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How To Make My Dog Theme Favorite Things Quilt!
The Most Fun Project I've Ever Made!
Here's my Ladybug Schnauzer, trying out the comfy factor of my destined-to-be heirloom quilt top! She seems to approve!
I started hand-piecing the quilt in the Fall of 2008. We had moved the previous year to a beautiful (but very isolated) farm in southeast Missouri, about a mile from the Mississippi River. I was away from all my family and friends, facing a long winter mostly alone, since my husband was out traveling his railroad territory most of the time. It took me about 9 months to sew the entire quilt top.
I've always loved to crochet and embroider, and I've made a few simple patch quilts in my day. I don't call myself a professional quilter by any means! So this story is about a gift of love, and the single most fun project I've ever worked on! It started as an idea for a gift for my daughter, who was about to graduate from college. It was going to be a simple "nappie" quilt, or lap quilt. But once I got started it grew, grew some more, and ended up being a king size quilt top plus two pillow shams!
I haven't quilted it yet because in the years since I finished the quilt top and lovingly packed it into a box for our move, my hands have become so bad from arthritis that I don't think I can handle quilting all the layers with a needle. But a good friend who quilts for a living recently gave me an idea for quilting it that I think I could handle! So there is hope yet for my "masterpiece."
The ideas for the quilt were simple. I wanted it to be a dog (Schnauzer) theme, because my daughter and I both have Miniature Schnauzers. So each block would feature one Schnauzer in a different color of either White, Black, or Grey. Each dog would have a "sweater" in a different color. I wanted the background for each block to be a different fabric portraying one of my daughter's favorite things. Beyond that, I wanted the fabrics to be luxurious so the quilt would feel amazing! The first blocks started out very simple, with a single background fabric (I ended up using those as the pillow covers). The later blocks were far more interesting.
I think the most fun part of the project was searching for my different themes of fabric for the "favorite things." I bought a large majority of the fabrics online from places like eBay and Fabrics.com. I also made a couple of very fun trips to the nearest quilt fabric store about an hour away. I learned that for just about any theme, you can find a fabric out there somewhere! The blocks are detailed below. They range from a Wizard of Oz theme, to cheerleading, doggies, chocolate, perfume, and lots of others. I used Minkee Dot fabric for most of the Schnauzers. For one of the blocks, I actually crocheted blocks to fit for the dog with washable gray yarn (see below)! Other fabrics included silks, satins, flannels, and cottons. All were non-stretch fabrics except for the Minkee.
I ended up with a couple of extra blocks, mostly because I couldn't stop making them because it was so much fun! I used those as square pillow covers.
I hope to be back here later this coming Winter with a photo of my finished quilt in use! Hey... it's a goal! As that old proverb says, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!"
The Schnauzer Difficulty Rating! 2 - Easy
Great Quilting Accessories From Amazon - My Hand Picks!
This is simply the coolest thing! You place the hard plastic square over your fabric, mark the edges, and cut! Every single square will be the same size!
What You Will Need
1 Yard each of Minkee Softee Dot fabric in Yellow, Black, Gray and White
1/2 Yard each of every theme fabric you want
1 Yard of washable silk fabric
1 Yard of Yellow Flannel
Any other fabrics you wish to use for background filler blocks. (What's in your scrap fabric box?)
2 spools of good quality polyester thread
Quilting square cutting template (so handy!)
This is another very handy helper from Quilt In A Day's Eleanor Burns. Love it!
A Word About Fabric Selection...
It is very important to make sure all of your fabrics have the same care requirements. I purchased all my fabrics so that they were machine wash cold/tumble dry low.
How I Made The Blocks...
Each square of fabric is 3.5 inches.
There are seven squares across and seven squares in each vertical row.
I laid out the block of cut squares, then hand pieced them together in strips with a 1/4" seam allowance.
I sewed each strip across first, then sewed the strips to one another.
Every block has a square of Minkee Dot fabric on each corner.
First I cut pieces of Minkee Dot long enough to match each side of the blocks and sewed them on as a border. Then I sewed the blocks together across.
Another neat Eleanor Burns quilting helper!
These photos bring back some great memories for me!Click thumbnail to view full-size
What Do You Think Of This Idea? - Come On, You Can Tell Me!
What Are Your Thoughts?
I plan to purchase this to add a scalloped border to my finished quilt.
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"Crochet thread is the ink with which I will sign my life." –SheilaSchnauzies