Thursday, August 2, 2007

American Girl Dolls & Early 1900's Quilt Blocks

Ok, I need help. I’m usually good at web searches but I must not have the right idea on getting this search going.

I'm currently working on "big kid quilts" for some of my cousins' kids. With all of these big kid quilts that I’m making, that leaves one kid in the group out. She got her big kid quilt 5 years ago. I don’t want to leave her out completely so we came up with the idea of little quilts for Sammi’s American Girl dolls. That’s all fine and good but…

I can’t find the sizes of these dolls. I can look at their accessories online but nothing I’m looking at shows the dimensions of them OR for that matter the sizes of their ultra expensive “bedding” sets for dolls.

Sammi has Samantha and Nelly. I have found out that Samantha’s time period in the books is 1904 and that she was considered a “proper young lady.” Nellie is a servant girl that Samantha becomes friends with.

I was thinking of making single block quilts for these two dolls. I’d like to make blocks that were popular in the early 1900’s. I guess I’d also like to make Samantha’s something that a “proper young lady” would have had and Nelly’s something that a servant girl would have.

For the Samantha doll, I was sort of thinking a crazy quilt, but I don’t have the right kind of scraps for that.

Why do I have such a mind block on this period of history? Do I really need to go to the library and check myself out a few American Girl Doll books???

I guess it’s important to mention that if you just Google American Girl Doll & Quilts, some of the other dolls mention quilts and quilting in their books. This one doesn’t seem to.

I have a feeling my “research” is going to take much longer than these small little quilts.


Thursday, August 2, 2007 - Quickly here's your answer
Posted by luv2quilt (
Size of American Girl Dolls: The dolls have a standard size of 18 inches which enables the Amercian Girls to share clothing and accessories. Michelle

Thursday, August 2, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by (
I thought that was the size, Michelle. I'm glad you know for sure. I would think that Samantha's quilt should be a pattern of some kind. I have a lover's knot pattern in doll size somewhere in a magazine, but you could make any block smaller. I would think the maid would have just a patchwork quilt - all the same size squares, or maybe a 9 patch. Something utilitarian and servicable, probably made with leftover scraps from the quilts of the owners of the house. RhodaEdited by 51050 on Thursday, August 2, 2007 at 05:21 PM

Thursday, August 2, 2007 - 18" Doll
Posted by Anonymous (
Hi Jen! Well I went online and entered American Doll Samantha and one of the lines came up as 18" Porcelin doll. Hope that helps! Maureen...still blogless

Thursday, August 2, 2007 - Late 19th/Early 20th Century
Posted by Cow-lico Quilter (
A couple of things that I thought of when reading your post. Nellie - almost certainly scraps, also there is quite a lot of discussion of whether or not Log Cabin was used for the Underground Railroad. Whether or not it was, the pattern would have been in use by the early 1900's and is go for scraps. Samantha - What about a Baltimore album? Also the first thing that I found upon googling "late 19th century quilts" was an abundance of references to "Turkey Red". Finally, you might think about looking for Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns, it has quilt a bit of history. My library has a copy, but of course yours may not unfortunately. I know that one of the shops in the area has it too, so maybe one of your area shops will have it. I keep thinking that I am going to buy it so I can stop taking it from the library every time I turn around. Hope this helps at least a little.

Monday, September 3, 2007 - doll quilt
Posted by Anonymous (
This site may be useful to you: The site shows a log cabin quilt for that era. As a child, Samantha was my favorite doll (although she has been packed away for 15+ years now). Although she was from the Victorian era, she inhabited all time-frames when used to play with her, so I imagine your recipient would love a quilt of any style. I would recommend making a quilt approximately 20"x22". 14"x19" would be your absolute minimum, and it may look small when draped across a doll. You may want to also consider browsing the craft shelves of Borders or Barnes and Nobles. If they have the book "American Doll Quilts" by Kathleen Tracy, then you may want to write down some dimensions and read through some of her ideas. I think she has a crazy quilt for the early 1900s. You may still want to consider that idea. If you think you don't have enough stash for it, then the joy of a crazy quilt (particularly a doll-sized one), is that you can always go to Goodwill and spend very little money on some cordoury, velvet, or even silk/polyster clothing that can then be cut up into crazy quilt material. Good luck, -Katie

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