Mariner’s Compass Doll Quilt

I can hardly believe I finally finished this little quilt, which has been hanging around here for about 15 years. I had quilted about two-thirds of the top with a diagonal grid, and I just wasn’t happy with it, so I ripped out the quilting and it took another 4 years for me to pick it up again. Although I had planned an all-over quilting pattern again, I changed my mind and settled on a circular pattern, which meant I didn’t have to worry so much about the wonkiness of my blocks and the fact that the angles don’t line up. This is a fairly challenging pattern to make in this size, and I think I could probably do a better job now that I’ve had more experience working with miniature blocks.

The pattern is from Mini Quilts From Traditional Designs, by Corcoran and Wilkinson, and I tried to make mine look just like the one in the book, which is something I don’t normally do now. The top was made when I first began using vintage fabric — the brown and tan background fabrics are reproduction, and the compass circles are vintage. Several of the prints in the compasses and the sawtooth border are much more contemporary than the period represented by the repro backgrounds, but I didn’t know much about vintage fabrics back then and was just thinking about the colors. The compass circles were hand pieced with a running stitch (I don’t do paper piecing), and then appliquéd onto the background squares.

Mariner’s Compass Doll Quilt
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2014
hand pieced, appliquéd & hand quilted
17″ x 17″


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