Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How To Make A Scrappy Nine Patch Dolly Quilt

 I cut all my fabric scraps into strips and
put them in a box.  It was time to do
 something with them.  I decided on the 9 patch
 pattern for a couple of dolly quilts.  They are fun
and easy to make.  As much as I like to hand sew,
 I find quilt blocks slightly boring.  I sewed them
 on my machine.
  I cut my scraps into 1 1/4 inch strips.
That's rather small, they can be larger, but
I generally have small scraps.
Some of my strips were cut on the 
bias, some on the straight of grain.  I had
a mix of woven fabrics and cottons.  So, I
 knew before I started, that my blocks weren't
going to match due to stretch, nor would
they be exactly square when finished.
Just perfect for a scrappy quilt.
Besides, I don't want to waste this
 lovely fabric.  To me, the charm of a  scrappy
 doll quilt is in it's imperfections!
I paired up the strips.  I tried to
coordinate them by color.
Half of the paired up colors I put
together like this.
 The other half like this.
I was careful to have the prints going the
same direction.
 I sewed all my strips together then ironed
 the seams open.  When I make a scrappy quilt,
I use a medium gray thread.  It blends
 well with all colors.
 All seams are 1/4 inch.
My trick for getting an exact 1/4 in seam,
is to ugly up my machine with duct tape.
It's thick and creates a raised surface
 the fabric butts up to and slides along easily.
  Goo Gone removes the sticky when I'm done.
I use a small screwdriver to help guide the
 fabric as I sew along.
Then I cut all those strips into
1 and 1/4 in strips. 
(cut these the same width as the
original strips if yours are different)
Lots of little strips paired up.
Half of the matching pairs I pinned together
 in this 9 patch pattern.
The other half this way.
I sewed all the 9 patches together &
I ironed the seams open.  I love duct tape,
this is very easy, fast and accurate!!
The wonky ones,
I squared up.
The backs looked like this.
Lots of 9 patch squares.
I randomly laid the squares out.
6 squares across, 6 squares down.
(You can make place mats or a
table runner if you choose.)
 I sewed the squares together in each row.
This time I ironed the seams to one side.
Then I sewed the rows together.
I ironed the seams to one side.
I used a thin natural cotton batting.  It's on the
 verge of being a bit too thick for these small
quilts, but it's what I had.  I made do.
I have used flannel and even a section
of a worn out blanket before.
The backing is muslin.  It's best to
cut the back piece about 3 inches wider
for ease in stretching on a frame.  My scrap
piece wasn't that big.
Really, this is a scrap quilt!
I pinned the 3 pieces together pulling 
them tautly and basted it securely.
This small quilt could have easily been quilted
on my sewing machine.  It would have
been cute with yarn or embroidery ties
in the center of each block too.
Even though I hand sew a lot, hand quilting
 has never been my favorite thing to do, but I
can tackle a small dolly quilt.  I hand 
quilted the 9 patches with off white
 quilting thread in a very simple pattern.
The quilting stitch is just a running stitch.
Hide your knots withing the layers.  Use an
embroidery hoop or small quilting frame if you
have one.  
 This quilt was very small & I actually
 quilted it in my lap with no hoop or frame, but
 I had basted it very tightly.  However, it's best if you
 can stretch it on a frame of some kind.  If
you've never quilted before, a doll quilt
is a good first project. Hand quilting gives the
 quilt that extra charm, so don't worry
if your stitches are uneven!  
 See the corners that don't match.
Some of my lines and stitches are
a bit crooked.
I trimmed the edges and squared
it up.  You can easily see in the bottom
row how uneven this quilt is.
That's dolly quilt charm!
For the binding I cut enough 2 1/2 inch strips
to fit around the outer edge.
I  stitched them together.
Then ironed it in half, wrong
sides together.
I cut one end of the strip at an angle and
pinned the edges together starting
about half way down one side.  I
 started sewing on the binding at the
first pin on the left below, leaving
about 3 inches un-sewn.
I then sewed almost to the
first corner and stopped.
The photo below is about 3 stitches
too far, I had to take them out
to miter the corner.
I folded it up.
Then back down.
The inside of the fold
looked like this.
I then pinned 
and continued sewing the binding on.
I did this to all the corners as I
came to them.
This is what a mitered corner
looks like.

When I came back to the beginning,
 I overlapped a couple of inches
and cut it off.
I folded under the edge & placed the
loose beginning end within
the fold.
Pinned and finished sewing.

I folded the binding toward the
backside, just past the stitching
line.  Notice how I have pinned it.......

No pin ends sticking out
to poke me.
except for the corners.
I folded & pinned those into
 a neat miter
To hem the edge, I hid the knot inside the fold

& whip stitched the binding just
above the machine stitching line.
The finished quilt is about 15 and 1/2 inches square.
Well, it's not perfectly square!
This is the second quilt.  I cut this
binding out of 3 inch strips.
 I quilted this one a bit differently.
(2 quilts and my fingers are sore.)
I made a big dent in the scrap box.
These little scrappy quilts certainly have lots
 and lots of  "charm" in them ...........& the
 dollies are smiling.
Happy Sewing!
My camera had a smudge on the lens, I
do believe it was probably frosting
from sugar egg decorating........oops.


  1. Sherri, you have made my day with this. Thank you.

  2. I can see why your dollies will be smiling, they will be toaste warm under your doll quilt you made for them!

    Love nine patch quilts, Sheri and yes a great way to use up those small scraps. Your hand stitching is wonderful, I understand why your fingers are sore.Rest them.

    Always enjoy your posts!


  3. Beautiful little quilts. I have never made a quilt, so your demonstration is great. Your dollies have it made. You do such beautiful work and I appreciate all the trouble you go to so that people can see how it's done. thank you.

  4. This is just a treasure! I love the fabrics and the edging. You did such a beautiful job!

  5. These are very sweet little quilts and you did a marvelous job "teaching" how to make them.

  6. Beautiful work. As always, I admire your perfect little stitches. You have almost inspired me to get busy and make one of my own. Thanks!!!

  7. Oh my what lovely work these are! It must have taken forever...even with the sewing maching. I saved scraps for ages and finally threw them away. Wish I had seen this post before doing that, I may have used your tutorial to do a dollie quilt.

  8. I wish I had seen your blog before tackling my first quilt. I have never seen mitred corners explained better! A doll sized quilt would have been so much easier to begin with, but I now have lots of scraps from my attempts at lap quilts, place mats, etc. so will try a few dolly quilts too. Thank you for the clarity of instructions. Donna


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