Monday, 25 March 2013

A Dog's Life: Block 1 & 2

Wow, that was a quick weekend.  I can't believe Monday has rolled around again already.  I spent a good couple of hours on Saturday breaking the back of the stack of 252 squares and flying geese that needed to be sewn together into rows for my Bounce quilt.  More on that later! 

So Sunday dawned and I really had had enough of Bounce and decided to work on something for myself.  As you can tell from my blog title we're a doggy household and I just love quilt projects with anything to do with dogs.  I have had this project on the back burner for a while: "A Dog’s Life" by Lynnette Anderson.  

It makes a lap/baby quilt and comes in 4 parts.  It was originally a Block of the Month program and when I saw it while browsing Lynnette's website I knew I had to have it.  I searched all the quilt supply shops for this locally (Lynette is based in Australia) and I found it in Switzerland from Cotton and Colour (not that Switzerland is local but it is closer!) Lynette uses lovely muted colours with a lot of grey in them.  I like my colours just a bit warmer and so chose Nancy Halverson's Forever Spring collection.  My local quilt shop didn't have any of the red in stock so I searched the online shops again and luckily I stumbled on a shop in the UK called Quilter's Trading Post.  They had nearly all of the range and I bought a Fat Eight of each pattern they had.  I started in on block 1 and completed it before Christmas (see above).  Then I got distracted with other projects and since then it has sat in my plastic tub of stash.  Well it's been on my mind and procrastinating about finishing Bounce and the desire to do a "me" project allowed me to spend half of Sunday pulling fabric and patterns and just having fun.

The pattern comes with two sheets showing the layout and the embroidery stitching for details like the eyes and flowers.  There is also a sheet showing the appliqué shapes to be cut for the dogs and cats.  I chose to use washable fusible glue sheets to hold my fabric to the background before stitching all around the shapes with a blanket stitch.  Needle turn method would be lovely but as this is my first appliqué project I'm going with the simplest and quickest method for me.

The fusible glue sheets come with a paper backing on one side and a rough un-papered side on the other.  To begin with I ironed the rough side to the back of the fabric prints I wanted for my shapes.  For the appliqué method I was using you have to reverse the appliqué shapes to trace on the back of the bonded material so first I traced the shapes to paper then I reversed the paper templates and laid them on the back of the material with the backing paper facing out.  I traced around the templates and cut out the fabric pieces.

Next I traced the layout pattern provided with parchment paper to give a semi-transparent image I could use to help layout the shapes correctly.  I removed the backing paper from my fabric shapes and arranged them on the background fabric as per the design paying particular care to what should lie on top.

 I then ironed it all down piece by piece and I think it looks great already.  Now I can embroider around the shapes with a blanket stitch to keep them in place as in block 1 and add in the details while I'm watching TV or have a few moments to spare during the week.  So glad I took a break from Bounce to catch up on this!


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