Quilt Patterns Through Time

Patterns From the Mid 1900s for Doll & Baby Scottie Dog Quilts

Scottie dog doll quilt
What a difference this quilt is from the 19th century children's quilts that were basically a miniature adult quilt.

Children's Themes for Children's Quilts

By the 20th century quilts with motifs that children would love were quite common. The quilt that I've designed for this period is a delightful Scottie dog quilt. Though such a quilt would have been cut from templates and pieced I'm also providing a version made with modern paper piecing along with a traditional pattern.

The Myth of Scottie Quilts Being Inspired by Roosevelt's Famous Dog

"Olive pieced her Fala blocks in 1934, at age fourteen, selecting attractive fabric combinations for the Scots Terrier and his little jacket. At the time, it was not uncommon to dress a small pet house dog against inclement weather…"1

Franklin Roosevelt with Fala

There is just one problem with the name of Olive's Scottie quilt. President Franklin Roosevelt's dog Fala wasn't born until 1940! Olive must have started calling the quilt her Fala quite a few years after she first pieced those blocks.

It's usually assumed that quilts with Scottish Terriers on quilts were inspired by Fala the Scottie that Roosevelt took with him almost everywhere. The feisty little dog was so well known it's been said that Fala was as popular as his presidential master. It's amusing to learn that the name Fala is short for his full name, Murray, the Outlaw of Fala Hill.2

I imagine quilters making this quilt were thinking of Fala during the 1940s and by the mid 1950s they might well have been thinking of Jock in the movie "Lady and the Tramp".

As it turns out Scotch Terriers had already become a popular pet in the years after World War I. In fact the Eleanor and Franklin got their first Scottie even earlier, shortly after their marriage in 1905. They were so popular people were already buying everything from greeting cards to Scottie figurines. So it was only natural that quilts with delightful Scotties on them became popular as well. Of course Roosevelt's Fala added fuel to the enthusiasm for Scotties. But the truth is that Scottie quilts came first and then Fala.

Scottie Pieced Doll and Baby Quilt Layouts

Some Scottie quilts are appliqued but the pattern I designed for you is based on pieced Scottie quilts. Below you can see two different ways the Scottie baby quilt can be laid out, one in rows and the other on point.

baby quilt in rows of blocks baby quilt with blocks on point
If all this has inspired you to make a Scottie quilt go to the Free Baby & Doll Scottie Dog Quilt Pattern page for the pattern and instructions.

References: 1 p164 "West Virginia Quilts and Quiltmakers: Echoes From the Hills", by Fawn Valentine

2 "The Biography of Fala", at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

Related Webpage:

World War II & Beyond: Quilting, Alive Beneath the Surface