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