Thursday, February 12, 2009

Strawberry Patch

It all started with a strawberry ~ well, four strawberries, to be exact, embroidered on a set of cotton napkins. No one in the family remembered where they came from or who might have stitched the sweet designs by hand.

I could have kept the napkins in a linen cupboard, neatly pressed and folded for posterity. Or I might have brought them out occasionally, when special friends came for coffee. But they really deserved to be seen everyday ~ and not just by me.

Putting the little strawberries into a doll quilt was an idea inspired by Vickie from turkey feathers. She created a series of little quilts with squares of cheerful fabrics, as basic as can be. What made them so charming was her inclusion of a single square, embellished with embroidery. I’m telling you, that little detail knocked my socks off!

So, out came the strawberry napkins and whatever red, green and yellow fabrics I could find. At last, I had a use for some of those old Cranston calicoes from the 1970's! In tiny doses, they’re not half bad. It was the newer prints that posed a problem. I’d been using nothing but reproduction fabrics for so many years that there was nothing in my collection with a white background, no pure reds and yellows, no checks and polka dots, no whimsical, “happy” fabrics!

Honestly, it’s taken me quite a while to collect fabrics for this project. It seemed kind of silly to make just one doll quilt after all that effort. With four embroidered strawberry patches, I could make four quilts. The first one would go to my good friend Barb, with whom I exchange birthday quilts each year. The next two were for my friends Sheila and Mary, who work selflessly to keep me quilting (and end up doing most of the work themselves). The last little quilt was for me. Four dear friends, four doll quilts, four times the joy; I sure put those napkins to good use!

Strawberry Patch doll quilt


  1. I like this idea and so sweet. Wig.

  2. What a fantastic idea! You really have some wonderful results, I just love it!

  3. Oh what a fabulous idea. At Christmas I was gifted with a box full of vintage linens that had belonged to my mom and grandma. After letting The Princess cull through them for items she wanted, my plan was to put the remaining pieces into the storage bin holding pieces I already had.
    I'm going to look through them again with a fresh eye toward turning them into something to be seen and used every day. You are an inspiration in so many ways!

  4. LOVE the strawberries!!

    What a lovely, very special way to keep them out of the drawer/closet/cupboard!

    For those who may not already know about it, Cindy Needham has a blog dedicated to rescue and revitalization of vintage linens:

    Her website is

  5. how sweet and so special.
    I am sure these quilts and strawberries will be treasured by your friends.
    Love to see that your still working on projects and hey collecting the right fabrics is the fun part right?

  6. That is a really great idea. And, your quilts turned out beautifully.

  7. OMG! I just used the same yellow & red calico flower Cranston print in a scrap quilt of my own (the one with the yellow background)!!! I have no idea where it even came from--someone must have given it to me. I adore your little quilts with the embroidery bit--a charming idea for certain. Your friends are lucky!

  8. I love the strawberry. What a wonderful touch.

  9. Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  10. As much as I love repro fabrics every once and awhile it is nice to work with something cheery and how these little quilts came out!

  11. No see, here I actually was going to be the first person to comment but Blogger wouldn't let me write. It was a frustration and I couldn't ever write what I wanted to say. I know one thing I said - Brilliant. I remember how much I loved it. I know I thought how sweet and cheery this lovely piece was.