Christmas is almost here and I’m plugging away on a few handmade gifts for the kids. Seb requested that I make blankets for his menagerie of stuffed feline friends and Pen is getting a cradle for her baby dolls. So why not make blankets for both?
If you are a frequent visitor to my blog you may have notice a recurring theme of myself planning on one thing for a project and then doing something completely different. Making the doll quilts was no different. I planned on making blankets doing it one way and then I got a late night idea that using some of my leftover bits of polar fleece for a backing could create a fluffy quilt-like effect without the need for messing around with things like batting. Since I was now making doll “quilts” instead of blankets I was then inspired to try two finishing methods to make the finished product even more quilt-like.
The top shows what it looks like when I created a grid with top stitching and the bottom image shows the first version of tying the quilt with yarn knots. It should also be notice that the pink fleece was much thicker than the blue. That created a much more quilt-y appearance in my opinion. Both versions look pretty cozy. Not that the dolls care of course but it looks visually appealing and required minimal effort. Easy and cute!
By pure coincidence the fabrics I had picked out were all already cut into fat quarters. This lead to me just using that as the template for quilt size. The size works well with both Pen’s 12″ and 18″ baby dolls. It works fine for Seb’s stuffed friends of various sizes as well. It is a bit big for smaller his 6″ friends but he likes wrapping them in blankets so the sizing works out well. If you need a smaller or larger blanket it would be easy to just cut the quilting cotton to your desired size and follow the rest of the tutorial as written. I think this method would be awesome for quick and cozy throw blankets.
I’ve condensed the tutorial down into a PDF file hosted over here. This is my first experiment with making a tutorial easy to save for later or to print. Let me know what you think! I’m providing this file with the understanding that you will not sell the tutorial itself and you will not redistribute the tutorial outside of a direct link to original source.
Materials needed: Fat quarter of quilting cotton, same size piece of polar fleece (or larger), coordinating thread, water-soluble pen, scissors, ruler, iron, and sewing machine. You will also need yarn and a large eyed needle if you plan on tying the quilt.
Finished blanket size: Approximately 16 1/2″ x 21″. I say “approximately” because I’ve found that the amount of selvage that needs trimming varies.
1. Select your fat quarter OR a piece of fabric cut to 18” x 22”.
2. Trim away any selvage IF using a fat quarter.
3. Place fat quarter on fleece with right sides facing. Cut around fat quarter if needed.
4. Pin or clip fabric together with right sides still facing.
5. Stitch around using a 1/2” seam allowance. Leave a 2” gap for turning. Clip corners.
6. Turn right side out using the gap and press using an iron set to LOW.
7. Top stitch using a 1/2” seam allowance. Be sure that the gap closes.
8. Use yarn and a needle with a large eye to hand tie the “quilt”.
9. Top stitch following a grid pattern to create quilt-like squares.
You can design your own grid to follow but for my example quilts I did the following:
Long side: 3 lines spaced 5” apart measuring from the top stitching NOT the edge.
Short side: 2 lines spaced 5 1/2” apart measuring from the top stitching.
If you are an eagle-eyed observer you may notice that the two hand tied versions made different ways. With one version I started with one knot in the center and worked my way out just eyeballing the whole thing. The other version I followed the grid I made for top stitching and placed a knot in the center of each square and where each line intersected, as pictured in step #8. Since you are not trying to prevent batting from shifting drastically, I don’t think it matters where you place the knots. Just do whatever suits your own eye and compliments the fabric.
Since Pen is pretty much my constant companion who rarely naps, she spied me trying to discretely photograph finished quilts and came to help me put her “babees” to bed. Being 18-months old, the surprise aspect is kind of lost on her anyways. I’m sure she will still be surprised with the final presentation Christmas morning with one of the quilts displayed with her new cradle and another baby doll for her growing collection.
Not wanting to spoil the cradle surprise, I turned the basket that I use for my knitting into a temporary doll bed for the photo shoot. It turned out so cute that I’ll be keeping my eye out of similar baskets second hand.