Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Kind of Quilting

Rag quilts for dogs
My closest sewing friends and teachers, some of them spectacular quilters, know that quilting is probably not going to be my thing.  All those corners to match, the precision of exactly 1/4' seams, then the quilting itself, wow.  Some things have to drop off the life bucket list.  Me, I've eliminated tap dancing, oil painting and quilting.  So isn't it surprising that every now and then a quilted project shows up in my sewing room.  How does that happen?  In this case the project is for charity and the sewing doesn't have to be that precise....and the recipient can't complain in a language that I understand.  

Yes, last year I started sewing charity quilts for rescue dogs.  A childhood friend has retired here to SW Florida.  I have enjoyed reconnecting after almost 4 decades of only hearsay from our parents.  Her sewing skills advanced and improved over those many years (mine stayed in childhood rebellion and grumpiness until the late '90s.)  Among her many talents, she's a lovely machine embroiderer and quilter....and wonderful teacher.  She's worked in quilting and fabric stores for many of those years and has accumulated quite a large collection.  As we got reacquainted she invited me to join her in using up some of her flannel collection by making these small flannel rag quilts.  We made either 4" strips or 9" squares and stitched them in three layers.

4" strip rag quilt

But why show these to you, my dear readers, who love clothes and fashion sewing like I do?  Well, for a couple of reasons.  One, I think it's tragic that a million dogs are euthanized every year yet a million more are bred, too, too many in puppy mills.  Rather than buying a new puppy I would love more people to seriously look into rescuing a dog.  There are breed specific rescues if your heart is set on a certain type and the cost is less than a puppy store.  These quilts go to small dogs in SW FL who are looking for forever homes after they have been rescued from a puppy mill or given up for adoption, victims of the struggling economy in this area.

Rag quilt collection
From a sewing perspective I think it's great to have a project like this around.  Sometimes I lose my sewing mojo or can't commit quite yet to the next creative project.  Just putting together these quilts gave me time in the sewing room, an easy non-critical project and a break from a challenging one.  When we returned home to FL this week I still had a pile of these that had to be clipped.  It's a great way to keep your hands out of the snack jar at night while watching TV.  Now these go off to the rescue organization and I'm back to regular programming.

OK, one more shot of the luckiest dog alive today.


  1. Glad to know that I'm not the only one who's dog lives on the sofa. These quilts are a wonderful idea. Dogs do love their blankies.

  2. What a lovely way to get into quilting. Your friend sounds like the perfect companion for this type of sewing. I think I would do it, too, in similar circumstances.

    I do really like patchwork. I like the way it looks. Just don't feel like doing it myself, so I understand!!

  3. oh that is so sweet - the phrase that springs to mind is "leftovers for leftovers" but you know what I mean, it's about making things that have been overlooked feel loved.


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