Hanging in the sun (mostly)

I had fun making the sofa cover quilt - at least once I’d got over the fear. I spotted this via pinterest and liked the windowpane effect. I got to thinking about making something similar in a small size as something for the dog to lie on.

Yes the dog is somewhat overindulged. But if there aren’t specific dog items then normal household furnishings tend to get used. Cushions, blankets etc. And as I slowly replace most of the shop bought items with more hand made items I get less and less keen on them becoming used for Skitters.

I wanted to use stash fabrics for this and started laying out some of my more fun fabrics to choose from. And I kept coming back to the problem that they weren’t particularly well coordinated. Nor did they cover the things she loves the most, and that was what I was aiming for. I had a search on eBay and found a couple of small pieces of interesting looking fabric. One with rabbits the other with a squirrel. These are two of Skitters’ favourite things. So I bought A4 sized pieces of both. Then I found some dog bone fabric. Food is another of her favourite things and so I bought a fat quarter of that.

The brown used as separator and the brown used as a back piece were both out of the stash fabrics. As was the batting and the bias binding. So I did get to reduce my stash.

Once all the fabric had arrived I had a replan. It didn’t make sense for dog bones to be out of a window. And the two new fabrics didn’t go with the others I’d picked out. The colours were going to be all over the place. So I decided to just patchwork these new fabrics together instead. Because of the way the fabric worked out, the squirrel piece needed to be kept in one piece. That dictated the rest of the project. For a while I was going to swap the bones with the plain brown but that was going to be too much on the eyes. So I simplified the plan. And then adjusted on the go as I had a few mis-cuts to contend with. It ended up feeling quite balanced though, so I’m reframing those mis-cuts as happy accidents!

The reverse

The result of the mis-cuts also meant that I had two long inch wide strips of bone fabric. It seemed a shame to waste them so I decided to use them on the back piece.

The batting I used was different to the last quilt. It is thinner and, if I recall correctly, bought it for the iPad case. I think it is bamboo based and cost more but being thinner made it easier to work with.

The front

I started off the quilting process by stitching in the ditch again. This went ok but didn’t add much to it as the pieces were so big to start with. So I took a quick look in The Quilters bible and went for it. The plain brown pieces are all quilted into 4 pieces in roughly straight lines. The squares in the corners are divided by diagonals.

Close up on quilting around the tree

And, most exciting of all, I decided to get all creative and I stitched along some of the detail lines in the squirrel piece. I didn’t want to get too carried away so I stitched around the outline of the tree, some of the leaves, and around the hole that the squirrel’s head is poking out of. It isn’t exactly easy to see but I can feel the difference.

Then, as with the sofa quilt, I finished by sewing the bias binding on and finishing the reverse with the ladder stitch.

Skitters tries out her new quilt

I’m pleased with how this turned out. In some ways I like the look of the back almost more than the front. I love how the quilting transforms the look of the plain fabric and gives it interest. The size of the quilt is perfect for the dog, and is a good size as a learning and testing project. I’m not planning to leap into another quilt project quite yet, but might well queue one up as a project over next wintertime. I have an idea brewing for it already.