Little girls and their dolls
"…little girls often have a great many small bits of cloth, and large remnants of time…it is better for them to make cradle-quilts for their dolls, or their baby brothers, than to be standing around, wishing they had something to do."
“When a little girl begins to sew, her mother can promise her a small bed and pillow, as soon as she has sewed a patch quilt for them; and then a bedstead, as soon as she has sewed the sheets and cases for pillows; and then a large doll to dress, as soon as she has made the under-garments; and thus go on till the whole contents of the baby-house are earned by the needle and skill of its little owner. Thus the task of learning to sew will become a pleasure; and every new toy will be earned by useful exertion. A little girl can be taught, by the aid of patterns prepared for the purpose, to cut and fit all articles necessary for her doll. She can also be provided with a little wash-tub and irons, and thus keep in proper order a complete miniature domestic establishment.”
“Children may learn to make patch-work by beginning with kettle-holders and iron-holders; and for these purposes the smallest piece of calico may be used. These holders should be lined with thick white muslin, and bound all around with tape; at one corner there should be a loop by which to hang them up. With very little additional effort or skill, the result could be a small quilt for a doll’s cradle, an infinitely more rewarding conclusion to those small labors.”
“Begin early is the great maxim for everything in education. A child of six years old can be made useful; and should be taught to consider every day lost in which some little thing has not been done to assist others.”
To learn more about the lifestyle of 19th and early 20th Century little girls, their dolls and doll quilts, we invite you to explore our website.