Sewing the Paper Doll Quilt

Julie is back on the blog today (and will be returning over the next several weeks) to introduce one of her favorite sewing projects and give you some wonderful tips and tricks if you would like to try it yourself. So here is Julie...

Don’t you just love the Paper Doll Series patterns that Lisa has added to her inventory? I fell in love with these patterns when I saw a quilt donated to the raffle at a Smocking Arts Guild of America Convention by a SAGA chapter. Members of the chapter had each made a different square and the final quilt was beautiful. I purchased some of the patterns and a book (Sweet Dreams published by Country Bumpkin and now out-of-print). I had great ideas to make a quilt using my fabric scraps, but several years later I had not opened the patterns or even read the book. It wasn’t until I took two days of classes with Brenda Shade, owner and designer of Karons Kreations, at a SAGA Retreat in, of all places, Las Vegas, that I finally got to make the squares! (That retreat was a whole story in itself for me as I attended with my right wrist in a cast, having badly fractured it a week before I left!).

Why had I delayed making any of the patterns up? Well because I hadn’t read the directions! I thought they were constructed by machine and felt that I would have to be in the right mood to tackle a project with such small pieces. My class with Brenda was not a machine class and I found out that the pieces are all easily stitched by hand and the machine is only used to create the final product-be it a quilt or pillow. (Patterns can be found here.)

So, when Lisa was looking into other ways to promote smocking and heirloom sewing and new ways to use the fabrics she carries I was happy to mention the Kreations by Karon patterns. Of course, to help everyone see what can be made Lisa wanted samples so I offered to make them up for her. I love making these little dress squares as they go together easily and you can be so creative with the patterns by the use of fabrics and trims. Lisa put together some great kits for me to work with and I made a four-square sample quilt for her

Aqua Paper Doll Quilt Kit

and a pillow front.

Sail Away Quilt Kit

In general, the directions included with the patterns are very easy to understand and there are also some photos to help. Having made up quite a few of these patterns I have also put together some helpful (I think) hints and tips which I am sharing with you via Lisa’s blog. I will cover general things that are helpful and some tips and tricks for each individual pattern.

A tip that helps with all of these patterns is to use appliqué pins (that is an affiliate link and I receive a small payment if you purchase through the link) when you need to pin pieces together as they are smaller and easier to manage. I like the ones that have a little white plastic ‘dob’ at the end.

They are easier to pick up! I use these to pin the small pieces together before stitching them in place and also to pin the dress to the quilt square before attaching it with small hidden stitches. They don’t get caught up with the stitching threads as easily and you can pin small areas more securely as you can use more of the tiny pins than regular ones.

My next post(s) will cover making the individual quilt squares.