How to Sew an 18″ Doll Patchwork Quilt, Pillow and Nightgown

You can easily sew a patchwork quilt and coordinating pillows for an 18′ doll with this free tutorial. This is a great scrap-cutting project because the squares on the front of the quilt are only 2-1/2 x 2-1/2! Choose your child’s favorite colors or themes like dogs, rainbows, holidays, or even leftover fabrics from the clothes you’ve sewed.

You don’t have to be an expert in quilt-making to create this doll quilt. My sewing expertise is seamstress, but I was easily able to sew this adorable patchwork quilt for the special baby girl in my life. The best part? If your squares don’t match up perfectly, that’s okay! I will not say. Believe me, a child who receives this quilt for his doll will never notice. They will cherish it knowing you made it! How do I know? Because the patchwork quilts the size of a Barbie doll I sewed for my younger sister (when I was a teenager) are now owned by that sister’s granddaughters. Those little quilts were far from perfect, but every generation has lovingly played with them.

When you’ve finished sewing your doll’s patchwork quilt and pillow, use the “How to Sew a Long Ruffled Dress for an 18” doll tutorial to create a nightgown. Tips for doing so are included at the end of this blog post.

18 inch doll nightgown with lace trim and ruffled hem

18″ Doll Patchwork Quilt Sewing Material

Doll quilt finished size will measure approximately 18″ x 20″.

  • 81 kinds of fabrics 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ each
  • 1 piece of fabric 18-1/2 (W) x 2-1/2 inches (L)
  • 1 piece of cloth 18-1/2 (w) x 20-1/2 (l)
  • One piece of batting 20″ (w) x 22 (l)
  • topic to coordinate
  • adhesive spray (optional)
  • Rotary Cutter (or Fabric Scissors)
  • ruler
  • Self-healing mat (if using a rotary cutter)
  • Iron and ironing board
  • pins
  • Sewing machine (I used a BERNINA 770 QE)

Picture of supplies needed to sew an 18 inch patchwork doll quilt

18″ Doll Patchwork Quilt Sewing Steps

Noticeable: Welds 1/4 inch

Fabric cutting and punching

90 square 2-1/2 inch

  • Cut 81 squares of fabric measuring 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ each
  • Cut a fabric strip measuring 18-1/2″ (W) x 2-1/2 (L)
  • Cut a piece of fabric that measures 18-1/2 (w) x 20-1/2 (l)
  • Cut one piece of batting at 20″ (wide) x 22″ (length)

Create patchwork quilt rows

Lay the fabric squares right side up on a flat work surface and arrange them in the pattern you want. There will be nine squares across and nine squares down. The fabric strip will be 18-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ on top of the quilt.

Group nine squares together to make the first row. To do this, place two squares right-sided facing and stitch using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Group the remaining eight squares together in this manner until you have completed your first row. Press all seams to the right side and set aside.

I used BERNINA Patchwork Foot #97D to sew a 1/4 inch seam. This foot is designed for 1/4″ precision stitches. My BERNINA 770 QE also has a double feed function that feeds the fabric evenly without shifting or sliding.

BERNINA 97D Mixed FootI’ve also switched to a straight stitch panel. I find when sewing small seams that this helps prevent my fabric from sliding underneath.

Create the second row by sewing nine squares together using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Press all seams to the left. Lay down your second row.

Keep sewing nine squares together until you have nine rows in total.

9 rows of patchwork tape

Make sure the odd-numbered row layers are pressed to the right, and even-numbered rows to the left.

Press the seams in opposite directions

Stitch rows together for the top of the quilt

Lay the 18-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ tape right side up on a flat work surface. Lay your first row on top of the bar with right sides together. Pin along one 18-1/2″ side. Stitch using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press the seam toward the patchwork row.

With the wrong side together, pin the second row to the first. Make sure the squares match at the seams.

matching layers

Stitch using a 1/4 inch seam allowance and press the seam down toward the second row.

Continue to rows three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine.

Roll the patchwork top to bat

Place the batting on a flat work surface. Gently spray one side of the batting with temporary adhesive spray.

Place the wrong side of the patchwork top over the batting. The batting will be slightly larger than the patchwork top. Use your hands to smooth everything out. If you don’t have adhesive spray, you can use safety pins to hold everything in place.

Put the mixture on top of the batter

Set the sewing machine to the drip stitch. On my BERNINA 770 QE, it’s stitch number 4. If you prefer you can use a straight stitch.

On a sewing machine, place the patchwork top right side up, needle line up with the first vertical seam, and stitch along the seam using a drip stitch.

Quilt with polka dots

Repeat with the remaining vertical seams.

Plaid stitch on doll quilt

Next, stitch along each horizontal line using a basting stitch. This is what the back side will look like when you’re done sewing.

Backside of patchwork quilt for 18 inch doll with polka dot stitch

trim batting

Lay the doll’s patchwork quilt on a flat work surface right side up. Carefully trim the excess batting so that it is level with the edge of the quilt’s top.

Patchwork quilt stitching finished

Lay the supporting piece of fabric on top of the patchwork quilt with right sides together. Pin along all edges, leaving a 6-inch hole at the bottom.

Leave a 6-inch hole for rotation

Starting at one end of the 6-inch hole, stitch with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Stitch around all four sides, ending at the other end of the 6-inch hole. Make sure you do the backstitching at the beginning and end. This will prevent the stitches from fraying when turning the quilt right out.

Insert your hand into the opening and turn the patchwork doll quilt right side out. Gently roll out the corners.

Press the edges of the 6-inch by 1/4-inch hole. Pin closed.

Press 1/4 inch to open inside

Edgestitch around all four sides of the patchwork doll quilt, closing the opening in the process.

Edgestitch along the four edges

When I did this I used BERNINA Edgestitch Foot #10D and moved the needle three positions to the left of the center of the foot.

BERNINA Edgestitch Foot

you are done! Your 18″ Patchwork Quilt is sure to delight any little one!

sew pillow coordination

Now that the patchwork doll quilt is done, why not sew a coordinating pillowcase or two? All you need is fabric, thread, a hand sewing needle, and fiber filler. Fabric and fiber filling for the pillow

Cut two pieces of fabric measuring 6-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ each.

Put the pieces right sides together and secure them. Using a 1/4 seam allowance, stitch around all edges leaving a 3-inch hole along one long edge. Remember to make a backstitch at the beginning and end of hole 3.

Turn right outside. Carefully roll out the corners. Press the hole 1/4″ inward.

Press the opening in the pillow inward

Fill the pillow with a fiber filling. Do not overfill the hole or it will be difficult to sew the hole closed.

Cushion filling with fiber filling

Pin the hole closed and hand stitch to secure.

The manual thread pillow hole is closed

Sewing a nightgown 18 doll

Ruffled maxi dress 18 doll makes a great nightgown with a few subtle changes! Just use flannel and add some lace trim.

18 inch flannel nightgown with lace trim and ruffled hem

Instead of cotton quilting, you’ll need flannel (5/8 of a yard will save a lot of fabric) and 2-1/2 yards of lace trim. All other supplies are listed in the original blog post which can be found here. The blog post also includes step-by-step instructions.

adding lace

Lay the right side of the lace along the short edge of the front of the dress. Glue in place and then continue sewing the dress into the blog post. Put the lace on the side sections of the dress

After creating the straps, stitch a row of lace along one of the edges. Continue sewing the dress in the blog post.

Add lace to the shoulder straps

Add lace to the ruffle bottom of the skirt. Finish sewing the dress in a blog post.

Add lace to the bottom of the ruffle

Using flannel and adding lace you now have a nightgown for doll 18.

The patchwork comforter, pillow, and nightgown makes a great gift for that special someone!


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