How to Assemble a Doll Quilt Kit for a Young Crafter in Training

comments (3) December 26th, 2008     

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MaryRay Mary Ray, contributor
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Precut and assemble kits to teach your young crafter to sew.
Add some pins, needles, scissors, and a ruler to complete the sewing kit.
Make up some paper practice sheets. Sewing on paper, with no thread, is a great way to learn to control the sewing machine.
Precut and assemble kits to teach your young crafter to sew.

Precut and assemble kits to teach your young crafter to sew.

Photo: Mary Ray

One of the first things I ever sewed as a child—on a little child’s hand-crank sewing machine—was a small patchwork quilt for my doll. I was about 9 years old and, although my quilt was full of not-so-straight seams, I was really proud of it. I don’t remember if I made a backing for it—probably not—but it didn’t matter because my quilt was something I had sewn all by myself and I thought it was beautiful.

A simple, small patchwork quilt is a great starter project for a child. It doesn’t take long to put together, and immediate gratification—more or less—is a great incentive to sew and learn more.

My first suggestion is a doll quilt that’s 10 inches x 16 inches to sew by machine. The top is made up of five long strips of fabric so there are no corners that have to be matched up. The second design has a top, 10 inches x 12 inches, made up of 30 squares hand-sewn together. (This one, of course, can be made with fewer squares that are larger.)

For each kit you’ll need:

  • Four fat quarters (The stripe and the hearts in my group are by Prints Charming for Marcus Brothers Textiles.)
  • Batting (I used Quilter’s Dream Green, earth-friendly soft polyester batting made 100% from recycled plastic
  • bottles!)
  • Thread
  • Yarn
  • A large-eyed hand-sewing needle
  • A needle threader
  • Some sheets of paper with lines, corners, and curves to practice machine sewing (Use these with the machine unthreaded. It’s a neat way to learn to guide the machine and to pivot and turn.)


Add some pins, needles, scissors, and a ruler to complete the sewing kit.


Make up some paper practice sheets. Sewing on paper, with no thread, is a great way to learn to control the sewing machine.


Pack the fabric and some supplies into a fun little storage box.

Cut the Fabric:
For the machine-sewn kit, cut five strips that are 17 inches long and 2-1/2 inches wide; a backing piece that’s 11 inches x 17 inches; and a batting piece that’s the same size as the backing.

For the hand-sewn kit, cut thirty 2-1/2-inch squares; a backing piece that’s 11 inches x 13 inches; and a batting piece that’s the same size as the backing.

Construction Tips

Machine-Sewn Quilt:


Alternate five long strips of fabric and sew together by machine.

Sew the five strips together with 1/4-inch seams and press the seam allowances to one side.

Place the right side of the backing to the right side of the pieced top and sew around three sides with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out and slip the batting inside like a pillow into a pillow case.

Smooth out and quilt together by tying with yarn, making about five knots per row.


Use a needle threader to thread a large-eyed needle with some fine yarn.


Insert a double strand of the yarn from top to bottom and back up again.


Make a knot and trim the strands.

Turn in the edges of the open side 1/2 inch, press, and sew together along the fold or slipstitch by hand.

Hand-Sewn Quilt:


Alternate squares for a small patchwork quilt.

With a pencil, mark a stitching line on the wrong side of each square that’s 1/4 inch in from each cut edge.


Mark the sewing lines on the wrong side of each square with a pencil, 1/4 inch from the cut edges.

Hand-sew the blocks together in rows first, using the drawn lines as a guide. Use a running stitch. Start and stop at the corners and backstitch at the beginning and end of each row to secure the thread.


Hand-sew along the lines with a running stitch, starting and stopping at the corner.
Press the seam allowances to one, alternating the direction with each row to lessen the bulk. Sew the rows together.

Complete the backing and tying as previously described.

When you’re teaching a child to sew, it’s important to instill good habits and show how to achieve straight rows and even stitches. But, perfection isn’t necessary! It’s more important to have fun. At some point, everyone needs to learn how to correct mistakes, but having to do things over and over is a sure way to lose interest. So try to overlook those not-so-straight seams and ignore those little puckers!

posted in: , children, kit

Comments (3)

the_quilt_lady writes: I love making quilts; and I think a quilt kit is the perfect way to introduce a newbie to quilting. Also, a great way to spend time with someone special. I have three boys; and when they were very young; I had each one of them help in sewing a small quilt together. We still have that quilt and they are all young men now. It is a special "memory" that I treasure!
Posted: 10:25 pm on December 29th
SewHollister writes: Love the idea of this project. I teach sewing to a wide range of students starting at age 14 and up and I think it is a great idea to have a kit for the projects they make.
A kit like this would be a good project for my mother/daughter class since the daughters are usually younger then my normal students.

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful project.

Posted: 11:55 am on December 29th
AJackson writes: I like this project. I have a home ec class of 15 girls ranging from 7th to 11th grade. We will beginning sewing in the second semester so this is a great and easy project ton begin with.

Thanks alot

A Jackson [email protected]
Posted: 8:39 pm on December 27th
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