About a year ago I finished my first quilt. It is a sized up version of the Storytime Squares quilt by Made By Rae (the pattern is free!), a beautiful mix of linen and vintage bedsheets with wool batting in-between. Ever since I finished that quilt, my daughter has slept under it, immediately claiming it as her own. It’s made my heart happy. This holiday season, I decided to continue my quilt love with some simple lap quilts for my siblings and have basically been following the Easy Patchwork Quilt by Rachel Denbow. They have been remarkably easy and fast to sew up, even when I decide to add some extra strips, blocks and rows. So when it came to my daughter’s birthday, it only made sense to make her new doll its own hand-tied doll quilt, inspired by all the sewing I’ve been up to!
Another reason I wanted to do this project was for the simple fact I had just received a handful of fat quarters of the sweet Little House On The Prairie® fabric line by Andover Fabrics. Though florals such as these are not usually my style, who can resist a little hand-tied doll quilt with such whimsical buds? And when paired with one (or more!) of the Little House on the Prairie books, well, that’s the ultimate gift combining handmade love with the magic of a great story!
So, interested in making your own little doll quilt? It takes just an hour or two and is a great project for any level sewist. Let’s get started!
DIY Hand-Tied Doll Quilt Pattern & Tutorial
You Will Need:
2 strips of different fabric patterns measuring 2.5inches by 21inches (6.25cm by 53.25cm)
3 strips of different fabric patterns measuring 3inches by 12.5 inches (7.5cm by 31.75cm)
1 square measuring 12.5inches square (31.75cm square)
backing fabric measuring approximately 12.5inches by 21 inches (31.75cm by 53.25cm)
batting (any type – cotton, wool, or poly) measuring approximately 12.5inches by 21 inches (31.75cm by 53.25cm)
sewing machine and thread
iron and ironing board
embroidery thread in a coordinating color to your fabrics
What To Do:
Before you begin, I recommend pre-washing and ironing all your fabrics. It ensures your fabric won’t shrink and warp your quilt once it’s complete, plus it’s just good practice for sewing overall.
Cut out all your strips and square for the quilt front. I found that the fat quarter was just about the exact right size for the quilt back and used some leftover batting for the inside (I actually had to sew two pieces of batting together to make the piece large enough). You may want to play around a bit with your fabric until you like how your patterns and colors play with one-another.
All seams should be sewn at 1/4inch. Start by sewing your three medium strips together, matching right-sides together, pinning, and stitching. Once they are attached, press your seams open and flat. Now sew your three medium strips block to one side of your fabric square, so that you’ve made a rectangle. Again, press those seams open and flat.
Now sew your two long strips together and again press open and flat. And finally sew your two long strip block onto the long side of the strip and square rectangle you just made. Press open all those seams and pat yourself on the back – you just made a doll quilt top lickety-split! It should resemble the picture below.
Now it’s time to attach the batting and backing by sandwiching them together with your quilt top. Lay your batting down on the table. Next lay your backing fabric on top with the right side facing up. Finally, lay your quilt top on the top with the right side facing down (so the backing and quilt top fabrics have the right sides facing each other – see the photo below).
Smooth out the sandwich and pin all over – both along the outside edge, but also throughout the quilt to hold all 3 sections together. Mark off a 6inch section that you will not sew together along one side of your choosing – this is how you’ll flip the quilt out once you’ve sewn around the outside edge. You can mark this section by using color-tipped pins or my trick is putting 2 pins very close together on each side of my “no-sew” zone to indicate where to start and stop.
Now that you’re all pinned, go ahead and sew around the perimeter of your fabric sandwich, leaving that 6inch section open. Once you’re done stitching, clip each corner, being sure not to cut your thread. This will make for nicer, less bulky corners.
Flip your quilt right-side-out and press the whole doll quilt, making sure to press in your seams on the part the is not sewn. Grab a needle and thread and use a ladder or blind stitch to close up your quilt.
Finally, it’s time to hand-tie the rest of the doll quilt together, joining the top, batting, and backing. The distance between each tie will depend on your batting ranging from 2 to 8 inches. I put my ties approximately 3-4 inches (7-10cm) apart. Using an embroidery needle and 3 strands of embroidery thread, make a single stitch joining all 3 layers. Tie in a secure knot and clip the ends to about 3/4inch long (1.9cm). Continue making single stitches and knots over your entire quilt until you’re satisfied.
I don’t know about you, but those sweet little ties just complete the prairie look for me! I also quickly learned this doll quilt makes for a great kid-lap-quilt for story time, a snuggly lovey-blanket at night, and the perfect addition to any doll bed!
I’m so happy with how this little quilt turned out and my daughter was over the moon that she and her new doll BOTH had Mama-made blankets to snuggle under at night while we read.
I was given this fabric to play and make with, but you can snag your own at an Andover Fabrics retailer near you. You can also check out all things Little House on the Prairie® including books and more great fabric projects inspired by this new line. Finally, if you’d like to win some fabric for your own handmade gifts, check out the Andover Fabrics raffle below – it closes December 14th so enter today, then share your projects using the #LittleHouseMoment and #LHOTPFabrics hashtags!