Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Doll Swap Quilt--Indiana Crossings

Hi Everyone,

Last year I participated in the reproduction doll quilt swap hosted by Lori at Humble Quilts.  So when she announced that she was doing another, I eagerly signed up.  The rules are that it cannot be larger than 24" on a side (can be square or rectangle,) and has to be made with reproduction fabrics, prior to the 1920s.

I decided that I would try to replicate some or part of a real antique quilt and since I needed to start my search for a quilt somewhere, I chose to search for Indiana antique quilts, since Indiana is my new, adopted state.  I stumbled across this one, found here.

It's in my favorite colors!  And I love to make flying geese.  Lets look a bit closer.

And even closer.

That's a bit better--although I should have cropped the pictures maybe--but you get the idea.

I decided to make a piece of the quilt--pretty much as shown in the photo just above.  To make it, I needed a LeMoyne star block for the center and then lots of flying geese.

I realized that I own a Rapid Fire LeMoyne Star ruler, so I got it out and made the smallest one I could.  I then made the smallest flying geese I could with the Bloc Loc rulers that I have.

I tried to see how they would fit together and I realized I needed a LeMoyne star block that was a half inch larger than the first one.  I went back to the ruler and was momentarily stymied by the fact that it increased only in inches.  I considered for a short time and then decided to attempt to make it only a half inch larger by imagining a line exactly between the ones on the ruler.  It worked great!  Next, I started making more geese.

I laid out the units I would need to make a square.  I didn't like it, though, it looked like a block from a larger quilt.   I decided to add more geese to stretch it into a rectangle, so I made more geese.

Yes, I had to use "Y" seams to construct the top, but they really aren't that scary!  I find that as long as I mark the quarter inch intersections, they go together easily.  The result was as you see above, but I wanted a border.

I decided to continue with the flying geese and use them as a border, so I made more geese.  I laid out several possibilities and decided that I wanted each border to have the geese pointing to the center, so I would need an even amount on both the top/bottom and the sides.  Like this:

Of course, the center wasn't the right measurements for the border, so I had to add some skinny strips all around to "float" the center and bring it to the right measurments.  I sewed geese together to form the side borders and discovered I needed more, so I made more geese.

My next dilema was the corner squares.  Should they be navy or cream?  I thought they should be navy, since in the antique quilt, there are navy squares that appear where the geese meet, however on my smaller version, they just "boxed" the center too much.  I loved the inspiration quilt as it was so "airy" and "unconfined"  and it didn't have a heavy border surrounding it.  So in the end, I chose cream for the corner squares.

Last year, I designed a quilt for the swap and ended up not sending it out,  (I sent another in its place.)  Why?  I had machine quilted it by meandering over the top.  I personally thought it detracted from the "antique" look that we are striving for.  I don't object to machine quilting at all--but to me, the meander didn't look authentic.  I considered my options for this top and decided to hand quilt it.

I haven't hand-quilted in a while, so I had to get back "in the groove."  I really enjoyed it, too!  I used to do lots of hand-quilting but haven't lately.  I wonder why?  I suppose because I'm doing lots of other hand work--needle turn applique and wool applique.

It didn't take too long and it was finished.  I bound it in red and washed it to get the lovely "crinkle."

It's going to be difficult to send this out!  I'm proud of the fact that I didn't use a pattern and I had the technical skills to see how it was constructed and then make my own version.  I need to do that more often!  I named it "Indiana Crossings" not just because the lines of geese criss-cross acosss the quilt, but also because Indiana is know as "the Crossroads of America" as so many freeways travel across our state.

This is the back--I love the texture of the hand-quilting!

I'll send this off later this week.  The deadline is May 1, but I know this has a long journey.  I can't wait to see the one that arrives in my mailbox!

Have a great day!


  1. Looking lovely. I made two this year si I could keep one for myself!

  2. WOW! Indiana Crossings is stunning. Lots of flying geese methinks your skills far exceed mine. Maybe it is time for me to consider taking classes

  3. I love tiny and I love geese - This is just a thrill!!! Well done in construction, thought, quilting - this really captures the 'period' piece it represents.

  4. I think you should make a simpler one to mail and keep this one--it's awesome and so YOU! Your recipient is one lucky lady--hope you get a nice one in return!

  5. Unbelievably amazing! This one really inspires me; I have never made a real miniature--doll quilts, sure---but this is a test of precise piecing. Thanks for sharing your design process as well!

  6. Wow, what a work of art!!!! The lady who created the block lock rulers lives not far from here and has been a guest at my guild. How did you keep the red from running?

  7. Well I had no idea you lived in indiana also. Big wave from central Indiana! Love your little quilt. Great job drafting your own pattern. The full size has been on my bucket list, along with the Indiana wreath. I've not found a pattern for it but I'm sure I could sketch one up...someday...maybe.

  8. WOW! You should have made two of these treasures at the same time so you could keep one for yourself. It's spectacular and your swap partner will be thrilled with their quilt!

  9. It is beautiful, whoever receives this is a lucky person!

  10. Love everything about this piece! I'm sure it will be difficult to part with!

  11. I did not participate in this round of the doll quilt swap. I would have been oh so pleased to receive a quilt like the one you made. Well thought out and well done.

  12. As several other folks have already said - WOW! This quilt is fabulous. I will save this post to my favorites so I can try it myself. Maybe. Someday.

  13. What a wonderful little quilt! You did a beautiful job all the way along; the designing, the sewing, the quilting. Wish I would have participated this year, maybe you'd be sending this little quilt to me.

  14. What a gorgeous quilt. I love patriotic colors and hand quilting. I passed on Lori's exchange this year because we were traveling for a month but I would have loved to receive your quilt.


  15. I really likes your blog! You have shared the whole concept really well and very beautifully soulful read!
    Thanks for sharing

  16. JoAnne, Your work is phenomenal! I don't think many quilter, including myself, have a true appreciation for what is involved with minature quilting. Just the trickiness of dealing with the bulk of a normal seam allowance gets in the way. I have an Add-a-Quarter ruler that measures an 1/8" seam allowance. Although I have only used it for paper piecing to trim seam allowances, I think it would be handy to use for trimming in traiditonal piecing to cut down on bulk. I have no idea if that makes the seam allowance small enough or not. Also, the stitching has to be so concise yet not tight enough to cause puckering. Many quilters are not accurate enough for this quilting that calls for perfection. I am blown away by your design, too. Thank you for sharing your beauty. I found you on a rabbit trail of suggestions by Bloglovin' and just started following you. Susan susan.dietrich@cox.net