East Dakota Quilter


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Frozen Queue & Anna Block

You might be wondering why, although I have only two sides left to bind on my Marcelle Medallion quilt, it’s still not finished. Good question. I already posted that I took a break to finish a doll in time for a little girl’s birthday party last weekend, but I also have a new quilt block to share today:

Anna Frozen block by EastDakotaQuilter

This is Anna from the movie Frozen. I still have to embroider her nose and white hair streak, but I am excited by how well it turned out! The pattern is free on Craftsy and was drafted by Sew Much Mischief. You can see her blog post about this block here. Of course, it only made sense that I would buy the movie soundtrack and listen to it on repeat while sewing this block!

I made a couple of changes. I enlarged the block to be 12.5″ unfinished (12″ finished) so I can pair it with some snowflake blocks that are the same size. Considering how small the pieces were for her eyes, I’m doubly glad I made that adjustment! Also note the Elsa pattern as two letter M pieces; if you look at the piecing order, you’ll see right away which would should actually be an N. Finally, note that not all blocks are the same size. You may need to adjust if you plan to make a quilt with the blocks.

Anna block back by EastDakotaQuilter

Perhaps best of all is that I made this block entirely from fabrics I already owned. I got a high five from my fiancé for that! I wasn’t too sure about the hair color at first. It’s an oakshott cotton with woven threads in brown and blue, but it looks great against Anna’s purple cape. Most of the rest were various Kona fat quarters.

Sew Much Mischief also has free Craftsy patterns for Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven. Happy sewing!


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Sewing A Rag Doll

I have gotten some great gifts from my Great Aunt Carol over the years, but perhaps the most-loved of all were the dolls she sent my sister and me one year for Christmas. The dolls were the same style without being identical, which we loved. I named mine Elise; my sister named hers Gretchen. Here we are opening the presents. (I’m on the left with the new permanent teeth and awesome gold scrunchie.)

Christmas Dolls

Some of my earliest sewing (and hot gluing) projects were clothes for Elise. My sister and I created a doll suitcase out of a gutted casette tape holder. We loved the dolls and still have them–only a little worse for wear.

dolls from carol by EastDakotaQuilter

Remembering how much I loved my own doll, I wanted to make a doll for my friend’s daughter–the same girl who received the first quilt I ever made and the Sunday Brunch Jacket. I scoured the internet for a pattern. None of them seemed right. I concluded I didn’t just like having a doll, I liked having the specific style of doll I received from Carol–not too big, not too small, and cuddly. I had to make that doll.

Fortunately, my mom was able to help me create a similar pattern.

doll by EastDakotaQuilter

I bought the materials when my friend’s little girl was born… two years ago this Easter Sunday! But I was too scared to start. I was especially worried about sewing the hair. For one thing, my mom’s pattern didn’t have a seam in the back like Carol’s did, and Elise had yarn hair sewn into the back seam. For another, I wasn’t certain exactly how much hair (yarn) would be needed. And I was scared the yarn would be difficult to distribute evenly. What if it was thin on top and bunched at the nape of her neck as I worked my way down the seam?!

It wasn’t as bad as I expected, but I will say I have an even greater appreciation for the doll Carol made me after trying to make one of my own!!! I definitely learned a few tricks in the process. And she looked like Frankenstein in the process.

unfinished doll by EastDakotaQuilter

One of my favorite things about the doll I got from Great Aunt Carol was the number of outfits she had. She could be dressed for tea one moment and wearing pajamas the next. I knew I wanted to make several outfits for this doll, too. My favorite is the pair of pantaloons made out of a lacy material.outfits by EastDakotaQuilter

doll outfits by EastDakotaQuilter

I also made one of Jeni’s drawstring bags to hold the extra doll clothes. She was gifted wearing the outfit most like a salwar kameez.

clothes bag by EastDakotaQuilter

My friend’s little girl scooped the doll up to give her a big hug right away. She “changed the doll’s diaper” (pantaloons) and wiped the baby with a baby wipe. Then she put the doll on a chair, realized it was as big as she was, and got scared, haha.

Did you have a favorite doll, or do you have a favorite doll pattern? Little girls seem to remember their favorite childhood dolls, so I hope this will be a happy part of my friend’s sweet little girl’s childhood.


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Drawstring Bags – Photographer & Knitter Gifts

Have you seen Jeni’s FREE drawstring bag tutorial on her website, InColorOrder? The bags have been popping up on Instagram for a long time. I liked them right away but couldn’t think how to use them. Then I had a few ideas!

One of my friends is a photographer. I made this bag for her.

drawstring bag by eastdakotaquilter

I bought the camera print probably over a year ago. I love photographs, but I didn’t want people to see it and expect my photos to be awesome as a result. They’re not. (Did you see that iPhone beauty above?! My camera lens has been severely damaged since July 2013.) Every time I saw the fabric, I thought “Laila’s the real photographer.” You can see her work here. I decided to use the fabric to make her something! I like the way it turned out.

drawstring bag by eastdakotaquilter

Another of my friends is a knitter. I actually don’t know her super well since she’s a friend-of-a-friend, but she has been very welcoming since I moved to D.C., where she’s been living for several years. She even invited me to join her book club. I just wanted to make a little something to say thank you, and when I saw this sheep fabric, I knew just what to make!

drawstring bag for knitting by eastdakotaquilter

inside drawstring bag by eastdakotaquilter

I was surprised how quick these were to make, especially since I sew slow. I’m excited to make more soon. You know, it’s tax day in the U.S. One of these bags could probably hold a lot of receipts! 😉


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Sew Kitschy BOM – 2 more months!

Although I was a day late on March’s block of the month, I now have both March and April finished! March was a mixing bowl:

bowl by eastdakotaquilter

April was a teapot:

tea by eastdakotaquilter

Considering that the weekend I planned to work on the March block of the month was the WEEKEND I GOT ENGAGED, I’m not feeling too badly about my late finish! You can see my blocks for January and February here.