Doll and Baby Quilts From History by Judy Anne Breneman http://www.womenfolk.com/baby_quilts/Quilting a Mixture of Old and New
Isn't the quote delightful, it's from the 70s and sounds like it's from todayl Even then women were busy and wanted craft projects that were fast and fun. Many of the classic block patterns were used in this period. But quilting books and magazines also liked to present the new and different and one of these was the puff quilt.
Although puff style quilts were made earlier they made a grand come back in the 1970s. Puff quilts, also called biscuit quilts, were presented with a twist in the "Stuff "n" Puff Quilts" pattern book. This book had patterns for octagon, star, flowers and other shaped individual puffs to be sewn together to make a quilt. Applique, embroidery and even zigzags sewn with a sewing machine embellished these quilts. The secret was that each puffed section was big so the quilt could be made quickly. Back to Earth and Homemade
The hippie movement inspired many to go back to the old ways of gardening, canning the produce, sewing clothing and making quilts. Many people were concerned about the environment and one way to recycle was to make a biscuit quilt and stuff the sections with old unwearable nylon stockings. The problem was that a quilt stuffed with nylons was lumpy and weighed a ton!Our Little 70s Puff Quilt for a Doll
I had to be a bit creative in making this style small enough for a doll so I decided on nine 6" squares, each with an appliqued posy on it. But we won't be weighing down any dolls with heavy lumpy nylons. They can enjoy modern light weight high loft batting in their puff quilts instead.A Different Way to Make a Quilt
This is a quilt as you go technique with a twist. You will make each puff individually then sew them together. You can choose any fabrics, you don't have to stick to the period. I used orange, red, brown and avacado as they were the popular earthy colors of the 1970s.
Cut out your solid colored squares at 6½ inches square. This includes the fabric for the seam allowance. Because of the puffiness they will measure less than 6 inches when you are done.Adding the Posy
Go to the Puff Flower PDF at http://www.womenfolk.com/baby_quilts/puff_flower.pdf to get the template for the posy that will be appliqued to the center of each block. I hand appliqued mine with the blanket stitch but you could machine quilt it with the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. In the 1970s women didn't have all of the lovely decorative machine stitches we have today but they did have the zigzag stitch!Combining Front and Back with Stuffing
Once you have appliqued the flowers you are ready to sew together the back and front. Put them right sides together and sew leaving enough space to turn the squares and put in the batting. Normally the square would be stuffed with filling of some sort but we are working small with a doll quilt so I just used a doubled square of fluffy batting. You can experiment to see what comes out right for you. We just don't want the quilt to be stuffed so tight it will bounce right off of the doll! Then stitch the rest of the seam together.Backing Possibilities
You can either vary the backing fabric using different fabrics for the squares or you can make them all the same fabric. I had some 70s fabric I've been wanting to use and it was perfect for the back of my puff quilt.Final Touches
When each square pillow is done sew a button through center of each posy. Be sure to stitch the front and back together as you sew on the button.
You can leave the squares as little pillows with just the button hilding the middle together or you can quilt along the edges of each posy to give an added dimension.
Once the squares are done whipstitch them together and your quilt is finished.