Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dog Quilt

I've finally finished the dog quilt.  I actually had this top done at the end of last year but the completion kept getting put off.  It's a bit larger than most of my recent quilts.  Since it is a quilt that will be living at our house I took a few liberties in trying different quilting techniques.  I've enjoyed finishing this although I was a bit frustrated with how long it has taken.  There have been a lot of things competing for my time lately. it is:
Two of the blocks (including the one right above) are pictures of Seamus, my Golden.  I printed them on that fabric that goes into your printer.  The rest of the blocks are either from a panel that the husband admired almost a year ago and some paper piecing techniques to add dog houses and bones to keep with the theme.  I did straight diamond quilting over the center of the blocks, stippling on the frames, meandering in the in between spaces and straight lines on the borders.  While I enjoyed the chance to practice the different techniques, I don't think it had that great an impact on the final look and really just made the whole job harder on me.  I discovered a great way to get straight lines when doing a diamond pattern.  Before I had always used the guide on my machine, but somehow when I got to the end I had misshapen diamonds.  Apparently I would stray from the guide just a tiny bit here and there until it added up to some very obvious mis-quilting.  This time I used blue painters tape.  It doesn't have a vary strong adhesive since it's made to peel off a painted surface without damage.  It comes in 1, 1 1/2, and 2 inch widths.  You can use a ruler to get it straight and then quilt down each side.  It pulls off easily.  I used that technique for all the diagonals as well as for marking the miter in the border.   The border quilting turns right at the diagonal and continues around making a sort of frame in itself.   I also decided that quilting over the blocks (as opposed to quilting differently in each element of the quilt as I did here) really adds to the strength of the piece.  It adds strength to the seams holding the blocks together.

So, I'm glad to be done and pleased with the outcome although (as usual) I would have done a few things differently if I did it again.   I'm working on a couple of pirate pillows now and then on to my tartan bag and two other quilts!

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