Last spring my granddaughter “A” informed me that she loved American Girl dolls and that her other dolls needed a bed. A quick conference with the mister ensued and we came up with a plan. We weren’t ready to spring for an American Girl doll just yet but we thought that her other babies did deserve a proper place to sleep.
So the search began. I scoured the internet (what did I do before the ‘net?) for inspiration pieces. Now, the mister works and thinks along the same lines as me. Take a pattern or idea, make changes and embellishments along the way and the final product becomes an original, one -of-a-kind creation. We needed basic dimensions for the bed so that if Santa felt inclined to put an American Girl doll in “A’s” stocking come Christmastime, the doll would be able to fit into this bed.
The mister came up with a nice plan for a natural finish oak bed with a high headboard and a low footboard. It took him several days to pick out the wood and make the basic cuts. Then he dry fit all of the pieces to check to see if any adjustments needed to be made. Everything looked great…actually better than I envisioned and so he proceeded to glue up all of the parts. After a bit of sanding and fine finishing we put on a couple of coats of polyurethane and stood back and admired this darling little bed.
But what a about a mattress?
These poor baby dolls can’t just lay in this hard oak frame of a bed! Mister and I found a nice piece of foam that was about 2 inches thick and we cut it to the size that we needed. But what little girl wants dolls on ugly green foam? Ugh!
Back to the web I go. Time to be brave and suck it up. I am going to have to sew something. I say the word sew with jaws clenched and teeth grinding. I detest, no, I abhor sewing. Hate, hate, hate! But I need to pull on the big girl panties and do this thing for my sweet granddaughter. I find a pattern for a fitted doll sheet. I fashion a cover for the foam and then place the fitted sheet on top. I amazed myself. Nobody died and the thing actually looked cute. Not perfect by any means, but it was cute.
So then mister….in his infinite wisdom….says “Nice but now it needs a quilt and some pillows.” Just.Kill.Me.Now.
How hard can this be?
I did actually have sewing skills and knew most of the basics. But my sewing machine and I had a tenuous relationship at best. Birds nests on the back of everything, eating the material, skipped and messy stitches and that was from the first day I brought it home nearly 25 years ago. But I was determined to make this work so off I went to the craft store to buy some fabric. I found some pre-cut squares of tropical themed material and some shell buttons and lace. I had a plan!
But execution? Hell, I was ready to be executed! Feeling quite proud of myself upon the finishing of this little quilt, I then started on the pillows. Or I tried to start on the pillows. Only my bobbin wouldn’t fill. That rat bastard of a machine decided at the worst possible moment that it didn’t want to engage any gears….nothing! I was so frustrated but what to do? I had to finish. Off I trudged to that big-box marketer to purchase a new machine.
I came home with a Brother Project Runway 8080 machine and got ready to spar with a new opponent. But, WAIT A MINUTE! It didn’t fight me, it didn’t argue, it didn’t even complain. It just sewed. Nicely. Easily. Lovely little stitches. It wasn’t all me after all.
I finished the sweet little pillows and stepped back and admired my skills (that were rusty and needed work) but I proved to myself that I could do this. Mister was impressed with our finished project and eager to send it on to the tiny recipient. As we boxed up her birthday gift, without hesitation he asked “When are you going to make us a quilt?”
Back when we started this project, taking photos for a blog was the furthest thing from my mind. So please bear with the cell phone photos. They are the only ones I have.
UPDATE: I have since sewn quite a few quilts and home dec projects in the last year or so. If you would like to take a look at some of my other quilts, now is your chance! You can take a look here, here, here or here. Just for fun, here is my latest creation.