I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Doll Quilt

Hi everyone! Today is show and tell with my January doll doll quilt project.

Each January Lori of Humble Quilts [Porch quiltalong blog too] selects an antique miniature quilt for us to reproduce. She give us photos and instructions, and how we interpret this info is up to us.
I love these tiny treasures. The quiltalong has rekindled my love of doll quilts and it gives me a place/ reason to use my tiniest bits of antique fabrics which I collect.

This year's quilt is just adorable! It is a Star Within a Star or Hidden Star block. The hidden larger star is the pale pink points, see it?

So tiny, 12" square. Lori had only a little historic information: "This tiny doll quilt is made from early-to-mid-19th c. cottons, including roller printed fabrics. Originally collected in Tuckerton, New Jersey. 11-1/2″ square. c.1860s. Superb condition.''

From my years of study I have learned that doll or miniature quilts are usually one of three things: a true miniature, made for a child's dolls, possibly made as a learning tool by the child, but the usually fine sewing indicates most were probably made by adults. Or, 2-the mini can be a single or a few  full sized blocks, put together for a doll quilt; or 3-sometimes a full sized quilt block has been recycled from what we call a cutter quilt, trimmed to doll size and rebound. Since good doll quilts are rare, this is a possible scam; collectors need to watch for new binding, maybe from more modern fabric.

This little cutie looks fairly old. And the small scale of the design tends to indicate it was intended to be a doll quilt. Not really important here, because it is so pretty, with some pre-Civil War fabrics used. The brown leaf print, w/ pink and blue leaves, is especially old, maybe c. 1830? and is the focal print of the block.
Also note the very fine quilting!

I like to make my version as close to the original as possible. I used a mix of antique, vintage and modern fabrics:


I am not a very precise piecer, so I have learned my lesson. I make a graphed drawing for the quilt block, plus Mylar grid squares used to trim each section to size.

I fussy cut the large toile so there are birds and insects on the blocks...

Lori often uses a Geese in Flight block [the cheddar/ pale blue]; my own fave block is sawtooth edging, so I used the snips leftover and  made borders. At first I loved the effect but maybe they detract from the main block? I won't be handquilting this til next summer on the beach so I can wait to decide.

Tell me your thoughts?

Often I have used a vintage feedsack on the back of my doll quilts. I love the graphic advertising grain sacks and considered this one:

But this mini predates the 20th century use of feedsacks, so I'll use one of the fabrics below for the backing. And the pale pink for binding.

If I use the kitties conversational it will be tea dyed and not bright white.

Thank you, Lori! It was a darling choice.

Here is a link to Lori's blog, with her version. And at the end is a linky set-up so you can see all the other wonderful versions of the  2013 doll quiltalong.
Be sure to look. here



..............gone to the beach

final 2 photos by my friend LK.
photos of original doll quilt and info about it are used with persmission
of Lori 
at Humble Quilts.