Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Barbie's got style

Back in December, my nieces got a pretty awesome dollhouse from Santa. This year for their birthdays I thought I would make little bed sets for the beds in the dollhouse. I made each of the girls a quilt and a couple of little pillows and pillowcases that should hopefully fit nicely.

The pillows look small, but they are actually the size of the mattress when put together. The quilts will overhang, I hope. I imagine with play they'll get softer and drape better. Right now they're a wee bit on the stiff side.

I took the opportunity of making small quilts to try out some new-to-me things. Quilt #1 is my first foray into the lovely world of cathedral windows. I've always been fascinated by this pattern and I had a lot of fun with this. My points aren't great, but I know where to improve the next time so a lesson learned makes up for the imperfections. I hope Barbie doesn't mind.

I enjoyed using the purple fabric with the little dolls on it... the queen in particular just cracks me up. Rather than leaving the background white, I filled the squares in with a cute pink owl print. I do believe that pink, purple, and green cover all the bases of favorite colors between me and my nieces. The curves were actually not difficult at all to sew; the hardest part was actually doing all the fabric origami necessary to start out and sewing all the background pieces together making sure all the pieces were aligned correctly. I still think it turned out pretty wickedly cute, though.

Quilt #2 is simpler in construction but challenged me to try out free motion quilting for the first time. I got the hang of it about 1/4 of the way through... it's important to actually get the needle moving fast enough so everything looks smooth and not jerky with big stitches. Thinking and going slow is actually counterproductive. Go figure. Below is a picture of one of the better spots on the little quilt. I just did a random loopy pattern that I actually think turned out looking rather nice and was quite forgiving of small mistakes on my part.

I had fun picking out each scrap for the hexagons from the rainbow of jars on my desk. The piecing went really fast (I basted and pieced all while standing at the ironing board, I was done before I knew it) and I had the perfect-sized pieces of blue linen to use for the background and a colorful piece of fabric for the back -- no cutting! Sewing serendipity at it's best.

I like how this one turned out quite a lot. The rainbow on the sky blue linen really pops and I like the pink binding fabric I ended up choosing, after much hemming and hawing, I might add. Both quilts are nice but if I had to pick one to put on my bed I'd probably go with the hexagon rainbow.

There are several things I really like about these projects: 1) they were darn fast to finish 2) the pillows are super cute, being so tiny and all 3) I stretched my skill set working on them 4) they are bright and colorful and 5) they were made completely from scraps. I'm continually amazed at the neat things I can come up with out of my scrap jars.

I think Barbie and Skipper are going to have some pretty awesome quilts in their house. Best on the dollhouse block, I imagine.

Linking up a new place today... Sew Cute Tuesday at Better off Thread.



  1. They are so cute! I've made a couple of doll quilts as gifts for preschoolers, wish I had thought of making little pillows as well. I made a cathedral window quilt (doll size) with my mom when I was 12ish. I am loving all the modern fabrics and colors people use now!

  2. I love these! Your cathedral windows are so pretty :) And the little hexies! What lucky nieces you have!

  3. I love making mini quilts to try out new techniques too.


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