Thursday, 17 January 2013

Puppy Park

One Saturday during the late summer of last year I met up with a group of friends for lunch.  Being girls in the middle of town on a Saturday afternoon we couldn't pass up a few shops along the way.  Laura Ashley was having a sale so naturally we had to go in.  Amongst the scented candles, half price wallpaper and full price cushions my friend Sarah spotted the most beautiful multi-coloured girl fabric.  It was a remnant of 1.8m on clearance.  My other friend Mary had her little girl Maeve with her in the buggy (my Godchild by the way) and when she wasn't looking Sarah and I headed to the counter thinking it would make a lovely baby quilt backing.    

So I bought the remnant and then went about looking for baby fabric that would match.  Well I kind of got carried away with Riley Blake fabric on and bought a Santa's Little Helper Layer Cake which matched the sherbet colours of the Laura Ashley fabric.  Of course I couldn't just buy 1 layer cake so I bought Puppy Park and Joy by Kate Spain as well.  I kind of got carried away. 

All was going well until I received the fabric.  I opened the package and Puppy Park was on top and I just love it.  As you can see from the title above we have two dogs.  Maeve has her own little dog Millie and Maeve’s Nana has wait for it …four dogs!  So with all those dogs between us I just couldn't not use the puppy park layer cake.  The Laura Ashley fabric which inspired the whole quilt for Maeve idea was relegated to the plastic bucket of stash to be used another day.

So fabric on hand I decided I wanted to keep as much as the puppy squares together to show off the design so I picked the disappearing 9 patch.  With layer cake size squares this went together in no time.  I chose the solids for the centre squares as they would get cut twice into quarters and kept the patterned puppy fabric as the outer squares which don't get cut in this design at all. 

Again I made a mock up using Photoshop Elements of what I thought it would look like to test the combination of fabric and design.  I added two borders and thought some of the Navy I had left over from my Whipstitch quilt would be nice against the cream. 

Things always change in practice though!  The puppy park layer cake has 22 in total 10" squares.  I made 2 different 9 patches and cut them both as above to get 8 disappearing 9 patch square blocks.  I wanted to do a 3 x 3 configuration so from the remaining 4 layer cake squares I made one more patched block keeping a solid black as a rectangle as I wanted to embroider some text on it. 

Well I made a mistake in my colour layout.  After making the first 9 patch I should have checked for variation before making and cutting the second one.  It turned out to be quite difficult to lay out the 9 blocks and not have colour clumping and too similar designs together.  My mum has a good eye for colour and she helped enormously.  We eventually got a layout we liked and I sewed the 9 squares up that night.  Adding two borders would have made the quilt too big for a child so I settled for one off white border using Moda's Bella Solids Neutral Jelly Roll.  We laid it on the sofa and took a step back.  There was too much solid brown in it that I didn't like so I decided to lift it with some cream doggy inspired machine embroidery.

I also couldn't resist adding the letters Woof in the solid black.  I bought this embroidery design and paw prints from  The Binding was bought at my LQS who helped me pick out this Vintage Modern print, by Bonnie & Camille for Moda, that works perfectly with the quilt.  Quilting was simple: all straight lines. 

I know in the picture above it looks a little too blue and green for a little girl but the yellows and multicolours offset this in natural light.  I absolutely love this quilt - who can resist puppies?  And it made the perfect birthday present!

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