Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Dog Quilt

From a young age my grandmother always encouraged me to make things with my hands. I remember getting so excited when Bubbie (This is what I call my grandmother) was going to babysit me and my sister, because it meant that we were going to have craft time.

My grandmother always had a huge box or scrap fabrics and we were allowed to make what ever our hearts desired with her sewing machine. Sometimes she had a specific pattern for us to use but usually we used our imaginations.

2 Years ago I asked my Bubbie if she would get me a sewing machine for my birthday as the one my mother had was...well probably double my age and didn't like to work. She got me my own machine and recently I decided I wanted to try to follow in her footsteps and try making a quilt.


I went to my local craft store and saw a magazine with a really cute quilt on the cover that was Westie dogs on it (I am obsessed with Westies) I decided this is going to be the quilt I make.

I realized pretty fast that quilting is harder then it seems and even after sitting down with my Bubbie that this pattern was REALLY hard and more complicated than it needed to be. She found this handy chart online for me and I fount it so much easier to follow.

Image result for quilt westie block pattern
I cut all my fabric into 2" squares for the dogs and then 10"squares for the boxes between dogs. I assembled my dogs in Vertical rows (I don't think it would have mattered if I did horizontal though) then sewed all the vertical rows together. I then measured it to make sure they were the right dimensions (Did some trimming on uneven edges)
 


Then spread all of my squares out to see make sure I liked how it looked and it was the size that I wanted it to be...I quickly learnt that large projects and small puppy's are a difficult combination and My dog wanted to be a part of my project at all times. (He sure is lucky hes cute)

    

After I layed it out I then sewed all the squares together Starting horizontally then sewed those strips together and made a border with strips of the same colour.

Adding the batting and back layer I have to say were easily the hardest part of the whole quilting process.. You need ALOT of space, Lots of extra machine needles (I went through easily 5), Lots of safety pins, and clamps...also alot of patience. I did a lot of research on Pinterest as to how to do this step one of the sites I used was http://colormequilty.blogspot.ca/2013/04/board-basting.html as a guide.

TIP: Cut your batting and backing much larger then you anticipate, you can always trim but you cant add fabric.


   

For the edge of the quilt you can always use bias binding...but at the is point I was a little over confident that I had gotten this far and though 'I can make my own Binding' I cut my fabric into 2" strips, sewed them together so they were a bit longer then the distance around my quilt....then came the Ironing...NOTE: Do not make your own binding if you hate using an Iron or have a tenancy to burn yourself..like me...First I had to iron the strip folded in half then again in quarters...here are some helpful links with steps on how to add the border
http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2013/12/how-to-finish-and-bind-quilt.html
http://blog.shopmartingale.com/quilting-sewing/put-an-end-to-ufos-with-quilt-finishing-smarts/

Once I finished the border I was done, I sent some photos to my Bubbie and she was so proud of what I was able to make.
 
Keep in mind this quilt took me over a month to make. It may sound/look easy...its not...you need to be extremely precise with your measurements. Overall it was fun...but I am not sure I want to attempt another large quilt any time soon...or at least until I have more space. 

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