‘Spot’ the dog!

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.

Spot pattern

“Spot” pattern #642 by Country Threads

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.

Spot 1

‘Spot’ ready for quilting

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.

Spot 2

‘Spot’ partially quilted

I decided to quilt a meander on the background, swirling round the spots.

Spot 3

Close-up of Spot

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.

Spot 4

Dog’s bone template

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.

Spot 5

Dog’s bones penciled in

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.

Spot 6

Spot with extra quilted spots

Then I squared up the quilt and trimmed the edges.

Spot 7

‘Spot’ ready for binding

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.

Spot 8

Detail of the dog’s bone quilting, and the binding, with the change from orangey-red to orange at the top left of the photo

I added a hanging sleeve and a label to the back, and ‘Spot’ the dog was finished and ready to hang.

Spot the dog

‘Spot’ the dog completed

Thank’s for a great design, Mary and Connie! He makes me smile.

4 responses to “‘Spot’ the dog!

  1. I love the colors you chose. Good idea on the bone quilting. Enjoy your posts very much.

  2. Lovely work, Fiona, and I especially appreciate all the details regarding your process. Lots of good ideas! Good luck with finishing your older projects. I’m of a similar mindset. I’m attempting to finish off previously started projects before starting anything new, but I’m failing miserably. In fact, I started a brand new project just today! (couldn’t wait to see what it would look like!), Have a great summer and good luck with your memory quilt. I’m eager to see the finished product. Best wishes, Carol

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