Not so very many years ago I actually did make a doll quilt for a child. It was a Christmas present for my sweet pea of a daughter who was having a very "American Girl" holiday. I picked the colors to match the embroidery on the doll's nightgown and slipper set she was also receiving. With a few extra patches I whipped up a matching pillow so the set could be complete.
While the assortment of fabrics was great eye candy to work with, it was the print used for the backing that was my ultimate favorite! It's the softest of flannels covered with an collection of calico hearts! I could not believe my luck to find such a perfect match! So as not to mess with the feel of it I tied the layers together rather than hand quilting. I'm sure the time constraints during the holiday season had something to do with my choice as well, but either way, it left the quilt nice and flexible for tucking in dolly.
Now considering my interest in dolls and their quilts, you can imagine my excitement when Karen, from Humble Needle, suggested we conduct a little doll quilt swap of our own! It was just the two of us which made it ever so easy to organize and fun to plan for. Plus, having perused her Esty shop many times over, I knew I was in for a special treat! After much consideration, and oodles of flipping through the aforementioned book, I decided to attempt the Broken Dishes pattern. (More on that later!)
Most of the prints came from my stash but I couldn't resist adding in a few new ones as well. The true color inspiration came from the material I selected for the backing. . . . it's from the Moda Legacy collection. I absolutely loved it at first site!
The whole thing was done before I knew it! I attached a label. . . . .
There was one glitch I encountered. . . . . it turns out in the construction of a Broken Dish pattern these areas where eight seams merge into one come up far more often than I care to remember. It did provide, however, great insight as to the naming of the pattern for I often found myself with the barely controllable urge to hurl my teacup at the wall! How in the world can all that fabric match up to one smooth point?
While I was able to press it down flat to a certain degree, a lump still remained in each of these areas. I can't help but think I must have done something wrong or that there's some trick I'm missing out on. Pressing the seams open rather than to the side has been my only alternate inspiration but I'll take any suggestions I can get. Armed which a bit more knowledge I hope to battle it out again in the future!
It wasn't long before my package from Humble Needle arrived in the mailbox. I was the envy of everyone that day! Not only a package, but such a fun one to boot! The entire envelope was decorated with the sweetest sewing images and even proclaimed to the whole world the exciting contents within.
Although I was almost immediately informed it was the perfect size for a Webkinz, I wasted not a single word letting my youngest know his four leaf clover luck had run its course. . . .this quilt was for ME!
It even said so on the back!
Now, one of my favorite things about Humble Needle's work is the wide variety of fabric prints she includes in each and every piece. You can definitely tell she has quite a stash and is not afraid to use it! The essence of patchwork to me is that creative gathering of bits and pieces, each with a different history and origin, pieced together in a totally unique way. I had a ball looking at every print included in my new quilt. A few I recognized, a couple I even have some snips of myself, but one in particular made my day! These two geese personified brought me back to the time when I still played with dolls as a child.
During the third grade, I would say dolls and reading were the backbone of my life. My shelves at home were filled with an amazing assortment of both but it was at the little library of Sunnyside Elementary School that my unattainable treasure resided. To this day if I close my eyes I can see exactly where it sat on the shelf, when it was checked it that is! My name must have been written on the check out card of Queer Dear Mrs. Goose at least twenty times that year alone. I was fascinated with the idea that Mrs. goose and her friends wore little outfits and hats and participated in all types of village adventures together.
Years later I found a quite pitiful copy of the book at a library sale. Although not the original pink binding I remember and literally held together with tape I scooped it up. The pictures inside, however, are as perfect as ever. This was a particular favorite of mine, the little bed always looked so cozy.
And I must have had a love of patchwork even then apparently considering the envy I had for this quilted sleeping bag! And look at that! How lovely that the starry sky extends right out to the border of the quilt! Thank you Karen for creating such a quilt of memories for me!
Now, back to that whole animal personification thing. . . . it's great fun and I love playing along with it for the most part. When it comes to Freddy however, I'm not doing very well. . . .
Meet Freddy. Do you see him there in amongst the bug eaten morning glories and the everlasting mint? No plastic dino here! It's the read deal and he seems to have moved into the garden around our sun room, aka his "condo." I was all for cracking out every can of tuna in the house as an open invitation to the neighborhood cats but for that darn youngest again. First the clover and now the snake. Even his best Webkinz bud, Chocolate Latte, has been tossed aside as his first priority is now the well being of his new friend. UGH! Must be my bad karma for not sharing the quilt with him!
It will, therefore, be only with the security of my thickest wellies and heavy duty garden gloves that I may brave the perimeter of Freddy's condo in acquisition of the basil, mint, and chives that grow there. Either that or have my knight in shining armor hubby do it for me, which is actually quite a win win situation considering the fine dishes he creates for our table with his pickings. (see above photo!) Hmmm, maybe I should develop a phobia of water and then he could become king of the laundry mountain too! Making replicas of those doll quilts in the book might not be such an extravagant dream after all.