Let's Play Cut-Outs!


I can’t imagine that the children of today could understand the magic of paper dolls. All of today’s technology, not to mention the ease of shopping online and the vast array of stores flooding suburbia, would surely seem far more exciting. But if you grew up in the 60’s with a Mother that didn’t drive, getting a new crisp package of paper dolls from the local drug store was amazing!

My Mother had a weekly appointment with the hairdresser for a shampoo and set, conveniently located next door to the drugstore. If we all behaved and did our chores while she was gone, she might just bring my two bothers a rocket kit to build and my three sisters and I some paper dolls to cut out. The chores were easy enough but the behaving? Let’s just say we didn’t leave evidence behind. She’d bring us our treats and we’d spend hours on the back porch cutting them out with our school scissors and screaming silly when one of us inadvertently cut off one of the little white fold over tabs!

When J. Wecker Frisch showed me Paperdoll, her first line by Riley Blake Designs, I knew right away I would make an applique quilt with paper doll outfits from the past, complete with the little “paper” tabs you folded over the cardboard dolly.

The collection is new and fun but brings her classic tape measure and pin cushions as well. If we had any little girls in our life I would be making a dress out of the blue pin cushion print! Is that the cutest print ever or what?

As for the quilt, the blocks are inspired by vintage paper dolls (or cut outs) from Aunt Henri’s collection. We tried to keep the outfits timeless by basing them on styles worn by children from the forties through the seventies. Simple silhouettes you could alter or trim to create a very fun quilt.

We pulled the pink and blue colorways from the collection, but wouldn’t it be fun with the vibrant red mixed with the white and black prints?

We work a lot with J Wecker Frisch and one of my favorite things is fussy cutting the fabric. We can always find something that need to be spotlighted—like the spool cotton belt.