Category Archives: Machine Quilting

18″ American Girl Doll Quilt

American Girl Doll Quilt all finishedMy daughter has been begging me to make her a quilt for her American Girl doll. I don’t know why I kept putting her off. This is one of the easiest and funnest (is that even a word???) projects ever. I had it done in an afternoon, including the binding.

I didn’t use a pattern, just looked at a lot of little girl’s bedding online. i had a basic idea of what I wanted, so I dug out the fabric. After ironing it I cut it into random strips 1 1/2″ wide to 2 3/4″ wide by 19 1/2″ wide. (I have no idea what I was thinking in regards to size.) Finished size is      19″ by 22 3/4″.

The first thing I did was to lay out the strips in random order until I got the look I was wanting.

Stitching them up took me about an hour with pressing between each row. I just started with the two strips at the top and worked my way down until the strips were all sewn together.

Once I had the rows all sewn together, I pressed a large piece of cotton for the backing and laid it out on my dining room table. I then layered a scrap of batting and the top, using 505 Spray and Fix by Odif USA to secure the layers.

For the actual quilting, I used a size 90/14 topstitch needle and King Tut #40/3-ply machine quilting thread in white from Superior Threads on the top and 50wt pink variegated Aurifil  (Bubblegum MK50 3660) on the bottom.  I did simple edge to edge straight-line quilting to keep things simple.

The quilting took me approximately 2 hours with starts and stops.

For the binding, I cut 2 inch strips across the width of the fabric and sewed them end to end. I double the fabric over lengthwise and pressed it.

Hand sewing down the binding on the American Girl Doll QuiltPlacing the cut edges on top of the quilt sandwich with all of the edges flush, I stitched 1/4″ from the edge. Mitering the corners, I sewed all the way around. To join the ends I used the method in the video below.

I then proceeded to hand-stitch down the binding on the back side until it was finished.

I am very happy with the finished product and my daughter is thoroughly pleased that her American Girl doll has a quilt to match hers.

If you have made an American Girl Doll quilt, I would love to see it. Please leave me a comment and let know if you enjoyed making a small quilt.

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links from which I earn a (very) small commission when you make a purchase. Please consider supporting this site by clicking on the links. Thank you!



Rhubarb Pie, Serpentine Stitch & a Drawing

In mid-February I walked away from the job I held in the fabric department at Hobby Lobby in order to fulfill my role as housewife. Before y’all go feminist on me, it was MY decision, not my husband’s.  While working I didn’t have time for anything. Housekeeping, cooking, mothering, “wife-ing”, and quilting all took a backseat and my life became endless days of constantly running.

I was fulfilling the part of me that needed adult interaction, and the parts that needed to teach and to learn.

What I was losing, though, was precious time with my family. And I was losing my creativity. Weeks would go by without me touching my machine. For a Creative, that generates discontent, frustration, and angst.

It seems like forever since I have had a finish. I don’t have one this week, but I am making Pile of Rhubarb Pie Quilt Patchesprogress. Sunday I managed to stitch four neat little stacks of 2-patches for the beginnings of my Rhubarb Pie quilt. One of the Facebook groups that I used to Admin had a swap for the pinks and greens needed. You can purchase the pattern here at Bella Rose Quilts (I have zero affiliation, they were the first one that popped up with the pattern).

Last Saturday was our monthly Sit & Sew at my friend Jan’s house. She graciously allowed me to use her long arm frame to baste some quilts. I’m really terrible about getting pictures. However, I did manage to get three smallish (larger than crib, smaller than twin) quilts basted in about six hours. Go me!

Jan discovered this wonderful thread from Superior called Vanish Extra. You can purchase it directly from Superior or through Amazon Prime.  Vanish Extra is a water soluble thread that stitches up just like regular thread. Toss your quilt in the wash, and voilà, no more basting stitches. A word to the wise: Don’t lick your fingers to moisten the end of the Vanish Extra when trying to re-thread your needle. Haha.

Wednesday ended up being a sick day for Junior. She’s been fighting allergies and a nasty cold, and it finally settled in her ears. Poor tyke. So while she lounged around in her jammies reading on her Kindle, I had some unexpected free time to quilt. Wooohoooo!

19030s 4 patch with a little helper for Nakeytoes QuiltingAt some point this winter, I did have some free time to whip up this top. It was fast AND easy. A wonderful combination for someone who was missing their sewing time.

Detail of Serpentine Stitch in Variegated Thread by Nakeytoes Quilting 2016It’s just a simple 4-patch made with some 1930’s nickels that I had purchased online. It measures roughly 63”x81”. I had seen a picture on Pinterest and knew that I had to make it. Check out Mama Spark’s blog to see the original. I love the simplicity. And serpentine stitch is my new favorite quilting stitch. Throw in some pastel variegated thread, and you have quilting bliss.

As I said, it’s not done. By a long shot. I still have endless rows to achieve the look of the one in the photo. But I’m working on it. And I’m quilting. Finally.

As a side note, I am trying to grow my Facebook page Nakey Toes Quilting. Like, Share, and Comment on the pinned post to be entered in a drawing to win Fabulously Fast Quilts by Amy Smart.

Disclosure: This site uses links which lead to affiliate sites from which I make a (very) small commission. All comments and opinions are my own, and I refuse to promote a product which I do not like.

A Kaffe Fassett Placemat

In January my local quilting group went on retreat to the Texas Gulf Coast and stayed in the beach front home of a relation to one of our group. It was decided that we would each make an ocean-themed place mat for the homeowner as a thank-you for allowing us to spend such a wonderful, peaceful weekend in her home.

It was also decided that our fabric medium would be Kaffe Fassett fabrics which sort of resemble sea life. Fabrics which threw me totally out of my comfort zone. But I’m fairly pleased with the result.


The first thing I did was scour the internet for art of ocean life to get an idea of what I wanted. Miss Mary Lou, the owner, had several shell collections throughout the house and I had the idea of a nautilus floating in the back of my mind. This step was actually the easy part.

Next, I sketched out a pattern and enlarged it to a size that would be to scale on the background fabric. I made two copies. With a clear tote and a strand of Christmas lights I made a makeshift light box and traced the nautilus pattern on to the paper side of Heat & Bond. Using a hot iron, I then attached the fabric to the Heat & Bond, following the instructions given with the interfacing.

Using some sharp pointed embroidery scissors, I cut the appliques out. This took a bit of time as there were quite a few pieces involved.

Placing the background fabric over the pattern on the light box, I then laid the applique pieces on the background fabric and double checked my arrangement. Very carefully I carried the arrangement over to the ironing board and proceeded to iron the appliques on, being sure to melt the glue for a firm bond.

When that was done, I found a coordinating spool of Aurifil and using a tiny zig zag stitch, appliqued the pieces in place. I was delighted with the result.
Nautilus Detail

But then came a bit of second-guessing my choice. The others had begun to show pictures of their place mats and mine was so simple in comparison. I’m also not a machine quilter and the other members do exquisite work. Their place mats are serious pieces of art. Stunning.

So I spent several weeks debating whether or not to try and add something to my work. I finally had to make a choice and I chose simplicity. I’m a simple person, and this place mat is a reflection of me.

This past Sunday I laid the place mat top on some Quilter’s Dream batting that I had on hand, and using white Superior machine quilting thread, a size 14 top-stitch needle, and my Brother PC8500 with the “J” foot, I quilted it.

I had used a water-soluble marker and traced around and between the nautilus appliques to outline it.
Applique Detail

The background fabric had wavy lines vaguely resembling sea sponges, so I just randomly followed every third or fourth line and the effect was similar to ocean currents.

Quilting Detail

I couldn’t believe how quickly the quilting went. I think I only spent about two hours at the machine. It took me longer to stitch down the binding.

I wanted a wide binding to sort of “frame” the piece. So I cut 3 1/2″ strips, folded them in half and lined up the cut edges with the edge of the mat. I then stitched a half inch away from the edge, giving me a 1/2″ binding. I made mitered corners and hand stitched the binding to the back. It gave me a chance to use my new Clover binding clips (here) which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.


The finished piece measures out at 14” high and 18” wide.


What do you think? Would you put this on your table?

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation and Sew Fresh Quilts.