Quilt Patterns Through Time

Childhood Treasures: Doll Quilts by and for Children

Childhood Treasures book cover
"Crib and doll quilts are perhaps the most tender and personal of all quilts, treasured not only for their charm but also for the love that went into making them." Merikay Waldvogal in Childhood Treasures
Mary Ghormley's Doll Quilt Collection

If it weren't for the friendship between doll quilt collector, Mary Ghormley, and quilt historian, Merikay Waldvogel, this book would never have come to be. These two women, born a generation apart, were a perfect match for this book. Merikay has written several books on quilt history and Mary needed a writer to document her extensive collection. As her collection numbers over 300 doll quilts the two collaborators had a great array to choose from.

The book displays 80 of Mary's small wonders. They are organized by periods covering over 100 years of history. You will enjoy learning about children's quilts made during each time frame.

History, Collecting and the Quilts

Whether you make doll quilts, collect them or just relish reading about and viewing these small creations, you will love this book.

Leafing through this book is like attending an exhibit of Mary Ghormley's collection. Each quilt is displayed on a full page of its own with intriguing information by Merikay Waldvogel on the quilt, fabric and pattern.

You feel like you have Mary there at the exhibit telling you her personal thoughts about some of her quilts. For example on one she tells us, "This quilt was surely made by a child for a doll. It's a little odd but very charming." She continues on to tell how she believes the child must have made the quilt. I assure you this particular quilt is truly unique.

If you are interested in collecting doll quilts you will learn a bit about what to watch for and about the challenge of dating them. It's not so easy as one might think.

If you like to make doll or miniature quilts your possibilities will open up to so many patterns and styles. The photos will guide you in finding reproduction fabrics to reflect a given period.

Those of us with a special interest in quilt history will appreciate the detail Marikay has put into her information on the quilts. I especially enjoyed reading, "The letter M quilt-block was published in Hearth and Home in February 1906. A reader named 'Busybody' from Erie, Kansas, submitted it." Here we thought we were doing something new using nicknames while sharing patterns on the Internet.
Delightful Imperfection

When I think of the quilts in this book I find myself seeing them as a collection of delightful imperfection. Many of them are obviously child made. But sometimes it's hard to tell if a quilt is made by a girl with some sewing experience or by a busy mother wanting to quickly make a quilt for her child. Then of course there are occasional masterpieces, possibly made by an aunt or grandmother.


The quilts and information that Mary Ghormley has gathered will be preserved for posterity at the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. You can view a virtual lecture by Mary Ghormley through the video found on their site at Childhood Treasures: Quilts Made for and by Children

To buy this book:

Order Childhood Treasures through Amazon.com

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