Friday, September 6, 2013


A quilter recently asked me what a good size is for a cradle.
My initial thought was, only one cradle?

The context of the conversation had to do with collecting and making doll quilts and displaying them in cradles.

I understand that space can be a concern.  No matter what kind of space you have I think the details of the cradle should 'speak' to you.  You may not be able to stop at one.

The bedding can be tucked around the edges or draped across the end of the cradle.

I 'need' several bedding accessories yet to fully outfit my collection of beds and cradles.  I'll save the doll bed collection for another post.

The largest piece I have is an antique infant cradle.

I loved the detail and patina of the piece.  It is very heavy and reinforced - which has enabled it to survive many decades.

It is large enough I sometimes use it to place full size folded quilts and coverlets in it for display.
Cradles aren't just for baby and doll quilts.

Each time I say I am done adding doll beds and cradles to the collection...some detail speaks to me and another one comes home.

Never say never, right?

This little cutout and painting detail was too wonderful to resist.

This cradle is assembled with square nails.

The tiniest cradle I have is a bonnet top souvenir piece from Poosie Nansies in Mauchline Village UK.

I have a little china baby for it, but so far no tiny bedding.  This cradle is only 4 1/2" long.

I've never bought a cradle for a quilt, I'm more likely to make or buy little quilts for the beds.

Shaker Hancock Village 24" x 24" x 66.5"  
The largest cradle I'm aware of is for adults.

"Adult cradles were used at several Shaker villages.  They provided comfortable space for the most debilitated of patients to rest and be soothed by rocking.  It is now thought that these cradles were used to comfort the terminally ill in their final days."  from the book..."Inspired Innovations A Celebrity of Shaker Ingenuity" M.Stephen Miller

Do you have a cradle for your doll quilts?
Would you recommend a size?
Are you currently looking for a cradle for your doll quilts?
Have a great week!  I'm going to get busy making some cradle sized sheets...


  1. Wow, I love these, Dawn! I don't have a single cradle or doll bed, but I am keeping my eyes open for one.

  2. Hi Dawn,
    Your cradle collection is just delightful. There is nothing like a cradle to show off a little quilt - or a tiny quilt!

  3. Wow!!! Always love the very interesting facts/finds that you share!!! Love those little cradles. I don't have any - had one a child but gave it to my younger cousin - haven't seen it since! But I still have the doll and the quilts that came with it!! Maybe I'll make one for myself!!


  4. I don't have any myself. Until now, I never thought of it. They're beautiful, I've enjoyed this post and gosh the Adult size is fascinating. Learn something new everyday.

  5. Wonderful cradles, love the idea of having them and making quilts for them. We made a reproduction for a friend, but none of my own.


  6. i enjoyed seeing your cradles and had no idea there were cradles made for adults.

    i have an antique doll bed but no cradles. they are beautiful but space is limited so must make choices accordingly. then again, a 4.5 inch cradle wouldn't take up much space at all . . .


  7. I just love these little cradles. I don't have any but always on the search for one that does speak to me. At end of the month, I hit a great antique show in west Michigan so will be on the lookout for one!

  8. Cradles are my downfall! I'm always looking at them and wondering I can fit them in my home. Very few have made it but there's just something about them that speaks to me. I love the cradles you showed.

  9. I have no idea what happened to the wood cradle my in-laws loaned us when our daughter was a baby. I don't remember returning it but I must have. It was plain but sure would have been nice for displaying a small quilt.

  10. I don't have a cradle - would love to have one though. It was fun looking at your collection. I can see why those details inspired you to buy!

  11. Dawn, your cradles are simply delightful. i love making doll quilts using civil war repros and you have inspired me to keep my eye out for a vintage cradle (or two).. i hope to find one just like yours :))) cheers...Marian

  12. What lovely cradles you have!! You'd think I'd at least have one since I make a lot of small quilts, but alas, I do not own a little cradle.

  13. It was wonderful to see your cradle collection.
    I have never heard of an adult cradle - very interesting.
    I still have my girlhood cradle, just moved it again. Maybe I'll take it out of the attic and fill it with my doll quilts.

  14. Love your cradles. I still don't have one as I've always been afraid they could get addictive! I can see that it would be very fun to play with little quilts with them around though.:)

  15. No cradle, but I do have two child sized rockers. One was my mom's and seats her Bi-Lo baby (and a quilt) the other was my rocker and 'needs' me to make a quilt


  16. I finally found and bought 2 cradles in the last 6 months and I had so much fun making a mattress, pillow and quilt for the one. The other I filled with four small quilts.

    I think I only have room for 2 but then you never know.


  17. I love your cradle collection. I had never heard of adult cradles -very interesting. I do not own a cradle just beds. I have been looking for a cradle. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I love your fabulous Cradle collection! They look wonderful with those sweet little quilts tucked into them as well!
    I have one small vintage doll bed. A cradle is now on my wish list thanks to your post. (grin)

  19. I LOVE your cradle collection! I also love seeing those wonderfully sweet little quilts tucked inside.
    I have a small vintage doll bed, but after seeing this wonderful post - a little cradle is now on my wish list. (grin)

    Thanks for sharing your collection with us!

  20. Lovely post, I would love a cradle... don't know if we would find such lovely ones in Australia!


Thanks for your comments!