the wrong side of the fabric.
- Cut the bow shape from the fabric.
- Peel off the adhesive backing.
- Place one bow, adhesive side down, on the right side in the center of the front of the quilt. It will cover up the center square completely and overlap onto the surrounding squares. Press in place.
- Appliqué in place, using a tight satin stitch, mimicking the drawn lines of the bow template.
Layering the quilt front, the batting and quilt back
- Place the quilt batting down on your work surface. Layer the quilt top on top of the batting right side up. Using the big safety pins, pin every other square through the quilt top and batting.
NOTE: Because this is such a teeny, tiny quilt; we actually just used our quilting straight pins rather than safety pins. Either way is fine at this small size.
- Once the batting is firmly secured to the quilt top, trim any excess batting so the layers are flush on all sides.
- Flip the quilt over so the batting is now facing up. Place the quilt back directly onto the batting, right side up, and place a few safety pins across it so it doesn't move. The quilt back should fit perfectly. Once the back is secure, flip the whole thing over again and re-pin through all three layers.
- You are going to quilt a diagonal stitch through each square, but you do NOT quilt over the top of the bow appliqué.
- If you have a walking or even feed foot for your sewing machine, this is a good time to use it. The walking foot will help to feed the layered fabrics evenly, so they don't slip.
NOTE: Yes, you do have to carefully stop and re-start your quilting lines on either side of the appliquéd bow. "Why do I have to do that?!" Because if you did the appliqué last, not only would it be harder to press the applique into place on the 'bumpy' layers of the quilting, your appliqué stitching would have to go through all three layers and would then show on the back. So, no whining... just be careful and use a lock stitch to secure your seam if you have that feature. It's neater than a back tack. If you don't have a lock stitch, leave your thread tails long and knot them to secure the seams.
Making and attaching the binding
- The binding on this little quilt is done in exactly the same manner as the matching Beautiful Baby Quilt.
- So, rather than repeating all the steps and photos again, we are going to send you back to that project for the step-by-step instructions.
- Go to: Beautiful Baby Quilt in Maman & Nursery Basics From Cloud9 Organic.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild