At the moment I am busy finishing a number of projects that are in various states of completion, to clear the studio decks a little in preparation for a bigger project: a memory quilt for my mother, constructed primarily from my late father John’s shirts. So in the next couple of weeks, hopefully a couple of ‘finishes’ while I prepare the shirts and the extra fabric for sewing.
The first finish is ‘Spot the dog’ a small wall-hanging that I started a couple of years ago, patched and partially quilted, and then for some reason that now escapes me, didn’t complete. “Spot” is a Country Threads pattern, that can be made up with multiple dogs, or a single dog. I chose the single dog version, this time around. I love the way the dog is standing, it is such a doggy stance.
Inspired by the quilts on the pattern front, I decided to also make my ‘Spot’ from bright jewel colours, as he (I think Spot is a he), will ultimately hang on a rich dark blue wall. All the fabrics came from my stash: a combination of prints, batiks and self-coloured fabrics.
I deliberately chose a spotted fabric for the background, and the dog, and some of the squares. I appliquéd ‘Spot’ by machine, with blue variegated thread and a narrow zig-zag, to the central background, which is a sort of orangey-red (difficult to photograph) and then pieced the rest of the top. Then I layered it, with a pink patterned backing and cotton batting, and pin-basted it. I used silicone Pinmoors on the end of the straight pins to protect my fingers as I worked.
I quilted a single line of quilting around the dog and his ear in blue, and then in the ditch around the central section. I used YLI variegated thread in jewel colours to quilt crosses in the coloured squares, and then black thread to shadow quilt the triangles in the QST’s.
I decided to quilt a meander on the background, swirling round the spots.
I lightly penciled the meander in, so that I wouldn’t free-motion quilt myself into a corner as I manoeuvred around the dog.
I wanted to extend the dog theme into the outer black border, by quilting a dog’s bone motief. I drew a bone and made a template out of template plastic.
I quilted an echo along one side of the bone: this allowed me to quilt from bone to bone without stopping, or overlapping lines of stitching, so I could sew all around the quilt in one go.
I penciled the dog’s bones in lightly with chalk, and bridged the gaps between them with a squiggle. Pencilling them in in advance enabled me to get the spacing right, and turn the corners neatly.
Once I had quilted the bone’s and the meander in the central panel, I decided I needed a bit of extra quilting on Spot’s body, to keep the density of quilting over the top fairly even. So I quilted a couple more spots in blue.
Then I squared up the quilt and trimmed the edges.
I made the binding from a couple of left-over batik 2 1/2″ strips that almost exactly matched the colour of the quilt centre (and that I didn’t even have when I first pieced the top, which just goes to show!). There wasn’t enough of the same colour to go all the way around, so I used an orange batik strip as well: it makes up part of the left-hand edge of the binding. I trimmed the strips to 2″ wide, and then made a double fold mitred binding.
I added a hanging sleeve and a label to the back, and ‘Spot’ the dog was finished and ready to hang.
Thank’s for a great design, Mary and Connie! He makes me smile.