Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The first mini I ever made

 After seeing Kyle's wonderful adaptation of an antique miniquilt yesterday, I was reminded of the first mini quilt I ever made, way back in the mid-late 1980s.  Though I had a few quilts under my belt by that time, being a young mother working in a home-based business and restoring an early 19th century home, etc. etc., there was precious little time left for quilting.

That Christmas, I think it was either 1987 or 1988, we purchased an American Girls doll for our young daughter. With limited funds, there was no money for any of her accessories, so we enlisted the help of my father-in-law to make a copy of Kirsten's bed. At Thanksgiving he brought us the bed, a faithful copy of the one in the catalog, though unpainted. I bought a set of patterns and set about making the doll's entire wardrobe as well as the bedding for the bed.  Bedding consisted of a blue and white ticking mattress and pillow, antique linen sheets and pillowcase made from scraps left in the house by a previous owner, and a quilt.


This is the only photo I have of the quilt, taken many years later by my daughter when she was sorting through boxes of her childhood dolls, etc.  The fabrics were scraps left over from making her first big-girl bed quilt a few years earlier, probably around 1985.  

The wooden doll bed needed paint and decoration,  so I found a book on rosmaling  and attempted a simple design on the headboard after painting the bed a light blue.  Sadly, there are no photos of the bed, however I'd also found an unfinished hinged wood box that I painted the same light blue and did a tiny bit of rosmaling on.  Kirsten's wardrobe was stored in this box.

So, all this reminiscing to say that I have no new mini this month.  Another large quilt top in the works though, which will become a donation for the local church camp's annual auction.  It's looking like it will be a go for them having a regular summer camp schedule this year, and they will need the auction proceeds to fund scholarships for children who cannot afford the full cost, and for camp upkeep.  

So, to see a lot of wonderful new mini quilts, go to Wendy's (Constant Quilter) post to see a delightful assortment!  Thanks to Wendy for hosting this mini parade every month!

Until next time, happy stitching!


16 comments:

  1. Oh my word, that is the sweetest thing ever! The story is as good as the quilt! Funny, my daughter's name is Mollie and I wanted to get the Molly doll for her but she insisted on Kirstin. We still have Kirstin and those dolls are quite valuable. Of course the Molly doll is worth 5 times more than any of the others. Guess she will listen to me next time - wink! I love this mini and I have linked you into today's post. Thanks a million for sharing!

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  2. What an tender story about your first mini quilt. It brought back a lot of memories of making Christmas happen with limited funds. I made and painted 20 star wars figures one year because we didn't have the money for the "real" action figures. One year I made 14 Care Bears for family members. I know one family really appreciated them because my sister sent me a picture of the smiles when they opened the package. She had even less that we did. Thanks for sharing this story and I'm so glad you still have both the case and the little quilt. (and the memories)

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  3. What a wonderful story and such a sweet little quilt.

    lizzy

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  4. I am sure that Christmas must have been your little daughter's best one ever. I still treasure the memory of the Christmas my mom made an entire wardrobe for my doll. I love your first little quilt. The pattern would be a great starting point for any would-be-quilter.

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    1. She was pretty excited, I don't think she expected she would receive that doll. She still has the doll and the quilt but gave the bed and a few of the clothes to her niece (my granddaughter) for her 18 inch doll. My daughter has one child,a boy.

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  5. That is such a great story. I think many of us can relate to those Christmases on a shoestring with a young family, and trying to create as much joy as you can from what was on hand. It is nice that you at least have a photo of the quilt, and I think it makes the perfect mini for this month!

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  6. Your story is so heartwarming. The sweet mini quilt is a memory quilt for both you and your daughter. I love how your father in law contributed to that magical Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Wow, at first glance just seeing your mini, I am transported to the mid-80's;). And then, what a heartwarming history and your mini is as sweet as can be with those tender memories attached to it. That quilt and bed are so much more special than anything available in a catalog!
    My girls each had a doll too - Samantha and I can't remember the other one - both so loved at the time, and safely in storage waiting for.... ? the next little mamas. I have never heard of rosmaling - it is so charming! So pretty.

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  8. Very sweet. I have a couple of minis my grandmother made. I use one to protect the surface of my lightbox...from what, I don’t know...but it’s an excuse to display it.

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  9. I just love the story of your first mini along with the wardrobe, bed, and pretty little box with rosmaling on it. So sweet and full of memories for you and your daughter.

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  10. Wonderful story and mini quilt! The more things change, the more they remain the same: my husband built a doll bed for our niece's American Girl doll and I made all the bed furnishings, including a canopy. The fabrics in my March mini are scraps from the quilt for the doll bed!

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  11. what a sweet and heartwarming story. I love your rosemaling.
    Home made is best.
    I made a Christmas quilt for my daughter for many years and made them for her American Girl Dolls. I'll have to revisit them again.

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  12. What a wonderful memory you have of your daughter's quilt, the bed, and trunk! It bought back memories of making matching clothes for my daughter and one of her dolls. Thanks for reminding me!

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  13. I love your story. We had 3 sons, so I didn't have a similar story, though I did get lots of doll beds fixed to sell. I bought them at garage sales, DH fixed or painted them and I made the mattress, pillow & quilt. I couldn't even guess how many I did make. I made one for one of my DGDs - also made the doll and doll clothes to go with it. I have a "thing" for doll beds and have my original one in my bedroom with an antique doll in it. Forgive me, if I had already told you this story.

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  14. Oh, I love this story about being creative to make something special for your daughter. Though, it's sad to not have pictures of the bedding you made, and the bed your FIL made. Such were the times, right? Pictures were film and needed to be developed, and not every picture turned out. So we didn't take pictures of things. Rosemaling... that takes me back. Yours is so sweet. I remember tole painting, and how many of those pieces I painted. No pictures of any of them. Sigh. The 80's were "the days," weren't they?

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  15. I just love your little mini quilt and the story that goes with it. We also have a wardrobe that my husband built for Kirsten and Samantha. I too made clothes for them from the patterns available at the time. I didn't made a quilt though! I wish I had. We did make a mattress and pillow for the rope bed that my husband made. Such fun memories, thanks for sharing yours. Jan in MA

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