Permission to Play

Recently I finished a quilt for Joan called “Dog Park.”  The pattern and kit is through McKenna Ryan.  If you don’t know who McKenna Ryan is, go here to look at her work.  The details in her patterns are phenomenal, and this quilt in particular gave me a new respect for Joan.  I knew she had to have put hours and hours of work into this quilt top with all the tiny pieces she had to applique… the patience of a saint!  Wait til you see the details!

Here is a picture of the quilt after I finished quilting it.  Joan said I could do whatever I wanted with her quilt.  She only wanted the names of her 2 dogs who have passed on in the quilt somewhere. 

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I decided to quilt a Rainbow Bridge and put her dogs’ names there. 

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Can you also see the little squirrel I stitched on the tree branch (peeking out from behind the leaves)?

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Here’s a close-up of the squirrel.  See its tail between the leaves on the branch?

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At the base of the tree are the 2 dogs – I decided to have one barking and the other howling.

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Over on the merry-go-round is where I decided to put some dog bones.  You can barely see them in this photo.  One is under the big dog in front and another, partially-chewed, bone is under the tongue of the little dog. 

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With this quilt, I had to figure out how to hold the quilt layers together with stitching in a creative way.  In this next picture, you can see how I tacked it down with “grass.”

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For the skies, I mostly stitched in clouds, but this block needed something different.  So, I used a light gray thread to stitch in the shadows of the cascading branches and leaves.

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The big dog in the main block created a special challenge, because, like quilts with people’s faces, I didn’t want to stitch on the dog’s face.  But, I needed to tack it down somehow, comparable to the amount I stitched elsewhere in the quilt.  Otherwise, it would poof up and look distorted.  I should have, and wish, I had asked Joan if she knew what kinds of dog this was.  I don’t know why I didn’t think to ask her.  I should have guess that it was a Great Dane, due to the shadowing on its lower legs.  It would have made a difference in how “smoothly” I stitched the fur onto this dog.  Mistakes and regrets are always an opportunity for learning, so I will try to do better next time at asking my customers more questions and not assuming too much on my own.  And, no, the dog’s head is not bashed in.  Joan, smartly, waited until after the quilting to add the embellishments.  She added a 3-D ear to this dog, which you will see in the photos following. 

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As for the border, I simply quilted dog paws around the edges.

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Here is a shot of the dachshund in the lower border.  Notice how Joan added a “loose leash” on the dog?  Too cute!  I had to put some kind of mischief in there as a reason the dog had gotten loose, so I stitched a small circle as a ball for the dog to run after.

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Here’s another shot of the center of the quilt after Joan added the 3-D embellishments.

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And, a shot of the completed quilt…

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Finally, I got a picture of a customer holding her finished quilt!  Meet Joan, the proud owner of this awesome quilt!

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Author: cowtownquilts

Professional longarm quilter and thread artist in the Kansas City area.