Quilt for a Doll Bed with Rob and Ruby Appell!

doll bed

Rob and his daughter Ruby demonstrate how to make a tiny doll quilt using 5 inch squares of precut fabric. We used Sadie’s Dance Card Charm Pack by Tanya Whelan for Free Spirit Fabrics.

Get the supplies here: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/land/mansewing/doll-bed-quilt

Video Transcript (Download PDF):

Hello Man Sewing fans. It is career day here in Hamilton. And look at this. My lovely daughter Ruby is here to teach all of you how to make a wonderful tutorial. But before we move any further, we are going to work on a very basic project. And this is going to go start to finish. A lot of these steps are the two of us working together as a daddy daughter team making this quilt. So parents watch closely for some of the things I experienced while my daughter taught me how to make today’s tutorial.

Rob: So Ruby, take it away my love. What are we making?

Ruby:  Ok, we’re making a quilt to go along with our ruffle which is in another video. And this is our doll bed all together.

Rob: It’s wonderful.

Ruby: In which we used a plastic bin on the bottom which has a lot of like doll clothes and food and stuff like that for her.

Rob: All of your doll accessories.

Ruby: Yes.

Rob: But we’re going to focus in this tutorial on

Ruby: The quilt

Rob: The quilt it is. Ok so why don’t you hold this, ok? I’ll move this out of our way. She’ll take another little nap down there for us while we’re ready. So this is the quilt we’re going to work on. And we did use pre cut fabrics because I’m not a giant fan of rotary cutting with small children yet. She’s not small but I just don’t want her to grow up. So there we go. We used pre cuts, five inch squares. And are you ready to show them how to do the layout?

Ruby: Yes.

Rob: Ok, so let me move this again for you.

Ruby: And we did a five by six.

Rob: Good point. So this fabric line is Free Spirits fabric line. It’s called Sadie’s Dance Card. And I actually gave Ruby several choices of collections to work with. Ruby, why did you pick this one?

Ruby: Because it’s some of my favorite colors and I really thought they went well together.  

Rob: Fantastic. That’s, couldn’t think of a better reason

Ruby: And something to say is we chose this for our quilt because the back of it is this. So we’re not using these in the quilt because we don’t want it to interfere with this.

Rob: Exactly. That’s a great design decision. So we didn’t want it to blend in too much to our backing or what we’ll be using as our binding as well. Ok. So Ruby went ahead and put together a five by six layout. You can tell I’m having a hard time letting her be the star today. When you were doing your layout was there anything special you were looking for?

Ruby: Well not putting like two of the same fabrics together because they put it with, there’s two of each in the layer so you would never want to just put two of the same together.

Rob: Oh so you’re saying these may be too similar

Ruby: Yes.

Rob: Got it. Now you’re also saying that in your pre cut pack, not all pre cuts are this way. But in her pre cut pack she had multiples of the fabrics so she didn’t want to make them match up. I think is what she worked hard on. And do you have a favorite fabric in this whole set?

Ruby: This one is my favorite fabric

Rob: Right. Ok. And why?

Ruby: Because it’s my favorite color.

Rob: It’s as easy as that quilt makers. You fall in love with it and you use it. Now I personally like that one because it brings off the elements of the dots and the flowers together. But that’s because I’ve been studying design for a long time. So it’s a fantastic line. Thanks again, Free Spirit. So if you’ve never made a quilt before, she’s putting together the design here. What is, well I’m sorry I got carried away. The first step was the pre cutting. So was all cut. So what is step two if you’re building a quilt?

Ruby: Putting the cubes or squares together.

Rob: Ok. Is there a trick to that?

Ruby: Right sides together.

Rob: Ok

Ruby: Like that.

Rob: Fantastic. Because if you put your right sides or the printed sides together it will hide the seam. Ok. Are you going to do it on the sewing machine?

Ruby: Yes.

Rob: Fantastic. She’s using a quarter inch seam allowance whether she knows it or not. I put an edge guide on my machine so that she just has to park the fabric up against the edge guide. So it’s very easy for her to stay accurate. Now you’re doing great. Did you use any special tricks when you were lining up your fabrics or anything?

Ruby: Just to make sure that they were perfectly together

Rob: Ok

Ruby: Ya that’s basically all.

Rob: Great. Great. So you use these edges to get the top and the bottom to line up?

Ruby: Yes.

Rob: Great. And I forgot to turn our iron on. So I’m just getting it warmed up real quick. So what would happen after that piece? And then I’ll show them how to press that in a second. But what would be the next step?

Ruby:  Then you just keep on adding on.

Rob: Any old way or do you have to keep it in order?

Ruby: Well you just, so you have this and then you just put the next one on top. And you just keep on sewing like that until you have your row together. And then you just sew the rest of the rows. And then after that you put the two rows together and sew those which we’re going to show you.

Rob: Here why don’t you get those parts ready real quick. Now here’s one of my teaching tips. Remember a lot of us parents know so much about quilting we forget some of the basic steps. So what we did is we just took a big space and I let Ruby work through piece by piece by piece. I didn’t make her stack it into piles and number the rows or columns or anything like that. I wanted her to work as organically and natural as possible so I could learn how kids and beginners learn how to make quilt projects. So it was really fun just to put everything out. And she just returned to the quilt each one to make sure it was just as she wanted. So, oh and before you sew it together, will you teach us how?

Ruby: To do what?

Rob: Put the two major rows together. Wasn’t there a trick you were showing me?

Ruby: To first of all line them up and right sides together. And also to get both seams as straight as you can together. This one, on the last one is not that even but I’m going to try to just  

Rob: Do you want to try to put a pin or two in there?

Ruby: Sure

Rob: Ok. So she was talking about lining up her seams like this. And so what we ended up doing, some of them line up real nicely. And some of them are off a little. So we just put a pin at each seam. Starting from one end working down. So that the seams wouldn’t shift as she was working through. So we need a couple more pins.

Ruby: Ok

Rob: I think I need two more, please. You’re doing a great job, by the way. You having fun?

Ruby: Uh huh!

Rob: Good. Ok. So are we lined up?

Ruby: Yes.

Rob: Ok. And so what she was talking about was this seam has gone a little further. But we can cheat that in a little. And sometimes that just comes from how we piece with our pre cuts  too. Ouch, and I just poked myself. Ok. Careful, those pins are obviously sharp today. Ok. So she’s going to start up on one end again. And start putting her rows together. That is a tip from a sewing machine mechanic. She likes to stop before she sews over the pin and remove the pin because she grew up listening to me talk about removing pins from sewing machines. Can I ask you a question while you’re concentrating?

Ruby: Yes.

Rob: Ok, do you find it’s easier to go fast or slow? Do you have a preference? Whoa, I think

Ruby:  This is a

Rob: Slower, huh?

Ruby: Ya this is a sensitive foot, so.

Rob: It is. If any of you have speed controls at your machines at home you can slow your machine down for a beginner because it really, we don’t want to overwhelm them. There’s so much they’re focused on. And they’re having so much fun with the design process. We want to let them enjoy the, enjoy the quilt coming together and not being intimidated by their power tools. I like how you manipulated that seam through there too. Ok.

Rob: Ok, looks good.

Ruby: Dad, we still have to iron it.

Rob: Oh, that’s right, we forgot to show them the ironing earlier too, didn’t we? Because I was waiting for the iron to warm up. So here we have our two squares. This is one of my favorite pressing tricks, ok? I come from the machine with both of my right sides still together, ok? And then what I do is I lay my iron inside. And that kind of helps set that seam. And then it presses it right over that way. If you’ve never heard the term, press to the dark side. It’s always nice if you can have your fabric press over so the seam is hidden by the darker fabric. So that’s putting two pieces together. Now let’s do it over here.

Ruby: Can I do this one?

Rob: Sure can. Let’s try not to get too tangled up in our microphones. That’s ok. We can do it together. Same trick, just a longer row. Oop, oop. Ready, it’s hot.  Looking good. And we’re going to build all of this up so we had our five by six layout. Let me help you. Ok, I’ll trade you spots. I got it. Ok? Good. Not tangled. Oh good we’re a team. Give me five on that one. Nice. Ok so here we go. Now I want to talk about one more little thing. Something like this. Look at how beautiful your seams lined up, right? So that’s why we pinned those. Now sometimes we might have a seam like this that maybe if you were a really precise quilter would bother you or something like that.

Ruby: And this one.

Rob: Oh is that the one? That’s the one we found earlier too.

Ruby: Yes.

Rob: Check this one out. Ok so you know what, it pieces together just fine. If your beginner quilter is happy with the results let them roll through it, right? If your beginner quilter looks concerned about it though, that would be a great time to teach them how to operate a seam ripper and realign it. We did some realigning in our quilt. And we left some seams in our quilt too because we just were enjoying the process. So you want to show them the finished quilt top, what it looks like? Right here I brought that up while you were working on your piecing, ok?

Ruby: This is after we sewed all the rows and we did a stitch in the ditch.

Rob: Correct, we did stitch in the ditch for our machine quilting. And we did use a walking foot. But let’s talk a little bit more about the basting and the backing before we describe the quilting, what do you think?

Ruby: Ok

Rob: Because those are the in the order steps. So once you have your quilt top done you’re going to get a backing. Ok, you want to show them the backing? You showed them earlier. Beautiful. That’s that wonderful dot that was part of the Sadie’s Dance something line. Flip it back, please. Excellent. If you look very closely right over here under my ironing board. I have a two inch, specifically a two inch perimeter all the way around of. So the backing is two inches larger than the quilt top. We’re going to teach you today how to use our backing as our binding as a matter of fact. Making it just one more simple step in our quilt making process. So what Ruby was starting to tell you is she did the backing and the batting, like I said, at least two inches larger on the batting. Definitely two inches larger on the backing itself. What are those safety pins used for?

Ruby: It’s to hold the backing and well basically the quilt before it’s sewed together.

Rob: You’re exactly right.

Ruby: And like before we did the stitch in the ditch.

Rob: Do you remember when we put those pins in, what that term is called?

Ruby: No.

Rob: It was called basting. So we went through and we basted with the safety pins. And what we chose to do, what was our method?

Ruby: We started in the middle and then we did every other one.

Rob: That’s exactly right.

Ruby: And we just smoothed it out and then we put the pin in.

Rob: She really remembers that because we did, we would work with our hands to make sure we pressed it out, smoothed it out nice. Put a pin in every other square that holds all the layers. And then this device is called a walking foot. And it rides on your machine if you don’t have one built in already. And what it does is it helps all the layers stay together. Because we did stitch in the ditch. And that term is where we lay our thread for our machine quilting in the actual ditch or in the seam allowances. And there’s another trick to that. Do you want to teach them the trick to how we do stitch in the ditch? Or do you want me to do it?

Ruby: What’s stitch in the ditch? I forgot.

Rob: I’ll tell you and then you tell them.

Ruby: Ok

Rob: I went up, actually she did all the sewing on these projects. She went up one end this way and then came, ready take it over.

Ruby: And then I came down these ways. So I would go up and then I would turn it around and I would go down. And then I’d go up.

Rob: That’s exactly right. Why did you do that?

Ruby: To make it easier.

Rob: Correct. And to keep things from shifting around so that everything finished nice. There was one last thing we did is we also stopped about a quarter of an inch back from the edge of the quilt all the way around because we need to trim this batting out of the way. Are you ready to trim the batting out of the way?

Ruby: Uh huh.

Rob: Ok so that actually really requires a couple of people. If you’re working as a team it’s easier is maybe what I’m trying to say. So she’s already got her hands ready. Here let’s slide it a little closer to me so it’s easy for me, ok? She’s going to hold the backing away from my scissors. I’m going to take the batting and keep it off of her fingers. Those are two important tips ladies and gentlemen. And now you’re clear?

Ruby: Uh huh.

Rob: I’m slightly pulling the batting out of the quilt top as I go. And I’m just scissor trimming this. Now I have done this method before where I fold it back when I’m working by myself and I rotary cut the batting out of the way. But you have to be very cautious. Having Ruby’s hands here keeping that backing safe from my scissors is very very helpful. So we trim all four sides of the batting out of the way. And then we’re going to prepare to teach you how to do the fold or the self binding. Do you want to show them how to do that?

Ruby: Yes.

Rob: Ok so what are they going to do first after we trim all the extra batting out?

Ruby: So you just take the back and you fold it over once to the edge of the quilt.

Rob: I’ve got that side.

Ruby: And then you just fold it on top of it. And then you just sew along the edge.

Rob: That’s right. Where did you put your needle when you were sewing along the edge? I know you were going to show them here in a second when you show them how to do the corners.

Ruby: Like right here.

Rob: Ya, right on the edge, right?

Ruby: Yes.

Rob: Right. Was it hard?

Ruby: No

Rob: I didn’t think so. Ok, let me trim this batting out of the way. We’ll be right back at the sewing machine for you.


Ruby: So we’re at the sewing machine and we’re ready but I wanted to say that we put in some pins so that we could hold the, sorry

Rob: Binding, it’s called binding.

Ruby: So we could hold the binding together to the quilt so we can sew it easily.

Rob: Ya, ya

Ruby: Easy

Rob: Those pins are going to keep it more organized, so

Ruby: Ya.

Rob: Ok, so are you ready to start sewing?

Ruby: Ya

Rob: Sure. And I’m going to stop Ruby at the corner so we can show the cameras a little bit better angle of how we’re going to handle this corner. But when we do a binding, I mean miter. So she’s sewing right along the edge. And you’re going to come about a quarter of an inch. Let’s not cheat too much. I’m going to stick my hands in here so don’t stitch me in. I want you to stop right about there for me. Right about white stripe gets wide again. Ok and stop. Now at this  point you would normally do this all at the machine. But go ahead and cut your threads please. Thank you. I want to show you how we came up with this fold. And sometimes it’s easier for me to show you if it’s not in the sewing machine itself. So you can see the stitch line. She used matching thread. So again matching threads makes it a little easier on a beginner because they don’t have to worry so much if it shows or not. It was double fold it so the first fold on the corner becomes a miter style fold or a 45, right? Then what we’re going to be able to do is do the fold like we showed you on the first set up. So we folded it over. But then when we bring it this way, would you get me a couple more pins ready please? Once we bring it this way we have this wonderful miter over here. So we’re going to take a pin at this moment because I’m not doing it at the machine, I’m going to pin it for her to make it easy. But normally we do that as we’re approaching on the corner. So let’s go ahead and come around here. And that’s all you have to do to finish those corners and your quilt will be all but complete. But here she’s going to show you as if she’s sewing it from that corner on top. And she’s going to pivot at that new one. If you want to pre roll all of your corners and pre pin you certainly could. You can take a couple of stitches back. So yep, it’s the big button. There you go. One, two, stop, ya you did it. Nice. Ok now you’re going to go ahead and lift your foot, remember?

Ruby: That?

Rob: Nope sorry we don’t want to cut. We’re going to lift.

Ruby: And spin.

Rob: I’ll hold the way. Rotate. Presser foot back down. And then she’ll continue sewing on through that corner.

Ruby: It’s more wide right here.

Rob: That’s ok.

Ruby: Ok

Rob: Ya, however you like it. There you go. We chose the two inch because it’s a little wider than average. And it actually made it so much easier to handle with our fingers in there. And a lot of it, like I said, was really. Ruby did all of her sewing for her quilt all by herself with just a little instructions from across the room. So I was very pleased with how well she did. Ok, fantastic. Let’s do this here. And I tell you what. Why don’t you tell everybody your favorite part of making this quilt real quick?

Ruby: My favorite part was probably doing the stitch in the ditch.

Rob: And why did you like the stitch in the ditch so much?

Ruby: Because I thought that I was really good at it and it was really fun because I was actually using the thread that’s basically close to my favorite color. So.

Rob: Well I want to say I felt that she was very good at the stitch in the ditch too. She took it nice and slow. She kept her hands spread to keep that seam wide open. And it really turned out lovely. We’re very proud of the quilt we’ve made here. The doll is incredibly comfortable underneath it. She tells us every morning when she wakes up.

Rob: And we are so excited to have career day happening. And you’ll have to check out our doll bed skirt and ruffle coming up real soon. We’ll catch you next time at…

Ruby: Man Sewing!

Rob: Give me hive! Nice.

Ruby: What’s a hive?

Rob: That was a hug and five at the same time. Ya, now we’re going to have to have a blooper reel for that.

posted: Beginner Quilting Tutorials, Charm Packs, Quilt Charm Packs, Quilts and Quilt Blocks | tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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  • Nen

    Ruby is so confident and articulate, you must be very proud.