Monday, July 17, 2006

Dutch doll do-over

I was 9 years old when my mother decided I needed to learn to embroider. I had already learned to knit and crochet, and was making doll clothes like crazy.

In order to learn embroidery, I was to make an appliqu├ęd Dutch Doll quilt. My mom cut out the squares and the pieces for the quilt, I had to turn under all the edges, baste in place, and embroider around each piece with the blanket stitch. There ended up being 18 squares in all.

These were put together with pink strips and cotton batting. Over the years, the cotton batting bunched up and made the quilt heavy, hard, and lumpy.

This week I liberated the little Dutch Dolls from the heavy quilt. I washed the squares, noticing quite a lot of stains, but after drying outside in the sunshine all day, they look much better, and since they are pretty old, the vintage look is okay.

I have plans for a new Dutch Doll quilt, I never really liked the pink in the original quilt, so that will change. I hated to see that quilt just stacked away, not to be used, so I am glad I took it apart - recycle, reuse.

I guess all little girls used to learn to embroider. I wonder if many do now. I must say I actually used this skill later in life - to make flowers on my jeans in the late 60s/70s, and on some baby clothes in the late 70s/early 80s. I will probably use it again soon, teaching my granddaughters to embroider. It's kinda like the reason you learn algebra - so you can help your kids with their homework.


Motherkitty said...

I was taught to embroider pillowcases at a very young girl by my grandmother and my mother. My mother always sewed as long as I could remember. The only time I embroider anything is when I'm signing my signature on one of my personalized needlepoint pictures. It's not a lost art with me, it's just something that I don't do anymore.

Your quilt should look beautiful once you finish putting it back together. It will be a real family heirloom then. Good luck.

Daughter Carrie said...

My Mamaw Tidwell tought me how to embroider. I remember the very first thing she taught me with. It was a little kitty with a big bow around its neck. I made the cat pink for some reason and the bow red. I even made the eyes blue with a black nose. Such good memories!

Also, just this weekend I was doing crochet making a blanket (I think) and I also knitted a scarf with fringe on the ends. I'm thinking about picking up the cross stitch again as well.

THANKS MOM! For teaching me the family traits!

Alice said...

So many memories locked into those little dolls. It would have been such a shame for them not to be seen and loved again. Please post photos of your 'new' quilt when it's completed. Great work, Susan. I'm sure if your grandaughters know the story of your quilt they will be only too eager to learn to embroider as well. Have fun working together.

KCQuilter said...

What a fantastic thing to do--breathe life back into your Dutch Dolls!!! Embroidering on stamped tea towels and weaving loops on a little red metal loom are how my interest in fibers and sewing began!!! Such fond memories.

"Grandi" said...

Oh - I did that 60/70s floral embroidery too! My 70/80s sewing was all "stretch-and-sew" for my 2 little boys! I would have loved to do some embroidery, but - the boys just didn't look as good in flowers! HA!!
I now have 2 granddaughters, and they are my reasons for getting back into that again! Wahoo!

Finn said...

I LOVE your Dutch Girls Susan!! So happy to know you still have them, and can share that time and experience with granddaughters..*VBS* I think taking that quilt apart, and getting rid of the lumpy cotton batting is a loving tribute to you Mom and the older ladies who taught us these skills. Absolutely nothing wrong with a re-due for a beloved quilt.
It will be a treasure just that much longer. And you can combine your re-making of it,with the original story and share it with the family today.

I hope you will use a more user friendly batting if you are going to hand quilt it..*VBS* Hugs, Finn