November 16, 2007
I suppose that there is no real difference between a quilt for a regular bed size or a doll quilt…..except the size of course!
I have started creating “American Girl Doll” sized quilts (at my Long Meadow Farms Quilts shop) in all my usual quilt patterns that I usually use on regular bed size quilts, only miniaturizing the patterns to make them fit the bed size. If I were to use the normal size pieces on a doll quilt, there would probably be only ONE block and that would be pretty ridiculous (not to mention boring!!!).
I started off with the “Country Squares” pattern, since those pieces are pretty small anyways, and came up with a bunch of beauties.
Then I went on to try some of the regular “Blocks” pattern in various color schemes and those turned out really good for me also.
Then apparently, I was off and running, with all these wonderful ideas running around in my head for colors and patterns, and trying to adjust the sizing to fit a standard American Girl Doll size doll bed. What great fun to put all my ideas into action and see the results right away instead of waiting a couple of weeks for the whole quilt to be done…I could really get used to this!!!
I’ve had friends ask me why I’d bother to go to all that trouble for just a doll quilt, and I tell them that it is just as important to me to create a doll quilt correctly and beautifully as it is to make, say a Queen or King size quilt. These little doll quilts will probably get a lot more wear and tear than a Twin or Full bed quilt, simply because children are involved! I feel priveledged to be able to create and put together these little gems well enough to stand up to being used over and over again, just like I make big quilts to be used, not just stored in a chest or a closet because customers are afraid to hurt them by using them.
I like being able to make and sell doll quilts that are made right here in Vermont USA (not imported from somewhere else) and want kids to be able to use them for their dolls as long as they have the dolls! When customers ask how I can possibly sell such a beautiful doll quilt for only $25.00, I explain to them that I love to sew and it is well worth the effort to make things affordable for people so that they can use and enjoy my creations! That’s why I go to all the trouble of actually piecing all of my doll quilts instead of just using one whole cloth like a lot of other doll quilts are made. Those “whole cloth” doll quilts are nice, but to me they are just not a “quilt” if it is not pieced.
I even go so far as to make all of my Doll Quilts completely reversible, using a lovely matching fabric on the back so that if a child would like, they can turn it over for a while for a whole different look. And of course, the pillow that comes included with the quit is also reversible, so all in all you get four looks for that same $25.00 price tag.
Of course friends think I am insane to be putting in all those hours for something so mundane as a Doll Quilt, but I just keep telling them that I love what I do, so that makes it AOK in my book! I am thoroughly enjoying myself by filling up my Doll Quilt page on my website, and I’ve been adding new ones every day!!! Of course, now I’ve run into the problem of just how to display all these great Doll Quilts in my Long Meadow Farms Quilts shop here in Newport Vermont…I’ve got a couple of ideas but for now, they are just stacked up in a basket, which simply won’t do, so I’ll have to be a bit more creative!
As I make more and more other patterns of quilts, I now have the idea of being able to reduce the size of any new ones to see if they too will work in a doll quilt….hmmmm….I wonder what I can come up with next?
October 15, 2007
I get lots of customers into my quilt shop (Long Meadow Farms Quilts in Newport, Vermont) who just love quilts, but don’t have a clue as to how to purchase one. So I’ve become pretty adept at explaining the ins and outs of sizing up a quilt for a particular bed.
Not all beds are created equal…it’s true that all twin bed mattresses are 39 inches wide, and all double bed mattresses are 54 inches wide, and all queen bed mattresses are 60 inches wide, and a standard king bed mattress is 76 to 78 inches wide and a california king bed mattress is 72 inches wide, so at face value it seems like choosing a bed quilt should be pretty straight forward, right???
In the old days, all mattresses were approximately 9 inches high, and so were the box springs, so that all together you have about an 18 inch drop on each side of the bed to cover with your quilt or with your quilt and a dust ruffle of some sort over the box spring. Nowadays, mattresses and box springs are anywhere from 11 inches to 17 inches high each, or any sort of combination thereof depending on what type or brand of bed that you have. What does that mean to a purchaser of a Quilt?
It means, that if a particular quilt that you are interested in says it is a “Queen” size, say, just as a for-instance, then does that mean that it is at least 60 inches by 80 inches so that it will sit squarely on top of your mattress with no overlap at all, or does that mean that it is 80 inches by 90 inches so that you’ll have a mere 10 inch overlap on each side and the bottom end, and you have to get pillow shams to cover your pillows or leave them exposed, or just what does that “Queen Size” tag mean?
My advice to any and all customers that are seriously looking into the purchase of a handmade quilt, whether it be hand quilted, machine quilted, or even the bargain basement imported type, is to measure, measure, measure your own bed first.
Start from where you want the quilt to come down to on the side of your bed and measure up the side, across the flat top of the bed and back down the other side until you reach about where you would like your quilt to come. If you want it to look like a blanket and use shams for your pillows, then measure from the head of the bed across the flat part of it down to the foot of the bed and down to where you would like your quilt to come. If you want it to look like a bedspread, then include the coverage it would have to make going over your pillows too! Then, take those written down measurements to the store and start looking for a quilt for your bed. That way, you can estimate in your imagination just where any particular quilt will come down to, just from the measurements listed on the tag of the quilt.
Just remember that you might just end up purchasing a “Full” size quilt to cover your twin bed like a bedspread or you might end up getting a “Queen” size quilt to cover your California King like a blanket.
If you wanted a Queen quilt to cover, say, 90 inches by 94 inches, and you find one that says it is 100 inches by 100 inches, then you will know that it will be 5 inches longer on each of the two sides and 6 inches longer at the bottom of it on your bed, so you can visualize this to see if that is within an acceptable range for the look that you are going for. You will also know that if the tag on said quilt says that it is 80 inches by 90 inches, you can tell right off the bat that it is definitely NOT going to work, as it is too small. And, if for some reason there is NO tag on the quilt, run, not walk away from it unless someone is right there with a tape measure to help you out, because calling something a “Queen” size does not necessarily make it so. And be particular wary of anything that says it is “Twin/Full” or “Full/Queen” or “Queen/King” because you should know that something has to be either “twin” “full” or “queen” or “king” and can’t possibly be both due to the differences in the sizes of the mattresses!!!
Once you’re armed with your measurement, you can go merrily on your way to purchasing a new handmade quilt with confidence that you will know what you are getting when you purchase it, rather than getting a mind boggling surprise later on when you get home and open up your newly purchased jewel for your bed!